In design & 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. They learn to think creatively and intervene to improve the quality of life, solving problems as individuals and members of a team. 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.


National Curriculum Design & Technology – the KS3 D&T curriculum includes the product areas of resistant materials , food and textiles. The D&T Department is moving towards a 21st century D&T experience utilizing the enhanced facilities which include computer aided design and manufacture. Art and Design is also offered at KS3, 4 and 5.

During years 7, 8 & 9 students work through a planned sequence of Design & Make Assignments where they develop their capabilities focussing on the different sub-skills of designing; Exploring ideas and the task, Generating ideas, Developing & modelling ideas, Planning, Making and Evaluating.


At GCSE level, the two year course requires all students to produce one piece of Controlled Assessment.     This coursework must consist of a product that the student has manufactured in the workshop plus a folder including research and analysis about the problem being solved. It should also include a specification based on the research and analysis which should in turn inform the sketched or modeled ideas. As these ideas are developed into workable solutions the students are required to evaluate them as they evolve. As well as a detailed plan of the making process to be undertaken in manufacturing a prototype product. The product must take into account the various industrial practices necessary if the product were to be mass produced commercially. On completion the course teacher awards marks for finish of the final product, creativity, complexity, and how well the project itself was made. 60% of the final mark is given for the Controlled Assessment and 40% for an examination of general knowledge in the subject (AQA). Of the 60% coursework 60% is based on the making and 40% design work. There is a similar split within the 40% examination where 60% is based on making and 40% is based on designing.

BTEC First Awards are also offered in Engineering, Product Design and Hospitality. These awards provide underpinning knowledge, understanding and practical skills that reflect the needs of employers and higher and further education professionals. They present knowledge, skills and understanding in a meaningful work-related context, to allow learners to understand theory and application.

KS4 Subject Options

  • BTEC Engineering
  • GCSE Design Food Technology
  • GCSE Design Resistant Materials
  • GCSE Design Systems Control


Students can opt to study A levels in Design & Technology Product Design (3D Design) at Burnside or A level Food Technology in collaboration with Churchill College.   They are intended as a continuation for students who have previously studied the relevant GCSE but can on occasion accommodate students coming new into the subject.

Product Design offers students the opportunity to develop their own creativity, capability and entrepreneurial skills by teaching them to apply knowledge and understanding to a range of technological activities. They will use Information and Communications Technology (ICT) to enhance their design and technological capability and develop as discerning consumers able to make informed choices, develop positive attitudes of co-operation and citizenship and work collaboratively

Food Technology offers students an opportunity to gain personal satisfaction and a positive experience from working with a variety of materials. The practical problem solving processes used throughout the course will encourage independent learning, creativity and innovation.
Students that study A level Design Technology have the opportunity to further their study at university at degree level.

Design Technology is a good subject to take at A-level as it opens up a vast range of opportunities and subjects at degree level. Some of these could include fashion, hospitality, nutrition, architecture, interior design, graphic design & illustration, product design, web, multimedia and games design and engineering/design related building courses but to name a few.