Alderman Peel

High School

Design & Technology

What is Design & Technology?

D&T is… ‘Designing something for somebody for some purpose’


Mission Statement:  

Design and Technology (D&T) is an inspiring, rigorous and practical subject which prepares all young people to live and work in the designed and made world. D&T is continually evolving to keep up with the rate of technological advancement.  At APHS, students are encouraged to use their creativity and imagination, to design and make products that solve real and relevant problems within a variety of contexts, considering their own and others’ needs and wants, alongside the needs of the environment and the possible impact of their products on our planet. We encourage students to take risks and be creative whilst teaching them a progression of skills and wherever possible, link work to other disciplines such as mathematics, literacy, science, engineering, computing and art.  Throughout all aspects of design and technology students are encouraged to be innovative, test their ideas and evaluate their products.


At APHS, we aim to ensure that all pupils:

  • develop the creative, technical and practical expertise needed to perform everyday tasks confidently and to participate successfully in an increasingly technological world
  • build and apply a repertoire of knowledge, understanding and skills in order to design and make high-quality prototypes and products for a wide range of users
  • critique, evaluate and test their ideas and products and the work of others
  • understand the environmental impact of their design decisions



Through a variety of creative and practical activities, students are taught the technical knowledge, understanding and skills needed to engage in an iterative process of designing and making. They work in a range of domestic and local contexts (for example, school, leisure and culture), industrial contexts (for example, engineering, manufacturing and energy) and learn how more advanced mechanical and electronic systems can be used in their products (for example, changes in movement and circuits with light and sound).


When designing and making, students are taught to:


  • use research and exploration to identify and understand user needs
  • identify and solve their own design problems and understand how to reformulate problems given to them
  • develop specifications to inform the design of innovative, functional, appealing products that respond to needs in a variety of situations
  • use a variety of approaches to generate creative ideas and avoid stereotypical responses
  • develop and communicate design ideas using annotated sketches, detailed drawings, 3D modelling, oral and digital presentations and computer-based tools



  • select from and use specialist tools, techniques, processes, equipment and machinery precisely, including computer-aided manufacture
  • select from and use a wider, more complex range of materials and components taking into account their properties



  • analyse the work of past and present professionals and others to develop and broaden their understanding
  • investigate new and emerging technologies
  • test, evaluate and refine their ideas and products against a specification, taking into account the views of intended users and other interested groups
  • understand developments in design and technology, its impact on individuals, society and the environment, and the responsibilities of designers and manufacturers.



At APHS, students learn how to take risks, becoming resourceful, innovative, enterprising and capable citizens. They develop a critical understanding of how design and technology impacts on daily life and the wider world. They are equipped with the ambition, knowledge and skills to prepare them for future employment with a view to contributing to their own well-being, that of the nation and the preservation and improvement of the world around us.

Key Stage 3

Throughout Key Stage 3, students are encouraged to be critical while thinking about constructing and evaluating their designs using a wide range of materials, including paper & boards, timbers, polymers and textiles.  

D&T lessons include a variety of creative and practical activities, all aimed at giving pupils the knowledge, understanding and skills needed to engage in the designing and making process.


There are four key elements to the APHS KS3 D&T curriculum:



• developing their own skills by experimenting through iteration

• understanding the importance of making ethical choices and meeting deadlines

• working independently and finding solutions when faced with challenges




• taking risks to create more imaginative ideas

• taking ideas forward stage by stage, with CAD and prototype models

• clearly communicating your design ideas to others




• working safely with tools, equipment & machinery – including CAD/CAM 3D printers

• making high quality working prototypes that meet the needs of the target user

• considering the costs and implications of commercial production



• analysing products to understand how products have been designed and made

• considering the suitability, and sustainability, of everyday items

• expressing opinions & making informed decisions about your own and others’ work

Key Stage 4

AQA Design & Technology GCSE (9-1) 8552 (Single Award)

In Y10, students develop their knowledge of core technical, design and making principles alongside a series of practical tasks working with the following materials to aid understanding: Paper & Boards; Natural & Manufactured Timbers; Metals & Alloys; Polymers; and Textiles. In addition, pupils develop an understanding of the wider issues in design & technology including social, moral and environmental issues, ergonomics and anthropometrics.


In Y11, students complete their NEA design coursework project (Non-Examined Assessment) to design and make a product that meets the needs of a specific target user in response to a contextual challenge set by the AQA exam board.


There are four assessment objectives for the AQA D&T GCSE:



Identify, investigate and outline design possibilities to address needs and wants



Design and make prototypes that are fit for purpose




Analyse and evaluate: design decisions and outcomes, including for prototypes made by themselves and others; wider issues in design and technology



Demonstrate and apply knowledge and understanding of: technical principles;  designing and making principles

50% WRITTEN EXAM = 100 marks
External Examination:
2 hour exam testing student’s knowledge of the design and development process, manufacturing processes and a range of different materials and their properties.


50% COURSEWORK = 100 marks
NEA (Non-Examined Assessment):
Students have 30-35 hours in school to produce a portfolio (20 pages) and quality prototype based on a design brief to meet the needs of a specific target user.


Extra-Curricular Opportunities:

  • KS3 Lego Mindstorms Robotics Club every Thursday after school.
    Extra lunchtime and afterschool sessions are available for students who want to develop their work or catch-up on work missed.


    BBC Bitesize: GCSE Design & Technology AQA
    Seneca Learning:

    Technology Student:



    A Level: Graphic Communication, Media Studies, Textiles @Reepham College; Textiles & Fashion @Fakenham; Design & Technology, Graphic Design & Communication @Dereham; Media Studies, Photography @Springwood College
    A/AS Level: Product Design @Sheringham
    BTEC: Art & Design (Fashion)@Springwood College; Engineering @ETCN
    Diploma: Graphic Design & Illustration, Engineering Technician @City College Norwich
    Apprenticeships: Design, Engineering, Construction @COWA.


    D&T can open the door to a wide range of careers in the creative, engineering and manufacturing industries. It is also excellent preparation for careers in many other fields e.g. media and marketing, information technology and computer science, journalism and publishing, and even education! Creative and problem solving skills, along with teamwork and time management skills that you gain from studying D&T, are highly prized by employers.

    As well as job satisfaction the rewards will include a good salary and good promotional prospects. The average salaries for designers and engineers are growing much faster than the UK average. Alternatively, you may decide to be an entrepreneur and start your own company or business!


    Here is just a few of the job opportunities: Product/packaging designer, graphic designer, fashion and textiles designer, architect, programmer, interior designer, CAD technician, web/app designer, computer games/digital designer, engineer, augmented reality/digital designer, market analyst, production manager, aeronautical designer.