Good Schools Guide
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Design and Technology Department - an introduction


Design & Technology gives you an understanding of the way in which people design and make products that are useful and easy to use.  To do this it is necessary to understand the qualities that each material possesses and the ways in which it can be shaped. To design products that are good to look at it makes sense to research what other designers have done and what lessons might be learned from the successes and mistakes of others. Only with an awareness of things around us can we be really good designers. We must be able to communicate our ideas to others easily and clearly.

In Design and Technology pupils combine practical and technological skills with creative thinking to design and make products and systems that meet human needs. They learn to use current technologies and consider the impact of future technological developments. Through design and technology pupils develop confidence in using practical skills and become discriminating users of products. They apply their creative thinking and learn to innovate.

Key processes in the design of products

These are the essential skills and processes in design and technology that pupils need to learn to make progress.

Pupils should be able to:

  1. Generate, develop, model and communicate ideas in a range of ways, using appropriate strategies
  2. Respond creatively to briefs, developing their own proposals and producing specifications for products
  3. Apply their knowledge and understanding of a range of materials, ingredients and technologies to design and make their products
  4. Use their understanding of others’ designing to inform their own
  5. Plan and organise activities and then shape, form, mix, assemble and finish materials, components or ingredients
  6. Evaluate which hand and machine tools, equipment and computer-aided design/manufacture (CAD/CAM) facilities are the most appropriate to use
  7. Solve technical problems
  8. Reflect critically when evaluating and modifying their ideas and proposals to improve products throughout their development and manufacture

Design and Technology Curriculum at King Edward’s School

Initially Year 7 and 8 pupils are introduced to a wide range of design and make activities that cover the four main compliant materials, wood, metal, plastic and textiles. Students apply the design process to problem solve each task. The projects allow for individual design and decision making whilst constraining other areas such as material choice, tools and equipment.

Year 9 will build on and develop the pupils understanding of the way in which people design and make products and will further challenge them to create innovative solutions to the problems posed. This will be mainly done through practical assignments, although the increased amount of time will allow the pupils to look at what other designers have done and, perhaps, use this to further enhance their own designing.


The design and technology suite is fitted with industry standard equipment including CAD/CAM, interactive white boards, design software and a dedicated IT suite in addition to spacious work rooms for the delivery of woodwork, metalwork, electronics and textiles (compliant materials).

Enriched curriculum

The teaching of design and technology is enriched by a number of visits each year.

The subject is very popular with pupils and there are lunchtime and after school clubs to enable pupils to develop their interest further and to support pupils who embark on challenging and highly individualised projects. At present there is a model makers club for year 7, a textiles club for year 8 and a jewellery club for year 9. Years 10,11, 12 and 13 benefit from after school project assistance to help support them to achieve a high quality finish and build.

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