Curriculum Intent


The departments curriculum has been designed to develop a students ability to design,  make and evaluate which are the key principles of the new Design Technology specifications alongside theory. The subject has been founded on a deep, broad and balanced curriculum with extensive opportunities to showcase work and develop through extracurricular activities.

Design and Technology gives students the chance to develop their knowledge, confidence and articulate their hard work and progress.

Principles and Knowledge

Design awareness is the understanding that all of the items or products we interactive with on a daily basis are designed by humans, for humans for a reason. All students should be made aware that Design, Development and realisation provide products or systems for human wants and requirements. Students need to know that design is there to develop and improve the quality of comfort, transport, physical needs, communication, health as well as for aesthetic reasons.

Real world problems are used to develop the students understanding of the huge, life-changing role and impact a designer can have:

  • A knowledge of some important design movements and their origins from culture and how this has impacted society and fashion.
  • Knowledge of materials, their origins, strengths and weaknesses, in subject specific areas to help develop outcomes that are more realistic and commercially viable drawing in knowledge from Physics and Chemistry.
  • A good understanding of how environmental considerations can impact design decisions, positively and negatively.
  • Sustainability in materials and power relating to Geography and Physics and a cross curriculum.
  • Understanding of ergonomics and anthropometrics and how design affects lives of all people regardless of their needs and situations.

All students should be able to apply the iterative design process to provide solutions to given problems they are faced with in society and through their project development, allowing them to develop the ability to argue, justify and present with confidence and clarity. Students will learn to discuss, experiment, evaluate, discuss, experiment (and repeat) which equals an iterative design process

Co Curricular Enrichment

We offer subject specific enrichment after school. STEM specialists, practitioners, to inspire and motivate. Competitions take place accessible to all, furthermore some competitions target specific groups,  this will enable students to apply extra curricular gained knowledge to timetabled lessons or for use as standalone skills based learning


In year 7 we focus on key skills and getting all students up to speed regardless of background in the subject area. We focus on Health and Safety, the theory of how to design a product and how their work and the subject link into a real world allowing them to produce commercially viable products. They are assessed on their accuracy, quality and ability to produce a set batch design that they then develop into a one-off production through pushing the skills they have learnt.

Year 8 focuses more on the design of the product, pushing creativity and how they get to a final outcome. They will work through target markets to check the suitability of products and then produce a range of design that are well developed before improving on their practical skills in the workshop. This is supported in their second project that introduces them to Computer Aided Design and new software that allows them to produce product virtually.

Year 9 challenges students to put all of their skills into practice and design a product using a limited amount of material linking in with sustainability and is assessed against a varied success criteria. They will then develop their working skills on the computer by looking at Computer Aided Manufacturing.


Students explore the requirements of design briefs and specifications for the development of new products and how consumer requirements and market opportunities inform these briefs. They develop their understanding of the design cycle and find out how to perform effective product analysis through both research and practical experience of product assembly and disassembly procedures. This helps them develop skills in critical analysis and an understanding and appreciation of manufacturing processes, design features, materials used and the principles behind good design.

Students will also develop their knowledge and skills in communicating 2D and 3D design ideas using detailed hand rendering as well as computer-based presentation techniques and computer-aided design (CAD) software. Students will also produce a model prototype and test design ideas in a practical context.

Curriculum Implementation

Include information about teaching and learning in your subject area, how you support SEND learners, how you support literacy and numeracy in your subject, opportunities to support learning outside of the classroom.

  • Excellent teaching delivered by teachers with a deep knowledge of their subject.
  • High expectations at all times and a belief that all students can meet those expectations (taking the ceiling off topics and lessons).
  • Appropriate and tailored support for students on the SEND registers.
  • Develop students key skills of teamwork, leadership, listening, presenting, creativity and problem-solving across the curriculum.
  • An emphasis on the increase of Oracy across all areas of the curriculum to evaluate, analyse and support their design decisions.
  • An opportunity for all to access the cultural capital this provides.
  • Using latest technologies and strategies as teaching tools to improve the learning for the student both at school and when they are learning at home.
  • A flexible curriculum which allows students to follow their talent and interests as well as providing extra support and challenge, emphasised at KS4 and developed further at KS5.
  • Coordination between subjects so that students have rich opportunities to draw on knowledge and skills from across the curriculum within each subject.
  • Data and a personal knowledge of the student used to produce lessons that will stimulate and engage them enabling students across the academic spectrum to be challenged and stretched.
  • Assessment strategically planned into schemes of work enabling teachers to give high quality feedback to students and parents and using the student/parent/school partnership to support the development of the student.
  • An extracurricular offer including KMF Young Engineers of the Year, which provides a huge range of opportunities developing the character and personal well-being of students.
  • Students encouraged to be truly independent learners.
  • The curriculum is regularly evaluated in order to ensure that it meets the needs of our learners’ development
  • Our curriculum is built around problem-based learning. Students are grouped in years 7 & 8 and taught to provide solutions amicably and realistically. In year 7 they are taught to generate initial group solutions which are then further developed on an individual basis.

End of Course Assessment

This course is OCR Cambridge National Engineering Design

This course is made up of 4 units and each is worth 25% of their overall mark. This include 1 exam unit and three coursework units that are completed in school lessons (one research, one design and one practical based unit). This course is awarded Level 1 pass through to Level 2 Distinction*.

Career Links


St Thomas More has its very own dedicated careers team.  To find out more about careers at St Thomas More, please click here. 


Tips and Advice

This may include book recommendations, additional equipment required, TV programmes to support learning and local locations to visit.

Practical and Design skills are assessed through one controlled assessment which takes place throughout the year. The exam at the end of the course will assess their theory and design skills. It is essential students attend all lessons to take part in these parts of the course.

  • Cambridge National Level 1/2 Award/Certificate in Engineering Design Paperback – 28 Aug. 2020 by Jonathan Adams

Further Information

Subject Leader Information

For more information or if you have any questions please use the contact details below.

Mr R. Williams – Subject Leader

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