Design and technology

Design and Technology is an inspiring, rigorous and practical subject encouraging students to learn to think and intervene creatively to solve problems both as individuals and as members of a team. At Rye Hills, we encourage students to use their creativity and imagination, to design and make products that solve real and relevant problems within a variety of contexts, considering their own and others’ needs, wants and values. We aim to, wherever possible, link work to other disciplines such as mathematics, science, engineering, computing and art. The students are also given opportunities to reflect upon and evaluate past and present design technology, its uses and its effectiveness and are encouraged to become innovators and risk-takers.

Through a variety of creative and practical activities, we teach the knowledge, understanding and skills needed to engage in an iterative process of designing and making. The students design and create products that consider function and purpose and which are relevant to a range of sectors (for example, the home, school, leisure, culture, enterprise, industry and the wider environment). 

When designing and making, the students are taught to: 

• use research and develop design criteria to inform the design of innovative, functional, appealing products that are fit for purpose, aimed at individuals or groups. 
• generate, develop, model and communicate their ideas through discussion, annotated sketches, cross-sectional diagrams, prototypes, pattern pieces and computer-aided design. 

• select from and use a wider range of tools and equipment to perform practical tasks (for example, cutting, shaping, joining and finishing accurately. 
• select from and use a wider range of materials and components, including construction materials, textiles according to their functional properties, aesthetic qualities. 

• investigate and analyse a range of existing products. 
• evaluate their ideas and products against their own design criteria and consider the views of others to improve their work. 
• understand how key events and individuals in design and technology have helped shape the world. 

Technical knowledge: 
• apply their understanding of how to strengthen, stiffen and reinforce more complex structures. 
• understand and use mechanical systems in their products. 
• understand and use electrical systems in their products. 
• apply their understanding of computing to program, monitor and control their products. 

Children 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. High-quality design and technology education makes an essential contribution to the creativity, culture, wealth and well-being of the nation. 

Curriculum information 


Year group 




Year 7 

  • Construction lines 
  • Grid method 
  • Colour, tone and texture 
  • Oblique – products 
  • rendering 
  • CAD/CAM 
  • Timbers 
  • Papers and Boards 
  • Packaging 
  • Product Analysis 
  • Design Specification 

Year 8 

  • Isometric Sketching 
  • Render and shading 
  • Timbers 
  • Polymers 
  • Papers and boards 
  • CAD/CAM 
  • Health & Safety 
  • Tools & Machinery 
  • Smart Materials 

Year 9 

  • Design brief 
  • Research & exploration 
  • Manufacturing equipment 
  • Design ideas 
  • Initial design ideas 
  • Prototyping 
  • Final designs 
  • Engineering/orthographic drawings.  
  • CAD 
  • Production plan 
  • Manufacturing 
  • Testing & feedback. 
Year 10 and 11

Engineering Design Level 1/2 – J822 (OCR)

The course is aimed to develop knowledge, understanding and practical skills that would be used in engineering design and development.

Exam – 40% of total mark

R038    Principles of engineering design (exam) 
The exam will focus on the design process. This will include a detailed understanding of design strategies, user requirements, research methodology, product analysis, engineering standards, legislation, communicating ideas (freehand/CAD 2D and 3D), scales of manufacture, manufacturing methods (costing implications) and evaluating/testing ideas.

NEA (coursework) units – 60 % of total mark

R039    Communicating designs (NEA)

You will learn how to use freehand sketching and engineering drawings to communicate your ideas. You will create a range of ideas in response to a set brief and specification. Ideas will be sketched in 3D to a high standard and then rendered to bring them to life. Drawings will be scanned and annotated in a digital portfolio. Ideas will be developed with the addition of exploded drawings.

Annotations will focus on user requirements, material choices, manufacturing methods and scales of production.

Ideas will then be developed and communicated by using 2D and 3D CAD packages using appropriate engineering standards.

R040    Design evaluation and modelling (NEA)

You will learn how to create and test models (prototypes). You will create a detailed CAD model in response to a set brief and specification and then manufacture it in the workshop. You will learn about key manufacturing skills (CAD/CAM focus), production planning, workshop health and safety, risk assessments, product testing and evaluation.