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Smithdon High School


Within DT lessons, we use quick feedback quizzes (where appropriate) to aid memory retention and, for each of the projects studied, the work is supplemented by the addition of a knowledge organiser, which provides the students a summary sheets of the knowledge gained over the projects in order to aid revision. This is especially important when the subject is taught on a rotation at KS3.

KS3 Design Technology

Every Key Stage 3 student studies Design and Technology for 1 hour every two weeks. Students learn a variety of skills, including traditional practical skills and CAD/CAM skills, using our ICT facilities.

Students complete a number of projects that enhance both their practical skills, and their theoretical understanding of this wide-ranging subject. The projects allow students to build on and develop their previously acquired skills, ensuring that, by the end of Year 9, students are prepared to successfully complete GCSE Design Technology at KS4, should they choose it as one of their “Options” subjects.

Year 7 - Night Light Project 

Students focus on woodwork, electronics, drawing, marking out, health and safety to create a high quality outcome.



Year 8 - Bottle Opener Project

Students create bottle openers learning about metal properties and apply this learnt knowledge to their practical work. Students work practically alongside the working drawings they have completed in lessons. 




Year 9 - Jewelry Project 

Students focus on a more open-ended project. Using a design movement, students design and create jewelry from either acrylic, wood and/or pewter. This project is designed to give students an understanding of GCSE skills and processes.




KS4 Design Technology 

We follow the AQA Design Technology specification (8552)

The students have five hours contact every two weeks in studying this course. Much of the content is developed from and built on the learning from KS3, but with a greater emphasis on the design process and a focus on developing and producing prototypes of ideas. There is also an increased focus on the application of maths skills, such as costing products, presenting data and interpreting data.

The AQA DT course provides students who are creative, inventive and enjoy ‘hands on’ DT the chance to develop their design and making skills. Students have the opportunity to create products – mostly from wood, metal and plastic – to provide solutions to a range of problems.

Students develop a variety of skills from traditional woodwork skills through to CAD skills and advanced manufacturing skills, using our computer-controlled milling machine, hand routers, lathes and our newly installed state of the art laser cutter and 3D printer. Using drawing and product analysis skills, students learn why we design products the way we do.

Utilising a variety of sources to inspire their designs, students follow the Design Process to produce a range of 3D products, for example a leading-edge design product to store iPads, headphones or smartphones. Students also learn about issues which affect design and manufacture, for example environmental issues and how products are made commercially.

How the course is assessed

There is a Non-Exam Assessment (NEA) for which, pupils produce one piece of assessed coursework (a product and a design folder) which is worth 50% of the grade. This is published on June 1st of Year 10, and we begin working on it shortly afterwards. Previous context titles have included:

  • Nature and the environment
  • Teenage lifestyle
  • Multifunctional living
  • A high profile event
  • Sustainable future

The remaining 50% is assessed through an exam.