Design and technology

Design and technology

Design and technology explores creativity and innovation. The world around us is filled with concepts and the ideas of those before us who sought to improve our daily lives. With the skills learned in design and engineering, you too could be part of a legacy of successful design that improves the lives of others.

Year 7


Learning outcomes 

In Year 7, students at the Hermitage develop the foundations of design technology by exploring core skills required throughout Key Stage 3, 4 and into 5 following our programme of study ‘an introduction to design and technology’. Students are given the opportunity to work with various materials and apply this to a range of projects along with the foundations of drawing and design skills and an introduction to CAD. At the core of this, students are required to solve problems, consider environmental issues and develop the necessary skills to work safely in a practical subject.  

Topics taught

Project 1 – Students are introduced to the working properties of metals with a small aluminium coat hook. In this project students are introduced to the workshop and safe working practice using some of the machines and tools available to them. Maths plays an important role in this project as students are expected to mark out measurements and key markings using the correct tools and units to produce an accurate and quality outcome. 

Project 2 – Following a booklet based curriculum students also build knowledge of plastics and woods by completing a desk tidy project. With this students are introduced to CAD. Using computer software 2D Design they design a simple user-focused pattern that is laser cut to fit onto their wood tabletop mount with which they have drilled carefully marked holes for the pencils. The project also strengthens their understanding of safe workshop practice as they use more tools including some hand tools as they shape and manipulate acrylic for the backing plate. Theory at this stage focuses on user needs and building the skills to design a product with a specific target audience.

Project 3 – This includes an introduction to textiles and fabrics.  Basic sewing processes and how to set up the sewing machine are explored along with some embellishment techniques. Students then produce a prototype pencil roll which allows them to showcase their skills. Theory within this project focuses on fabric types, synthetic and manmade and various fastenings and textile techniques used in modern industry.

Year 8


Learning outcomes

In Year 8, students build on and strengthen prior learning and are encouraged to develop independence.  There is a continued focus on CAD for some packaging design along with an opportunity for students to gain an understanding of design movements and key designers necessary at Key Stage 4. Alongside this students are introduced to papers, boards and printing and further textiles techniques.  The scheme of learning provides opportunities for students to further enhance their confidence in drawing and designing techniques with encouragement to boost creativity through the manufacture of high-quality outcomes.   

Topics taught

Project 1 – Building on from the previous year students further develop their drawing and designing skills and use CAD to create a suitable packaging design for a tea-light holder. The tea-light holder is manufactured in the workshop using a range of machines and finishing tools. Metalworking tools are used to bend and form sheet aluminium whilst woodworking tools are used to create the base. A design of their choice is then sublimation printed onto the aluminium backplate. The focus of the design is icons and design movements and allows for students to recognise the social aspects of design and its iconic designers.

Project 2 – Students are given the opportunity to explore their drawing skills and design in the theme of a design movement such as art deco or art nouveau an image to be printed on their own cushion. Building on the skills developed in Year 7 student’s use the sewing machines to mate the front cover printed with their design to a tie-dye printed rear, also created by them in a colour of their choice. 

Project 3 – Such is the importance of drawing and designing skills for a future designer or engineering, students are encouraged to develop and perfect their confidence in transferring ideas to paper. A program of drawing skills focuses on 2 point perspective, isometric drawings and scaling techniques. Alongside this is further lesson time to build on skills in CAD in preparation for Key Stage 4.   

Year 9


Learning outcomes

In Year 9, students at the Hermitage embark on the final Key Stage 3 programme of study before taking their Key Stage 4 options. Encompassing prior learning students build on this with an introduction of industry-standard 3D CAD – Inventor, part of the AutoCAD suite. A workshop design and make smartphone passive speaker project also allows them the freedom to work with hand tools once more and support their mini-portfolio by showcasing their skills in CAD and hand drawings, sketches and designs. A need to have an understanding of electronic systems at Key Stage 4 sees students carry out another mini design and make a project which allows them to build an understanding of design briefs, specifications and design developments through iterative design. Enveloping all of the projects is a focus on materials and processes and an understanding that products are developed and created for specific needs and users. 

Topics taught

  • CAD development programme – Inventor Autocad
  • Why designers and engineers use CAD
  • Sketch development
  • Iterative design and prototype modelling
  • Dimensioned exploded views
  • Using CAD to develop working drawings
  • Transferring 2D designs to CAM – Use of laser cutter for product embellishment
  • How to write a manufacturing specification
  • Materials and manufacturing processes
  • Electrical systems, components and schematic symbols and diagrams

Year 10/11


GCSE & Level 1/2

Students can currently make a choice of the AQA GCSE 1-9 specification D&T course or the WEJC Eduqas Level 1/2 engineering course. Students who opt for the D&T course follow a programme of study throughout Year 10 which builds on prior learning and more, to prepare them for controlled assessment and the 2-hour exam at the end of Year 11. Helping to reinforce this is a range of small mini-projects that change regularly to keep our students enthused. These include projects that support the theory but also allow for an opportunity to get in the workshop and explore manufacturing techniques, tools and processes alongside some design development to develop an understanding of the iterative design process. Students who make the decision to study the engineering course with us have a slightly different approach, they follow a programme of study which focusses on 3 units, 2 of which are controlled assessment which can be submitted in Year 10. Students have the opportunity to resubmit these in Year 11 although it is encouraged by our teachers that students aim to have these completed in Year 10. The exam which holds 25% of the final grade can also be completed in Year 10 with a resit opportunity in Year 11. Students must pass all 3 units if they are to obtain level 2, which is the equivalent of a GCSE.  Practical aspects of the course focus on workshop manufacturing such as turning and some elements of CAD/CAM. Theory focusses on a variety of manufacturing processes, materials theory and technology in modern manufacturing.

Topics taught

  • Material properties and technology
  • Manufacturing processes, tools and equipment
  • CAD (Inventor AutoCad)
  • CAM
  • Technical drawing
  • Designers and design companies
  • Iterative design process
  • Workshop safe practice