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St Alban's Catholic High School

St Alban's
Catholic High School


Department Aims

The Design and Technology Department is made up of 4 areas:

• Food Preparation and Nutrition
• Graphics/Product Design
• Resistant Materials
• Textiles

All areas are taught to all students at Key Stage 3 on a carousel basis, and students can opt for Design and Technology and/or Food Preparation and Nutrition at GCSE level.
Design and technology prepares students to participate in tomorrow’s rapidly-changing world. They learn to think, problem solve and intervene creatively to improve quality of life. The subject demands that students must consider user-needs, wants and opportunities and respond to them by developing a range of ideas for prototype products and systems. Design and Technology combine’s practical skills with an understanding of aesthetics, social and environmental issues, product function and industrial practices. Through their studies in design and technology, all students can become discriminating and informed users of products, and become innovators.



Curriculum Content: Example activities


Graphic/Product Design

Key Learning : Isometric Projection, Perspectives & The principles of Graphic Design. Through a series of drawing activities students learn to think and draw in 3-D isometrics and perspectives. Students explore the basic principles of graphic design through a series of activities. By the end of the rotation students are able to objectively analyse a graphic identifying the use of “white space”, “balance”, “contrast”, and “consistency”.



Key Learning: Fibres and the Construction of Fabric. These units of work give the students a broad range of Textiles knowledge and allows students to consider clients and the final use of their product. There are two design and make activities – felt-making (hand stitching skills) and a fabric container (machine skills).
Students will be able to:

• Use simple prototypes and modelling
• Use a range of construction techniques
• Consider safety and hygiene when handling equipment in the textile classroom.
• Understand environment implications
• Learn about the uses of specialist tools and equipment
• Learn about specialist materials and components


Resistant Materials

Key Learning: Health and Safety in the workshop. Students undertake two making projects; a pizza cutter and a mobile phone stand. Within these projects students will learn about:

• Tools and the use of various equipment
• Softwood/Hardwood/Man-made Boards
• Measuring and Marking out accurately
• Design ideas
• Testing and evaluations


Food Preparation and Nutrition

Key Learning: Kitchen safety and Healthy Diets. Through a series of theory and practical lessons students will learn how to prepare, cook and store food safely. The Eatwell Guide will guide students in the nutritional aspects of their food. Recipes include:

• Coleslaw
• Pizza toast
• Pinwheel snacks
• Carrot muffins
• Stuffed peppers


Graphics/Product Design

Key Learning : Model-making skills and basic engineering principles. In year 8 students undertake a design and make project based on armour. They will learn about fixings and fastenings, how to make sliding hinges and lasercutting in addition to painting techniques to achieve a ‘realistic’ look. This project was borne from experience that the UK leads the world in film and TV special effects; the project fits well with a cross-curricular visit to Harry Potter World at Pinewood Studios.



Key Learning : Decorating Fabrics. To help the students develop their design ideas they will sample a wide range of surface techniques which will allow them the ability to make an informed decision about their final product. Students will learn about tie-dying, fabric painting, batik and block printing.


Resistant Materials

Key Learning : Using CADCAM for batch production and the 6Rs. Students undertake two making projects; pewter casting and a plastic spork. Within these projects students will learn about:

• Cutting, filing, drilling and moulding
• Heating, forming, shaping and recycling
• The properties of alloys and plastics
• The utilisation of waste


Food Preparation and Nutrition

Key Learning : Cereals and Staple Foods.  Through a series of theory and practical lessons students will learn where cereals come from, develop knowledge of flour and its nutritional properties, understand what gluten is and its working properties and learn how wheat is processed. Recipes include:

  • Cupcakes
  • Macaroni cheese
  • Breads
  • Tarts
  • pizza



Towards the end of Year 8 students can make their Pathways choices and can opt to choose Design and Technology as well as Food Preparation and Nutrition if they so wish. The Pathways year offers students the opportunity to study a subject in greater depth than they have thus far experienced. In Design and Technology we consider what drives innovation, how do products change over time and what influences design - such as biomimicry, advances in technologies and world events. Students acquire a greater understanding of creating using digital media and up-to-date manufacturing using lasercutters, vinyl cutters and 3-D printers.

An additional course that we are offering is Textiles Art, specifically tailored for those students who want to experience designing and making garments

Food Preparation and Nutrition in Year 9 allows students to build on their previous kitchen experiences but with greater experimentation, a focus on health and an emphasis on the nutritional benefits of different food groups and preparations. Alongside the biology and chemistry of food, students will prepare, cook and present a wide range of tasty dishes.

Design and Technology, Textiles Art and Food Preparation and Nutrition lead directly into GCSE courses of the same name.

10 & 11



The Technology Department offers GCSEs in Design and Technology, Textiles Art and Food Preparation and Nutrition. The exam board for all three courses is AQA. The qualifications require submission of a design and make Non-Examined Assessment (NEA) portfolio of study and a written paper; both constitute 50% of the full GCSE.
Within the Design and Technology GCSE students can opt to work for their NEA in specific chosen materials, either woods, metals and plastics or papers and boards. The work undertaken in Year 10 builds on the foundation knowledge from Year 9 Pathways and extends expertise and mastery to ensure the highest quality outcomes at KS4.
The number of students choosing our new Textiles Art GCSE is increasing as it allows a focus on the more creative opportunities that textiles can offer and greater depth in this medium than the textiles element in Design and Technology GCSE. Students will experience a practical working knowledge of different textiles techniques through a series of design-and-make projects covering embroider, fabric printing, dyeing techniques, costume design and fashion.
Studying Food Preparation and Nutrition can lead to exciting and well paid career opportunities within the food industry. This industry sector is one of the largest employers within the UK. Having this qualification can lead to careers in food marketing, product development, diet-related industries, hospitality management, food journalism and more. Through a series of design and cook activities students will experience a range of ingredients, processes, cuisines, tastes, cultures, and practical food production. Learning about foods, ingredients, processes and techniques. Experimenting, investigating and testing products.

12 & 13

ART AND DESIGN: Graphic Communication

 Graphics is based on ideas and designs that provoke thought and interest; there is a natural bias towards commercial intent. The course is art-based and it is essential that students have competent drawing skills. The course will cover a variety of different specialisms including printing, advertising, digital imaging, packaging, illustration, animation and video graphics.

This is a two-year course. During year 12 students will be given a number of design briefs to respond to and they will be expected to generate fully annotated sketched ideas and work towards producing a final realised piece for each. This work is creatively, academically and critically challenging, so please leave preconceptions at the door.

As with Graphic Communications, the textiles A’Level sits within Art and Design as a specialised materials area and runs as a parallel class. Although it is not a fixed requirement that students have taken GCSE Art Textiles, it certainly would be an advantage. This is also a two-year course and, as with Graphic Communication, the emphasis is on creative experimentation leading to final realised, well-designed and considered pieces – self-directed work and a capability for independent learning is encouraged. All our A’Level students have access to the Design and Technology area at all times.


Product Design

This stimulating product design course offers enthusiastic and creative designers the opportunity to be inspired, develop key skills and become innovative in a rapidly changing world.  If students have a passion for designing products, as well as improving or developing ideas whilst readily accepting ‘hands-on’ challenges, this is the course for them. Product design is an all-encompassing design subject which allows students to broaden their material knowledge. However, the bias is aimed firmly at materials such as card, wood, metal and plastic. Ultimately the course provides flexibility for students to specialise in their desired material area using up-to-date equipment and facilities including lasercutting and 3-D Printing.


The examination requirements include a design-and-make project of the students’ own choosing with expanded design brief, client, research, design investigations, final working product prototype and marketing strategy. In addition there is a written examination. Both elements constitute 50% of the final grade.