Design & Technology


In design and technology pupils combine practical and technological skills with creative thinking to design and make products and systems that meet human needs. They learn to use current technologies and consider the impact of future technological developments. They learn to think creatively and intervene to improve the quality of life, solving problems as individuals and members of a team. National Curriculum for D&T – QCA


In Design & Technology at Caterham High School we aim to deliver technology as a worthwhile and enjoyable experience that is taught with enthusiasm; preparing students to become effective and considerate consumers of products.  With so much of the world around us today being designed and manufactured; products such as cars, gadgets, fast food packaging and advertising for example, we need to be able to make decisions about products that will not have a negative impact upon the environment or the wellbeing of others.  We also aim to teach the skills needed to be able to become designers of these types of products or work within the manufacturing industry. 

In Food and Textiles technology we offer students invaluable lifelong skills to be used on a daily basis. We encourage upcycling, using left over ingredients, looking at the impact the continual use of modern materials has on the environment. In food, our ethos is to teach our learners how to prepare and cook an affordable healthy nutritional meal or snack using the ingredients in their cupboards.

"In design and technology pupils combine practical and technological skills with creative thinking to design and make products and systems that meet human needs. They learn to use current technologies and consider the impact of future technological developments. They learn to think creatively and intervene to improve the quality of life, solving problems as individuals and members of a team." National Curriculum for D&T – QCA

Our department is split over three areas; Food, Textiles and Product Design. We are fortunate to have a multipurpose food room, where students have access to computers for coursework and research, desk for theory work and miniature kitchens for food preparation. The textile room is equipped with a range of different types of sewing machines, a sublimation printer and heatpress, as well as a plotter cutter. In the hard material area, we have a suite of rooms comprises of three  workshops and a computer suite including 2 Laser cutters, cutter plotters, midi mills and a 3D Modella scanner/cutter. 

We believe that it is important that pupils of all ages can:

  • Work individually and together in teams to explore and develop ideas.
  • Analyse existing products from the past and present, making critical comments about them that will enable students to think of ways to improve the product.
  • Understand the moral, social, cultural and emotional impact of design in the world that we live in.
  • Understand the need to consider the environment and sustainability when designing and making products and choosing products to buy.
  • Make choices regarding the economic impact of their decisions by working out the costs involved.
  • Be able to work with a range of different materials including, compliant graphic materials, resistant materials, electronics, ICT, food and textiles.
  • Understand the need to consider lifestyle choices regarding healthy eating and nutrition to improve health and well being.
  • Develop their manufacturing capabilities across all material areas, working with care and accuracy.
  • Use ICT and CAD/CAM to make high quality products.
  • Develop their confidence in expressing their ideas to others and their own self esteem.
  • Develop their creativity and problem solving skills by being curious, showing initiative, ingenuity and resourcefulness.
  • Demonstrate an awareness of the importance of health and safety for themselves and others.
  • Develop practical application of Math and Science skills via measuring, accurate marking out, working out areas, volume, geometry, project costs etc.


Our Expectations

We expect all pupils to behave in a sensible and safe manner and ask all pupils and parents/carers to sign a contract to agree to this. 

We expect all pupils to show respect to other people and treat them in the same way as they would expect to be treated themselves.  This includes teachers, fellow pupils, technical and support staff.

We expect all students to complete class work to the best of their ability, taking care with presentation and the quality of work produced.
We have high expectations of our students and aim to motivate them to achieve the highest grades possible.

We expect pupils to regularly complete the homework that is set.  These frequently have additional support documents attached to help pupils in the completion of their work. 

We expect pupils to arrive to class prepared.  This means bringing the correct equipment or resources for that lesson i.e. pencils, green and black pens, colour pencils, food ingredients.


View our Design and Technology gallery here

Key Stage 3

In Design & Technology at KS3 time is split between the three areas, Food, Textiles and DT.  During these lessons pupils undertake projects that develop their experiences, skills and knowledge over the 3 years.  Learning the basic use of tools and equipment to make quality products they are also are introduced to the design process and are taught the importance of health and safety.  During Year 9 they then have the option of taking up one of the several KS4 DT pathways available.  In DT there is a small cover charge is applied to each practical project which is then taken home.

Resources needed: During your lessons you will need a range of basic equipment such as pens, pencils, pencil sharpener, rubber, ruler and colouring pencils.  Students are also required to bring their own ingredients for practical food technology lessons.

Year 7

  • Torch Project: Introduction to 2D Design, CAD/CAM, plastics and design for a target market.
  • CAD/CAM 3D: Introduction to 3D CAD.
  • Linkage Monster: Introduction to simple mechanisms, working with graphic materials and ergonomic considerations.
  • Pull-Along Toy: Introduction to working with wood and machine skills.
  • Upcycling: Sock owl project, learning basic hand sewing skills and natural fibres.
  • Food: Introduction to basic cooking skills and nutrition.


Year 8

  • Introduction Electronics: Sensors, chips and electronic components to make a 'sensor' product housed in a polymer vacuum formed case.
  • Graphics: CD Wallet.  Design and manufacture of a promotional free CD wallet using CAD skills.  Development of graphics skills and knowledge such as rendering and isometric 3D Drawing.
  • Structures:  Team work used to design and build a structure that is tested to destruction.  Theory input and historical/scientific insight into structures and how they were and still are developed and used.
  • Textiles – Printing module, making an Ugly doll, introduction to the sewing machine.
  • Food – Develop further knowledge on nutrition, labeling, healthy eating and their cooking skills.


Year 9

In year 9 students choose a DT pathway which enables them to develop the subject specific skills needed for a KS4/GCSE course.  Projects could include the following dependent upon subject choice: 

  • Jewellery: prototype modelling and development of a metal piece of jewellery linked to a set theme. Manufacturing skills, safe working and accuracy are assessed.
  • Mechanical Toy: Linkages a wooden mechanical toy using cams, pulleys and linkages that enables creative use of materials and teaches a range of skills.
  • Graphics: Sustainable Pie Packaging for a fast food outlet.
  • Graphics: Drawing skills - technical accuracy and techniques such as 1 & 2 point perspective, geometric construction, isometric, oblique, orthographic....
  • CORE Design History: The history of 'design' over the last century, influential designers and design movements, the future of design and modern/smart materials of the future.
  • CORE Maths and Science  in the DT Curriculum: Understating and application of how we use maths in DT.
  • Memphis Desktop Accessory: Mixed media mini GCSE preparation project to design and make a small product for a specific target user based around the style and influence of the 'Memphis Design Group'
  • Innovation: Creative design challenge - individual and small group design and prototyping, presentation and enterprise.
  • Textiles: Decorative techniques and 3D construction.
  • Food: More in-depth knowledge on methodology of cooking, selecting ingredients and modifying recipes for targeted groups.



Key Stage 4

Resources needed: During your lessons you will need a range of basic equipment such as pens, pencils, pencil sharpener, rubber, ruler and colouring pencils.  You would also benefit from having an A3 folder and a USB memory stick.   In Food technology students are required to bring their own ingredients for practical sessions.  In Textiles they will be required to provide fabric for their final exam piece.  In Product Design a cover charge for the year will provide all materials needed for projects.

Options available:


GCSE: Design & Technology

This is a multidisciplinary option which covers the main 5 material areas used in Design & Technology including: Wood, Metal, Polymers, Papers & Boards, Textiles & Fibres.  Core theory is covered for all of the materials listed above, revising the topics covered in KS3.  Students then specialise in 1 or 2 of these in preparation for the exam at the end of year 11 [50%].  The coursework theme is set at the end of year 10 by the exam board and completed in year 11.  Students are able to use any combination of materials that they wish.


Level 1 & 2 Hospitality and Catering [Eduqas] – students develop their cooking skills in more depth, learning how to prepare food up to industry standards. The course is composed of two units, a written and a practical exam. Both units must be passed to achieve a level.

L2 Distinction* is equivalent to a GCSE A*

Key Stage 5


AQA Design & Technology: Product Design


AS - 50% Coursework [exam board set theme] and 50% Exam [one paper]

A Level - 50% Coursework [self initiated design project] and 50% Exam [two papers]

This course builds upon the skills, knowledge and concepts taught at KS3 and KS4. 

For further information look at the AQA website.


Within Design & Technology we run a number of activities and trips.   These include the ‘New Designers’ exhibition in the summer for our year 11 and 12 students, where they can see work from graduates at universities all over the country. In the past we have also taken part in the DESIGN VENTURA competition run by the Design Museum, on one occasion Caterham made it through to the final 10 and saw students pitch their concepts to distinguished judges from the design industry.  We also visit the Design Museum and Vitra to look at design and explore how products are designed to meet various consumer needs.

As part of our aim to explore the work of past designers and products we also look to the Victoria & Albert museum to inspire creativity within our young designers.  

For Key Stage 4 Textiles students there is the annual ‘Clothes Show Live’ at the NEC in Birmingham.  Fun fashion for all.

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