Oaks Park High School

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Design Technology

In Key Stage 3 we offer the delivery of three main Design and Technology areas of study; these are Food Technology, Product Design and Textiles Technology. Students will gain experience in the use of a wide range of materials including wood, plastics, fabrics, food and graphic materials as well as developing many practical skills. To enhance the theory knowledge and allow students to access further information to support their learning, the department sets HSPs (Home Study Projects). These give the students the chance to carry out the independent research needed to reinforce the practical tasks undertaken in school. This is a model for home learning that has been adopted by other departments in the school and at other schools in the borough.


In Year 7 & 8, each student studies Design Technology. Design Technology is split across three subjects, each taught for 13 weeks and then rotated. This gives students the opportunity to develop their practical skills in all areas.

Year 7




Health and safety (Food Hygiene)

Basic food equipment

Healthy eating

The eatwell guide (Nutrients)

Basic food practical skills 

Basic designing and development of a food product

Evaluating food products using sensory analysis

Social / moral issues 

Food and culture

Food packaging

Careers in food

Careers in textiles and fashion industry

Health and safety within the textiles room

Safety when using the sewing machine. 

Natural and synthetic fibres, yarns and fabric construction theory.

Block printing practical

Sewing machine practice, straight stitch and zig zag stitching.  

Embroidery practical

Designing, making and evaluating a product. (3d Cushion).

Careers in DT

Health and Safety in the workshop

Materials Knowledge: Woods, Metals, Polymers and Electronics

Technical Drawing skills (One point perspective)

Design Ideas

CAD Skills

Use of basic tools and practical skills 

How to evaluate?

Year 8 




Careers in the food industry 

Impact of food and its packaging on the environment 

Recap practical routines, safe & hygienic preparation of food 

Nutritional needs of different life stages

Religious food choices 

Healthy eating 

Special diets  

Staple foods from around the world

How to write a time plan 

How to evaluate a food product 

Function of ingredients in cakes 

Develop a range of practical skills

Career paths within the textiles and fashion industry.

GCSE options and further courses

Product Analysis of a textiles product. (Bags)

Design, make and evaluate a product. (Belt bag).

Health and safety when using the sewing machine and within the textiles environment. 

Properties and characteristics of fibres and fabrics theory.

Chemical and natural dyeing techniques.

Careers in DT

The Iterative Design Process

Product Comparison



Forces and Stresses

Materials Knowledge: Papers and Boards

Users and their needs

Technical Drawing Skills (Isometric)

Design Ideas

CAD Skills

Use of modelling tools and developing practical skills 

Critical Evaluation

How will they be assessed?
Students will be assessed throughout the year in each Design Technology area studied. This will cover their understanding of theory tasks, design skills and application of practical tasks. The structure of learning in each DT subject will allow the students to achieve in different focus areas such as planning, design and evaluation. There will always be an assessment of the students’ practical work which looks at the quality of the finished product, the skills that have been used to achieve the desired outcome and how well these have been utilised and mastered.

How can parents support?
Parents can assist with research tasks on HSPs and ensure that the deadlines that have been set by the staff are adhered to. HSP’s will occasionally require students to visit places of interest that are related to the research task. It would be very helpful if parents can help their child to undertake these trips.

Take an active role in understanding the topics that are being covered in lessons. The HSPs are a great way to gain this crucial insight and as a result, different perspectives can be included in the work that is completed.

Parents can encourage their children to visit some of the fantastic museums and exhibitions available to us living in London. Places such as The Victoria & Albert Museum, Design Museum and Fashion & Textile Museum are all well worth a trip.

Parents can encourage their children to get involved with practical tasks around the house such as cooking meals, any sewing tasks or even helping to put up flat-packed furniture!

Support the department in sharing the staffs’ enthusiasm for the subject and all the products that we all come into contact with every day of our lives.

KS4 Design & Technology

Course  Design Technology
Examining Board AQA
Specification Link
Why study this subject?

In Design Technology you will learn to participate confidently and successfully in an increasingly technological world. The GCSE in Design Technology enables you to understand and apply an iterative design processes through which you explore, create and evaluate a range of outcomes.


You will become more aware of, and learn from wider influences within design and technology, including historical, social/cultural, environmental and economic factors.


This qualification will enable you to use creativity and imagination to design and make prototypes that solve real and relevant problems, considering your own and others’ needs, wants and values.

Unit 1

Core Technical Principles

New and Emerging Technologies:

Energy Generation and Storage:

Developments in new materials:

Systems approach to designing:

Mechanical Devices:

Materials and their working properties:

 Unit 2

Specialist Technical principles: Papers & Boards

In addition to the core technical principles, all students should develop an in-depth knowledge and understanding of the following specialist technical principles:

• Selection of materials or components
• Forces and stresses
• Ecological and social footprint
• Sources and origins
• Using and working with materials
• Stock forms, types and sizes
• Scales of production
• Specialist techniques and processes
• Surface treatments and finishes


Each specialist technical principle should be delivered through:

Papers & Boards
Students should have an overview of the main categories and types of papers and boards

Unit 3

Specialist Technical principles: Woods

In addition to the core technical principles, all students should develop an in-depth knowledge and understanding of specialist technical principles:

• Selection of materials or components
• Forces and stresses
• Ecological and social footprint
• Sources and origins
• Using and working with materials
• Stock forms, types and sizes
• Scales of production
• Specialist techniques and processes
• Surface treatments and finishes


Each specialist technical principle should be delivered through:

Natural and Manufactured timbers
Students should have an overview of the main categories and types of natural and manufactured timbers:


Manufactured Boards including:

Unit 4

Designing and making principles:

Students should know and understand that all design and technology activities take place within a wide range of contexts.

They should also understand how the prototypes they develop must satisfy wants or needs and be fit for their intended use. For example, the home, school, work or leisure.

They will need to demonstrate and apply knowledge and understanding of designing and making principles in relation to the following areas:

• Investigation, primary and secondary data
• Environmental, social and economic challenge
• The work of others
• Design strategies
• Communication of design ideas
• Prototype development
• Selection of materials and components
• Tolerances
• Material management
• Specialist tools and equipment
• Specialist techniques and processes


Written exam: 2 hours (100 marks = 50% of GCSE)

Non-exam assessment (NEA): 30–35 hours approximately (100 marks + 50% of GCSE)

Next steps - Careers/HE courses

Further Study

Applied and job-related learning
There is a range of vocational qualifications (such as BTECs, NVQ/SVQs, and diplomas) linked to an interest in design technology, such as:

3D Design
Graphic Design
Art and Design
Construction and building services
Motor Vehicle – Technology and repair

Academic subjects – such as A levels
You can study design and technology, product design (3D), product design (textiles), systems and control technology, food technology.
Related subjects include art, graphic design, media, music technology, computing, maths, physics, photography, sculpture, textiles, and engineering.

Careers in DT
Aerospace engineer
Cabinet maker
Cabinet makers make wooden furniture.
CNC machinist
Design and Draughting Technician
Engineering craft machinist
Furniture design
Graphic Designer
Jewellery Making
Model Maker
Product Designer
Computer-aided design technician
Set designer
Sign Writer

KS4 Food & Nutrition

Course  Food Preparation and Nutrition
Examining Board Eduqas
Specification Link
Why study this subject?

You should study this course if you have a keen interest in food and cooking and would like to understand about special diets, and how food choices affect what people select and eat. You will develop a deeper understanding of the nutrition of food. You will look at how food is produced to help us have a healthy diet in line with current government guidelines

The course enables learners to make connections between theory and practice so that they are able to apply their understanding of food science and nutrition to practical cooking. The content relates to the study of both food and drinks. Students will be given the opportunity to develop technical skills, through practical and experimental work.

Unit 1

Food commodities

Bread, cereals, flour, oats, rice, potatoes, pasta Fruit and vegetables (fresh, frozen, dried, canned and juiced) Milk, cheese and yoghurt Meat, fish, poultry, eggs Soya, tofu, beans, nuts, seeds Butter, oils, margarine, sugar and syrup

Unit 2

Principles of nutrition

Macronutrients and Micronutrients

The specific function

The main sources

Dietary reference values

The consequences of malnutrition (over and under)

Complementary actions of the nutrients

Unit 3

Diet and good health

Energy requirements of individuals

Plan balanced diets

Calculate energy and nutritional values of recipes, meals and diets

Unit 4

The Science of Food
The effect of cooking on food
Know the microbiological food safety principles when buying, storing, preparing and cooking food.
Food spoilage
Know the signs, symptoms, risks and consequences of inadequate/unacceptable food hygiene practices
Understand the consequences of mishandling of food

Unit 5

Where food comes from

Food provenance

Food manufacturing

Unit 6

Cooking and food preparation

Factors affecting food choice

Preparation and cooking techniques

Developing recipes and meals


Component 1

Written examination: 1 hour 45 minutes 50% of the qualification 100 marks


Component 2

Non-examination assessment Assessment 1: The Food Investigation Assessment 15% of total qualification Assessment 2:The Food Preparation Assessment 35% of total qualification

Next steps - Careers/HE courses

After completing the GCSE pupils may choose to take vocational job related learning route or they may choose to take an academic course.


Related skills

  • Creativity Critical thinking skills
  • Problem solving
  • Attention to detail
  • Analytics
  • Team work
  • Organisation
  • Communication
  • Creativity
  • Customer service


Discipline Related subjects Chemistry Biology Maths Graphics PE Design and Technology Business ICT


Careers in Food and Drinks Food technologist Nutritional therapist Quality manager Food scientist Food Photographer Packaging Designer Bakery Operative Cake Decorator Chef