Curriculum Intent

Design and technology is an inspiring, rigorous and practical subject. Using creativity and imagination, students design and make products that solve real and relevant problems within a variety of contexts, considering their own and others’ needs, wants and values. They acquire a broad range of subject knowledge and draw on disciplines such as mathematics, science, engineering, computing and art. Students learn how to take risks, becoming resourceful, innovative, enterprising and capable citizens. Through the evaluation of past and present design and technology, they develop a critical understanding of its impact on daily life and the wider world. High-quality design and technology education makes an essential contribution to the creativity, culture, wealth and well-being of the nation.

It is important that all students from all backgrounds and abilities are able to learn life skills as they rotate through different projects in their DT lessons throughout their time at King’s.  Students should be engaged with the subject when learning knowledge as well as during practical investigations/tasks. There will always be high expectations of behaviour for learning in order to provide a safe environment for all students to learn through practical applications of skills and challenge themselves to take risks when designing new products.

We strive to give every student the opportunity to express themselves through design so that they will enjoy the subject. Students will be challenged and encouraged to explore materials, and their uses; and will use a range of fabrics, polymers and timbers.  Students will be encouraged to join in with extra-curricular projects and trips to better understand Design and the work of others.

Students will begin to learn about Food Preparation and Nutrition at KS3 on rotation with Design & Technology which will prepare students for Food & Nutrition GCSE.


Our curriculum for design and technology aims to ensure that all students:

  • develop the creative, technical and practical expertise needed to perform everyday tasks confidently and to participate successfully in an increasingly technological world
  • build and apply a repertoire of knowledge, understanding and skills in order to design and make high-quality prototypes and products for a wide range of users
  • critique, evaluate and test their ideas and products and the work of others
  • understand and apply the principles of nutrition and learn how to cook.

Curriculum Implementation 


  • use research and exploration, such as the study of different cultures, to identify and understand user needs
  • identify and solve their own design problems and understand how to reformulate problems given to them
  • develop specifications to inform the design of innovative, functional, appealing products that respond to needs in a variety of situations
  • use a variety of approaches [for example, biomimicry and user-centred design] to generate creative ideas and avoid stereotypical responses
  • develop and communicate design ideas using annotated sketches, detailed plans, 3-D and mathematical modelling, oral and digital presentations


  • select from and use specialist tools, techniques, processes, equipment and machinery precisely, including computer-aided manufacture
  • select from and use a wider, more complex range of materials, components and ingredients, taking into account their properties


  • analyse the work of past and present professionals and others to develop and broaden their understanding
  • investigate new and emerging technologies
  • test, evaluate and refine their ideas and products against a specification, taking into account the views of intended users and other interested groups
  • understand developments in design and technology, its impact on individuals, society and the environment, and the responsibilities of designers, engineers and technologists

Technical knowledge

  • understand and use the properties of materials and the performance of structural elements to achieve functioning solutions
  • understand how more advanced mechanical systems used in their products enable changes in movement and force
  • understand how more advanced electrical and electronic systems can be powered and used in their products [for example, circuits with heat, light, sound and movement as inputs and outputs]
  • apply computing and use electronics to embed intelligence in products that respond to inputs [for example, sensors] and control outputs [for example, actuators] using programmable components [for example, microcontrollers]

At key stages 4 the schools follow the AQA specifications. At Key Stage 5 schools follow OCR and AQA specifications for Product Design.

Key concepts

  • Creating for a specific stakeholder brief
  • Ongoing and iterative process to analyse and evaluate
  • Making independent decisions
  • Placing the design cycle in the real world

Links to Key Stage 2

Pupils in Key Stage 2 should do the following. However, experience says that the coverage varies from school to school. Therefore, we aim to quickly ensure all students are up-to-speed in Year 7. Some feeder schools do this very well. Others do not.


  • use research and develop design criteria to inform the design of innovative, functional, appealing products that are fit for purpose, aimed at particular individuals or groups
  • generate, develop, model and communicate their ideas through discussion, annotated sketches, cross-sectional and exploded diagrams, prototypes, pattern pieces and computer-aided design


  • select from and use a wider range of tools and equipment to perform practical tasks [for example, cutting, shaping, joining and finishing], accurately
  • select from and use a wider range of materials and components, including construction materials, textiles and ingredients, according to their functional properties and aesthetic qualities


  • investigate and analyse a range of existing products
  • evaluate their ideas and products against their own design criteria and consider the views of others to improve their work
  • understand how key events and individuals in design and technology have helped shape the world

Technical knowledge

  • apply their understanding of how to strengthen, stiffen and reinforce more complex structures
  • understand and use mechanical systems in their products [for example, gears, pulleys, cams, levers and linkages]
  • understand and use electrical systems in their products [for example, series circuits incorporating switches, bulbs, buzzers and motors]
  • apply their understanding of computing to program, monitor and control their products 

Relationship to the wider Key Stage 3 Curriculum

  • English language: spelling, grammar, punctuation, written analysis, written investigation
  • Mathematics: numeracy, ratio and percentage, graphical interpretation, geometry
  • Science: materials, energy
  • Computer science: control systems including circuits, sensors plus input and output system approaches
  • Art: drawing techniques, answering a brief, art history (movements)
  • History: local history and design

Links to KS4

The key stage 3 curriculum is coherent with the GCSE specification which focuses on:

  • Core technical principles
  • Specialist technical principles
  • Designing and making principles

Extra-Curricular Experience

We ensure there are regular opportunities for enrichment in Design Technology. Examples include:

  • KS4 intervention support sessions
  • KS3 DT Club
  • Christmas workshops
  • Cookery and baking events, including 'Bake-Offs'