Design Technology


  • Mr R Hoyte– Head of Department
  • Ms S Oznacar – 2iC for Design & Technology
  • Ms D Kenyon - Teacher of Design & Technology
  • Ms T Pekri - Teacher of Design & Technology


Key Stage 3

Year 7

In Year 7 our boys will experience what it is to be a designer. Problem solving skills will be developed as they move throughout each project. There will be opportunities to work in our workshop developing practical skills as well as developing graphical communication and CAD (Computer Aided Design) skills.

Students will develop an understanding of structures; mechanisms; CAD packages such as 2D Design and how to use the laser cutter. Students will also begin to develop their 3D drawing and rendering skills. Links to careers in Design are made by exploring the role of structural engineers.

Planned projects: structures; earphone wrap; picture frame; mechanisms; drawing skills & problem solving.

Year 8

As our students progress into Year 8, the work will build upon prior learning and deepen their understanding of Design and Technology in the real world. Students will explore the role of a CAD designer and develop skills in CAD packages such as Fusion 360 and Google Sketch Up, which link to using our 3D printers. Students will work with a range of materials including timbers; fabrics and electronic components. Drawing skills will be further developed and there will be further exploration of how design evolves over time as students carry out research into Design Movements and prolific designers.

Planned projects; design movement inspired clock; Legoman design; drawing skills & problem solving.

Year 9

During Year 9 Students will begin to become familiar with the GCSE specification. Our boys will work with a range of materials to design and develop prototypes of their design concepts, whilst at the same time deepen their understanding of the core knowledge needed for this subject. Students will make links to career options in design such as a Graphic Designer.

Lessons will be varied and theory will be taught throughout a series of mini practical projects.

Planned projects; packaging: net design; desk tidy: polymers; advanced drawing skills; biomimicry and electronics project & problem solving: exploring contexts.

Key Stage 4

We currently offer two material areas for GCSE options in D&T at KS4: Graphics (papers and boards) and Product Design (resistant materials: timbers; polymers & metals). Both are run with the AQA exam board. Both have a coursework element worth 50% of the final mark, and a single final exam, sat at the end of Year 11, which is worth 50%.

Students are expected to have core knowledge of all the material areas and more in depth knowledge of their chosen material area.
Material areas included in the specification: timbers; polymers; metals; papers & board; textiles; electronics; smart and composite materials.

The new structure of Design and Technology at GCSE stipulates that students must design in an iterative process; this means students will need to demonstrate the ability to continually improve and modify design concepts in response to third party feedback. Student’s preparation for the GCSE begins in Year 7 where the foundation of knowledge is built upon as students progress up the Key Stages.

The ability to problem solve and work within design contexts is an essential part of the process.

Key skills for GCSE Design & Technology

  • Creativity: the ability to generate and develop ideas which problem solve with flair and innovation.
  • Communication: drawing and using ICT to communicate and develop design ideas.
  • Technical Knowledge: for example, understanding how products are manufactured considering a range of factors such as social and economic issues.
  • Material suitability: understanding of material properties and appropriate selection including environmental factors.
  • Making Skills: the ability to use modeling media to accurately and safely create prototypes. For resistant materials: the ability to use hand tools, machines and CAM accurately and safely to develop and manufacture design concepts.

Department Resources

Laser cutter (3) CAD CAM

3D printer (2) CAD CAM

Workshop: range of tools and equipment

Two dedicated PC suites

Available Software

Adobe Suite: Photoshop & Illustrator

2D Design

123 Design

Google Sketch Up

Microsoft Office: Word; PowerPoint; Publisher

Year 10

Covering the theory content of the GCSE specification will continue until the May half term and students will begin to form a clearer understanding of their preferred material area they wish to work within and focus on for the examination. Mini projects will continue with a focus on the design cycle and on preparation for the NEA, which begins in the summer term when the Contexts are released from AQA on the 1stof June each year.

Students will then begin their Controlled Assessment. This entails giving the students the opportunity to work within a real life context with a real client. Students must develop a design portfolio which evidences the progression of their project.

Lessons will be focused initially on the NEA (Non Examination Assessment) to give the students as much opportunity to become absorbed in the design process as much as possible before they break up for the summer holidays. Students will experience what it is like to have a career in Product Design.

Year 11

During Year 11, students will continue completing their NEA task. Theory will be taught alongside the NEA in preparation for the examination. Homeworks will continue to be set with a focus on embedding the knowledge needed for the examination.

Students will be expected to meet a series of mini deadlines for their NEA to ensure they are on track for successful completion of the project.

Completion of the NEA project is expected by February half term.

Key websites for Design & Technology

Key Stage 5

At Key Stage 5 we offer A Level Product Design. It is essential that students undertaking the A Level have prior GCSE experience of the subject. Students will be required to undertake a substantial design and make project for their NEA. This will be worth 50% of their overall grade. As well as the NEA there will be two examinations at the end of Year 13. The examinations will make up the other 50% of the final grade and total four hours (1.5hrs & 2.5hrs).

At A Level students will be expected to be driven and self-motivated. It is essential the students are independent learners as they will be studying independently outside of lesson time. They will be responsible for meeting deadlines and the course requires commitment and dedication. The students will have nine Product Design lessons over the two week timetable but are expected to study for a minimum of four hours per week additional to this per subject.

Year 12

During Year 12 students will undertake a series of mini practical projects/tasks to cover some of the theory content. Other lessons may be completely theory based and students will track their own knowledge as way of planning their revision.

Students will develop their ability to be creative and innovative whilst having full access to all the resources in the department. We welcome the students to work in the department and make full use of the facilities during their study periods.

Students will begin their NEA after the Easter Break. Students will need to demonstrate their passion for design during their project, we advise our students to attend exhibitions and design centers where possible to inform and develop their own design ethos.

Year 13

During their final year at Norlington School, students will continue working on their NEA with the final deadline planned for February half term. Theory based lessons will be delivered as part of planned lesson time and students are expected to self-manage and ensure they are meeting all the deadlines set for the NEA.

The NEA involves problem solving within a context for a real client. Students will develop and enhance their design and making skills, whilst communicating this process effectively as part of a design portfolio to be submitted to the Exam Board.

At the end of Year 13, the boys will have two exams to take. In the lead up to the exams, lessons will be focused on revision and consolidation of knowledge learnt over the two year course.

More information can be found here: