Design & Technology at Durham Johnston School

Subject Overview

Design and technology aims 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
  • To understand and apply the principles of nutrition and learn how to cook.

Year KS3 Design & Technology – Overview of Designing & Making Tasks
Resistant Materials Textiles Food & Nutrition

Resistant Materials in Year 7 -

Wooden Fridge Magnet.

Electronic Greetings Card.

Air Freshener.

CAD/CAM Tasks.

(Computer Aided Design & manufacture)

 Textiles in Year 7 -

Students are introduced to textiles and work through two projects to get a grasp of hand sewing and use of a sewing machine.

Pencil Case – CAD design: ‘Gridmagic’, dye sublimation, machine sewing, sewing in a zip

‘Puggly Doll’ – design, planning, hand sewing skills, creating own patter pieces

 Food in Year 7 –

Theory: personal hygiene, safe use of equipment, enzymic browning, raising agents, food storage, cross contamination, seasonal foods, food miles, macro and micro nutrients, 5-a-day, Eatwell plate, animal and vegetable protein sources, 8 healthy tips, composting, classifying fruits and vegetables.

Dishes: coleslaw, bread buns, cheese and onion bread, rice / pasta salad, enchiladas, pinwheels, popcorn chicken wrap, banana bread.


Travel Game.

Electronic Nightlight.

Musical Money Box.

CAD/CAM Tasks.

(Computer Aided Design & manufacture)

Textiles in Year 8 –

Knowledge on materials and surface decoration techniques are developed further to design and make a toy cube.

The project covers: research, product analysis, design, fabric properties, target customer and applique skills.

Food in Year 8 -

Theory: water and hydration, effect of heat on nutrient level, leftovers, composite foods, cooking methods, alternative proteins, protein deficiency, salt in the diet, gelatinisation and starch, viscosity and sauce thickening, shortening, types of fat, CHD, diabetes, obesity, food provenance, aeration and coagulation, farming of wheat, provenance of meat, energy balance, food labelling, RDI.

Dishes: stir fry, toad in the hole and mash, spaghetti bolognaise, macaroni cheese, flaky pastry product of choice, Swiss roll, jam roly poly.


Cyber Pet / Electronic Game(Programmable Electronic Project)

Graphical Design Task

(Packaging based)

Trinket Box /Bird Box.

CAD/CAM Tasks.

(Computer Aided Design & manufacture)

Textiles in Year 9 –

In preparation for KS4, students use a commercial pattern to construct a range of stuffed toys. This introduces them to the commercial side of textiles including manufacturing methods and scales of production as well as environmental concerns.

The project covers – following commercial pattern instructions in sequence, planning, machine skills, surface decoration: block print, screen print, machine embroidery, CAD design.

Food in Year 9 -

Theory: dietary deficiencies and excesses, classifying cereals, fortification of food, concept of a balanced diet, effect of heat on the pH of food, energy obtained from fat, dietary needs, soluble and insoluble fibre, enriched doughs, gluten formation, food from around the world, organic food, fair trade, genetically modified food.

Dishes: Risotto, sweet and sour, chickpea and chorizo stew, brownies, curry recipe of own choice served with bread, Chelsea buns, sausage rolls, quiche.


Note: On some occasions alternative, equivalent Design & Make Assignments are used to make best use of the D&T rooms available at a particular point in the weekly timetable.


At Key Stage 4 the D&T department offers a wide range of GCSE & BTEC courses to allow students to further develop the specialist areas which they have worked in at KS3 to examination level.

Current GCSE & BTEC Courses;

GCSE Food Preparation & Nutrition (EDUQAS)
L1/2 Award in Hospitality and Catering (EDUQAS)
GCSE D&T: Electronic Products (AQA) AQA GCSE Electronic Products
GCSE D&T: Resistant Materials (AQA) AQA GCSE Resistant Materials
GCSE D&T: Engineering (AQA) AQA GCSE Engineering
BTEC First Award in Health & Social Care (Edexcel) Edexcel BTEC First in Health & Social Care
BTEC First Award in Engineering (Edexcel) Edexcel BTEC First in Engineering
BTEC First Award in Construction (Edexcel) Edexcel BTEC First in Construction

New course starting September 2017

BTEC Technical Award in Health & Social Care (Edexcel) BTEC Health & Social Care
GCSE Engineering (AQA) AQA GCSE Engineering
GCSE Design and Technology (AQA) AQA GCSE Design & Technology

This new GCSE D&T Specification represents a different approach at GCSE level where all D&T specialist areas (with the exception of Food & Nutrition and Engineering ) are now covered under a single

‘Design & Technology’ banner.

Students will still choose to make their products in one of the following material categories;

Timber, Metal & Plastics based materials. (Resistant Materials)
Textile based materials. (Textiles)
Electronic & mechanical systems. (Electronic Products)

Course Structure & Assessment of all D&T - GCSE & BTEC Courses.

All of the above courses are delivered through a planned sequence of theory lessons and practical making activities which deliver the prescribed knowledge and understanding of the subject content relevant to the chosen material area.

Assessment is through a combination of Examinations & Coursework (Non-Examined Assessment).

A typical balance is 50% Examination / 50% Coursework – exact details can be obtained by following the website links given next to each GCSE & BTEC course above and in the Durham Johnston Y9 Options Booklet.

Students will design and make a variety of practical objects in their chosen material areas which will be available to take home once assessment is complete, some examples of KS4 project work are shown below.

KS4 Design & Technology – Examples of Designing & Making Tasks
GCSE Resistant Materials
AQA Technical Award in Fashion & Textiles
GCSE Food & Catering
L1/2 Award in Hospitality & Catering
GCSE Electronic Products
BTEC Health & Social Care
BTEC Construction
GCSE & BTEC Engineering


‘A’ Level Design & Technology at Durham Johnston School

At Key Stage 5 the D&T department offers, subject to demand, the following courses - allowing students to further develop their designing and making capabilities to advanced level.

New ‘A’ Level courses starting September 2017;

GCE ‘A’ level D&T: Product Design (AQA) A Level D&T Product Design (AQA)
GCS ‘A’ Level D&T: Fashion & Textiles (AQA) A Level D&T Fashion & Textiles (AQA)

Year 12 Course content (Product Design);

Core Technical Principles;

  • Materials & their applications.
  • The requirements for product design, development & manufacture.
  • Design communication.
  • Digital design & manufacture.
  • Efficient use of materials.
  • Health & safety.

Core Designing & Making Principles;

  • Design methods and processes.
  • Design History.
  • Modern technological developments & cultural changes.
  • Critical analysis & evaluation.
  • Responsible design.

Specialist knowledge;

  • The characteristics and working properties of materials
  • The use of surface finishes and coatings.
  • The use of manufacturing processes as appropriate to a range of materials.

Year 13 Course Content (Product Design);

Knowledge & principles as in year 12 with additional content such as;

  • Virtual modelling & rapid prototyping.
  • Safety in product design.
  • Protecting intellectual property.
  • Enterprise and marketing.
  • Modern manufacturing systems.
  • International standards.


Year 12 -

  • Examination – 2 Hours – 80 Marks – 50% of AS Level
  • Coursework (NEA) – A Single Design & Make Project – Context set by the AQA – 80 Marks – 50% of AS level.
  • A written or digital design portfolio with photographic evidence of the final prototype.

Year 13 –

  • Examination 1 – Core Technical and Designing & Making Principles – 2 Hours – 100 Marks – 25% of A Level.
  • Examination 2 – Specialist knowledge – 2 Hours – 100 Marks – 25% 0f A Level.
  • Coursework (NEA) – A Substantial Design & Make Project – 100 Marks – 50% of A level.
  • A written or digital design portfolio with photographic evidence of the final prototype.

Once again students design and make a variety of practical objects in their chosen material areas which will be available to take home once assessment is complete, some examples of A Level project work are shown below;

Examples of A Level D&T Project Work