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Design and Technology at Key Stage 4

At KS4 pupils build on the knowledge from KS4 to acquire a much broader range of subject knowledge and draw on disciplines such as mathematics, science, engineering and computing.  Pupils learn how to take risks, becoming resourceful, innovative, enterprising and capable citizens. Through the evaluation of past and present design and technology, they develop a critical understanding of its impact on daily life and the wider world.

At Key Stage 4 the faculty offers a range of GCSE options that includes Product Design and Hospitality & Catering. These are practical courses with an emphasis on good design and the manufacture of high quality products.

KS4 Content Product Design

Students are encouraged to develop their problem solving skills through a range of design tasks initially identified by the staff but increasingly identified by the students.

This enables the students to develop expertise, allowing them to choose and apply the correct techniques to develop their work. Emphasis is placed on independent learning and decision making.

The faculty also contributes to a range of extra-curricular activities, such as supporting school productions and competitions.

Aims in Product Design

At KS4 design and technology our aims to ensure that all pupils:

  • use research and investigation, such as the study of different cultures, to identify and understand user needs
  • identify and solve their own design problems and understand how to communicate problems given to them
  • develop specifications to inform the design of innovative, functional, appealing products that respond to needs in a variety of situations
  • develop and communicate design ideas using annotated sketches, detailed plans, 3-D and mathematical modelling, oral and digital presentations and computer-based tools
  • select from and use specialist tools, techniques, processes, equipment and machinery precisely, including computer-aided manufacture
  • select from and use a wider, more complex range of materials, components, taking into account their properties  
  • analyse the work of past and present professionals and others to develop and broaden their understanding
  • investigate new and emerging technologies
  • test, evaluate and refine their ideas and products against a specification, taking into account the views of intended users and other interested groups
  • understand developments in design and technology, its impact on individuals, society and the environment, and the responsibilities of designers, engineers and technologists
  • understand and use the properties of materials and the performance of structural elements to achieve functioning solutions


Content 1 and 2 to be assessed during year 11.

Content 1 is worth 50% of the final result made up from a 2 hour written exam paper, looking at the core skills and also the specialist skills areas delivered throughout year 11.  There will be some questions in the paper that test the pupil’s maths and science knowledge as well.

Content 2 is a design and make it task worth 50% of the final result and this will be completed throughout year 11 to be completed by Easter of the following year.  This is made up of a portfolio of work and also a completed practical piece.


  • Students working on product design
  • Boys cooking together
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