The aim of the design and technology curriculum at Tuxford Academy is to grow the student’s skills and knowledge to support them in their progress to the next stage of their education as creative and independent learners.

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

Within key stage 3 students undertake six projects around the specialist subject areas of food technology, engineering and product design. Within these rotations students are exposed to design and technology areas such as CAD/CAM, woodwork, electronics, textiles and food practical skills. When undertaking these projects students are taught how to approach a design brief through investigation and research to become creators of products and solutions. Additionally, students are exposed to a wide range of relevant real world contexts such as sustainability and current trends. The subject is a blend of practical and theory to ensure learners are well rounded in their confidence to use workshop equipment and can articulate the processes behind decision making.

In the spring of year 9, students have the option to take a GCSE in the specialist subject areas of food technology, engineering and product design. Following GCSE’s students can progress to take an A level in engineering or product design.

Additional information

Progress ladder and learning journeys

Our progress ladders show how student thinking and skills typically improve in each subject.

Click to view the progress ladder for D & T

Learning journeys

Our learning journeys can be used to understand each subject in more detail.

Please view our learning journeys from year 7 to year 13

Key stage 3 Design and technology

Key stage 4 Engineering

Key stage 4 Food preparation and nutrition

Key stage 4 and 5 Product design

Key Stage 4 courses

GCSE design and technology (product design)

Exam board: AQA
Qualification: 8552
Contact: Mr Coxhead |

How will I be assessed?

  • Exam (2hrs)
  • Coursework (30-35hrs)

Engineering - Cambridge national

Exam board: OCR
Qualification: J841
Contact: Mr Coxhead |

How will I be assessed?

  • Design briefs, design specifications and user requirements – exam
  • Product analysis and research – OCR moderated coursework
  • Developing and presenting engineering designs – OCR moderated coursework
  • 3D design realisation – OCR moderated coursework

GCSE food preparation and nutrition

Exam board: AQA
Qualification: 8585
Contact: Miss Watkins|

How will I be assessed?

  • Written exam (1hr 45mins)
  • Written report (1,500–2,000 words) including photographic evidence of a practical investigation
  • Written portfolio (15 A4 pages) including photographic evidence