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Design & Technology KS3 Curriculum

Curriculum Intent

Design Technology allows our pupils to enjoy a range of creative design and make projects which stretch pupil understanding, alter pre-conceptions and focus on design as a tool to make peoples’ lives better in a physical and emotional context. The seeds of ideas are nurtured in our well-equipped and purpose designed workshops where they develop and flourish into enterprising solutions in real life situations.

We aim to develop the enquiring mind, unlock creative potential and promote intellectual playfulness in a wide range of contexts, building upon a range of ever widening processes and materials throughout Key Stage 3. We encourage our pupils to express their thinking and linking skills, take design risks and improve their ability to mentally construct ideas and physically build accurate prototypes and outcomes for the benefit of others. This is carried out with reference to past and present design and technology; through it our pupils develop a critical understanding of their potential impact on daily life in both the present and the future with sustainable issues at the core.  

We inspire our pupils to build resilience, take the initiative, identify risks and take precautionary action in a secure environment. They undergo training on the use of a wide range of tools and machines, then, when needed, use those skills to peer teach others in the class. All the while they are manufacturing specific tailored solutions and developing their meta thinking skills in differing contexts as individuals, pairs and in collaborative teams.

We use traditional and modern design and making strategies and technologies in order to increase our pupils’ skills set in preparation for GCSE and A level, and to be agile and desirable candidates in further educational and working environments. We take STEAM subject knowledge and apply it in real-life practical situations. This helps our pupils to become the hard-working role models of the future in the broad fields of design, and manufacture in order to contribute to local issues and societal needs in our rapidly changing world.

We nurture the skills of our young women with our own departmental range of professional skills and understanding. This in turn helps to develop their own independence and develop their empathetic capacity with which to thrive in a range of study and employment situations. This should give our girls an equal footing in the often male dominated, professions of design and manufacture.

Themes (knowledge & understanding

Designing: Researching and analysing design problems, developing ideas and responding to different situations and peoples’ needs with sketches, technical drawings and models.

Making: Selecting appropriate specialist tools, techniques, processes, equipment and machinery precisely.

Evaluating: Analysing the work of past and present designer/makers. Testing, evaluating and refining ideas and products to make them more successful.

Technical knowledge: Understanding and using the properties of materials and the performance of structural elements and mechanical systems to achieve functioning solutions. Understanding how more advanced electrical and electronic systems can be powered and used in their products.

  • Practical application using a wide range of machines and hand tools (project specific), refer to SOW’s for more detail.
  • The manipulation of a range of different materials (primarily – papers and boards, woods metals and plastics with reference to other materials such as composites, modern and smart materials), refer to SOW’s for more detail.

Modules Taught

Year 7
Year 8
Year 9

Health and Safety introduction: Workshop Rules

Graphic Skills: Presentation and technical drawing skills

Paper/Card Mechanisms: Pop-up book

Picture Frame: Softwood based project with initial introduction and use of machines and hand tools.

Day of the Dead: Textiles based hand-made project. Felt with applique and simple electronics


Bridge Project: Structures based project with budgetary constraints. Pupils work in pairs.

Keyring Project: Pewter casting project with manufacture of MDF moulds.

CAD/3D Printer Project


Drawing Skills: Pupils to learn about a range of drawing techniques (Isometric, Perspective and Orthographic with presentation emphasis)

Lighting Project: Woods and plastics based design project. Emphasis of the 6R’s (Reuse of existing product parts or materials).

Mini design and make Project: Individual teacher determined project.


  • End of project assessment is punctuated with a full self-assessment task with reflection of performance and physical product outcome.
  • Other assessment is used on a weekly basis in the form of verbal assessment on a one-to-one basis, paired or group basis and peer assessment is used at specific points during the practical projects with written feedback from other pupils in the class.
  • The IPM system give a termly indicator towards pupils’ progress.
  • Homework and classwork that is regularly marked will also be an indicator of pupil progress.

Stretch & Challenge

Project specific resources are produced with stretch and challenge activities embedded within them.

Enrichment Opportunities

  • After school club
  • Visiting designers/makers
  • Extra resources on Google Classrooms
  • Design Museum visits