KS4 Design Technology

Design Technology at Key Stage 4 Optional
Outline of course and examples of learning outcomes:

Design Technology is an exciting and stimulating course that will allow you to design and make good quality, innovative outcomes using resistant materials and other materials as the base. If you have an interest in making functional products, or in designing products using technical and resistant materials, then this is the course for you. The course is closely linked to industrial practices and processes: you will be developing your designing skills by drawing whilst modelling your ideas using both traditional methods and CAD software and you will manufacture products using both traditional methods and latest technologies. You will:-

You will be taught the knowledge, skills and understanding, in accordance with the exam board specification, through:

  • Learn to analyse and solve challenging problems in an interesting and structured way.
  • Design and make products with creativity and originality, using a range of materials and techniques including computer aided design & manufacturing (CAD CAM).
  • Learn about industrial production methods.
  • Learn new manufacturing skills within a resistant materials setting.
  • Find new ways to develop and present your project work, eg: PowerPoint portfolio, excel gant charts and word flow diagrams, photography and displays.
  • Learn about a range of designers and design movements and how they could influence your work.
  • Consider how cultural and environmental issues impact on Product Design.
  • Learn to test and evaluate your work during the production process.

Learning Organisation

This is a two year course and for the first part of year 10, you will continue to develop your practical skills and subject knowledge through a range of projects in much the same way as in Key Stage Three. You will work individually to develop a portfolio of work for each project you produce and also produce work on focused practical tasks to develop your production processes and design processes using a range of resistant materials and techniques of which will further develop your initial KS3 understanding.

You will also undertake some larger scale manufacturing tasks in order to understand industrial methods of production.
In the term 3 of year 10, you will commence working on your controlled assessment coursework which will be submitted for assessment in April of year 11.


This makes up 50% of the assessment which consists of an electronic folder of work and a complete practical outcome. Sketching and drawing continues to be an important part of design communication; work is scanned in to be included in the e-folio and digital photography is used extensively. You will be expected to spend approximately 45 hours on this aspect of the course.

Examination Organisation

The exam is 2 hours and consists of two parts: a design question based on a context supplied by the exam board and given to students before the exam for students to carry out preliminary research; and a section on the knowledge and understanding of Resistant Materials gained throughout the course. Exam Board – AQA. 50% is course work and 50% is examination

Independent Home Learning

You will be expected to work independently and use independent learning time to complete work ready for deadlines given for each project and to produce design work for the controlled assessment section of the exam. Home learning will be issued as a homework booklet and will be available online.

Assessment Organisation

50% controlled assessment and 50% exam.
Regular internal assessments will be undertaken to help track progress through the controlled assessment.

You will be able to continue your study to AS or A2 level in Product Design, or complete modules within BTEC Construction or Art and Design
You may follow this with a degree in a design related subject, such as Product Design, Engineering, Graphic Design, Film TV & Media, Architecture, Web design, Marketing & Advertising. Most universities welcome Resistant Materials as part of their entry qualification.
Associated employment could be as a product designer, engineer, industrial designer, architect, graphic designer, fashion designer, and interior designer.  
Key Stage 3 Curriculum  
  Year 7 Year 8 Year 9
Term 1

8 weeks


Key Ring Project

Students will learn about different types of plastics and the finishing processes.


Cams Project

Students will learn about mechanisms and make a cam mechanism toy.

Metal (non ferrous)

Copper dish

Students will learn about silver soldering and brazing using a blowtorch.

Term 2

7 weeks


Bird Box Project

Students will learn about different types of wood and how to join wood.


Bridge Project

Students will learn about structures, natural and man made, forces and triangulation to strengthen.


Enterprise Project.

Box Project

Students will learn about buying and selling and will work as a team to learn about production methods.

Term 3

6 weeks



Key Ring (with leather tag)

Students will learn Engraving and different finishing methods.


Steady Hand Game.

Students will learn electronic components and learn how to build an electronic circuit.


Box and metal inlaying

Students will learn a variety of wood joints and focus on quality of manufacture and finish and learn how to inlay

Term 4

5 weeks


Google sketch up

Students will learn how to use a variety of tools and shape and draw items.



Students will learn how to laminate and develop their portfolio presentation and drawing techniques.


Levers and Pulleys


Students will learn about leaver mechanisms and make a leaver mechanism. 

Term 5

6 weeks


Moving cards Project

Students will learn about graphical communication and produce a pop up or moving card.



Pewter Project

Students will learn how to make moulds and cast metal using pewter.

Metal (Ferrous)

Forge work

Wind vein

Students will learn to pop rivet and cold forge ferrous metals

Term 6

7 weeks

CAD 2D and CAM

Goggle sketch up

Students will learn 2D design and produce a pin ball game made from wood and acrylic with CAM using the vinyl cutter.




Students will produce a one off piece of jewellery and learn how to enamel.

Recycling and Environmental Awareness

Tin Can Box

Students will understand the many ways of recycling and how this affects the environment. They will make a tin can box from recycled materials.

Home learning support for Design Technology can be found on the following websites: