Design and Technology

In This Section

The aim of design and technology is to provide students with the opportunity to combine practical and technological skills with creative thinking to design and make products and systems that meet human needs.

To design is much more than simply to assemble, to order or even to edit: it is to add value and meaning, to illuminate, to simplify, to clarify, to modify, to dignify, to dramatise, to persuade and perhaps even to amuse.”

– Paul Rand

Students are taught to use new technologies and the impact of future technological developments. Students learn to think creatively and intervene to improve the quality of life, solving problems both as individuals and as members of a team.


We develop well planned schemes of work, which facilitate:

  • creativity
  • continuity
  • development of key skills in design
  • development of key skills in practical processes
  • AFL (Assessment for Learning)
  • peer and self assessment
  • access to a wide range of experiences
  • promote an appreciation and understanding of form and function of products
  • self study techniques
  • success in academic qualifications

We offer focused extra curricular activities that promote an understanding of science, technology, engineering and maths and develop key skills.

Students also have the opportunity to:

  • take part in science, technology, engineering and maths competitions with other schools
  • meet visiting professionals from industry
  • work with external companies and the community on real design briefs
  • qualify for an Arkwright Scholarship
  • participate in relevant educational visits

Key stage 3

The first term is spent acquiring skills in all the areas of technology. Students then follow a carousel of six projects, loosely based on the key areas of design and technology (electronics, food, graphics, resistant materials and textiles) following the basic concepts of ‘mainly making, mainly designing and mainly thinking’.  At the end of year 8, students opt for specific subjects to follow in more depth in year 9. All students opt for three of six courses: electronics, engineering, food, graphics, resistant materials, textiles. At week 30 in year 9, students opt for the course that they wish to follow at level 2.

Key stage 4

GCSE Engineering is intended as an introduction to the world of engineering. The course is suitable for students who enjoy problem solving, or are considering a future career in any
engineering discipline, and are competent in maths and science.

The course is engaging, challenging and rigorous but also very rewarding. It allows students to develop skills and understanding in problem solving and a range of engineering disciplines. Problem solving, manufacturing and applications of technologies are integrated into schemes of work. This helps students develop into well rounded, multi-skilled engineers with strong foundations to build upon in further academic study and later should they decide to pursue a career in engineering.

Syllabus content:

  • material properties
  • material costs and supply
  • actors influencing design solutions
  • engineering manufacturing processes
  • material manipulation
  • systems (mechanical/electrical/electronic/structural/pneumatic)
  • testing and investigating
  • impact of modern technologies
  • practical engineering skills

GCSE Food Preparation and Nutrition is an exciting and creative course which focuses on practical cooking skills to ensure students develop a thorough understanding of nutrition, food
provenance and the working characteristics of food materials.

At its heart, this qualification focuses on nurturing students’ practical cookery skills to give them a strong understanding of nutrition.

Food preparation skills are integrated into five core topics:

  • food, nutrition and health – macro nutrients, nutritional needs and health
  • food science – cooking of food, heat transfer and the functional and chemical properties of food
  • food safety – food spoilage, contamination and the principles of food safety
  • food choice – factors affecting food choice, British and international cuisines, sensory evaluation, food labelling and marketing
  • food provenance – environmental impact and sustainability of food, food processing and production

If you enjoy problem solving, being creative, drawing, CAD, making things and want to learn more about how and why products are designed and made, then this is the course for you!

You will investigate a variety of different products, materials, designers, design movements and systems to learn more about design and manufacture. You will learn how to make products, including investigating how products are made commercially. Our product design students are dedicated, hardworking and artistic – but with a love of all things technical too!

GCSE Design and Technology: Product Design will prepare students to participate confidently and successfully in an increasingly technological world. Students will gain awareness and learn from wider influences on design and technology including historical, social, cultural, environmental and economic factors.

Students will get the opportunity to work creatively when designing, making and applying technical and practical expertise. This GCSE allows students to study core technical, designing and making principles, including a broad range of design processes, materials techniques and equipment. They will also have the opportunity to study specialist technical principles in greater depth.

Syllabus content:

core technical principles

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)

designing and making principles (e.g. studying the work of designers and companies, plus learning how to sketch like the professionals and use CAD to prototype products)

Tuxford Academy