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Canon Slade School

Canon Slade School As a Church of England School, we seek to provide
an excellent education within a Christian environment
to fulfil individual potential and to prepare pupils
for life and service in a rapidly changing world. Ora et Labora
Pray and Work

Design and Technology


Design and Technology is a practical and valuable subject that enables children and young people to actively contribute to the creativity, culture, wealth and well-being of themselves, their community and their nation. It teaches how to take risks and so become more resilient, resourceful, innovative, enterprising and capable.

Students develop a critical understanding of the impact of design and technology on daily life and the wider world. Additionally, it provides excellent opportunities for students to develop and apply value judgements of an aesthetic, economic, moral, social, and technical nature both in their own designing and when evaluating the work of others. 

Design and Technology is about providing opportunities for students to develop their capability, combining their designing and making skills with knowledge and understanding in order to design and create quality products through an iterative process.

We aim to equip every student with the relevant subject knowledge and transferable skills to produce high quality outcomes in order to be successful in Design Technology and in later life.

Success in Design and Technology can lead the way into an enormous range of creative and practical careers, from apprenticeships through to Degree level study in any of our subjects. The range of careers offered under the umbrella of STEM, Design Technology and Engineering is incredibly wide and can suit students of all interests, abilities and gender.

We ensure that Design Technology at Canon Slade is a fully inclusive, inspiring, challenging and thriving subject, where all students develop a sound and broad subject knowledge in which creativity, resilience and imagination will be actively encouraged in designing and making products that solve real, relevant and relatable problems.

Please select the area of Design Technology you are interested in from below to learn more about the different opportunities available.

Design Technology

KS3 Learning Journey

canon slade learning journey dt 1.pdf

 Assessment Calendar

assessment calendar ks3 2022 2023 1 dt.pdf

Assessment Criteria

ks3 assessment criteria.pdf




By the end of Key stage 3 (CORE Design Technology) will have:

Developed the key skills required in order to be able to show that they can,

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.

Understand and apply the principles of nutrition and learn how to cook.

In Designing they will be able to,

  • Use research and exploration, such as the study of different cultures, to identify and understand user needs
  • Identify and solve their own design problems and understand how to reformulate problems given to them
  • Develop specifications to inform the design of innovative, functional, appealing products that respond to needs in a variety of situations
  • Use a variety of approaches [for example, biomimicry and user-centred design], to generate creative ideas and avoid stereotypical responses
  • Develop and communicate design ideas using annotated sketches, detailed plans, 3-D and mathematical modelling, oral and digital presentations and computer-based tools

 In their making they will be able to,

  • Select from and use specialist tools, techniques, processes, equipment and machinery precisely, including computer-aided manufacture
  • Select from and use a wider, more complex range of materials, components and ingredients, taking into account their properties

 When evaluating they will be able to,

  • Analyse the work of past and present professionals and others to develop and broaden their understanding
  • Investigate new and emerging technologies
  • Test, evaluate and refine their ideas and products against a specification, taking into account the views of intended users and other interested groups
  • Understand developments in design and technology, its impact on individuals, society and the environment, and the responsibilities of designers, engineers and technologists

 At the end of Key stage 3 in Food, pupils will be able to,

  • Understand and apply the principles of nutrition and health
  • Cook a repertoire of predominantly savoury dishes so that they are able to feed themselves and others a healthy and varied diet
  • become competent in a range of cooking techniques [for example, selecting and preparing ingredients; using utensils and electrical equipment; applying heat in different ways; using awareness of taste, texture and smell to decide how to season dishes and combine ingredients; adapting and using their own recipes]
  • Understand the source, seasonality and characteristics of a broad range of ingredients


By Year 11 a student of GCSE Design Technology will have:

Developed a clear & sound understanding of the following key learning areas (KS3 curriculum and AQA GCSE specification)

From Key Stage 3, following the National Curriculum, students will have developed a sound understanding of the following key areas,

 Context, user needs and wants, research and design brief writing.

  • Design strategies & communication of ideas.
  • The work of others.
  • Responsibilities of the designer and the wider impact of designing and making.
  • Levers and mechanisms.
  • Electronics and Programming.
  • SMART & Modern materials & technical textiles.
  • Material categories, sources, origins and selection process.
  • Forces and stresses.
  • Working with specialist materials, ingredients and techniques.

During Key Stage 4, pupils opting to continue with the subject will follow the AQA Design Technology specification requirements, and go onto develop a secure knowledge in the following key areas,

Core technical principles

In order to make effective design choices students will develop a breadth of core technical knowledge and understanding that consists of:

  • new and emerging technologies
  • energy generation and storage
  • developments in new materials
  • systems approach to designing
  • mechanical devices
  • materials and their working properties.

Specialist technical principles

In addition to the core technical principles, students will develop an in-depth knowledge and understanding of the following specialist technical principles:

  • selection of materials or components
  • forces and stresses
  • ecological and social footprint
  • sources and origins
  • using and working with materials
  • stock forms, types and sizes
  • scales of production
  • specialist techniques and processes
  • surface treatments and finishes.


Each specialist technical principle will be delivered through at least one material category or system.

The categories through which the principles can be delivered are:

  • papers and boards (Graphics specialism)
  • timber based materials (Product Design specialism)
  • metal based materials (Product Design specialism)
  • polymers (Product Design specialism)
  • textile based materials (Textiles specialism)
  • electronic and mechanical systems. (Electronics specialism)

Designing and making principles

Students will know and understand that all design and technology activities take place within a wide range of contexts.

They will also understand how the prototypes they develop must satisfy wants or needs and be fit for their intended use. For example, the home, school, work or leisure.

They will be able to demonstrate and apply knowledge and understanding of designing and making principles in relation to the following areas:

  • investigation, primary and secondary data
  • environmental, social and economic challenge
  • the work of others
  • design strategies
  • communication of design ideas
  • prototype development
  • selection of materials and components
  • tolerances
  • material management
  • specialist tools and equipment
  • specialist techniques and processes

This key subject knowledge will be formally assessed at the end of year 11.  Each student will produce an NEA (non-examined assessment) piece of work.  This will involve using the iterative design process to design and make a product in response to an exam board set design context.  This NEA will equate to 50% of the overall assessment grade.  The remaining 50% will come from a written exam.  This written exam will be broken down into 3 sections.  Section A examines the students’ knowledge of the Core Technical principles. Section B focusses upon the specialist technical principles, and section C covers designing and making principles.


 By Year 13 a student of Design Technology will have:

Built upon the key foundations from Key Stage 3 and 4, going on to develop an advanced understanding of the following key learning areas.

Technical principles

  • Materials and their applications
  • Performance characteristics of materials
  • Enhancement of materials
  • Forming, redistribution and addition processes
  • The use of finishes
  • Modern industrial and commercial practice
  • Digital design and manufacture
  • The requirements for product design and development
  • Health and safety
  • Protecting designs and intellectual property
  • Design for manufacturing, maintenance, repair and disposal
  • Feasibility studies
  • Enterprise and marketing in the development of products
  • Design communication

Designing and making principles

  • Design methods and processes
  • Design theory
  • How technology and cultural changes can impact on the work of designers
  • Design processes
  • Critical analysis and evaluation
  • Selecting appropriate tools, equipment and processes
  • Accuracy in design and manufacture
  • Responsible design
  • Design for manufacture and project management
  • National and international standards in product design
As with Key Stage 4, this key subject knowledge will be formally assessed at the end of year 13.  Each student will produce an NEA (non-examined assessment) piece of work.  This will involve using the iterative design process to design and make a product in response to an exam board set design context.  This NEA will equate to 50% of the overall assessment grade.  The remaining 50% will come from two written examinations.