Design & Technology

Design Technology is an inspiring, rigorous and practical subject. Using creativity and imagination, pupils design and make products that solve real and relevant problems within a variety of contexts, considering their own and others’ needs, wants and values. They acquire a broad range of subject knowledge and draw on disciplines such as mathematics, science, engineering, computing and art. Pupils learn how to take risks, becoming resourceful, innovative, enterprising and capable citizens. Through the evaluation of past and present design and technology, they develop a critical understanding of its impact on daily life and the wider world. High-quality design and technology education makes an essential contribution to the creativity, culture, wealth and well-being of the nation. 

View some of our 2016 Coursework Pieces here

  • Schemes of Learning for Key Stage 3 Open or Close


    As preparation for the generation of design ideas and technical drawings that students undertake in subsequent modules, this unit of work introduces students to the basic principles of 2D / 3D sketching, colour rendering and more formal technical drawing techniques such as perspective, isometric and orthographic projection.  There is strong emphasis placed on quality of presentation, including the initial practice of setting out work neatly with borders, block capital text boxes and use of feint construction line work. 


    Structures, forces and bridges

    Students learn how different forces affect structures in various ways and how further engineering such as the principles of triangulation and cantilevers add structural stability.  Students learn to distinguish the various types of bridge and eventually undertake a team activity where small groups design and manufacture a bridge using basic modelling materials.  The bridges are then tested to see how effectively they support a given load.  This unit of work also acts as a basic introduction into measuring, marking out, fabrication and safe practices. 

    Funky clock

    Students are able to apply basic drawing and presentation techniques learnt previously to enable them in designing a clock face made from acrylic, with the possibility of incorporating a stand section.  Students learn to conduct first hand investigation in order to examine and record the sizes / dimensions of a clock mechanism to enable suitable designs to be generated.  Students then learn basic manufacturing skills such as measuring, marking out, cutting, finishing edges and fabrication, with a strong emphasis on safe working practices.  The finished products are then tested and evaluated.

    Cookery (1)

    This module introduces students to the basic principles of food preparation, nutrition and considers different types of food groups.  In preparing and cooking a variety of different meals, students also learn other basic life skills such as weights and measures, hygienic practices and working safely. 

    Snapper (litter picker)

    Students learn how basic mechanisms such as levers and linkages are able to reduce the effort needed to move loads and how types of movement may be changed from input to output.  The module teaches students how anthropometric data is used in developing sizes and how ergonomic considerations improve the safety and function of products.  Students further develop their manufacturing skills, this time working with plywood.  Finished products are tested and evaluated with use of user opinion to determine further modifications. 

    Mobile phone docking station

    Students are encourage to show imagination and creativity in this module while initially working in a structured way.  Following on from research and the generation of initial design ideas, students produce comb joints cut into pre-prepared sections of plywood; it is at this stage that they explore different ways in which to take the design forward to change and enhance it.  Students also learn how plastics (HIPs in particular) can be formed into different shapes by vacuum forming and line bending. 

    Cookery (2)

    This module looks at a wider variety of dishes and how they can be enhanced with additional ingredients such as herbs, spices, oils, various pulses, fruit and vegetables.  Previously acquired skills are developed further and added-to such as safe storage of food to avoid contamination, safe use of knives and how presentation can enhance a dish.  Students also take part in taste testing activities and research, as well as cook, various world foods. 

    Audio amplifier

    Students learn how electronic circuits may be incorporated into products as well as the basic function of circuits and electronic components.  The module involves further design to develop and manufacture an acrylic casing that is either line bent or heated fully in an oven and shaped using a former.  Students also make a support chassis from plywood sections that must house the main circuit.  Students are required to consider the size and placement of their circuits, speaker, switch etc. in developing a quality product.  During the design stage, students are taught how to use the CAD program, SolidWorks to visually present their final design in a variety of ways. 

    Desk tidy

    Over the course of two terms, students follow a shortened version of the GCSE coursework process in order to design, develop, manufacture and evaluate a quality desk tidy based upon a design movement of their choice.  The module looks at further areas of the design process in more depth.  Further manufacturing skills are also developed including use of centre lathes, cutting internal threads, working with and joining unlike materials.  Students who intend studying DT at GCSE level are expected to present their final developed design work using SolidWorks.  

  • Schemes of Learning for Key Stage 4 Open or Close

    Year 10 ‘practice’ coursework project

    Students undertake a ‘practice’ GCSE coursework project throughout the first half of the year.  Once having produced a design folder, they then manufacture a scale model to further refine their design in terms of size, materials and function.  Although they do not actually manufacture their final design (due to time and cost limitations), they gain valuable practical skills in the manufacture of a small storage box which incorporates a range of manufacturing processes such as routing, wood joints, centre lathe work and  the application of a chosen finish. 

    The work produced is a reduced version of a full coursework project, for example less initial ideas are generated and eight hours are allocated for manufacture as opposed to the 16 hour allocation at GCSE.  At the end students critically evaluate their own work as well as the work of each other to identify success and also areas for improvement. 

    This unit of work has been carefully tailored to aid in the delivery of the Edexcel ‘Resistant Materials Technology’ specification (code: 5RMT2). This has proven to be an excellent opportunity for students to have a ‘trial run’ before moving onto the ‘real thing’. 

    Theory and examination preparation

    Single periods include a variety of practical workshop demonstrations to show additional processes not covered during KS3, focussed theory lessons to deliver all areas of the specification and tests that enable students to consolidate previously taught material.  Although we have, as a department, provided text books in the past, students now access the these elements of the subject through the VLE in the form of powerpoint presentations and YouTube videos.  There is also extensive exam preparation material such as exam questions and mark schemes. 

    GCSE coursework

    On completion of the practice project, mid-way through the spring term, students begin their GCSE coursework and are required to choose a product to design and manufacture from the five context areas:  storage, furniture, toys / games, the garden and lighting.  Students work under controlled assessment conditions and homework is set with a view to fully allowing them to prepare for lessons, for example researching products from the internet, or producing rough draft initial ideas.  

  • Schemes of Learning for Key Stage 5 (AS/A Level) Open or Close

    At AS and A2 level, students follow the AQA ‘Design Technology: Product Design (3-D Design)’ specification (codes: 1551 and 2551).  The format throughout each of the two years of the course is similar to that used during GCSE, however, no practise project is undertaken.  Students normally have two double lessons each week (allocated to coursework) and one double lesson for theory and examination practise.  Group sizes are inevitably smaller, facilitating opportunities for students to design larger, more complex and sophisticated products, appropriate to A level.  As with GCSE, students receive specially produced material in the form of a booklet that contains clear guidance pertaining to the AQA specification.  Additional support is provided in the form of exemplar material (both design based and practical project examples), copies of which are available to download from the VLE.

    Most universities consider Design Technology to be of great value, alongside other STEM subjects (Science, Technology, Engineering and Maths) to students undertaking engineering, or product design, based degrees.

  • Co-Curricular Opportunities in D&T Open or Close

    Throughout their time at the RGS, boys have opportunities to take part in a number of extra-curricular visits and competitions that enhance their DT experience as well as providing them with an insight into the subject in its wider-world context.  Competitions include the Technology Tournament and the Young Chef competition (both of which have frequently resulted in our students winning, or going through to subsequent rounds), the Brunel University STEM visit, ‘Inspired by Design’ lectures and Smallpiece Trust residential visits.  Each year some of our Year 11 students, studying GCSE DT, apply for the Arkwright Scholarship, with a number often gaining the prestigious award which is highly regarded by both universities and employers.