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D&T: Graphics, Resistant Materials, Food and  Nutrition

GBHS Students learn Design Technology to…

  • Be creative, design, plan, make, use and evaluate.
  • Take ownership of their technological learning and understanding.
  • Develop problem solving skills.
  • To contribute to manufacturing and design through skill sets for apprenticeships and undergraduate courses.

Design and Technology KS3

In Year 7 your son or daughter can expect to study 1 hour a week in Design and Technology for one and a half terms and Food and Textiles Technology for 1 hour a week.
In Years 8 & 9 your son or daughter can expect to study 1 hour a week each in two Design and Technology areas i.e. 1 hour in Food and Textiles Technology and 1 hour in Technology (Product Design). Study of DT forms part of an option scheme in Year 9 and provides the first year’s knowledge base for GCSE Design Technology.
A typical Key Stage 3  DT programme is outlined below but this may be subject to change:
















Design and Technology GCSE

The options information for KS4 is as follows:
This suite of syllabuses produces opportunities for you to develop an awareness of the nature and importance of design and technology in a rapidly changing society. It enables you to develop your application of knowledge and skills and your understanding of a particular technology focus within an overall DESIGN AND MAKE approach.

What can I do with Design and Technology?

There is a preconception that these courses are for people who are ‘good with their hands’. Whilst being able to make things is important, being willing to think, write and draw about how things are designed and made is more important.
The workplace will often require employees to be able to identify opportunities in the market, direct their ideas with informed specifications, develop and manufacture quality outcomes and be objective about the appropriateness of their work. The more senior professions will require knowledge and capability at all stages of the design process, while most occupations will require expertise in one or two areas only.

The courses go well with art, maths, physics, chemistry. The design work can be used to develop a portfolio of work for art and design based courses.

Irrespective of our chosen career, we are all consumers having to discriminate between products on a daily basis. It is impossible for us to be fully informed about every aspect of every product. This subject will, however, help you to make the right choices by encouraging you to ask the right questions. You will have a greater knowledge and understanding of those products that include technologies that reflect your chosen topic area.

Design and Technology GCSE

This suite of syllabuses produces opportunities for you to develop an awareness of the nature and importance of design and technology in a rapidly changing society. It enables you to develop your application of knowledge and skills and your understanding of a particular technology focus within an overall DESIGN AND MAKE approach.

This is a course for people who enjoy designing and making things. You will learn drawing and presentation techniques in order to produce designs that solve real problems. You will manufacture models from paper, card, thin plastics, foams and some light wood (modelling materials) to make models of design solutions. You will make finished products from card, plastic, wood, metal and fabric. You need to have a creative mind with a flexible approach to solving problems.

The course will be project based; you can expect to produce 2 to 3 mini projects before undertaking your controlled assessment. These will teach you about designing, presentation and drawing techniques, how to work with materials and tools, the theory necessary to do this and how you will be assessed. We will ask for a contribution for the materials and equipment used and provide some useful basic tools relevant to your specialism.

You will be expected to complete CAD based drawings and apply CAM skills where necessary. We will make CAD programs available to you.

You will take one examination (Unit 1) which will test all the theory work you do. Questions will be about designing and making. You will need to work quickly and accurately and use colour/shade effectively as well as having a good imagination and understanding of the core and specialist knowledge. There will be questions about how things are designed and made and the processes used to make things.

At the very end of Year 10 and for most of Year 11 you will be working on Unit 2 Reflective Design Challenge. This will involve you in producing a design folder using PowerPoint and making a product to solve a problem set by the examination board. Be warned – it’ll feel like you’ve got weeks to design and make this, but 40 hours isn’t very much. If you don’t like doing homework you will struggle to do your best. We will provide basic materials for your skills tasks and for the Reflective Design Challenge, but your teacher will tell you if we haven’t got something in school and either encourage you to find an alternative that school can provide, or ask you to buy it yourself; after all what you make, you take home!

Useful things to have are a space to draw and design and the equipment (coloured pencils, pens, rulers) to do it with, a PC to carry out CAD work and some space to finish off practical work. You will also need to support your studies with the purchase of additional modelling materials where necessary. You’ll be well supplied with shops in Chelmsford to help you.

What can I do with the Qualification?

The examination leads to A-Level Product Design which could be used in university courses in Advertising, Architecture, Design, Product Design, Engineering (electrical, mechanical, production, structural, automotive, computer, aeronautical) and construction. These courses could also be taken at further education colleges. The qualification is also useful to employers running modern apprenticeships and craft based industries. Lastly, it is a useful course for those wishing to broaden academic options, but wanting to maintain a balance of self-expression or develop practical skills.



























How the subject will be taught

We will be teaching in two strands, Graphics and Materials. This will allow you to specialise in one area of DT but also cover the Core element which includes textiles as well so that you can design and make with the widest range of materials.
If you choose the Graphics strand you will make outcomes in card, foam board and printed media.
If you choose the Materials strand you will produce outcomes in wood, metal and plastics.
Both strands can incorporate electronic kits, Smart materials (thermochromic inks and polymorph for example) and textiles in any imaginative combination that you can think of.

When Opting –It is important that we know which strand you would like to opt for.  Graphics is largely drawing and modelling in card.  Materials is design and making working artefacts.  After seeking guidance from your DT teachers, please indicate either Graphics or Materials when you write your subject preferences in the boxes provided.

GCE Design and Technology - Product Design

“The atmosphere in the class is very positive and encouraging.” Year 12 student
“The course so far is interesting and inspiring; although it requires hard-work and diligence to be successful in it.” Year 12 student
“The course is unique and enjoyable, with teachers providing help throughout.” - Year 13 student

Do you enjoy designing and making? Do you want to follow a career in architecture, product design, engineering or an associated industry? Have you studied a DT based course to GCSE?

If the answer to these questions is yes, then you should consider this course. This is a course for those who see a future at University (it is an Oxbridge recognised entry qualification) or want to take an apprenticeship. It is an extension of GCSE but requires far greater depth of thinking. The subject goes well with maths, physics, art or chemistry. In Year 12 your skills will be developed through a sequence of mini tasks so that you can complete the Iterative Design Project. Alongside developing the basics such as sketching, you will look at design theory, post processing software and CAD alternatives, design detail, design and modelling for manufacture, mechanisms and technical specification for example. Whilst working on the mini tasks, you will also complete theory modules on manufacturing technologies British Standards and Quality Control amongst others. We visit the Design Museum for inspiration. In Year 13 the course is largely given over to examination preparation with question answering skills, applying what has been learnt in Year 12 and reviewing the knowledge. Year 13 is also the year that the Iterative Design Project is completed. It is substantial and in depth…...and is your choice, completely, what you want to make. Previous examples have ranged from electric bikes, stair climbers, drinks dispensers to baby feeders.

The choice is yours!
If you’re good at art, maths, and science it compliments your skills. Universities will look at your course for engineering disciplines as long as it is accompanied by maths and physics. In the same way architects will need art and this subject and a supporting maths or science base. It is an excellent course for building portfolios of design work for art, design and fashion courses for further and higher education. If you intend to take up a modern apprenticeship at 18+ it will provide an increased awareness of industry whilst developing practically applied skills.

What you need

If you’ve studied GCSE Level you should have an understanding of the time necessary to commit to successful study of the subject. You’ll need access to computers and drawing equipment and you’ll need to know how to structure your study time to make best use of it. Access to tools and equipment isn’t essential but it is useful. Lastly, you must have a positive attitude to designing and making, take a pride in completing both the written and drawn sections of work and the practical work to the best of your ability.


The course will be assessed on the following units:

Principles of Product Design (01)

80 Marks

1 hour 30 minutes written paper

26.7% of total A Level

Problem Solving in Product Design (02)

70 Marks

1 hour 45 minutes written paper

23.3% of total A Level

Iterative Design Project (03.04)

100 Marks**

Approx. 65 hours

Non-exam assessment

50% total A Level


Food and Nutrition

GBHS students learn Food & Nutrition to…

  • Build the capacity to feed themselves and their families, now and later in life, affordably and well by preparing healthy foods and meals which they enjoy.
  • Develop a love of cooking and create opportunities to express creativity.
  • Recognise poor food choices and resist them: challenging the growing rates of obesity and malnutrition.
  • Build their capacity to act as agents for change; creating opportunities to extend their knowledge to families and communities.
  • Enable them to make informed decisions about a range of further learning opportunities and career pathways.
  • Appreciate the benefits of team working and the development of resilience and problem-solving capabilities.

The course we run:

Food and Nutrition is taught to all key stage 3 students.

In Year 7 students learn about where food comes from, how to cook a range of dishes safely and hygienically and to apply their knowledge of healthy eating.  They will make a variety of dishes such as a fruit salad, fairy cakes, ragu sauce and breakfast muffins.

In Year 8 students to learn how to cook a range of dishes safely and hygienically and to apply their knowledge of nutrition. In addition, they will consider the factors that affect food choice, food availability and food waste. Dishes made will include savoury rice, mini carrot cakes, pizza, vegetable frittata and turkey burgers.

In Year 9 students learn how to cook a range of dishes safely and hygienically and apply their knowledge of nutrition. In addition, they will consider consumer issues, food and its functions and new technologies/trends in food. Dishes made will include toad in the hole, penne florentine, chicken goujons, fajitas, Dutch apple cake and cheese straws.


Year 7

Year 8

Year 9


Health & Safety

Health & Safety

Health & Safety

Food & Cooking

Diet & Health

Making Choices


Health & Safety in Textiles

Diet & Health

Making Choices

Mouse Challenge



Design Technology




Design Technology

Health & Safety 2

Build a burger



Textiles Technology




Design & Make




Decorative cushion


AQA Food Preparation and Nutrition

At Key Stage 4 we offer GCSE Food Preparation and Nutrition.

GCSE Food Preparation and Nutrition is an exciting and creative course which focuses on practical cooking skills to ensure students develop a thorough understanding of nutrition, food provenance and the working characteristics of food materials. At its heart, this qualification focuses on nurturing students' practical cookery skills to give them a strong understanding of nutrition.

Food preparation skills are integrated into five core topics:

1. Food, nutrition and health

2. Food science

3. Food safety

4. Food choice

5. Food provenance.

Upon completion of this course, students will be qualified to go on to further study or embark on an apprenticeship or full time career in the catering or food industries.

Textiles Technology is taught to Year 7 and 8 students.

In Year 7 students learn about the safe use of a variety of textiles tools including the sewing machine.  They learn hand sewing techniques to make a felt bookmark and a mouse.

In Year 8 students look at the work of other designers and design and make a cushion.  Pupils use product analysis to understand how design impacts on individuals, society and the environment. They develop techniques learning about the application of colour, applique and machine and hand embroidery. They evaluate their own work and the work of their peers to help broaden their understanding of consumer needs.

Items of interest:

At Key stage 3 students will usually follow a fortnightly routine where one lesson is a teacher led demonstration accompanied by written work to help embed their learning and the second lesson is an opportunity for pupils to make the product for themselves. Homework will be set to reinforce pupils learning or it may take the form of preparation for the practical lesson.

In our experience pupils really enjoy sharing the dishes that they have made with their families and friends and so homework may sometimes take the form of an evaluation activity.

The recipes for Key stage 3 pupils are carefully selected so a wider range of skills are developed and so that progression can be made from Year 7 to Year 9. Pupils will always be given advance warning of what ingredients they will need to bring to the lesson. We are mindful that ingredients can be expensive and remind pupils that they should make wise choices when asking for ingredients from home. We encourage pupils to make smaller amounts wherever possible and to take care to not waste food.

At Key Stage 4 students opting for GCSE Food Preparation and Nutrition, spend approximately 60% of their lesson time involved in practical activities. They work to perfect their existing skill and develop the ability to make more advanced and complex dishes. students are expected to demonstrate a wider range of skills along with an excellent understanding of and the practical implementation of the principles of food safety, and health and safety. Dishes such as Normandy Apple Flan, Chelsea Buns, Fish Pie, Shepherd’s Pie, Lasagne, Bakewell Tart, Meringues, Béchamel Sauce, and Profiteroles may be made by our students. 

Social, Moral, Spiritual and Cultural education through design and food & nutrition

Students have an understanding of each other’s needs.

Students know that it is a positive gesture to share resources and ingredients and frequently show generosity to others by sharing ingredients that they have brought from home and offer peer support to pupils who find a particular activity challenging.  They demonstrate a clear understanding of safe working and are conscious of the potential hazards and their responsibility to themselves and others.

Design and Technology lessons make a particular contribution to children’s Social, Moral, Spiritual and Cultural development through: 

  • Reflecting on products and inventions, the diversity of materials and ways in which design can improve the quality of our lives;
  • Awareness of the moral dilemmas created by technological advances;
  • How different cultures have contributed to technology;
  • Opportunities to work as a team, recognising others’ strengths, sharing equipment.

In Food and Nutrition students are encouraged to use a wide range of ingredients looking at the dietary needs of themselves and others. They understand the importance of designing to meet a special dietary need such as vegetarianism and the moral and ethical reason why individuals choose this lifestyle.

At KS3 students are encouraged to explore ways to modify basic recipes such as pizza, pasta bake or curry to accommodate the special need. They look at factors which have influenced the flavours of British cuisine and the wealth of multicultural influences that exist in our communities today. Students design and make dishes with a typically Italian theme using the flavours commonly associated with Mediterranean foods. Pupils identify and use spices to create popular healthy main course dishes.  

Pupils are encouraged to understand the origins of food and that many of the ingredients they will use during lessons are imported or may travel long distances to supermarkets. We encourage pupils to purchase locally produced foods. We appreciate that it is important for pupils to recognise the terms: transport costs, sustainability, religious and cultural preferences, Genetically Modified (GM) foods, organic and free range foods, Fair-trade, farm assured.

Students in both Key Stages are given opportunities to celebrate special occasions throughout the year.