Design & Technology

Every aspect of our lives is affected by design and technology – 24/7!

From the alarm clock going off in the morning, to the clothes you put on, to the bus you catch, to the computer you use, to the food you eat, to the house you live in, to the bed you sleep in… all have been designed and all have been produced using technology.

In Design and Technology you learn how to be a creative problem solver, working by yourself and in a team.  You discover what people want and need and how to meet those wants and needs.  You create solutions by using practical skills whilst also understanding what society or industry expects and what works and looks good.

The subject of Design and Technology helps you to understand the world you live in and prepares you to be a part of the world tomorrow.  It’s fun challenging, full of opportunities for problem solving and very rewarding.  It’s a golden opportunity for you to learn some wonderful and practical skills you can use in your everyday life.

At present pupils at St Hilda’s all study Design & Technology at KS3 (years 7 – 9).  This is taught on a rotational basis twice a week, and rotates between Food, Resistant Materials and Textiles.  Pupils will be taught each skill in specialised classrooms for a block of approximately 9 weeks.

At KS4 (years 10 & 11) each subject area forms part of our schools option choices.  At present Product Design and Textiles are taught.  Years 10 & 11 undertake a 2 week timetable and each option undertakes 5 lessons over the 2 week period.  Both Product Design & Textiles Technology follow the AQA GCSE.

In all skill or material areas of Design & Technology we work through the various stages of the design process to design and make high quality successful products which pupils feel meet client or user needs.


At KS3 assessment covers all stages of the design process.
Assessment criteria follows the Liverpool Levels of attainment and progress and follow working through a set design brief as follows:
I – Investigating and developing ideas
M – Making products
E – Evaluation products and skills
T – Applying Technical knowledge to their work.

Progress and attainment is reported to parents on a half termly basis.  However, the final level for attainment for each DT material area may not fit into this format, because of the carousel system.  Therefore levels may change at times.

The final level each year is a holistic one for all areas of Design & Technology.  All pupils are closely monitored to check they are meeting expected levels of progress.  At times intervention measure will be triggered if pupils are struggling to make the expected progress.

Teachers often will support pupils at lunchtime if they have fallen behind and need extra time to complete their practical work.  These extra support sessions will enable pupils to complete practical in a relaxed and supportive environment.

More information about each of the material/skill areas can be obtained from Mrs Carley.


Textile technology involves working with fabrics and materials.  A range of design and make assignments (DMA) and focused practical tasks (FPT) allow pupils to develop knowledge, skills and understanding of textile products.  The pupils work through the design process, using appropriate equipment and manufacturing processes and techniques to make a range of products that meet peoples needs.

Considering historical cultural and contemporary issues, the functional and aesthetic aspects of design, and the properties and performance of textile materials will allow pupils to justify their own decision making during the design and manufacture of their products.

Practical skills of shaping, joining and decorating fabrics will develop technological skills which will help pupils to think creatively, solve problems and work as individuals as well as part of a team.

The department organise trips to college fashion shows and the ‘Clothes Show Live’ as well as extra curricular practical sessions at lunchtime or after school.  All allow for enrichment activities to support the development and interest of pupils.

At Key Stage 3 this is approached through design and make assignments as follows:
Year 7 – Pupils will design and make a decorative cushion cover to a standard that they believe could be sold by a manufacturer in a local zoo.  The cushion will introduce pupils to both decorative techniques and using sewing machines.
Year 8 – Pupils design and make a sustainable shopping bag which will appeal to a teenage market.  Encouraging them to reduce, re-use, recycle textile products and reduce their carbon footprint.
Year 9 – Pupils design and make a pair of pyjama shorts which could be displayed on the high street to promote eco fashion.

At Key Stage 4 AQA examination board is used.  This course allows pupils to develop a working knowledge of textile materials and products through modelling, prototyping and manufacturing.  They will develop problem solving skills and will be challenged to work independently, using ICT & CADCAM equipment throughout thr course.  This enables them to identify with modern industrial practice and gives them desirable skills in the work place.

Learning will involve theory work and investigative practical work as well as the production of quality textile products.  There are two units of assessment:
– Unit 1 consists of a written paper 40%
– Unit 2 consists of a controlled assessment (45 hours of working through a single design and make activity) 60%

For more detailed information about the Textiles curriculum please click here.

Resistant Materials

This subject area is about using different types of materials to create an end product.

The Resistant Materials department has developed an ethos of using the latest technology to actively engage and support pupils in their learning. Technology, the use of problem solving and manufacturing techniques are at the core of everything that we do in school. The department sets and expects high standards of work, and delivers a range of courses that suit the needs of the individual pupils.

Key Stage 3
Throughout Key stage 3 pupils will study three different material areas examining wood in year 7, metal in year 8 and plastic in year 9. Following the new national curriculum students are taught techniques for exploring and developing ideas including— 3D mock ups, Computer Aided Design and Manufacture, 3D sketches, annotating designs, analysing data and research.

Key Stage 4 – GCSE Product Design
Key Stage 4 is the two year period during which students work on courses leading to national qualifications. In Design and Technology, pupils will study AQA: Product Design. This is very similar to RM, but creates a complete packaged product that works, which wouldn’t look out of place on the shelves of John Lewis.

This is taken as full GCSE courses.

The course will involve the students producing an individual design and make project. They will also be taught related parts of the programmes of study. They are required to research their own design task, generate and develop a range of relevant ideas, and manufacture a solution which best satisfies the requirements they have identified.

Evaluation of their ideas and research; materials, components; production techniques and their own performance are important and integral parts of each project

During Year 10 pupils follow a range of mini projects. Each topic allows students to explore different key skills and gain or reinforce any prior learning.

  • Create and present a new chocolate bar.
  • Re-design a mobile phone.
  • Re-design footwear.
  • Package and make a room fragrance.

For more information about the curriculum please click here.