Design & Technology - Product Design

Head of Design Technology Mr J Bonney
Teacher of Design Technology Mrs H Ockwell
Teacher of Design Technology Mr S Williams
Teacher of Design Technology Mr R Goldsmith

Design Technology is a core subject in Years 7, 8 and 9 which comprises Product Design, Food Technology & Nutrition, and Textile Design.  Students have a carousel of these subjects and have four periods per fortnight. We offer students the opportunity to study GCSE Product Design in Years 10 and 11, and A'Level Product Design in Years 12 and 13. Further details about the A'Level course are available on the Sixth Form website.


In order to realise our vision, our curriculum will provide students with opportunities to: engage in hands on learning in well-resourced workshops, ICT suites and kitchens; view high level exemplar design and making which shows them what they are truly capable of; develop underlying knowledge of the theory that clearly relates to the practice taking place; see their teachers modelling best practice, whether designing or making; work alongside teachers who actively challenge and support them to achieve their potential; question the very idea of technological development using real world examples that encourage them to express their views and debate issues with passion; develop lifelong practical life skills that will enable them to cook, repair, design & make in their lives outside of Bishop Luffa School; engage in educational visits where they get to see the subject in real life, therefore leading to greater understanding and exposing them to the potential jobs, careers or further education opportunities available to them; develop the knowledge, understanding and skills that will enable them to pursue their dreams and ambitions beyond their Bishop Luffa School journey.

The impact of our curriculum will be evidenced in:

  • our students’ enthusiasm for the subject which is displayed both in and out of the classroom;
  • our students’ work and their progress as evidenced in their written and oral work;
  • the increased number of students taking D&T in KS4 and KS5;
  • the progress and attainment of students in external exams.

Above all, our students are aware that design and technology is integral to life in our modern world. They are keen to push the boundaries, try out new ideas, take a critical view and apply their skills in imaginative ways. They are able to see the bigger picture, viewing themselves as positive users of technology whilst also being critical of its possible impact on the world, both positive and negative.

Product Design Learning Journey

This is a visual representation of how students' knowledge and skills develop through the Product Design curriculum.

(click on the image below to view a larger version)

Design Technology Learning Journey

Why Study Design Technology - Product Design at GCSE?

  • Design & Technology provides you with a natural link between knowledge and the application of science and mathematics in business and commerce.
  • The coursework component provides, through the design and manufacture of fully functioning products, opportunities to develop key project management skills that you will be able to transfer to any future career.
  • Design & Technology is a fun, practical, dynamic course and provides opportunities for you to work as individuals or as part of a team on projects such as, media and advertising prototypes, amplifiers, mechanical toys, structures and storage solutions.
  • Design & Technology at GCSE provides a firm platform for you to build on the core personal, learning and thinking skills developed at KS3. In particular, it develops you into creative, independent thinkers who are confident in applying practical skills and able to innovate and problem solve.
  • Having a Design & Technology qualification can lead to careers in fields such as furniture design, product design, construction, production design, engineering, automotive design, manufacturing, and industrial design. These fast moving industries are expanding all the time and are some of the largest employers in the UK.
  • This subject will prepare you to participate confidently and successfully in an increasingly technological world. It will help you to become future a thinker and confident communicator who can make real, innovative and practical contributions to the challenges we face in the 21st Century. This course will develop you as rounded human beings who can think for themselves and put their ideas into action - in whatever walk of life you choose to follow.

The course is in two main parts and allows considerable opportunity for you to develop your own ideas. You will be encouraged to recognise and use ICT in the form of CAD/CAM, where appropriate, throughout the course. It will also foster an awareness of sustainability and how design decisions will impact on society and the environment. The course has core technical and designing and making principles, including a broad range of design processes, materials techniques and equipment. You will then have the opportunity to study specialist technical principles in greater depth through a chosen material area in the written exam and coursework.

GCSE Assessment

Designing & Making (Non Examination Assessment)– approximately 35 hours 50% of GCSE
Consists of a single design and make activity selected from a broad range of tasks. This includes drawing up a specification, collecting relevant data, researching existing products, presenting results and generating design solutions including prototype modelling. Students will develop a range of skills and techniques appropriate to the task and chosen material area, working with both hand and machine tools. Students will also learn about a range of industrial and commercial processes and applications, including the use of CAD/CAM.

Written Paper – 2 hours 50% of GCSE
Knowledge and understanding - students will develop their experience of materials, finishes, manufacturing processes, quality control and health and safety.
The Year 10 course is dedicated to a series of modules that develop practical and theory core skills and knowledge.

GCSE Design and Technology Exam specification information