Design Technology

Inspiring Innovation in a Nurturing Environment

Design Technology prepares students to participate in tomorrow’s rapidly changing technologies. They learn to think and intervene creatively to improve quality of life. The subject calls for pupils to become autonomous and creative problem solvers, as individuals and members of a team. They must look for needs, wants and opportunities and respond to them by developing a range of ideas and making products and systems. They combine practical skills with an understanding of aesthetics, social and environmental issues, function and industrial practices. As they do so, they reflect on and evaluate present and past design technology, its uses and effects.

Curriculum content for all Key Stages, including any links to detailed plans for each year group.

The Design & Technology Department comprises of 3 workshops, 3 specialist Food rooms and a Textiles room. The faculty boasts a variety of CAD/CAM equipment including two laser cutters, 3D printer, vacuum forming machines, lathes and CNC machines. In addition, the department also has 3 banks of laptops and ready access to a number of computer suites throughout Ashlawn.

Our students regularly achieve grades well above the national average and produce some exceptional work across all specialisms. Students are presented with an enriching curriculum over KS3, KS4 and 5.

Design & Technology consists of six key material areas: Cooking and Nutrition, Graphics, Product Design, Resistant Materials, Systems & Control and Textiles.

Year 7 homework sheet

Year 8 homework sheet

Key Stage 3 includes:

We aim for students to experience all the material areas over Years 7 and 8. This allows all students to develop a deep knowledge of materials and processes in all areas by the end of Year 8 students are ready to choose their GCSE options.

An overview is as follows:

  • Food and Nutrition- Eat well plate, nutrition, some recipes include Fajita, pasta bakes, scones, breads and sweet & savoury salads.
  • Graphics- Room design, drawing skills and game design.
  • Product Design- Geo jewellery, Charles Rennie Mackintosh clocks and Aboriginal inspired holder.
  • System & control- Digital dice and Robots
  • Textile design- Day of the dead soft toy, juggling balls, toiletry bag and wall canvas.

Resources and exemplar work can be found on:

Key Stage 4 includes:

Students have 5 lessons over a fortnight and can currently choose from the options below. All courses include a 50% Non-Examined unit (internally assessed) and a 50% written exam (externally set).

  • Food Preparation and Nutrition- Students will make the connections between theory and practice so that they are able to apply their understanding of food and nutrition to practical cooking. Topics that are covered include: Nutrition, Food Provenance and Choice, Cooking, Food Preparation and Techniques.
  • Graphics- Students will learn to be a designer using a wide variety of practical, theoretical and designing skills.  They will explore both CAD and CAM systems and using industry standard software such as Photoshop and Illustrator.
  • Resistant Materials- students will learn a wide variety of practical, theoretical and designing skills.  Students will use lots of traditional processes and also CAD/CAM equipment.  These skills will be applied to design items such as camping and sports equipment, games and toys.
  • Textiles- students will learn about the Textile industry including researching, designing, planning, manufacturing and evaluating a range of outcomes such as interior products, clothing and toys. You will use a variety of equipment, tools and processes including CAD/CAM. Furthermore, you will gain knowledge about various fibres, fabrics, smart materials and components including electronics.
Key Stage 5 includes:
  • Engineering- Students will gain an understanding of the engineering sector and will study four mandatory externally assessed units which will include Mathematics, Science, Principles of Mechanical Engineering, Principles of Electrical and Electronic Engineering.  The two internally assessed optional units will be Computer Aided Design (CAD) and Computer Aided Manufacturing (CAM).
  • Product Design- Students are encouraged to take a broad view of DT and develop their capacity to design and make products.  Particular emphasis is on appreciation of the complex relations between design, materials, manufacture and marketing (50% coursework and 50% written exam).
  • Textile Design- Students will be introduced to a variety of experiences exploring a range of textile     media, techniques and processes, including both traditional and new technologies. They will explore relevant images, artefacts and resources relating to art and design from the past and present, including European and non-European examples which should be integral to the investigating and making process. Responses to these examples must be shown through practical and critical activities which demonstrate the students understanding of different styles, genres and traditions (100% coursework)
Enrichment Opportunities:

The department offers a variety of opportunities for students particularly those in KS4 and KS5 with weekly after school sessions. Furthermore, colleagues in the team are quick to offer students opportunities to develop ‘real world’ understanding of Design & Technology through exhibitions, guest speakers and external visits to NP Aerospace, Fashion & Textiles museum and The Design Museum.

In addition, the department raises the profile of the subject in ‘DT week’ normally in June where there are various whole school activities including external companies which run workshops and competitions and guest speakers, and charity events.

In addition, the department raises the profile of this subject area through our annual DT week which normally takes place in June.  This involves various whole school activities including guest speakers from external companies, competitions, workshops and charity events. 

Design & Technology Teaching staff:
Head of Design & Technology
 Mrs Shakira Asghar:
DT Teaching Staff
Mrs Lorna Pountney:
DT Teaching Staff
Mrs Naomi Cotterill:
DT Teaching Staff
Mrs Lisa Taylor :
Miss Kathryn Wells:
Mrs Michaela McMillan: