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Samuel Whitbread Academy

Design & Technology

Curriculum Intent

In Design and Technology we encourage students to combine practical and technological skills with creative thinking to design and make real and useful products and systems that meet human needs.  They learn to use current technologies and consider the impact of future technological developments.  They are taught how to think creatively, and use their design thinking to improve quality of life.  Our students learn how to solve problems as individuals and as members of a team by working in stimulating contexts that provide a range of opportunities and draw on the local ethos, community and wider world.  They are given the skills to respond with ideas, products and systems, challenging expectations where appropriate by combining both practical and intellectual skills with an understanding of a variety of other external and emotional factors.

We aim to:

  • Foster an interest and enjoyment in the understanding and use of Design & Technology
  • Stimulate each student’s curiosity about the world around her/him and about everyday objects, how they are made and function
  • Encourage students to confront and discuss design and technological issues – both new and existing – as well as to consider ethical, moral and environmental aspects •
  • Equip students to be confident citizens in an increasingly technological world and look to the future with creativity and innovation
  • Develop confidence in practical and problem-solving activities with real life contexts
  • Develop an enterprising attitude and to take risks where appropriate
  • See opportunities and make things happen
  • Provide a sound basis for further technological study and entry to Design & Technology based professions

Year 9 Curriculum

Acting as an introduction to the subject student will follow a project based around Time and linked to key designers / design movements. Students are encouraged to think creativity to produce a range of designs based on a chosen theme. Students will then model and test their ideas before manufacturing their design in the workshop. A wide variety of hand and machine tools are used together with CAD/CAM technology.


GCSE Curriculum

This course is based around the EDEXCEL Design & Technology specification which covers a range of materials areas. Our students follow a Timbers’ based pathway where they work predominantly in this material area, and then encompass a broader range of materials. The students will learn about the properties of each material as well as the relevant hand and machine processes.  The use of CAD packages is encouraged and used in conjunction with CNC machines such as the CNC Router and Laser Cutter to give students industrial experience. There is a good balance between theory and practical lessons, which deliver a relevant curriculum that is up to date, stimulating and interesting. We aim to produce good quality well made products which students show pride in. We encourage students to express themselves creatively and work autonomously, actively seeking solutions to design problems using their own ingenuity.



Paper 1 (50% of Final Grade)
Written exam: 1 hr 45 min (100 marks)

Section A – Core technical principles (40 marks)
Section B – Timbers specialism principles (60 marks)
Level 4 - Maths and Science content in the exam

Non-exam assessment (NEA) (50% of Final Grade)
Exam theme given by the exam board.
Students to pick one theme.
Approximately 25 x A3 pages for the portfolio consisting of research, designing, development, practical (working prototype) and evaluation skills.
The portfolio shows the iterative design process.

Curriculum Sequences


Subject Learning Checklist


Revision resources

This will be any books identified in current Yr11 textbooks section


Specification and past papers


Marking & Feedback


Careers Opportunities

  • Industrial Design
  • Product Design
  • Engineering
  • Carpentry Furniture Design