Design and Technology GCSE


Everything – from football boots to iPads, bikes to mobiles, furniture to buildings – has been designed. Pupils of Design and Technology learn to understand the balance between looking good (aesthetics) and meeting a demand (function), and to design products that will benefit others. They gain real life skills, by managing a project from start to finish, including scheduling personal time, analysing similar products and developing their own concepts, before finally manufacturing their most successful solution.

Design and Technology encourages creativity and innovation when responding to the needs of others. It nurtures problem-solving skills and design thinking, both of which can be applied to a range of existing and future careers. In addition to learning about designing and making processes, material technology and programmable systems and control, pupils develop important life skills and personal qualities such as team working, resilience, resourcefulness and enterprise.

Units of study

Pupils are assessed in two ways:

Non Examined Assessment (50%)

This includes a comprehensive portfolio of design work demonstrating how pupils have developed a viable solution to a contextual challenge, as well as a manufactured working prototype of their most successful design. Pupils work in four sections: Investigate, Design, Make and Evaluate.

The Non-Examined Assessment begins in June of 4th Form, and runs until the end of the Lent Term. Pupils work on their NEA portfolio for prep and independent study, and the work is submitted digitally. It would, therefore, be beneficial for pupils to have their own computer to ease access outside of lessons. The Head of Department can advise on appropriate hardware.

Written Examination (50%)

At the end of 5th Form, pupils will test their understanding of design theory as well as materials and processes. This exam will be in two sections; the first will cover core content of the D&T curriculum, and the second will focus on the specialised material category of timber.