Design & Technology

Curriculum Rationale in: Design and Technology

At Aston Manor Academy, Design and Technology is an inspiring, rigorous and practical subject which prepares all young people to live and work in the ‘design and make’ world. Design and Technology has cross-curricular links with most subjects taught at AMA, whether it is practical or theoretical, through different elements of teaching. The vision is to see students progress in their own way, no matter what their background, culture, or upbringing. Bringing students’ ‘Character and Culture’ together is what will help them develop in design and technology, expressing their talents through designing and making, regardless of ability. We are focused on giving students the tools, knowledge, and skills they need to become more effective, more experienced, and more efficient learners.

In KS3, students follow a carousel system covering four disciplines of D&T. With a close focus on the National Curriculum, we offer a broad range of projects that cater for all students, regardless of ability. The transferable skills acquired will support students to achieve in all walks of life, and help develop confidence and independence. Through designing and making, Design and Technology at Aston Manor Academy allows students to be all different, all equal and all achieving.

KS3 Curriculum:

Graphics: Graphic Products is a design and technology subject taught at both KS3 and KS4. It develops student’s skills and understanding in drawing techniques, presentation techniques and the use of Computer Aided Design (CAD).

Year 7: During this 9-week project students will learn and develop new drawing skills based on the theme of superheroes. In addition, students will be taught rendering techniques to enhance their drawings. Students develop fundamental drawing skills throughout all Design and Technology subjects. Students gain an understanding of 2D, and 3D shapes related to a fun and exciting theme to create a product that is commercially viable.

Year 8: This project focuses on further developing drawing skills and introducing perspective drawing skills. The product that the students make is a mug, which is designed and transferred by them using a sublimation printer and mug press. This is an industrial practice process that students can experience in a classroom environment. Students begin to understand the design process by drawing their initial ideas by hand and then going onto develop them using computer aided design. Alongside this, students gain an understanding of different methods of designing and developing ideas to suit various audiences, as well as analysing existing products to gain deeper knowledge on how design can influence a product.

Food Preparation & Nutrition: Food Preparation and Nutrition is a subject which is taught in Year 7 and 8 and can be opted for at GCSE. The aim is to develop student knowledge and understanding of the processes and techniques involved in creating a variety of dishes, using a range of ingredients. As part of their work with food, pupils will be taught how to cook and apply the principles of nutrition and healthy eating. Learning how to cook is a crucial life skill that enables pupils to feed themselves and others affordably and well, now and in later life.

Year 7: In this 9-week unit of work, the emphasis is to teach pupils basic hygiene and safety skills. The aim is to enhance their knowledge and understanding of different food preparation techniques, including how to effectively combine ingredients using simple methods and create attractive products. Pupils demonstrate new skills in the kitchen and the use of kitchen equipment to produce dishes such as fruit cocktail, soup, pizza, and apple crumble. To support the practical work, pupils are taught topics on healthy eating and basic nutrition, use of the cooker, heat transfer and sensory analysis. These topics form a foundation in which we can build upon.

Year 8: In year 8, Students will be challenged significantly during this time with the emphasis on working independently, producing a high-quality product, and demonstrating effective time management. Skills are developed from the previous year and the focus is on cultural main meal products. The 9-week project enables students to understand how to use a variety of methods, techniques, and equipment to make high quality products. The products include foods from around the world, including chicken stir fry, chicken curry, lasagne and chicken or vegetable pie. To support the practical work, pupils are taught in depth nutrition, cross contamination, food poisoning and food choice. These topics build on the knowledge and understanding learnt in Year 7.

Resistant Materials:

Year 7: During a 9-week project the pupils learn how to use a range of tools and equipment to make a mechanical toy. The students learn fundamental skills such as learning where materials come from to making wooden joints using only hand tools. This initially prepares them for the following year where they apply their knowledge from this project and advance, moving forward.

Year 8: During this 9-week project the pupils begin to build upon their skills and learn how to use a range of tools and equipment to make a handy hook, which involves using intricate metalworking tools to create some challenging pieces and designs. Students are introduced to the design process and shown how useful the process is for their projects. Students also begin to develop a deeper understanding of materials such as aluminum, steel, and the reason this material is used. This project is based on pupils being independent and showing their creativity, through designing and making.


Year 7: During this 9-week project students will design and make a ‘mini monster’. Throughout the project pupils obtain knowledge and understanding of natural and man-made fibers. They will also develop practical skills to create surface decoration using techniques such as applique and embroidery. The practical element is extended further by pupils’ ability to use a sewing machine independently and to create a product which meets the brief.

Year 8: This builds upon knowledge and understanding acquired in year 7. The ‘Zippy’ project focuses on sewing machine skills and inserting a high skilled fastening such as a zip or the production of buttonholes. Throughout this project pupils develop design and making skills, to create a high-quality product. Pupils also apply literacy skills developed in English to write instruction texts and evaluations to a high standard. These skills are particularly important and easily transferable between subjects.

Y9 Curriculum:

Year 9 is an especially important transition year for those students studying Design and Technology (including Food Preparation and Nutrition and Child Development). This year helps the students to build upon previous skills and then develop new skills and knowledge that will prepare them for their upcoming GCSE. The importance of having a 3-year KS4 is imperative to Design and Technology as it affords students the time and space they need to build on content for the subject disciplines, seek expert support from subject specialists and develop key, transferable skills for life.

Graphics: During this year, students undertake three creative and bespoke projects based a 12-week time schedule (a term) which gets them ready for GCSE Design and Technology in the summer term. Students vastly improve their skills in CAD and are introduced to Computer Aided Manufacture using the Laser Cutter to manufacture their chocolate box or perfume box designs. In addition, they further develop their skills in branding and design when creating their own innovative drinks bottle design. The project is based on technical drawings and a commercially viable product, all incorporating mathematics when producing net developments. The students build upon their prior knowledge and understanding of skills, techniques, and the design process acquired in KS3.

Food Preparation and Nutrition: In year 9, students further develop their knowledge and understanding by undertaking a sequence of practical making activities which are focused on helping them to further develop their skills in planning and evaluating. Students will make a variety of dishes which will give them an opportunity to reflect on what they have learned in Years 7 and 8, as well as learning a variety of new skills and techniques.  Students will be building on their understanding of the skills and processes involved in Food Preparation and Nutrition, helping them to embed their knowledge and understanding and prepare them for starting their GCSE coursework and examination. The GCSE encourages the creation of products with flair and creativity, and students will be given numerous opportunities to demonstrate this in their practical work.

Resistant Materials: During this year, students work on an intense, 12-week project (a term) which helps them prepare for GCSE Resistant Materials in the summer term. Students are introduced to working with a range of materials in combination, including wood, plastic and metal, which involves them understanding several materials and their properties. Students make a balancing toy using a range of new tools and equipment. Furthermore, students develop their skills further when they select a project of their own choice, using a range of materials and equipment.

Textiles: This project prepares students for GCSE Textiles and develops skills required of them at KS4. This intense mini-GCSE project builds upon all prior knowledge, as well as developing skills in sustainability, production methods, pattern marking, lay plans, pattern cutting and computer-aided-manufacture. Pupils will use new knowledge and skills to create a piece of clothing suitable for a 6-month old child. The clothing must feature an element of CAM (Computer Aided Manufacture) such as laser cutting or CAM embroidery.



KS4 Curriculum: GCSE Design and Technology 9-1 (Textiles, Resistant Materials and Graphics)

The GCSE in Design and Technology enables students to understand and apply iterative design processes through which they explore, create, and evaluate a range of outcomes. The qualification enables students to use creativity and imagination to design and make prototypes (together with evidence of modelling to develop and prove product concept and function) that solve real and relevant problems, considering their own and others’ needs, wants and values.

It gives students opportunities to apply knowledge from other disciplines, including mathematics, science, art and design, computing, and the humanities. Students will acquire subject knowledge in design and technology that builds on Key Stage 3, incorporating knowledge, understanding of varied materials, and manufacturing processes to design and make, with confidence. Prototypes are produced in response to issues, needs, problems and opportunities. Students learn how to take design around scenarios, helping them to become resourceful, innovative, and enterprising citizens.

They should develop an awareness of practices from the creative, engineering and manufacturing industries. Through the critique of the outcomes of design and technology activity, both historic and present day, students should develop an understanding of its impact on daily life and the wider world and understand that high-quality design and technology is important to the creativity, culture, sustainability, wealth and wellbeing of the nation and the global community.

Students can use all materials, in all disciplines meaning they are not restricted to one subject area. This gives students more freedom to be creative and unique with their designing and making. In addition, students feel that they are making the most of the subject, by still having an option of working in all areas.

GCSE Food Preparation & Nutrition

Food Preparation and Nutrition equips learners to their love for food. The course encourages learners to cook, enables them to make informed decisions about food and nutrition and allows them to acquire knowledge to be able to feed themselves and others affordably and nutritiously, now, and later in life. 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.

This course has been designed to enable students at Aston Manor Academy to be resilient and innovative to develop food products whilst creating a balance between practical and theoretical knowledge and understanding. The layout of the content into six areas of content promotes flexibility of delivery and releasing two tasks for each of the assessments that constitute the non-examination assessment will ensure students are able to complete assessments suitable to their needs. By studying food preparation and nutrition, students will be able to demonstrate effective and safe cooking skills by planning, preparing, and cooking a variety of food commodities whilst using different cooking techniques and equipment.

Students will be driven to develop knowledge and understanding of the functional properties and chemical characteristics of food as well as a sound knowledge of the nutritional content of food and drinks. In addition, they will be able to understand the relationship between diet, nutrition, and health, including the physiological and psychological effects of poor diet and health.

The economic, environmental, ethical, and socio-cultural influences on food availability, production processes, diet and health choices will also be addressed and covered as well as demonstrating knowledge and understanding of functional and nutritional properties, sensory qualities and microbiological food safety considerations when preparing, processing, storing, cooking, and serving food.

Overall, students will have the opportunity to be proactive and explore a range of ingredients and processes from British and international traditions to create an equal and diverse culinary experience.

  • Component 1: Principles of Food Preparation and Nutrition Written examination: 1 hour 45 minutes 50% of qualification.
  • Component 2: Food Preparation and Nutrition in Action Non-examination assessment: internally assessed, externally moderated Assessment 1: 8 hours Assessment 2: 12 hours 50% of qualification.

The qualification will build on subject content which is typically taught at Key Stage 3 and provides a suitable foundation for the study of Food and Nutrition at Level 3 for example Level 3 Certificate in Food Science and Nutrition. In addition, the qualification will introduce our pupils to a new way of thinking about food which could help them to make informed decisions about a wide range of career pathways.

OCR Cambridge National – Level 2 Child Development

Year 9 Curriculum:

At Aston Manor Academy, we believe that Child Development plays a significant role in developing moral, social, cultural, and intellectual development of our pupils. Child Development enables pupils to learn about the diverse world we live in and teaches them to have a better understanding of equality and teaches them to respect and understand that people are all different and all equal in society.

Through studying Cambridge National Child Development, the students undertake a range of fun practical projects throughout Year 9. These projects include making information booklets, newspaper articles, children’s toys, and meals suitable for a mum to be. The projects are complemented by developing a greater theoretical understanding enabling students to learn fundamentally about the importance of good antenatal care, childhood nutrition and the key areas and influences upon children’s development.

Year 10 Curriculum:

In Year 10 students build on their knowledge and understanding of subject content learnt in Year 9 and apply this in the first part of their assessed coursework. This initial unit involves the investigation and research of nursery equipment solutions set in a current childcare context. The students are required to initially conduct research to generate recommendations for a range of equipment required for a 0 – 12-month-old baby and a 12 month to 5-year-old child. The students will have an opportunity to demonstrate skills in analysis and evaluation throughout this project. The second part of this unit will involve looking at childhood nutrition in more detail. The students will gain a much more in depth understanding of how micro and macro nutrients affect children’s development and the importance of following government guidelines on nutrition. The students will have the opportunity to develop their knowledge and understanding in a variety of creative ways including group presentations and practical demonstrations including preparing and presenting a meal in a functioning kitchen.

Year 11 Curriculum:

In Year 11 the students will focus specifically on the observation of a single child to assess their development in relation to the milestones for their age. This will involve the selection of physical, social, or intellectual development of the basis for their investigation. Over a series of observations, the students will plan and deliver a range of tasks for the child to complete under the supervision of their parents, carer, or guardian. The aim is to analyse whether the child is below, meeting or above the milestones for their age and make recommendations for their future development.

Whilst undertaking these coursework components, students will also be learning the theory modules to prepare them for the examination. The examination, which is worth 50% of the total grade, will cover the following areas: contraception and reproduction, antenatal care and labour, postnatal checks, childhood illnesses and child safety.

The Child Development curriculum is planned and sequenced carefully and strategically to have the greatest impact on student achievement. Pupils make excellent progress in this subject, achieving some of the highest grades in the school.

This subject allows pupils to move onto higher level courses, such as, Health and Social Care, Social Sciences and Apprenticeships in Child Care.

Click the link below to download our curriculum delivery overview for D&T:

Curriculum Overview – Child Development

Curriculum Overview – DT

Curriculum Overview – Textiles

Curriculum Overview – Food

Curriculum Overview – VC