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Design Technology

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The aim of each project in the engage and develop stages is to work towards making a fully working end product, working through a number of planned tasks and practical activities to support the development of skills and ensure all students have the opportunity to succeed at different stages of the project.

We recognise there are a number of factors that affect our pupils’ previous learning and their ability to continue their DT learning. These include the pupils’ historic low prior attendance, gaps in learning, domestic/environmental circumstances, impact of trauma, historic attendance, success in making positive relationships, EHCP outcomes, aggressive/violent behaviour, level of resilience and specific learning difficulty (if any).

By the Achieve Phase, pupils will feel safer and more confident to sit exams and accreditation using their design and make skills, as well as their knowledge of the theory element. They will also be able to generalise their skills to everyday tasks and activities to support their participation into society.


Pupils working at the higher level will have a flexible and adaptable approach towards tackling new skills/problems and will have embedded an analytical approach and will be following the G.C.S.E pathway. Students will also have the option of following a B-Tech pathway, as an alternative route to the G.C.S.E



The aim of each project in the engage and develop stages is to work towards making a fully working end product but due to the nature of the SEMH provision, not all boys will complete the ‘end product’. It is therefore essential that smaller tasks and practical activities are completed under a THEME so all boys achieve. Boys will undertake a new theme every term and will be working on smaller tasks within this theme. The aim is to achieve the final outcome but there will be opportunities to learn more about the theme through ‘Plan B’.

Plan “B”


  • A folder of work in the pastoral office - The pastoral team can access this if a boy leaves my lesson.
  • Model-making with particular focus on the current theme that they are working on
  • Worksheets with facts about the theme, word searches, find the right words to finish the sentences etc., cut and paste
  •  Each lesson there will be alternative options if any boy becomes dysregulated – examples include: snap circuits, knex/construction kits, board games e.g. chess


Overview of year 6:


 This year the pupils will learn how to be safe in the workshop environment and therefore feel comfortable to be in the room and move around it safely. They will gain various skills using different materials, tools, and machinery. The pupils will work on improving their manipulation of the tools in term 1, (projects will include short FPTs such as:  two types of spinners, dice, photo holder and simple pop-up mechanisms. The first term will finish with a Christmas enterprise activity. Term 2 FPTs focusing on building skills with tools and materials which in turn will improve their precision. Introducing CAD/CAM. 

Create pieces/counters for a game. 

Term 3 will involve a guided specification, scaffolded where necessary to create a maths game. In this term there will be a simple redesign task and skills will be developed in 3D drawing.  


Overview yr. 7:

Term 1: Building on the workshop safety from last year pupils must take responsibility for their behaviour in the room as well as reminding others about the rules. Product analysis will be explored here with small items that contain fewer parts. Pupils will start to develop their use of mixed materials, designing and making a steady hand game. Snap circuits will be used to learn about switches, alarms, led etc and electronic systems before the steady hand game is started. Drawing in 3D (using oblique and isometric) will be encouraged and practiced as well as adding render and texture. A pewter casting project in term 2 will enable pupils to work through a simplified design process. Year 7 will also allow a chance to investigate different ways of finishing and applying finishes to metal (E.g. Emery cloth, wet and dry, polishing, needle files, metal polish). Pupils’ will develop their simple knowledge and skills using CAD/CAM so they can produce tutorials on 2D design. Pupils will learn how to use the program in detail so they can in turn produce a more ambitious product. In term 3, the laser cutter can then be used to help in a clock project, an opportunity here for cross curricular math’s. The year will end with a couple of FPTs for fun!  



Overview Yr. 8:

 Term 1 Their knowledge of electronics will move on from snap circuits in yr. 7 to soldering their own simple electronic PCBs. Building on health and safety in the workshop yr. 8 will start to write their own risk assessments. A Small wooden storage project will assess three areas: 1. Skills with tools and accuracy of finish. 2. Drawing in two-point perspective and isometric, as well as adding colour and texture and 3. Subject knowledge of wood types, joining and finishes etc.  Term 2 will include a group project which will involve the year researching and investigating alternative energy with 3 models to construct: wind, solar and water. Each group of 2 or 3 will have a model to build and then present it to the rest of the group. They will investigate mechanisms and learn about levers, gears and pulleys. There will also be an opportunity to look in to the 6R’s, in particular: Reuse, reduce and repair. Pupils will have a chance to design something to be reused or repair something and improve it. Term 3 Developing use of a variety of materials, this year yr. 8 will explore, metal, wood and plastic in a wind chime project. The wind chime will be an opportunity to use 2D design. This project has many processes and will be a significant project to end the year, paving the way for their yr 9 studies. 


Overview Yr. 9:

Term 1 will cover more in-depth product Analysis and electronics. Electronics will consist of soldering a programmable circuit board, pupils will learn how to use programming software. Moving on from that term 2 will see the pupils collaborate with others to produce a project (using CAD/CAM and batch production processes) that will culminate in a presentation to a ‘potential business client’. Term 3 will see pupils preparing for yr. 10 and G.C.S.E They will undertake a project from start to finish following the entire design process. They will design something for someone other than themselves. 



Overview Yr10/11

Following the GCSE pathway

KS4 will be following the AQA Design and Technology G.C.S.E and will spend 2 years learning skills for the N.E.A (non-examination assessment) and preparing for the 2 hour examination at the end of year 11. Year 10 will be spent learning examination theory and completing small practical tasks to enhance their skills for the N.E.A. In June of yr 10 the contexts for the N.E.A will be released and the pupils will choose one to follow as their coursework project.


Opportunities for Reading in the DT Curriculum

All lessons will have the key vocabulary identified and taught specifically.  DT displays will identify tier 2 & tier 3 vocabulary.

Pupils will be encouraged to read instructions independently.

Posters with information about the design process, product analysis, workshop safety.

Key vocab board.

Reading rack with DT books, DT youtubers, DT revision books.



We are committed to supporting pupils to getting a GCSE wherever possible but also want to ensure all pupils leave with some sort of accreditation to take forward. Pupils will decide in yr 10 if they wish to choose the BTech route or the G.C.S.E route. They will receive help and guidance with this as some pupils will not be able to access the G.C.S.E course, due to the commitment required or independent nature of the N.E.A.


Pupils working at all levels will:

  • Be motivated and interested in learning new skills
  • Be encouraged to achieve highly and extend their learning beyond the year group and beyond the classroom.
  • take pride in completing DT tasks and associated tasks.