Poole Grammar School, Gravel Hill, Poole, Dorset, BH17 9JU | Tel: 01202 692132 | Email: pgsoffice@poolegrammar.com
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Design & Technology


The ability to ‘do it yourself’ is both highly practical and an essential life-skill to do well in any given situation. Problem-solving combined with practical skills are essential as we strive to become independent and resourceful individuals. No matter what level of complexity, from fixing things, designing/making products, creating healthy tasty foods, buildings, structures, entrepreneurial skills it all stems from the work in Design and Technology. No other subject can offer the breadth and depth of knowledge that can be gained and developed form this subject. 

Design and manufacturing industries are essential to our economy. Design and manufacturing capability allows us to innovate products that both enhance our lives and make life better. Designers and engineers are entrepreneurs, they create jobs and employment through creativity and innovation. Engineers service our everyday needs from repairing our cars and washing machines to building our infrastructure. Designers and technologists will provide the practical and problem solving capabilities with an increasing awareness of sustainability for a better future.

 The overarching concepts for Design Technology at Poole Grammar School are:

  • Practical skills and manufacturing capability – Selecting and using tools and equipment safely and skilfully.
  • Understanding materials, components and ingredients – Combining materials, components and ingredients to make successful outcomes, manipulating materials (smart, new and traditional).
  • Appreciating Quality – Recognising quality in the outcomes produced.
  • Problem solving – Reading and writing instructions, practical problem solving, lateral thinking, innovation, entrepreneurship.
  • Communication – Using the iterative design process communicate verbally, writing and drawing/sketching. Use appropriate and specific language with oracy skills.
  • Creativity – Be creative and imaginative by looking at their surroundings and see what is both current and historic design.
  • Responsible design and manufacture – Relate to the circular economy, Life Cycle Analysis, and the 6R’s.
  • Understanding electronic systems and control – Circuits, discreet components, advanced components, input, process, output, programming, concepts on bread-boards and PCB’s.


In Key Stage 3 learning is embedded through practical application in design and make activities. These are focussed practical tasks that look to create useful and personalised outcomes. This has been designed carefully to meet the needs of the KS4 progression and give all students the chance to experience the range of subjects offered at GCSE. The units increase in complexity through Year 7, 8 and 9. Assessment is key to getting better at KS3 and there is regular homework where the student has targeted, individual feedback. Students self-evaluate, peer mark and respond to the feedback provided by peers and teachers. Each rotation is assessed formatively and the records for this are kept centrally to see how progress is made throughout the key-stage. This in turn helps ascertain the suitability of a student’s suitability at KS4. At GCSE we offer; Design and Technology, Food Preparation and Nutrition, Art and Design: 3D-communication and Electronics. Students can choose two Design and Technology subjects at KS4, many do, as their skill-set and interest facilitate this. Progression to KS5 is based upon the success at KS4 and we offer the 2-year A-level courses; Art and Design, Design and Technology: Product Design and Electronics. We constantly review the topics and units that are taught, how they are delivered and ensure that the exam board offer us the best qualifications for our students. 

The curriculum KS3, 4 and 5.

The range of Design & Technology subjects is delivered to each year group in a ‘carousel’ throughout year 7, 8 and 9. In these units the students will begin to learn about the tools, machines, equipment and processes on offer in the specialist rooms. This encompasses; hand-tools, hobs, ovens, soldering equipment, CAD, CAM, programming and so much more.

Key-Stage 3:







Year 7

Fuse tester


Hero or Villain

Hook and a Mortise and Tenon joint

Year 8

MP3 amplifier


Mid-day meal

Perspective drawing

Mechanical grabber

Year 9

Genie project


Main meal

Graphic design

Pewter casting

Year 9: End of year task

‘Dolphins Den’ is a take-off of ‘Dragon Den’ and students work in teams of 4 to produce a product to meet real needs.  The brief is completely open and will allow students to research, design, develop, market and evaluate products.  This is then judged on the basis of their presentations of their work and the winners of the year-wide competition decided by the Headteacher and Head of Technology.

 Key Stage 4:

 Food Preparation and Nutrition (AQA)

This is a new and creative course focusing on practical cooking skills and developing a thorough understanding of nutrition, food origin and the working characteristics of ingredients. The main focus is developing cookery skills to give you a strong understanding of nutrition. 

Why choose this course:

  • Perfect mix between academic and practical work, over half your lessons will be practical.
  • There is a UK shortage of qualified food scientists and technologists.

Can lead to many careers in food product development, sports nutritionist, teacher, dietician, consumer research analyst, chef and many more.

What will I study?

Food preparation skills are integrated into five core topics:

  1. Food, nutrition and health-Marco Nutrients, Micro Nutrients, Nutritional Needs and Health.
  2. Food science-Cooking of food, Heat Transfer and the Functional and Chemical Properties of Food.
  3. Food safety-Food Spoilage, Contamination and the Principles of Food Safety.
  4. Food choice-Factors affecting Food Choice, British and International Cuisines, Sensory Evaluation, Food Labelling and Marketing.
  5. Food provenance-Environmental Impact and Sustainability of Food, Food Processing and Production.

 Design and Technology (EDUQAS)

 The EDUQAS GCSE in Design and Technology offers a unique opportunity in the curriculum for learners to identify and solve real problems by designing and making products or systems. Through studying GCSE Design and Technology, learners will be prepared to participate confidently and successfully in an increasingly technological world; and be aware of, and learn from, wider influences on design and technology, including historical, social/cultural, environmental and economic factors. We are very lucky to have a very well-resourced department that has a wide range of tools, machines and as such we can manufacture products to a very high standard. This includes both traditional (hand tools) and modern techniques (CAD/CAM, 3D printer for example). We can match the level of challenge the student wishes to tackle!

 What will I study?

The specification enables learners to work creatively when designing and making, by undertaking a series of different investigations and design and make tasks. Allowing them to apply technical and practical expertise, in order to:

  • demonstrate their understanding that all design and technological activity takes place within contexts that influence the outcomes of design practice
  • develop realistic design proposals as a result of the exploration of design opportunities and users’ needs, wants and values
  • use imagination, experimentation and combine ideas when designing
  • develop the skills to critique and refine their own ideas whilst designing and making
  • communicate their design ideas and decisions using different media and techniques, as appropriate for different audiences at key points in their designing
  • develop decision making skills, including the planning and organisation of time and resources when managing their own project work
  • develop a broad knowledge of materials, components and technologies and practical skills to develop high quality, imaginative and functional prototypes
  • be ambitious and open to explore and take design risks in order to stretch the development of design proposals, avoiding clichéd or stereotypical responses
  • consider the costs, commercial viability and marketing of products
  • demonstrate safe working practices in design and technology
  • use key design and technology terminology including those related to: designing, innovation and communication; materials and technologies; making, manufacture and production; critiquing, values and ethics.

Electronics (EDUQAS)

This GCSE is an enjoyable way of gaining a good toehold in electronics theory and practice. We work with as much design and experimental work as we can to learn about the theoretical and practical use of electronics using discrete components and integrated circuits. The course also gives a practical introduction into the coding and use of microcontrollers.  The course from EDUQAS is well supported by a very clear on-line textbook with many examples and a well-resources and equipped electronics room, and is flexible enough to enable students to develop their own solutions to problems. Students are expected and encouraged to use the good range of resources available to prototype working circuits to solve a given problem and to produce a formal report on one circuit solution as a non-exam assessment.

What will I study?

The e-book is easy to find on-line and on the school Moodle. If you look at this you will be able to review all the electronics content which will be taught during the course.

Students will;

-develop scientific knowledge and conceptual understanding of the behaviour of analogue and digital electrical/electronic circuits including a wide range of electronic components

-develop an understanding of the nature, processes and methods of electronics as an engineering discipline to help them answer questions about practical circuits

-be aware of new and emerging technologies develop and learn how to apply observational, practical, problem solving and evaluative skills in the identification of needs in the world around them and to propose and test electronic solutions

 Art and Design: 3D-Communication (OCR)

Within Art & Design, we focus on the 3-Dimensional Design specification which is all about design, prototyping and modelling functional and aesthetic consumer products, objects and environments. Students explore contextual sources such as the work of historical and contemporary three-dimensional designers and the different purposes, intentions and functions of three-dimensional design. Students must demonstrate the ability to work creatively with processes and techniques such as: computer-aided design (i.e. Google Sketch-up), Photoshop, model-making, prototyping, together with sketching, drawing and rendering techniques.

 What will I study?

The key areas of study are: architectural design, interior design, product design, design for theatre, film and television. Students follow a program of study for the first two terms that introduces key skills and concepts connected with product design and architecture. After this they can choose to extend one of these established themes or choose to pursue their own personal project in an area that interests them. The first term we develop students drawing skills through a project to design robots, developing this into a toy, book cover or poster for a film. The second term we work on designing and modelling a beach-hut for the 21st century, taking inspiration from investigations into contemporary architects.

By the summer term we expect students to have decided on a major project which either builds on one of the first two mini projects or one of their own choosing. This will hopefully tap into interests and ambitions of the learner leading to a finished project by January of year 11. Then the exam board will set their tasks and the final project will take place, following broadly similar format as their other work. This leads to a timed exam around Easter time. All this work over the two years culminates with an exhibition for a visiting moderator from OCR.

Key Stage 5:

Design and Technology: Product Design (EDUQAS)

Design and Technology is an inspiring, rigorous and practical subject. This 2 year A-level course encourages learners to use creativity and imagination when applying iterative design processes to develop and modify designs, and to design and make prototypes that solve real world problems, considering their own and others’ needs, wants, aspirations and values.

The specification enables learners to identify market needs and opportunities for new products, initiate and develop design solutions, and make and test prototypes. Learners should acquire subject knowledge in Design and Technology, including how a product can be developed through the stages of prototyping, realisation and commercial manufacture.

Learners will be expected to take every opportunity to integrate and apply their understanding and knowledge from other subject areas studied during key stage 4, with a particular focus on Science and Mathematics (STEM subjects), and those subjects they are studying alongside A-level Design and Technology.

Electronics (EDUQAS)

This subject will be taught in the Design and Technology Department. The 2 year A-level course in Electronics will ensure that learners have the Electronic and Mathematical knowledge and Electronic Engineering skills (STEM subject) to solve problems. This should enable learners to appreciate how many problems in society can be tackled by the application of the scientific ideas in the field of electronics using engineering processes. The scope and nature of the learner’s study should be coherent and practical.

The practical work enables learners to see the theoretical knowledge contained in the specification in action and to gain greater understanding of the knowledge in a practical context.

Art and Design: 3D Communication or Graphic Communication (EDEXCEL)

Students can choose to follow a range of titles/briefs.  All titles explore practical and critical/contextual work through a range of processes and media.  The routes students are encouraged to explore are:

Three-dimensional design: Choosing to study three-dimensional design will give you opportunities to work in richly varied ways using resistant and non-resistant materials such as metals, wood, card, clay, plastics and found or re-cycled materials. There are possibilities for pursuing projects in product design or architecture.

Graphic communication: Choosing Graphic communication will offer you a range of different approaches that include advertising, branding typography and packaging. You may choose to combine any of these disciplines to provide you with opportunities for designing and creating graphic imagery, designs and web pages.


 By the end of Key Stage 3 students will be able to safely use, with increasing accuracy machines, tools and specialist equipment. They will be able to identify common timbers, polymers, metals, papers, boards and select materials/ingredients that complement each other according to their specific characteristics and properties. They will be able to identify the correct methods used in making products and outcomes. Students will learn to assemble simple and complex electronic circuits. Students will become familiar with the design process through a number of design and make activities. Students will be able to follow a set of instructions in achieving an outcome and suggest how they can make it more complex or personalised to them.

In the final term of year 9 pupils have a DT-specific entrepreneurial task that pulls together the 3 years of Design and Technology teaching to end KS3 on a high-note.

By the end of Key Stage 4 students will adopt a more iterative design process with increasing confidence. As they will now chose their route through GCSE and the 4 subjects that are on offer. Each qualification will offer their unique skill-set by using the specific materials, ingredients or components. The tasks are always challenging and we welcome the chance to be challenged by encompassing new technology, processes and materials that are being developed in our subject.

By the end of Key Stage 5 students will be ready for their next step into higher or further education but increasingly for the route of higher apprenticeships at top Engineering establishments. These courses are now very attractive as they offer both working experience and funded degrees through top universities. So many students return to say what work they are involved in – the possibilities are endless!