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Design Technology

Curriculum Intent

Design Technology at Holcombe is focused on equipping students with a rounded experience of being a designer and maker. This experience is underpinned by traditional techniques but embraces the modern world of new technologies, innovative processes and materials.

Students are empowered to question the design world they live in and to find the problems of tomorrow. This iterative process demands originality, creativity and innovation. The department is passionate about design and producing designers equipped to excel in further education and in industry.

Key Stage 3

The department has gone through a re-design of all Key Stage 3 projects. This process had the goal of embracing the new departments team ethos and the new design technology specification of using design history to inform an iterative exploration of design ideas. Projects at Year 7 and 8 are based around fixed real life design scenarios.  This program of study includes E-textiles, CAD and CAM design as well as graphic skills to creatively communicate design ideas. Year 9 students work with open briefs focusing on original outcomes and real world design scenario’s. This includes the design Ventura design museum competition, SMART materials and a preparing for university food project.


Year 7

SubjectTerm 1Term 2Term 3Term 4Term 5Term 6
DT-Projects to be run on a rotation of 12 week projects so all projects will be active throughout the year.Alessi Key fob Casting and Cutting Contextual research.
Metal marking out.
Cutting and shaping to tolerance.
Finishing processes              Metal Machinery  Casting Metals
Alessi Key fob Casting and Cutting

Resistant Materials Arts and Crafts Tablet stand Wood and manufactured boards
Marking out and cutting joints
Wood shop hand tools focusing on chisels
Woods Workshop Machinery Jigs/fixings

Resistant Materials Arts and Craft Tablet standGraphics- Hand Held Design Science Museum pocket money game Drawing techniques
Technical drawing
Packaging and Nets
Presentation techniques
Graphics- Hand Held Design Science Museum pocket money game



Year 8

SubjectTerm 1Term 2Term 3Term 4Term 5Term 6
DT-Projects to be run on a rotation of 12 week projects so all projects will be active throughout the year.Mechanisms- Nation History Musuem Automata toy influenced by Ross Lovegrove.Mechanisms- Nation History Musuem Automata toy influenced by Ross Lovegrove.Resistant Materials-Alessi Metal key fob with vac-formed packaging.Resistant Materials-Alessi Metal key fob with vac-formed packaging.Graphics-Grand Designs CAD Architecture project.Graphics-Grand Designs CAD Architecture project.



Year 9

SubjectTerm 1Term 2Term 3Term 4Term 5Term 6
DT-Projects to be run on a rotation of 12 week projects so all projects will be active throughout the year.Design Ventura Museum competition. Real world design problems
Market Research
National Competition
Iterative designing            Working in design teams
Rapid prototyping/CAD prototyping.
Group Presentations
Design Ventura Museum competitionDieter Rams inspired Lighting project -Electronic Systems Dieter Rams 10 principles of good design.
Design icons (Focusing on the Anglepoise lamp)
Modelling to tolerance
Iterative designing
Peer feedback
Soldering and electrics
Dieter Rams inspired Lighting project – Electronic SystemsFood- Preparing for university a survival guide for student living. Measuring out and preparing food
Food nutrition
Health and safety
Raising agents
Organoleptic qualities
Conduction, Convection and Radiation
Food- Preparing for university a survival guide for student living.

Key Stage 3 Learning Journey

Please see attached the Key Stage 3 Learning Journey for Design Technology.

KS3 Curriculum Quick View Sheet

Key Stage 4

Year 10

Students are taken on a truly creative journey where they develop their own design style. This includes entering the design museum competition to learning how to use the laser cutter, industry standard CAD/CAM programs and 3D printer. Students build a tool kit of workshop knowledge working in the traditional material groups and making processes. They also explore the latest SMART materials and manufacturing processes through completing a range of creative projects that leads to the non-examination assessment practice.

Year 11

Students are offered a range of design contexts to explore leading to a personalised design briefThe design brief allows students to take their own creative journey to solve identified problems. It promotes a truly creative path of CAD modelling, rapid prototyping and iterative mix media designing. This leads to a unique outcome that is project managed to a fully operational prototype stage and is supported by precise technical drawings and a progressive evaluation leading to suitable improvements possibilities. 

Design and Technology offers a unique opportunity in the curriculum for learners to identify and solve real problems by designing and making products or systems. Through studying GCSE Design and Technology, learners will be prepared to participate confidently and successfully in an increasingly technological world; and be aware of, and learn from, wider influences on design and technology, including historical, social/cultural, environmental and economic factors.

The subject content is presented under two headings: technical principles and designing and making principles. Within each area, the content is further divided into core knowledge and understanding and in-depth knowledge and understanding.

Learners will complete two components outlined below:

Component 1: Design and Technology in the 21st Century – Written examination: 2 hours – 50% of qualification
A mix of short answer, structured and extended writing questions assessing candidates’ knowledge and understanding of:

  • technical principles
  • designing and making principles

along with their ability to

  • analyse and evaluate design decisions and wider issues in design and technology.

Component 2: Design and make task – Non-exam assessment: approximately 35 hours – 50% of qualification

A sustained design and make task, based on a contextual challenge set by the exam board, assessing candidates’ ability to:

  • identify, investigate and outline design possibilities
  • design and make prototypes
  • analyse and evaluate design decisions and wider issues in design and technology.


Year 10

Term 1Term 2Term 3Term 4Term 5Term 6
Timbers-Design and making principlesElectronics systems and Mechnical devices.Smart, Modern, Composite and New Materials.Design Museum Research trip. Iconic design project.NEA Practice - Prototyping/ContextsNEA year 11 Context release - Identifying and investigating design



Year 11

Term 1Term 2Term 3Term 4Term 5Term 6
NEA – Sketchbook Context Challenges Analysis Moodboards x3
Problems/Opportunities Designer Research
Potential Users/Client Profile 



NEA - Portfolio & Making Existing Products
Mini Brief/ 
Mini Specification    
Customer Profile/Customer interview
Final Specification (Electronic)    
Final Design Brief (Circle Map)    
NEA – Making Initial Design/ S.C.A.M.P.E.R
Post-it Iteration
Developed Designs/
Peer, Client Feedback
Model Making x2
GANTT Chart/ QC 
NEA Testing, Evaluation, Modifications Final Design Presentation
CAD/ Finishes
Material Testing
Technical Drawing 
Exam Revision     Evaluation   Feedback/Testing ImprovementsGCSE Exams

KS3/4 Learning Journey

Please see attached Key Stage 3/4 Learning Journey for Design and Technology.

Years 12 and 13

The Product Design A-level is a course designed to develop an interest into a passion. Students have the unique opportunity to develop their own design style and to experience a course tailored to preparing for the next step into University or into industry. The course teaches students how to be an all-round designer with them learning a tool kit of practical process, machinery, materials, CAD software and CAM processes. This allows the students to tailor their creative journey by being able to identify the correct processes and materials to solve the problems they set out in their own design briefs. The specification encourages learners to use creativity and to be confident to explore their own imagination.


Year 12

Term 1Term 2Term 3Term 4Term 5Term 6
NEA – Intro to product design. EXAM – 1 – Innovation. Design movements
Personal Mood board
Multi flow maps
Dieter Ramms
NEA – Context exploration. EXAM – 2 – Materials & Components Joints/Fixings and shaping materials
Technical drawing
Crating, Perspective, Isometric, Orthographic, Exploded.
NEA – Modelling & Testing. EXAM – 4 – Industrial & Commercial Practice Client profile/Moral, Social and Economic
Initial Designs
Black/Brown paper and Biro
NEA – Modelling & Testing. EXAM – 5 – Product Analysis & Systems Incremental Post-its
Sketch up CAD models
Rapid Prototypes
Peer Assessment
NEA – One Context. EXAM – 5&7 – Public Interaction & Marketing Design Brief proposals
Mini Specifications
Brief Analysis- Primary and Secondary
NEA – CAD Initial Design EXAM – Exam practice & review. Professional Tutorials
SMART/Composite materials



Year 13

Term 1Term 2Term 3Term 4Term 5Term 6
NEA – Final Design. EXAM – 7 – Public Interaction & Marketing. Design Trip
Designer Research
Developed Designs/Tracing paper
Reverse Engineering/Above and below the line
Potential User/Questionnaire
NEA – Making. EXAM – 6 – Sustainability Specification
Model making/testing
CAD designs
Full size/Scale modelling
Alternative designing
NEA – Making. EXAM – 3 – Processes. Final Presentation drawing
Detailed Designing x2
Existing Components/Materials Management
Making commences
OnShape CAD rendering
NEA – Making Exploded drawing
Risk Assessment
GANTT chart
Production plan/QC 
Exam Practice Evaluation
User Trials/Professional trials




Key Stage 5 Product Design Learning Journey


Design and technology GCSE, Food preparation and nutrition and Product Design A level are gateway qualifications into a wide range of creative career paths. The courses provide students with the experiences to start to specialise in the area of the creative world they excel in. The courses also allow the learner to become a holistic designer with a wide range technical skills to allow for a widening of career possibilities.


  • Carpentry/Joinery
  • Bricklaying
  • Construction
  • Electrician
  • Plumber
  • Architect
  • Engineering
  • Product Design
  • Furniture Design
  • Graphic Designer
  • Interior Designer
  • CAD/CAM Technician
  • Textiles Designer
  • Set Design/Props Modeller
  • Model Making
  • Chef
  • Nutritionist
  • Food Scientist
  • Fashion Designer

British Values

Design Technology at Holcombe grammar school is focused on producing original designers, great makers but more importantly good citizens and cultivating future leaders. This starts by the department embracing open debate, team work and individualism. This iterative design journey is guided by proud and passionate staff that empower students to blossom in an environment of mutual respect and tolerance, with an ethos of originality over a path most trodden.

‘It’s better to fail in originality then to succeed in imitation’