DT Product Design/Workshop
In Product Design students learn how to cut, shape and join different materials and components using a variety of hand, machine and CAM tools, to make functional products. They follow the design process to develop an understanding of the properties of the materials they are working with, and what influences their designs. Students rotate between specialist teachers, and typically spend 8-9 weeks in each specialism within Design Technology.
Year 7
In Year 7 students work with MFD to make a Pull-Along Toy. This will often be their first experience with hand tools, and is also a good opportunity to use most of the machines in the workshop. The students will complete health and safety training with the most commonly used hand and machine tools, and learn about how to finish MDF to the highest standard. Through their design work they will look at problem solving to meet a design brief, creating a specification and designing ideas, often based on a single source of inspiration that they independently research. The design process is followed throughout with students evaluating and refining their designs to make a final product. They evaluate the product to decide how successful they have been and make recommendation for further improvement. The year 7 product design course promotes resilience, encouraging students to think through problems and correct errors rather than giving up and starting again. The course also encourages confidence with students stepping outside their comfort zones to use machine and hand tools
Year 8
In Year 8 students create a keyring or bag tag from a design brief and for the first time design for an unknown client based on strict criteria. Students research different design movements and use these as inspiration for designing their own unique key ring or bag tag. They also use CAD and CAM for the first time, designing a mould for their keyring/bag tag in the 2d design programme. This often requires a degree of deep thinking to allow them to make a reflective mould, especially if they are using wording on their bag tag. This is then cut using our laser cutter (CAM) before students cast the pewter, learning the properties of different materials to the previous year, including the correct techniques to finish pewter to the highest standard. This project builds on their machine knowledge from previous years by training them on the buffer, a high powered machine to produce a shine on pewter. Finally, this challenging project requires students to create a presentation box, utilising their mathematical skills through accurate measuring and cutting. They create a butt joint or a mitre joint using different hand tools to year 7 before finishing their box to their own high standards. Year 9: In year 9, students create a working clock using the third category of material – plastic, specifically acrylic. Students design for a specific client from a brief, enabling them to use primary research for the first time, including questionnaires and client interviews. They research the properties of both thermoplastic and thermoset plastic deciding which type of plastic is most suitable for which job, as well as looking at the sources and manufacturing of plastic. They then follow the design process before making a clock inspired by pop art, including creating a card prototype. Students are asked to use scrap materials to create this clock, thereby enabling them to understand the concept of social responsibility and the 6R’s. The aim of this project is to develop their problem solving skills, where students have a selection of different shaped acrylic pieces that they can cut, smooth, shape and buff using the equipment of their choice to create their design ideas. This project enhances their modification skills as frequently original designs do not work out, requiring students to rethink and recreate their design, mirroring real world prototype manufacturing.
All materials are provided for each product, however students are asked to contribute towards the cost of the materials before taking them home. This is usually a nominal £1 charge.


DT Textile/Graphics Projects
Year 7
Year 7 students work on a simple stuffed ‘Monster’ Toy project with an LED light feature. Students are given a Design Situation and Brief from which they generate a specification and design ideas before commencing their practical work. The practical consists of template making, fabric cutting, applique (running stitch), joining (blanket stitch) and stuffing their toys. The electronic component involves simple soldering as an introduction to electronics. Students work is evaluated against their specification and user’s needs.
Year 8
Year 8 students design and make a cord pull sports bag. Students are given a design brief from which they generate a specification and design ideas. The practical work begins with a fabric tie-dyeing exercise to prepare the sides of the bag. Students learn how to use sewing machines to create hems for the pull cord and to attach the sides together and loop eyelets to the bag. The bags can be enhanced with additional applique panels and pockets. Students work is evaluated against their design specification and user’s needs.
Year 9
Year 9 students design and make an upcycled Cushion. They look at the meaning of upcycling and what impact the textiles industry has on the environment. They look at the properties of different materials and how they can be suited to different jobs. They re-cap sewing machine skills and lean to create their own templates. They learn about different decoration techniques and types of applique. The project can be extended to add zips and the students to create an inner and outer pillow. They evaluate their cushion against their specification.
Year 11
Year 11 students follow the AQA GCSE Design and Technology: Graphic Products course. Students are given one of the exam board’s project outlines (Board game with a race and chase theme) and produce an e- portfolio of research, design, development, testing and modification and evaluation work which is worth 20% of the final GCSE. Students manufacture and package their own board game using a combination of CAD/CAM and hand processes which constitutes 40% of the final GCSE. The e-portfolio and the practical work constitute the Controlled Assessment element of the course. The remaining 40% of the GCSE is awarded from a 2 hour exam paper which contains a design section reflecting a theme given to students to research in advance and a section on Graphic Products systems and knowledge and understanding.

DT Food Projects
Year 7
Year 7 students’ work through simple skill based projects gaining and putting into practice many of the main skills that lots of recipes are based on upon e.g. boiling simmering, knife skills (claw & bridge), use of all sections of the cooker, rubbing in, mixing, blending, shaping, grating, and baking. Also the use of digital scales and measuring liquids accurately. Students learn about basic hygiene and its importance. How to keep safe in a kitchen environment, coupled with teamwork especially when washing up and putting equipment away clean. The eatwell plate and healthy hand form the focus of the nutritional study this year. With students learning about the different types of ingredient groups Students are set the task of designing a scone based pizza suitable for a teenager but reflecting the eatwell plate and gained practical skills. This allows them to make one utilising many of their gained skills, but to their own design, which is then evaluated. They evaluate products throughout to include WWW, EBI, using sensory descriptors but also to identify where they still need to improve on their own basic practical skills
Year 8
Year 8 students learn food safety, about the conditions needed for bacterial growth and how to prevent this happening – control of temperature in the danger zone being key. The hand of life is revisited, but forms the focus of the practicals – one per nutrient group. Skills/methods learned include roux sauce, healthy cakes, raising agents, (baking powder and yeast), use of the microwave, shortcrust pastry and bread. The study of macro nutrients is begun by looking at energy and the different types of carbohydrates. Bread and the function of its ingredients is included too. Proteins (plant and animal sources), and the different types of fats and different used are also investigated. Lifetime dietary needs, poor diets, government recommendations for a healthy diet and contemporary issues are also studied Students are set the task of designing a bread based pizza with a particular focus on its appearance and taste. Some groups may have this extended to making their own design improved product. It is designed to follow a specifications including a target group and sensory descriptors. Evaluations take place throughout, often using WWW, EBI, star profiles and hedonic scales. Always student consider how to further improve their practical work
Year 9
The skills and level of difficulty of the practical’s in Year 9 are increased – aeration, gelatinisation, lamination i.e. swiss roll, lasagne and roast vegetable puff pastry tarts. Students have far more independence, often choosing themselves what to make, but including a set foci ingredient – pasta, rice, or potatoes. This naturally involves them researching, planning, making as well as evaluating the products and their own performance when making them. Sustainability and environmental issues together with packaging (legal, material types) are also studied. The eatwell plate and its place in maintaining a healthy diet is revisited, leading into special diets Students are set the task of designing a healthy meal to be targeted at a named member of the Simpson family – since they cover many specific target groups. It has to be based on something they have previously made this year, but a modified improved version, based on their specification. It is evaluated afterwards together with a personal practical target they set themselves to also achieve in this practical. Evaluations take place often using WWW, EBI, star profiles, hedonic scales etc. students have to consider how to improve their products, including justifying their suggestions. They rate their effort as well as the product outcomes

Throughout KS3 school provides all the basic ingredients needed to make the products, we do ask for a contribution towards these. However students are also encouraged to bring in extra specific non-school standards, as part of the final assessed practical, should they wish to. Special diets and allergy restrictions are also well catered for.