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Design and Technology

Curriculum Intent, Implementation and Impact Statement


Introduction – Overall Department Intent

The faculty of Design and Technology embraces an inspiring range of subjects that encourage Abbey Park pupils to use their imaginations and discover their creative brains. The department seeks to offer opportunities to design, create and evaluate products that solve real and relevant problems within a variety of contexts, considering the needs of themselves and others. Our teaching and learning is truly cross-curricular and requires pupils to simultaneously apply mathematical, scientific, technological and linguistic skills. We take the view that all our pupils are designers and in doing so we promote our school motto of Abbey Park Proud: through taking risks, Design and Technology pupils become resourceful, innovative, enterprising and capable citizens.

Department implementation with the APS 5 Keys to Curriculum Success

Knowledge, skills & mastery

The Design and Technology curriculum is comprised of four subject areas: Textiles; Resistant Materials, Graphics and Food and Nutrition. Product Design is also taught at KS3. Students in KS3 rotate through all of the disciplines.  Our curriculum provides a breadth of study which enhances the requirements of the National Curriculum for England. By continually evaluating schemes of learning, we reflect current changes in national law, educational practices and culture in order to prepare pupils with the knowledge, skills and mastery for everyday living, future study and the world of work. This is recognised through our pupil voice sessions which take place throughout the year.

Our spiralised curriculum begins in Year 7, before separating into individual disciplines under the umbrella of GCSE Design and Technology and GCSE Food and Nutrition at KS4. We work in partnership with our transition teams to embed our curriculum in the primary phases and ease the transition from KS2 to KS3.

The design technology curriculum focuses on the iterative design process: design; make; knowledge and evaluate.  Teachers teach lessons that use the core principles of TEEP and CLEAR in order to develop students’ knowledge, skills and mastery in the subject areas making links where possible across the whole school curriculum. Key designers and chefs are a focus in KS3 and KS4 inspiring students to create independent projects based on a class design topic.

The department creates learning environments which are flexible enough to meet the needs of all young people and to ensure that pupils feel that they belong to our creative community as well as building confidence in becoming independent learners. Progress is monitored through a planned system of assessment. This process is aligned with whole school systems and data points, but also considers our KS3 rotations. Reflection and evaluation are central skills in a practical subject; consistent use of Personalised Learning Checklists encourages pupils to become accountable for their own progress and to make informed Options choices.

The curriculum in Year 9 allows personalised guidance to support forthcoming GCSE study and pupils are given the opportunity to opt into a Design Technology or Food Preparation module in terms 5 and 6.  The aim is to achieve the best foundation from which to progress to the next stage of study, without constraining choice for pupils not taking DT at GCSE.

Literacy & Numeracy

High levels of literacy, articulacy and numeracy are fundamental in ensuring the best outcomes for our DT pupils. Explicit teaching of literacy and articulacy is embedded in the curriculum offer for each discipline. The whole school ‘topic text’ initiative, designed to develop both literacy and cultural awareness, is established within the Key Stage 3 curriculum and ensures pupils’ access to multi-genre texts and a variety of reading and writing opportunities. In order that pupils are able to discuss their subject knowledge with precision, relevant terminology is systematically taught across all subject areas. The capacity to structure extended written responses, so central to positive GCSE outcomes, is evident in all our schemes of work.

Key aspects of Mathematics, such as measuring, weighing, conversion and costing underpin many processes in both practical and theory work. Pupils are given specific teaching to reinforce these concepts and are then required to apply their skills in both theory and practical work.

Entitlement & Engagement

The whole school vision of a ‘spirit of adventure’ is central to the concept of design. Regardless of ability or prior interest, we foster the idea that all learners are potential creators. Pupils are encouraged to celebrate their achievements and work is displayed in the department, throughout the school and annually at our DT Show. Local and national competitions are entered and we have had pleasing results throughout the years. Students are exposed to the work of current key designers and persons within all areas of the food industry to engage their ‘spirit of adventure’ trying new concepts and realising ideas.

The DT department is committed to the inclusion of all pupils and seeks to ensure that the individual needs of pupils are fully met. We see high quality teaching as the right of all pupils and put intervention in place where required. At KS4 we offer targeted session 6 study to support both NEA and terminal examinations.

We believe that there should be no barriers to the study of Design and Technology, particular when it comes to GCSE.  Our PP and FSM pupils are supported in all subject specialisms, with materials and ingredients being discretely supplied from KS3 to KS4. At GCSE we aim to continue to work with boys and girls to engage them with their option choices.  Within GCSE Food our uptake tends to be more girls than boys and we intend to use pupil voice and alumni links to engage the uptake of more boys within the subject.  This is also similar of DT with girls opting more for textiles and boys for RM.  We have seen a slow increase in engagement in DT/Food and continue to build on this.

All pupils are entitled to explore the subject beyond the classroom. Departmental trips and visits such as those to Bristol Glass, Bath Costume Museum and the V&A ensure that pupils are able to place their Design and Technology learning in the wider contexts of culture and careers.

Aspiration & Wellbeing

Promoting pupils’ health, safety and well-being is central to the aims of the faculty. Alongside the PE and PSHCE curriculums, Food Technology schemes of work promote a healthy lifestyle and equip pupils with the practical skills to create a range of dishes for use in the future. Students with personal issues surrounding food have aspired to opt into GCSE Food, as it is seen as a safe place for them and supports their wellbeing.

The practical use of sophisticated equipment and machines is paramount to the delivery of the DT curriculum. Safe usage of all devices is embedded in Schemes of Work and teachers participate in the necessary CPD, supported by technical staff. It is hoped that pupil usage of such equipment encourages a spirit of responsibility and independence.

The creative process and practical work inherent to the DT curriculum is viewed as a means by which pupils can enhance their general well-being and mental health. We take seriously the contribution that the department can make in promoting practical DT application as both challenging and relaxing.

Community, respect & enrichment

As a department we acknowledge our responsibility in ensuring that the DT curriculum is delivered with a sensitive regard to a range of communities, faiths and cultures. A wide range of influences is always explored in any design process, with respect to faith and culture being particularly considered within the Textiles and Food curriculum.

Central to our curriculum offer is the opportunity for pupils to explore the impact of all creative processes on the global environment. We seek to make links with current affairs and encourage pupils to engage in relevant debate. Through the inclusion of the “6 Rs” and the “Eat Well” guide in the pupil planner we also hope to encourage discussion in tutor time, PSHCE and other areas of the curriculum.

Regardless of ability or options choices, we offer a range of Session 6 options for pupils to engage in DT projects. This ranges from Fimo modelling, cup cake decorating and the Christmas Market at KS3 to NEA support and practical skill building at GCSE. Year 4 and 5 from our feeder primary schools are also invited to join KS3 sessions.

Curriculum Implementation

  • At KS3 there are two, one-hour lessons per week. The curriculum is delivered on a rotational basis to ensure equal access to all specialisms; rotations last for 8 weeks, with pupils experiencing both theory and practical work. The opportunity to cook takes place on a weekly timetable.
  • At KS4 pupils have 2 one-hour lessons in Year 10 and 3 one-hour lessons in Year 11.

KS3 and KS4 DT Curriculum Maps

Click below in 'Related Documents' to view curriculum maps. 


APS Curriculum Map D&T KS3 (208KB)

Curriculum Map which includes Unit of Work, Knowledge and Skills and Assessment broken down into Terms.

APS Curriculum Map D&T KS4 (191KB)

Curriculum Map which includes Unit of Work, Knowledge and Skills and Assessment broken down into Terms.

APS Curriculum Map FPN KS4 (134KB)

Curriculum Map which includes Unit of Work, Knowledge and Skills and Assessment broken down into Terms.