Design and Technology

Product design is the study of materials and processes in a workshop environment. Students will create a range of products and investigate technology in the real world.

“The mind is like an umbrella, it functions best when open.”

Walter Gropius

Course description

We aim through Design and Technology to offer a unique learning experience, to stimulate curiosity about everyday products and develop skills and knowledge essential for an increasingly technologically advancing world. Our integrated Key Stage 3 Design and Technology programme draws together Engineering, Graphics and Product Design. Our facilities are first class, including specialist workshops and studios, as well as access to virtual rapid prototyping, laser cutters and industry-standard computer aided design, graphic design and electronic programming software.

Students within KS3 will study all aspects of the design process, including how professional designers and manufacturers work together to develop and market new products. The course includes aspects of architecture, electronic product design, engineering, graphic design and computer aided design and manufacture. It aims to develop skills of creativity, teamwork, independent problem solving and communication as well as practical skills. The curriculum includes industrial practice and links with local industries. We have outstanding extra-curricular opportunities within Design and Technology ranging from designers in residence and business links to enterprise activities and local, regional and national competitions.

What skills do I need to be successful?

You will need to be organised, able to plan your work and keep to a time plan/scale, be willing to contact companies, and have an interest in product or industrial design as well as have the curiosity to understand how products and components function.

What will I need to do outside of lessons?
Pupils will need to gather research, work in sketchbooks and complete homework tasks and be curious about design and manufacture of products.

What equipment will I need to provide?
Pupils will need to bring a pencil case with a pencil, ruler, rubber and sharpener. All other materials and equipment will be provided for the pupil throughout their study at AHS.

What happens when you have finished?
The progression routes you can undertake at AHS with the Design Technology route are: Engineering and Graphics Design Practice at GCSE level and Engineering Diploma and Extended Certificate within sixth form.


Students will have one assessed task per half term which will be built into a project based piece of work. THey will also have an end of year assessment to consolidate the knowledge they have learnt in Design Technology.

Ways to help my child succeed

Your child can succeed in Design Technology through exploring different creative practical elements of the course. Practice and development of design sketching as well as practical skills is encouraged in our subject area to allow pupils to produce good quality design and analysis work.

Useful websites

“Manufacturing is more than just putting parts together. It’s coming up with ideas, testing principles and perfecting the engineering as well as final assembly”

James Dyson

Course description

The Engineering course at AHS is an exciting qualification, which has been developed to explore the range of Engineering sectors and disciplines. It involves product analysis, product disassembly, CAD modeling and manufacturing of components. Engineering is an opportunity to explore how products are designed, developed and manufactured within industry using different methods and approaches,

Engineering is a fast growing industry, covering a wide range of areas such as electronics, renewable energy, aerospace, communications, automotive, rail, marine and bioscience. With this in mind, the Engineering course aims to develop student’s knowledge, skills and practices over the course. Within KS3, students are taught theory content in the build up to Years 10 and 11. Within the Engineering course, pupils will use machinery such as the CNC Lathe and Milling machine and 3D CAD systems as well as other hand tools and workshop machinery to manufacture components. Students will complete two internal units of work, which are internally assessed consisting of the submission of assignment/portfolio of work. Their assignment work is also moderated externally. The third section of the course is an external assessment to be sat in Year 11.

If students wish to pursue an Engineering as a future career pathway they can complete the BTEC Level 3 Diploma or BTEC Level 3 Extended Certificate in Engineering at AHS sixth form. The Level 3 units build on Level 2 Engineering and would put you in an ideal position for either a degree in Engineering or an apprenticeship with a local or national engineering firm.


On this course you will complete:

  1. Unit 1 – Manufacturing Engineering Products (internal assessment). Within this unit pupils will develop an understanding of different engineering processes and materials that are used to create and manufacture products and components. They will consider safe working practice such as risk assessments, how to interpret engineering drawings and consider testing of products to meet certain standards.
  2. Unit 2 – Designing Engineering Products (internal assessment). Within the unit pupils will understand the engineering design process in more detail from previous study at KS3. They will consider specifications for a product looking at how products are adapted and meet the aims of clients and real life problems. Pupils will also understand and develop the skill of working to a set brief.
  3. Unit 3 – Solving Engineering Problems (external assessment). This is the examination unit at the end of the course. Pupils will gain the knowledge of how design adaptations need to be made in order to meet changes in the engineering world and market. They will look at emerging technologies and compare them to traditional methods. They will consolidate the knowledge of Unit 1 and Unit 2. The external assessment is a written paper.
All three units will combine to form the overall grade for the course at the end of Year 11.

Exam board

The course title: Level 1/ Level 2 Vocational Award in Engineering (Technical Award)

This is the link to the exam board website: Level 1/2 Vocational Award in Engineering (

Ways to help my child succeed

Access to a computer will allow students to complete their internal assignment work as well as using the CAD/ CAM software. Students will have access to these at school and can download free resources at home to use. Pupils are actively encouraged to research engineering processes, materials and systems to support their understanding and knowledge. Supporting pupils in good time management is also key as they will be working toward key deadlines throughout the course in the academic year where they will submit work that will be moderated and count towards their final grade. Pupils also have the additional opportunity to attend sessions after school where they can develop their practical skills at extra-curricular sessions.

Useful websites

“Design is not just what it looks and feels like, design is how it works”

Steve Jobs

Course description

Students will learn about commercial processes and careers in related industries, as well as developing core transferable skills such as creativity, problem solving, collaboration and communication. For their final piece students will be presented with a context which they will then investigate, design, develop and manufacture a concept for. This could be in the format of print, model, product or architectural design. The subject calls for students to combine practical skills with an understanding of aesthetics, social and environmental issues, function and industrial practices. As they do so, they reflect on and evaluate present and past technology, its uses and effects.

If you choose this subject, you can move onto Level 3 course in Art and Design or BTEC Engineering Level 3 at the Sixth Form at AHS, which is ideal preparation for either a degree or apprenticeship within the future.


This course will be assessed through two components. One internally produced assignment that will be externally moderated and One external synoptic assessment
On this course you will:
  1. Creative Practice in Art and Design. Within this component pupils will investigate art and design practice. They will develop research into designers, evaluating different materials, processes and techniques to inform their own design decisions and practice. Pupils will record their progression through designs, annotation, practical work and photographs in a portfolio of evidence that will be formally submitted at the end of the controlled assessment period. This will be internally assessed and externally moderated.
  2. Responding to a Brief. Within this synoptic assessment pupils will be given a brief by the exam board that they will respond to within a set examination period of time. Learners will respond to the brief by producing analysis work, research, design proposals and reflections to produce a final outcome. The work will be submitted in a portfolio of evidence that will be submitted to the exam board for assessment.
Both the two components will combine to form the overall grade for the course at the end of Year 11.

Exam Board

The course title: Level 1/ Level 2 in Art and Design Practice

Ways to help my child succeed

Pupils will need to work on design development skills. They can practice drawing techniques, research other artists and designers and produce research into different areas. Pupils also have the additional opportunity to attend sessions after school where they can develop their practical skills at extra-curricular sessions.