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Rivington & Blackrod High School


Design Technology


Head of Technology - Mrs S Dunlop


‘A brilliant design will always benefit from the input of others’

Zaha Hadid - Female Architect

This is a memorable way of saying if you give your brain enough relevant knowledge and information from investigating, testing, and working with others, you will be able to generate your own ideas. It is very difficult to create something out of nothing. Most designers will accumulate and then innovate!       

Subject Overview

Purpose of Study

Technology is an inspiring, rigorous, and practical subject. In the Technology department we believe it is important to teach pupils how to use their creativity and imagination to design and make products that solve real and relevant problems. Students will explore a variety of contexts, considering their own and others’ needs, wants and values. They will acquire a broad range of subject knowledge and draw on disciplines such as mathematics, science, engineering, computing, and art. Students will learn how to take risks, becoming resourceful, innovative, enterprising, and capable citizens. Through the evaluation of past and present design and technology, they will develop a critical understanding of its impact on daily life and the wider world. High-quality design and technology education makes an essential contribution to the creativity, culture, wealth, and well-being of the nation.


In Technology the curriculum will enable students to:

  • Explore Design: 
    • Gain a repertoire of knowledge, understanding and skills over time.
  • Create (Design & Make):
    • Apply new knowledge and skills to design and make high-quality prototypes and products for a wide range of users
    • Develop the creative, technical and practical expertise needed to perform tasks confidently and to participate successfully.
  • Evaluate: 
    • Critique, evaluate and test their ideas and products and the work of others
    • Understand and apply the principles of nutrition and learn how to cook

Click here to view the Curriculum Overview  

Key Stage 3 Overview

We follow the National Curriculum for Design and Technology at Key Stage 3 

In Year 7, 8 and 9 students will experience different ‘skill area’ projects on a carousel. Through a variety of creative and practical activities, students will be taught the knowledge, understanding and skills needed to engage in an iterative process of designing and making. They will appreciate links to commercial practice through applying new knowledge and skills in computer aided design, manufacturing, food and textiles. They will work in a range of contexts, for example, the home, health, leisure, and culture.

 Key Stage 4 Overview

GCSE Design and Technology

Subject Content

We follow the AQA Syllabus (8552) at Key Stage 4, across year 10 and 11. The course is linear which means the creative non-exam unit (NEA project) and written examination unit will be assessed at the end of year 11. Each unit represents 50% of the GCSE grade.

GCSE Design and Technology will prepare students to participate confidently and successfully in an increasingly technological world. Students will gain awareness and learn from wider influences on Design and Technology including historical and contemporary design, social, cultural, environmental, and economic factors. Students will get the opportunity to work creatively when designing and making and apply technical and practical expertise.


The GCSE Design and Technology specification aims to build on students’ experience from KS3. The course content will provide the opportunity to gain 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.


GCSE Food Preparation and Nutrition

Subject Content

We follow the AQA Syllabus (8585)  at Key Stage 4, across year 10 and 11. The course is linear which means the creative non-exam unit (including NEA 1 & 2 projects) and the written examination unit will be assessed at the end of year 11. Each unit represents 50% of the GCSE grade. 

GCSE 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.


The GCSE Food Preparation and Nutrition specification aims to build on students’ experience from KS3. The course content will provide the opportunity to gain the knowledge and practical experience across five core topics: Food, nutrition, and health; Food science; Food safety; Food choice; Food provenance. 

Key Stage 5 Overview

A Level 3D Design

Subject Content

We follow the AQA Syllabus (Art & Design-7205)  at Key Stage 5, across year 12 and 13. The course is linear which means the creative non-exam unit, the Personal Study (60% of GCE grade) and practical controlled test (15 hours - 40% of GCE grade) will be assessed at the end of year 13.

In year 12 and 13, students will be introduced to a variety of experiences that explore a range of three-dimensional media, processes and techniques. They will be made aware of both traditional and new media including architectural modelling, sculpture, ceramics, metallurgy, enamelling, virtual modelling, laser etching, laser and router cutting, 3D printing.

Students will explore the use of drawing for different purposes, using a variety of methods and media on a variety of scales. Students may use sketchbooks/workbooks/journals to underpin their work where appropriate.


Students will explore relevant images, artefacts and resources relating to a range of art, craft and design from the past and from recent times, including European and non-European examples. This will be integral to the investigating and making process.

Students will work to four assessment objectives which will be demonstrated in a range of given contexts and expressed creatively through their portfolio content and skills presented. They should be aware of the importance of creative process as well as a final outcome. The four assessment objectives are: AO1-Develop ideas; AO2: Explore and select appropriate resources, refining developments; AO3 - Record ideas, observations and reflecting critically on work and progress; AO4: Present a personal and meaningful response making connections between visual and other elements.