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Design and Technology

Design and Technology


Design and Technology

“It’s a subject that allows young people to learn with their hands and their brains.” Sir James Dyson, Industrial Designer

“It’s very easy to be different, but very difficult to be better.” Jonathan Ive, English Designer and Senior Vice President of Industrial Design at Apple

Design and Technology gives students opportunities to combine practical and technological skills with creative thinking to create their own quality products.

Learners investigate current technologies and consider the impact of future technological developments. Girls learn to think innovatively and intervene to improve quality of life, solving problems as individuals and members of a team. Being resourceful is emphasised as the world increasingly seeks sustainable living solutions.

Design Technology is studied by all pupils in Key Stage 2 and 3. This includes: Resistant Materials, Graphics, CAD, Systems and Control.

"Product Design is amazing because you get lots of chances to make products. Lessons are very different to other subjects."


In the department we stimulate curiosity and provide a positive atmosphere for the pupils to enquire, take creative risks and succeed in making products of worth.

Our main aim is to provide the skills, knowledge and understanding required to become informed consumers, creative problem solvers and dexterous users of tools, equipment, materials and components. This runs alongside the ability to work successfully, both independently and as part of a team.

We promote the use of experimentation and modelling to develop and evaluate explanations, whilst encouraging critical and creative thought.

"Its learning through designing and making"

Teaching Staff

There are currently 2 teachers and 1 technician from a wide variety of backgrounds within Technology.

What happens in lessons?

Pupils complete practical work in dedicated teaching environments with specialist staff. Computer Aided Design and Computer Aided Manufacture outputs are explored across the key stages at Malvern St James. For research and written work the department has a suite of computers that are used for group and individual tasks. Pupils may do presentations and lead the learning of the group under the supervision of the teacher. All activities and projects are planned to build on prior learning and to allow for stretch and challenge, and to inspire and enthuse the pupils.

"Product Design lessons are similar to the job you may have in the future in this area. They give you an idea of what it’s like working in this area when you are older."

How will progress be assessed?

Throughout the year pupils are assessed by their teachers. Both class and preparatory work is regularly marked with strengths and improvements indicated. Practical skills will be observed and outcomes monitored. Assessment taxonomies allow awareness of individual levels of attainment and guidance on how to improve.

Technology opportunities out of lessons

  • Encourage local, regional, national and global visits to museums, galleries and shops
  • Critically evaluate product design around the home
  • Technology, design, architecture, inventions and sustainability are all popular television topics Documentaries with “Technology” in the title would also be useful
  • Encouraging pupils to help with DIY and using tools gives an awareness of tools, equipment and machinery e.g. they could help in the washing and ironing of textile items to develop their knowledge of fibres, fabrics, aftercare and care labelling codes
  • Encouraging pupils to take advantage of the opportunities available at school and out of school
  • Embrace opportunities to enhance knowledge of cultural design and manufacture
  • Identify technologically related articles in newspapers, websites and magazines
  • Watch films charting key design or technological advances
  • Engage in preparatory work tasks when appropriate
  • Recycle, reuse and repair as much as possible to develop creativity alongside economically and environmentally minded responsibilities
  • Be mindful of ethical product manufacture e.g. fair trade and organic items
  • Open house Technology during lunch times for pupils, with teachers or technician support
  • External competitions advertised on the notice boards.

As students progress through KS3, a whole new world opens up to them where they have the opportunity to experience different aspects of Design and Technology. Implicit across the disciplines within the subject is imagination and creativity. Students are given design briefs with different contexts, through which they learn to design and make products that solve relevant problems. Students soon realise that when designing and making they must consider not only their own wants, needs and values but those of others. They are taught that success may not come easily and that resilience is required to be successful. When completing the design briefs students gain and develop a broad range of subject knowledge including: computing, science, mathematics.

At KS4 students study Design and Technology through Product Design AQA. They are set challenging design and make briefs by the examination board, which have to be fulfilled using and developing the skills learned in resistant and compliant materials. Students are expected to use computer aided design and manufacture high quality products that are both fit for purpose and suitable for sale in a retail outlet. Work is exhibited at an annual Design Exhibition.

At KS5 girls work with increasing independence and discrimination. They make links between diverse topics and critically evaluate the impact of technological advancements within society. Work is exhibited at an annual Design Exhibition.


Trips include MAD Museum, Stourbridge Glass, Victoria and Albert Museum in London, London Design Week, Coca Cola manufacturing tour and Jaguar Land Rover tour.