Design and Technology

Design and Technology

Design & Technology

“Design is not just what it looks like and feels like. Design is how it works.”

Steve Jobs

Our course focuses on developing practical skills within a particular material area (students can choose either a Wood focus, or a Textile Material focus, allowing students to manufacture high quality outcomes. They’ll learn about commercial processes and careers in related industries, as well as developing core transferable skills, such as collaboration and communication.

The subject calls for students to become autonomous and creative problem solvers, as individuals and members of a team. They combine practical skills with an understanding of aesthetics, social and environmental issues, function and industrial practices. As they do so, they reflect on and evaluate present and past technology, its uses and effects.

The new qualification is modern and relevant, so students can learn about contemporary technologies, materials and processes, as well as establishing practices. The New GCSE places greater emphasis on understanding and applying iterative design processes. Students will use their creativity and imagination to design and make prototypes that solve rea and relevant problems, considering their own and others’ needs, wants and values.

Pupils will need to be organised, able to plan their work, be willing to contact companies, and have an interest in Technology or Industrial Design

Pupils will need to work on portfolios, gather research, visit companies and experiment and test techniques using the school facilities.

This course has 50 per cent controlled assessment in order to recognize the importance of practical work within this subject.

  • Exam Board: AQA
  • Specification code: 8552
  • QAN code: 603/0984/2

Exam board website


  • 50% of the marks are earned from a controlled assessment task.
  • 50% of the marks are earned from a final examination

Ways to help my child succeed

There is certain equipment that is essential for being a Designer. Having access to technical graphic equipment like certain pencils, fine liners and magic markers are an advantage and will be available at the start of the year.

Useful websites

Design & Technology A2 – Product Design

“Creativity is just connecting things. When you ask creative people how they did something, they feel a little guilty because they didn’t really do it, the just saw something. It seemed obvious to them after a while.”

Steve Jobs

The Product Design course encourages students to develop their critical thinking skills, to see the relationships between designer, manufacturer and user and to perceive Design and Technology within the world in which we live. It provides opportunities for students to develop their Key Skills, particularly those in problem solving, use of IT and communication. They will also have opportunities to develop their skills in application of number; working with others and improving own learning and performance.


As well as increasing their practical skills and understanding of processes and materials students will use sketchbooks for design development and communication of ideas and solutions in appropriate contexts using a variety of media, such as freehand sketching, formal working and presentation drawings, 2D and 3D modelling, ICT generated images. They will discern the use of reference material from a variety of sources such as libraries, Internet, databases, magazines and exhibitions, to produce valid and reliable information. Students will use this information to effectively analyse and synthesis material to guide effective development of innovative and creative ideas and reflect on problems. Students consider key concepts in innovation such as the impact of product champions and entrepreneurs; they will use innovation techniques such as inversion (turning the problem around, for example instead of considering ‘how do I get to work?’ thinking about ‘how can work get to me?’, morphological analysis (evaluating possible solutions in a table or matrix and considering all possible combinations), analogy and lateral thinking and analysis and exploration of the needs of users.

A-Level Design & Technology is an ideal stepping stone onto a creative degree course. Many pupils go on to study a wide range of degrees in areas such as Product Design, Architecture, Automotive Design, Jewellery Design, Packaging Design and some engineering courses. Several students each year progress to apprenticeships or full time employment in practical fields such as welding, building and carpentry. Students will be able to recognise design needs and develop an understanding of how current global issues, including integrating technology, impacts on today’s world

  • Exam Board: Edexcel
  • Specification code: 9DT0
  • QAN code: 603/0697/X

Exam board website



Component 1: Principles of Design and Technology

Written examination: 2 hours 30 minutes

50% of the qualification


Component 2: Independent Design and Make Project

Non-examined assessment

50% of the qualification



Eckington School has excellent facilities for Food.

Year 7 Food Students will be taught basic food skills and make a range of healthy, nutritious food products including salads, curry, chilli con carne, spaghetti Bolognese, savoury scones and ratatouille.

Year 8 Food Students will build on the food skills taught in year 7 and create healthy dishes including macaroni cheese, lasagne, moussaka and carrot cakes.

At GCSE, pupils can opt to take Level 1/2 Hospitality and Catering. Pupils learn a wide variety of practical food skills, including making a range of dishes. Pupils then put these skills into practice by helping to run a restaurant kitchen at school. Many different teaching and learning strategies are used during the course including talks from outside speakers, visits to food outlets and group and discussion work within school.

At GCE  level, students study Level 3 Food Science and nutrition. The course gives students the opportunity to study nutrition and continue to develop high-level practical skills. The assessment includes a practical exam, producing resources for use in the industry based around keeping food safe and either a food science experiment or a research piece into current food issues.

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