Design Technology and Engineering

Design and technology is an inspiring, rigorous and practical subject building upon KS2 learning which offers progression up to KS5. Using creativity and imagination, students design and make products that solve real and relevant problems within a variety of contexts, considering their own and others’ needs, wants and values. They acquire a broad range of subject knowledge and draw on disciplines such as mathematics, science, engineering, construction, computing and art. Students 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

The subject is designed as a sequential, age and skill related curriculum based around the key concepts of building students’ proficiency in Health & Safety, Making & Modelling, Design Skills and Food Preparation. The curriculum is structured to allow students to see, understand, revisit and explore the underpinning ideas from the subject, and is therefore thematically linked through a process of interweaving topics and self-testing and re-testing to aid the development of long term memory and mastery of both the skills and the knowledge required. Running within the curriculum are extended homework projects which develop links with designers and provide opportunities for students to further explore materials and their properties through a series of modelling and making tasks. When students’ progress in their study, the above skills are further developed with more advanced knowledge about Engineering sectors and processes being introduced while students work towards the following units.

  • Exploring Engineering Sectors and Design Applications
  • Investigating an Engineering Project
  • Responding to an Engineering Brief

Research, Analysis and Evaluation skill are developed, higher level understanding of materials and their properties is developed and students are required to submit work in the form of reports in line with exam board requirements

Curriculum Intention:

  1. To develop the creative, technical and practical expertise needed to perform everyday tasks confidently and to participate successfully in an increasingly technological world
  2. To build and apply a repertoire of knowledge, understanding and skills in order to design and make high-quality prototypes and products for a wide range of users
  1. To critique, evaluate and test their ideas and products and the work of others
  2. To understand and apply the principles of nutrition and learn how to cook.
  3. To highlight the importance of STEM and STEM careers so students can make informed decisions and gain access to the next stage of work life after education.


In order to provide our students with a broad skill set and allow them to experience a range of materials and processes we have designed our Y7 & 8 curriculum to cover the main areas within Design Technology and Engineering. Health and Safety, Design, Making & Modelling and Food Preparation skills provide students with a foundation of skills which will help them to become intuitive and independent young men. In year 9 students will complete a 12 lesson Engineering carousel further building upon the foundation of skills gained in Y7 and 8. While studying BTEC Engineering students apply their practical skills to Engineering scenarios. As part of the course students are exposed to a range of local employers in the Engineering sector as well as higher education opportunities to allow them to link their learning to real life engineering practice.

Students are assessed in two different ways within Design Technology and Engineering which reflects the way assessment of BTEC takes place.

  1. In Y7,8 and 9 Students complete a range of both formative and summative assessments. Skills based projects are assessed against the four areas of Design, Making, Analysis and Evaluation
  2. BTEC Engineering is assessed through 3 Units which are then divided into learning aims. Regular testing of subject knowledge also take place in the form of 100% tests


St Aidan’s Catholic Academy considers the greatest impact of the curriculum to be high rates of student progress

Progress in:

  1. Students will learn to use research and exploration skills to identify and solve their own design problems.
  2. Students will learn how to develop specifications to inform the design of innovative, functional, appealing products that respond to needs in a variety of situations and use a variety of approaches, to generate creative ideas.
  3. Students will develop and communicate design ideas using annotated sketches, detailed plans, 3-D and mathematical modelling, oral and digital presentations and computer-based tools.
  4. Students will be able to select from and use specialist tools, techniques, processes, equipment and machinery precisely, including computer-aided manufacture. They will also be able to select from and use a wider, more complex range of materials, components and ingredients, taking into account their properties.
  5. Students will analyse the work of past and present professionals and others to develop and broaden their understanding and investigate new and emerging technologies
  6. Students will test, evaluate and refine their ideas and products against a specification, taking into account the views of intended users and other interested groups. They will also understand developments in design and technology, its impact on individuals, society and the environment, and the responsibilities of designers, engineers and technologists
  7. Students will be able to understand and use the properties of materials and the performance of structural elements to achieve functioning solutions. The will also be able to understand how more advanced mechanical systems used in their products enable changes in movement and force
  8. Students will develop an understanding of how more advanced electrical and electronic systems can be powered and used in their products. They will also be able to apply computing and use electronics to embed intelligence in products that respond to inputs and control outputs using programmable components
  9. Students will develop an understanding of the principles of nutrition, health and food hygiene
  10. Students will be able to cook a repertoire of predominantly savoury dishes so that they are able to feed themselves and others a healthy and varied diet
  11. Students will become competent in a range of cooking techniques
  12. Students will understand the source and characteristics of a broad range of ingredients.

Curriculum Map

DT 7 Year Curriculum Plan 2020-21

Engineering Learning Journey 2020-21

Course Information:

GCSE Course Information BTEC Engineering


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