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Design & Technology


Learning Journey & Sequencing Rationale

GCSE Design and Technology comprises two components. Component 1 - Written Examination worth 50% and Component 2 Contextual Challenge or NEA (Non Exam Assessment) worth 50%.

In year 10, learners will complete seven units of work which relates to the design process. They will also complete a series of mini projects to hone their manufacturing skills and use a variety of components/materials such as; paper, card, foam board, wood, metal and plastic. 

At the start of the course, learners will be given a D&T Knowledge Organiser book (which is also available on the HHS website). These books can be used throughout the year to revise for each end of unit assessment and the year 10 mock exam, which is sat at the end of the year to assess their knowledge and understanding. 

A part of the design process is examining ‘Existing Products’. Learners will explore a selection of past/current designers and analyse the products that they have produced and marketed. 

In year 11, our learners will focus on the Contextual Challenge (NEA). The exam board produces a selection of starting points for the students to use and then they will follow the design process to complete their Contextual Challenge project. All learners will be expected to design and make a product which will be assessed, moderated in school, and sampled externally by the exam board. The results of this will go towards the final GCSE D&T grade.

Learners will also be undertaking mini mock examinations to help with revision for their final exam in the summer. 

Rationale for Sequencing

Year 10

Autumn term

Year 10 begins with Unit 3. We have chosen this unit, as it is an excellent introduction to all the materials used across D&T. Alongside unit 3, the practical element will be making a box with 5 different wood joints complete with an accurate lid. This will be continued whilst completing Unit 5B, as Timber based Materials is our chosen specialist unit and ties in with the practical task. 

Spring term

Following will be Unit 2, to ensure that our learners understand a variety of knowledge regarding modern/smart materials, composite materials and technical textiles. This also includes comprehension of energy generation/storage, systems approach to designing, electronic systems processing and mechanical devices. This unit is one of the largest and can be difficult to understand all of the processes. Additionally, the practical element for Unit 2 is a LED hand held torch. 

Unit 1 - New & Emerging technologies, focusses on the business element of D&T. The topics covered are; Industry & Enterprise, Sustainability & Environment, People/Culture & Society, Production & Techniques and Informing Design Decisions. We feel it is important that this is covered before designing principles, as the above topics are generally considered early in the design process. The practical element of this will be to design and make a mobile phone holder. 

Unit 6 Designing Principles, covers the importance of; Investigating primary & secondary data, The work of others, various existing companies, design strategies and communication of design ideas. This unit shows our learners the prominence of looking at existing products, companies and various design strategies. 

Summer Term (NB* unit 6 will use some of Summer term to complete fully)

A major factor in design is the environment. Unit 4 - Ecological & social footprint focuses on, Forces and stresses, improving functionality, ecological & social footprint, the 6 R’s and scales of production, these are essential and may need to be included in their NEA.

Unit 7 Selection of materials & components, tolerances, material management, tools/equipment/techniques & finishes and surface treatments & finishes.


The learners of 2021-2022 will have one double lesson and must attend P7. The double lesson will be used to complete their controlled assessment and P7 will focus on revision. 

Autumn 1 - learners will complete AO1 of the Contextual Challenge which includes:

Choosing a brief, their chosen brief, research, product analysis, problems solutions, final design brief and a product design specification.

Autumn 2 - comprises of the AO2 element such as: Initial Designs, further research and product 

Elevations using technical drawing skills or CAD.

Spring 1 - contents continue with AO2 but looking at: potentials making/finishing processes and planning how they will be manufacturing their product identifying quality control measures. This is also the time that making can begin.

Spring 2 - focus is on AO3 where the learners will be: testing the design, complete a focus group survey, evaluate against the original specification, complete a final evaluation and explain how the product could be improved.  

Resources will be available for revision, which will take place in P7 and in lesson time when the Contextual Challenge is completed.






English skills:

  • Using a range of writing, for example, when analysing and evaluating or when compiling design portfolios.

Mathematics skills:

  • When generating orthographic drawings for the production of final design solutions.

ICT skills:

  • When researching components and materials to be used in the manufacture of products they design.


  • Choosing brief – Use the five W’s create headings for your word storm.
  • Target market/audience – consider who these are in depth.
  • Research - e.g. internet, surveys or government information.
  • Existing products analysis – choose a similar existing product and analyse using set criteria.
  • Market research survey – produce market survey questions for potential consumers.
  • Problems and Solutions – consider what problem could arise which could arise, could be relating to materials, H&S, ergonomics, aesthetics, anthropometric data etc. and how could these be solved.
  • Final Design Brief – complete a full final design brief using the 5 W’s.
  • Design Specification – product a design specification using these headings: Materials, Function, Ergonomic, Anthropometric Data, Manufacture, H&S, Target audience/market, Aesthetics and Finish.
  • Initial design ideas – create initial designs using a selections of methods and the iterative design process.
  • Material, construction and finishing methods - Research the best ways to produce your product.
  • Final Product Elevations – Use a variety of methods to produce finished accurate drawings of your final design.


It is essential for learners to be able to follow the design process, not only for undertaking the NEA, but also as a life skill. There will be time in their lives where they may purchase or rent their own home and these skill will give them an insight into how to apply their design knowledge to real life situations e.g. planning how a home will flow/look.

Understanding how to research existing product will help learners in their future lives and they will be able to compare products and make better choices.

Having basic drawing skill is also useful particularly when explain or show others how you want a space to look e.g. design a garden or creating a mood board.




Practical skills:

  • Ensure the thickness of materials are correct and are in line with choices.
  • Select and use the correct tools such as try square, steel rule, mitre square etc. to measure, mark out and cut joints, is essential to the whole making process.
  • Test, check measurements and amend product where applicable. Ask other's what they think and record their opinions. Prepare the surface for finishing ensure the products is stable and smooth.
  • Finish the product with selected treatments ensuring the product is full dry between coats or the finish will be inadequate.

English skills:

  • Using appropriate technological language when presenting design proposals to groups or other individuals.
  • Using a range of writing, for example, when analysing and evaluating or when compiling design portfolios.

Mathematics skills:

  • When adapting sizes for batches of products.
  • When designing and manufacturing products for a range of users.
  • When working with construction materials and tools available in both units of measurement.

ICT skills:

  • When researching components and materials to be used in the manufacture of products they design.
  • When reviewing the selection, use and effectiveness of ICT tools and facilities used to present design proposals and manufacture the products they design.


  • How to create a selection of making processes and give reasons for decision making.
  • Produce a plan with steps for making and finishing processes, with QC checkpoints.
  • Use quality assurance to ensure the product is accurate, as it I being manufactured.
  • Choosing appropriate quality control checkpoints ensures less mistakes can be made.
  • How to test the prototype to ensure it works correctly.
  • Produce a focus group survey with a compiled list of relevant questions.
  • How to evaluate the prototype against the original specification points.


It is an important life skill to be able to use a range of tools with confidence. It is also essential to know how to maintain tools which are used in practical situations e.g. changing blades, drill bits and saw blades.

Understanding the Health and Safety implications on using a variety of tool will also benefit the learners and may prevent any future injuries, their knowledge could also be shared with others.

These skills can be used in all walks of life and in a variety of situation. We are now living in a time where more consideration is taken when it comes to fixing or replacing products, due to limited resources.




English skills:

  • Using a range of writing, for example, when analysing and evaluating or when compiling design portfolios.

Mathematics skills:

  • When adapting sizes for batches of products.
  • When designing and manufacturing products for a range of users.

ICT skills:

  • Evaluate own use of ICT tools (Developing, presenting and communicating information).


  • Final evaluation – How to produce an in-depth essay on the success of the prototype. It must explain what went well or wrong.
  • Improvements – Analyse the finished product and highlight any improvements and justify you reason, notes and sketches can be used.
  • Revision planning – Plan how to revise for the upcoming exam and ensure this depicts interleaving in some form.


Having the skills to evaluate a task in depth is effective in most walks of life. Most work tasks will require some sort of evaluation and following on with improving.

This gives our learners the confidence to be able to use evaluation skills in many different ways and for a variety of tasks.

knowledge Organiser

A knowledge organiser is an important document that lists the important facts that learners should know by the end of a unit of work. It is important that learners can recall these facts easily, so that when they are answering challenging questions in their assessments and GCSE and A-Level exams, they are not wasting precious time in exams focusing on remembering simple facts, but making complex arguments, and calculations.

We encourage all pupils to use them by doing the following:

  • Quiz themselves at home, using the read, write, cover, check method.
  • Practise spelling key vocabulary
  • Further researching people, events and processes most relevant to the unit.