Design and technology

Design and Technology

Design and Technology is an inspiring, rigorous, and practical subject encouraging students to learn to think and intervene creatively to solve problems both as individuals and as members of a team. At Teesdale School and Sixth Form, we encourage students to use their creativity and imagination, to design and make products that solve real and relevant problems within a variety of contexts, considering their own and others’ needs, wants and values. We aim to, wherever possible, link work to other disciplines such as mathematics, science, engineering, computing and art. The students are also given opportunities to reflect upon and evaluate past and present design technology, its uses and its effectiveness and are encouraged to become innovators and risk-takers.

Through a variety of creative and practical activities, we teach the knowledge, understanding and skills needed to engage in an iterative process of designing and making. The students design and create products that consider function and purpose, and which are relevant to a range of sectors (for example, the home, school, leisure, culture, enterprise, industry, and the wider environment). 

When designing and making, the students are taught to: 

• use research and develop design criteria to inform the design of innovative, functional, appealing products that are fit for purpose, aimed at individuals or groups. 
• generate, develop, model and communicate their ideas through discussion, annotated sketches, cross-sectional diagrams, prototypes, pattern pieces and computer-aided design. 

• select from and use a wider range of tools and equipment to perform practical tasks (for example, cutting, shaping, joining and finishing accurately. 
• select from and use a wider range of materials and components, including construction materials, textiles according to their functional properties, aesthetic qualities. 

• investigate and analyse a range of existing products. 
• evaluate their ideas and products against their own design criteria and consider the views of others to improve their work. 
• understand how key events and individuals in design and technology have helped shape the world. 

Technical knowledge: 
• apply their understanding of how to strengthen, stiffen and reinforce more complex structures. 
• understand and use mechanical systems in their products. 
• understand and use electrical systems in their products. 
• apply their understanding of computing to program, monitor and control their products.
Children 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. 

Curriculum information

Year group 




Year 7 

  • Construction lines 

  • Grid method 

  • Colour, tone and texture 

  • Oblique – products 

  • rendering 

  • CAD/CAM 

  • Timbers 

  • Papers and Boards 

  • Packaging 

  • Product Analysis 

  • Design Specification 

Year 8 

  • Isometric Sketching 

  • Render and shading 

  • Timbers 

  • Polymers 

  • Papers and boards 

  • CAD/CAM 

  • Health & Safety 

  • Tools & Machinery 

  • Smart Materials 

Year 9 

  • 3D Drawing techniques 

  • Investigation and researching 

  • Rendering Skills 

  • Prototyping 

  • Finishing techniques 

  • Evaluating and testing 


  • Initial design ideas 

  • Prototyping 

  • Hand tools and machinery 

  • Marking out and manufacturing techniques 

  • CAD/CAM  

  • Evaluating and testing 

  • Design brief  

  • Design Specification 

  • Exploding drawings 

  • Production plan 

  • Prototyping 

  • Evaluating and testing 

Year 10 

GCSE Design and Technology 

  • Drawing conventions- communicating ideas 

  • Energy sources and the environment 

  • New and emerging technologies 

  • Comparing materials, processes and components with alternatives. 


  • Design project management 

  • Drawing conventions- realising ideas and engineering drawings 


  • Mechanisms, systems, and control 

  • Technical principles 



Year 11 

GCSE Design and Technology 













  • NEA brief/coursework 

  • Impact of new and emerging technologies. 

  • Carbon footprint 

  • Fairtrade policies 

  • Sustainability 

  • Product legislation 

  • Renewable and non-renewable energy sources. 

  • Designers. 

  • NEA brief/coursework 

  • Manufacturing processes. 

  • CAD/CAM 

  • In-depth revision of materials including heat treatments, manufacturing methods and sources. 

  • Ferrous and non-ferrous metals, 

  • Thermoforming and thermosetting polymers, 

  • Papers and boards, 

  • Smart materials, and natural and manufactured timber. 

  • Adhesives & fixings. 

  • Surface finishes and treatments. 

  • Energy sources. 


  • Polymers - sources and surface finishes, strengths and weaknesses, stock forms. 

  • Smart materials - types and uses, aesthetic and functional qualities. 

  • Papers and boards – stock forms, textures and finishes, GSM & microns. 

  • Natural and manufactured timbers – aesthetic qualities, natural woods, manmade boards, sources & characteristics. 

  • Metals - Sources and stock forms, impact on the environment & sustainability factors. 

  • Scales of production. 

Year 12 

Product Design 









  • Materials and their applications 

  • Performance characteristics of materials 

  • Enhancement of materials 

  • Forming, redistribution and addition processes 

  • The use of adhesives and fixings 

  • The use of finishes 

  • Modern industrial and commercial practice 

  • Digital design and manufacture 

  • Core practical skills and modelling in wood, metal, card and plastic 


  • 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 

  • Design methods and processes 


  • Core practical skills and modelling in wood, metal, card and plastic 


  • Design theory 

  • How technology and cultural changes can impact on the work of designers 

  • Product life cycle 

  • 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 

  • Core practical skills and modelling in wood, metal, card and plastic 

Year 13 

Product Design 











  • Technical principles 

  • Identify, investigate & outline  

  • Design & make prototypes that are fit for purpose design possibilities 




  • Technical principles 

  • Design & make prototypes that are fit for purpose 

  • Analyse & evaluate 




  • Technical principles 


During my time at Teesdale School, I’ve really enjoyed designing and making products. It allows us to be creative and develop a range of different skills and express our ideas freely.
Year 11 student
I really enjoy using Computer-Aided Design to design products. I think this is helping me to improve the quality of my ideas and developing my confidence in Technology.
Year 8 student