The DT department at Aston Manor School is a very successful department with excellent exam results

Curriculum Rationale in:  Design and Technology

In KS3, students follow a carousel system covering four disciplines of D&T.

Graphics: Graphic Products is a design and technology subject taught at both KS3 and KS4. It prominently 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 techniques including perspective drawing as well as rendering techniques. Students develop fundamental drawing skills needed throughout all D&T subjects. Students gain an understanding 2D and 3D shapes related to a fun and exciting theme to create a product that is commercially viable.

Year 8: The project focuses on developing drawing skills in perspective and this project also requires for the students to create a product. 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 have the opportunity to 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 analyse existing products to gain the deeper knowledge on how design can influence a product.

Food Technology: Food Technology 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 health and safety skills via practical and theory lessons. 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 cakes, minestrone soup, pizza and apple crumble. Pupils will be given the opportunity to enhance their skills developed before and after making their products by creating flowchart’s and evaluating the dishes they have made.

Year 8: In year 8 Food Technology, Students will be challenged significantly during this time with the emphasis on working independently, producing a high quality final product and demonstrating good 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 in order to make high quality products. The products include foods from around the world. Including, chicken stir fry, chicken curry, lasagna and chicken or vegetable pie. 

Resistant Materials

Year 7: During a 9 week project the pupils learn how to use a range of tools and equipment that are used in industry. 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 mechanical toy, which involves using intricate tools to create some challenging pieces and designs. Students are introduced to the design process and how this impacts on their final results for the project. Students also begin to develop a deeper understanding of materials such as MDF and reason why 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 fibres. 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, to create the product.

Year 8: This builds upon knowledge and understanding acquired in year 7. The ‘light stitches’ project focuses on smart and modern materials with the use of conductive thread. The conductive thread is creatively used in conjunction with LED’s, to bring light to a zipped container. 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.

Y9 Curriculum Overview: Design and Technology

Graphics: During this year, the 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 improve vastly their skills in CAD and are introduced to Computer Aided Manufacture using the Laser Cutter to manufacture an innovative Drinks Bottle designs. In addition, a project 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.

Food Technology: In year 9 food technology, the students predominately undertake a sequence of practical making activities which are focused on helping them to further develop their skills in planning and evaluating. The 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 to learn a variety of new skills and techniques.  The students will be building on their understanding of the skills and processes involved in food technology, helping them to build a basis and prepare for starting their GCSE Coursework and examination. The GCSE encourages the creation of products with flair and creativity, hence why in year 9 the students will be given numerous opportunities to demonstrate this in preparation.

Resistant Materials: During this year, the students work on an intense, 14-week project (a term) which helps them prepare for GCSE Resistant Materials in the summer term. Students are introduced to Metal, which involves them understanding the various types and their properties. Students make a balancing toy using a range of new tools 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 this new knowledge and complex skills to create a piece of clothing suitable for a 6-month year old child. The clothing must feature an element of CAM such as laser cutting or CAM embroidery.

KS4 Curriculum Overview: 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 and understanding of different materials and manufacturing processes in order to design and make, with confidence, prototypes in response to issues, needs, problems and opportunities. Students learn how to take design risks, 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. This is best suited for our students, as I feel they are can find an approach to a project that is easy for them and suited to them.

Content Delivery Overview DT Food

Content Delivery Overview DT Visual Communication

Content Delivery Overview DT Materials Technology

Content Delivery Overview DT Fashion Textiles

Content Delivery Overview Child Development

Mr Gogna (Head of Design and Technology)

Mrs Oubhie (Second in Department and Transition co-ordinator)

Mrs Dennis

Ms Gill

Mrs Hunton

Mr Ruske (DT Technician)

Mrs Mulhearn

What students have said

Pupils say they enjoy design and technology because it allows them to think, be creative, and use tools and equipment to make products in a safe environment. Pupils see the value of design and technology as it provides them with skills that they can use in their future.

How will I be taught?

You will be taught by subject specialists to combine practical skills with creative thinking to design and make products that meet human needs. Pupils will use computers to aid designing and manufacture and consider the impact of future technological developments. They learn to think creatively to solve problems as individuals and as part of a team.

Pupils will combine practical and intellectual skills with an understanding of aesthetic, technical, cultural, health, social, emotional, economic, and environmental issues. As they do so, they evaluate past and present design and technology. Through design and technology pupils develop confidence in using practical skills and become discriminating users of products. They apply their creative thinking and learn to innovate.