Curriculum Leader - Design Technology:

Miss Kelleher

Design Technology

Design and Technology consists of a small but dedicated team of four full time members of staff. We are committed to the nurturing and development of our students’ skills and knowledge base, through lessons that cultivate ideas and are enjoyable. We provide a safe, friendly and controlled environment with pupil centered work delivered by a highly professional and experienced team.

The Technology department has two dedicated workshops, within the Reynolds block, equipped with both woodworking and metalworking tools and machinery. There is also a purpose built ICT suite housing 21 PCs with both 2D and 3D design software. We have also just invested in a new CNC 3D milling machine, which once trained students are able to use.  We pride ourselves on our knowledge and understanding of old manufacturing processes and instil this in students before allowing them to use more modern processes like CNC.

Food Technology has a purpose built well equipped class room situated within the ICT block which is also within the Reynolds block.

The department is committed to the whole school policy regarding CPD and any new team member would be provided with a range of opportunities to develop their professional career.


Curriculum Leader

Aine Kelleher


Leslie Coughlan

Padraig Keenan

 Technician Claudia Morgan



Year 7 Projects  

Magic Belt Balancer:

Test your accuracy to see if you can make a belt float in air using just the tip of your finger. You’ll have to see it to believe it!  

Pencil case project:

This is the first big project our students will undertake. This project introduces students to a range of design and technology skills such as

  • reading and understanding working drawings
  • learning key health & safety aspects of the workshop
  • selecting appropriate tools for different processes
  • joining and finishing materials

This project introduces students to basic woodworking joints and tools. It also gives them the chance to use our 2D software and laser cutter machine to include their own customised design on their pencil case.  

Model Aeroplane Project:

The second project of the year sees the students having more of a creative influence on the design of their project work. This project is based on a classic design of some of the first aeroplanes ever constructed. The students will be able to design and shape the wings, tails and propellers as well as adding their own engravings and colour scheme to make their aeroplane unique and personal.

The focus with the second project of the year is to keep emphasising the importance of accuracy and attention to detail so that the students can see real improvement in their skills and ability as they progress through the year.

As well as reinforcing skills on the tools and equipment used in the first two projects, this project encompasses new techniques and processes such as the use of the pillar drill, hand drill, hand plane and CNC machine.          


Year 8 Projects

Picture frame project:

Year 8 begins with the picture frame project, an ideal opportunity for students to create something personal for themselves or as a present for a loved one. This design includes many of the skills learnt in Year 7 as well as introducing students to new machines such as the disc sander, router and line bender.

Students will be challenged to focus on producing accurate woodworking joints as well as heat treating plastic to create the perfect angle for the frame to rest on.

Students are given the option to include laser cut engravings or pasting in photographs to make their project personal and special to each individual.  

Clock project:

The second project of the year introduces students to basic electronics. The students will design and create their own clock perfect for a bedside table or mantelpiece display. As well as shaping and carving the designs, they will also practice their electronic skills by soldering a circuit to power the clock mechanism. Once again students will be allowed to choose their own colour scheme and design options to customise their own project.

The students will be given a chance to improve their skill level with tools and equipment such as the router and disc sander as well as being introduced to the mortise machine and scroll saw.                          


1 Design and Technology GCSE

Our GCSE Design and Technology specification sets out the knowledge, understanding and skills required to undertake the iterative design process of exploring, creating and evaluating. The majority of the specification will be delivered through the practical application of this knowledge and understanding.

The subject content has been split into three sections as follows:

  • Core technical principles

  • Specialist technical principles

  • Designing and making principles



Core technical principles covers core technical principles and all content will be taught. Specialist technical principles covers specialist technical principles where students will go into greater depth. Each principle will be taught through at least one material category or system, plastics and wood in our case. Designing and making principles covers design and making principles and all content in this section will be taught.

Students must also demonstrate mathematical and scientific knowledge and understanding, in relation to design and technology.

This qualification is linear. Linear means that students will sit all their exams and submit all their non-exam assessment at the end of the course.


Subject content

1. Core technical principles

2. Specialist technical principles

3. Designing and making principles



What's assessed

Core technical principles

Specialist technical principles

Designing and making principles


How it's assessed

Written exam: 2 hours

100 marks

50% of GCSE




Section A – Core technical principles (20 marks)

A mixture of multiple choice and short answer questions assessing a breadth of technical knowledge and understanding.

Section B – Specialist technical principles (30 marks)

Several short answer questions (2–5 marks) and one extended response to assess a more in depth knowledge of technical principles.

Section C – Designing and making principles (50 marks)

A mixture of short answer and extended response questions.


What's assessed

Practical application of:

Core technical principles

Specialist technical principles

Designing and making principles


How it's assessed

Non-exam assessment (NEA): 30–35 hours approx

100 marks

50% of GCSE



Substantial design and make task

Assessment criteria:

Identifying and investigating design possibilities

Producing a design brief and specification

Generating design ideas

Developing design ideas

Realising design ideas

Analysing & evaluating

In the spirit of the iterative design process, the above should be awarded holistically where they take place and not in a linear manner

Contextual challenges to be released annually by on 1 June in the year prior to the submission of the NEA

Students will produce a prototype and a portfolio of evidence

Work will be marked by teachers and moderated,




2 Technical Award in Materials


Through our practical Level 1/2 Technical Award in Materials Technology, young learners will have the opportunity to develop skills in making high quality products using woods, metal and polymers (plastics).

They will be expected to make a range of products, prototypes and samples, applying technical and practical expertise to ensure that the product is fit for purpose. Learners will have the opportunity to use traditional skills and modern technologies.

This qualification is modular and is split into three units. One is an externally assessed exam and the other two are internally assessed.



Subject content

  • Unit 1: Skills demonstration
  • Unit 2: Extended making project
  • Unit 3: Fundamentals of materials technology




What's assessed

Learners undertake a number of mini projects that will allow them to be assessed against 12 practical skills.

How it's assessed

30% of overall qualification

Internally assessed

36 Guided learning hours (GLH) approximately. The GLH should be split between teaching and assessment time as appropriate

72 marks

Each skill have 6 marks allocated to it across 3 mark bands.

What's assessed

Learners will undertake an extended making project that showcases the skills they have developed in Unit 1 and the knowledge they have developed through Unit 3.

Learners will produce a made outcome in addition to a small portfolio to evidence the planning and development and testing and evaluation stages

How it's assessed

30% of overall qualification

Internally assessed

36 Guided learning hours (GLH) approximately

72 marks

What's assessed

Learners will be assessed on their knowledge and understanding of the following:

materials and their working properties

processes and manufacture

joining, components, adhesives and finishes

product specification

commercial practice

careers opportunities.


How it's assessed

40% of overall qualification

Externally assessed

Written exam: 1 hour 30 minutes

48 Guided learning hours (GLH) approximately

96 marks



Section A

20 multiple choice questions (20 marks)

Section B

Mixture of short answer and extended response questions (76 marks)



A level 

Course Description

Advanced Level Design Technology: Product Design provides an opportunity for students to involve themselves in practical problem-solving activities, combining artistic ability with understanding and practical application of scientific principles. The Advanced Level Design and Technology course requires 3 components to be completed over two years.


This requires the students to complete a final major project which reflects the increased design and manufacture ability of the students, having studied the first year. The marks allocated for the coursework represent a 50% weighting.


Non-exam assessment (NEA)

What's assessed

Practical application of technical principles, designing and making principles and specialist knowledge.

How it's assessed

  • Substantial design and make task
  • 45 hours
  • 100 marks
  • 50% of A-level


Written or digital design portfolio and photographic evidence of final prototype.


There are two exam papers to be taken at the end of the second year on the course.

Paper 1

What's assessed

Core technical principles and core designing and making principles.

How it's assessed

  • Written exam: 2 hours
  • 100 marks
  • 25% of A-level


Mixture of short answer, multiple choice and extended response.

Paper 2

What's assessed

Specialist knowledge, technical and designing and making principles.

How it's assessed

  • Written exam: 2 hours
  • 25% of A-level


Mixture of short answer, multiple choice and extended response questions.





Section A:

  • Product Analysis.
  • Up to 6 short answer questions based on visual stimulus of product(s).

Section B:

  • Commercial manufacture.
  • Mixture of short and extended response questions

Opportunities “Advanced Level Design Technology is the most acceptable subject for combining artistic/design ability with the understanding and practical application of scientific principles” SCUE: The Student Committee on Undergraduate Education. It is accepted by universities for a wide variety of courses, including Engineering and Design related courses, as well as courses in Management, Humanities, Architecture and Planning.  


More course information

Scheme of Work

Who do I see for more information?

Ms A Kelleher