Design and Technology



Welcome to the Design and Technology department at Tabor Academy.

We proudly teach D&T, Textiles and Food Preparation and Nutrition at Key Stage 3 and both Design & Technology and Food Preparation and Nutrition at Key Stage 4.

The aim and objectives of the Design and Technology Department relate directly to those of the school and to the requirements of The National Curriculum.  We see Design and Technology as an area of practical and creative activity that aims to prepare young people for life in a changing technological society.

We feel that the modern approach to teaching this subject should emphasise areas such as design and communication, mechanisms, structures, electronics and computer applications alongside the more traditional skills of realisation in wood, metal and plastic.  We aim and endeavour to excite and challenge pupils at Tabor Academy as a result, both in lessons and extra-curricular time.

The practical applications of mathematical, scientific and art concepts are combined with practical skills and an understanding of aesthetic, social and environmental issues together with industrial practices.  The wider influence of our environment, social and moral choices are naturally woven into the teaching and learning in the classroom and indeed, through all aspects of designing for others.  We encourage students to reflect on and evaluate present and past design and technology, its uses and its impacts.  Technology helps all students to become critical and creative designers who will become informed consumers for the future.

D&T and Food Learning Circles 2023 Page 1

D&T and Food Learning Circles 2023 Page 2


Each course of KS3 Design and Technology at Tabor Academy is designed to further improve the students designing and making skills, whilst also embedding the Personal, Learning and Thinking Skills such as Team Work, Innovation and Creativity.

Every student studies Design and Technology (Food , Textiles or D&T) for 1 hour per hour a week at KS3.

Design and Technology

In Design and Technology lessons, students will learn a variety of skills, including traditional practical workshop skills, Graphics graphic skills and CAD/CAM skills using our ICT facilities.  Students will complete a number of projects that will enhance both their practical skills, and theoretical understanding of this wide-ranging subject.  The projects will allow students to build on, and develop, their skills enabling them to successfully complete GCSE courses at KS4.

Practical projects will see the use of resistant materials to design and create solutions to a given brief. We aim to produce a product outcome in wood, metal and plastic throughout the course of KS3.

Food lessons

In Food Preparation and nutrition, we have high expectations for food education as part of the School Food Plan to ensure effective access for all students to learning, skills development and achievement in modern culinary arts.  Our teaching reflects the changes in government guidelines for healthier eating and the employment opportunities available to students in the catering and hospitality sector.

We explore food and nutrition linked to a range of healthy recipes.  There is an approximate 80% savoury to 20% sweet recipe split in line with the national curriculum.  The pupils study a range of topics including the Eat Well Guide, the 8 tips for healthy eating, dairy products, carbohydrates, protein, nutrition through the life stages, and food allergies and intolerances.  They will also cook a range of products for which we kindly request students supply their own ingredients so the dishes can be taken home.  Students will be given a schedule of practical lessons with required ingredients at the start of each half term.

Textiles lessons

In Textiles lessons, students will learn a variety of skills, including traditional hand sewing skills, how to use the sewing machine, gain knowledge of surface texture techniques and practicing various dyeing methods.  Students will complete a number of projects that will enhance both their practical skills and theoretical understanding of textiles.  The projects will allow students to build on and develop their skills enabling them to successfully complete this as a GCSE at KS4.

Practical projects will see the use of fabrics, construction of textile items and exploration of various surface interest. They will research, design and create solutions from a given brief to a final product. We aim to produce product outcomes in fabric such as toys, key rings, soft furnishings, bags and clothing throughout the course of KS3.


All summative assessment within the department is in line with the Design Curriculum Team and the schools’ assessment and recording policy.  Key Stage 3 students have a minimum of 6 assessed pieces a year including assessed homework pieces.  Students can expect to receive regular advice on their work and its progress from their teacher including frequent verbal feedback, which will be recorded by the student.

Homework expectations

The Design and Technology department follows the Academy policy on homework and it will be set fortnightly.  It is essential a disciplined approach towards homework is taken for students to fully meet the course requirements.

Students will have their homework tasks posted onto Google Classroom by their class teacher in addition to the student requirement to record their homework in their homework diaries.


Please ensure that your child is equipped for learning. Students must have their pen, pencil, rubber and ruler for class.

Mapping out careers poster



There is a range of KS4 options offered within the D&T suite. Tabor Academy currently provide the facility to study GCSE Food Preparation and Nutrition and/or GCSE Design and Technology.

GCSE Food Preparation and Nutrition

Students will follow the new AQA specification; an exciting and creative course which focuses on practical cooking skills to ensure students develop a thorough understanding of nutrition, food provenance and the working characteristics of food materials. At its heart, this qualification focuses on nurturing students’ practical cookery skills to give them a strong understanding of nutrition.

Food preparation skills are integrated into five core topics:

  • Food, nutrition and health
  • Food science
  • Food safety
  • Food choice
  • Food provenance

Upon completion of this course, students will be qualified to go on to further study, or embark on an apprenticeship or full time career in the catering or food industries.

The course is assessed by:

  • One written exam: 1 hour 45 minutes (50% of GCSE) at the end of Year 11 and Two practical assessments during Year 11

Task 1: Food investigation (30 marks)

  • Students’ understanding of the working characteristics, functional and chemical properties of ingredients.
  • Practical investigations are a compulsory element of this NEA task.

Task 2: Food preparation assessment (70 marks)

  • Students’ knowledge, skills and understanding in relation to the planning, preparation, cooking, presentation of food and application of nutrition related to the chosen task.
  • Students will prepare, cook and present a final menu of three dishes within a single period of no more than three hours, planning in advance how this will be achieved.
  • Work will be marked by teachers and moderated by AQA.


Design and Technology 

The GCSE in Design and Technology enables students to understand and apply iterative design processes through which they explore, create and evaluate a range of outcomes. The qualification enables students to use creativity and imagination to design and make prototypes (together with evidence of modelling to develop and prove product concept and function) that solve real and relevant problems, considering their own and others’ needs, wants and values. It gives students opportunities to apply knowledge from other disciplines, including mathematics, science, art and design, computing, and the humanities.


Students will acquire subject knowledge in design and technology that builds on Key Stage 3, incorporating knowledge and understanding of different materials and manufacturing processes in order to design and make, with confidence, prototypes in response to issues, needs, problems and opportunities.


Students learn how to take design risks, helping them to become resourceful, innovative, and enterprising citizens. They should develop an awareness of practices from the creative, engineering and manufacturing industries. Through the critique of the outcomes of design and technology activity, both historic and present day, students should develop an understanding of its impact on daily life and the wider world and understand that high-quality design and technology is important to the creativity, culture, sustainability, wealth and wellbeing of the nation and the global community.


A final prototype could be a highly finished product, made as proof of concept before manufacture, or working scale models of a system where a full-size product would be impractical.


Specification: AQA GCSE Design Technology


This qualification is linear. Linear means that students will sit all their exams and submit all their non-exam assessment at the end of the course.


 Subject content

  • Core technical principles
  • Specialist technical principles
  • Designing and making principles



  1. Written Paper

What is assessed

·         Core technical principles

·         Specialist technical principles

·         Designing and making principles


How it is assessed

·         Written exam: 2 hours

·         100 marks

·         50% of GCSE



Section A – Core technical principles (20 marks)

A mixture of multiple choice and short answer questions assessing a breadth of technical knowledge and understanding.

Section B – Specialist technical principles (30 marks)

Several short answer questions (2–5 marks) and one extended response to assess a more in depth knowledge of technical principles.


Section C – Designing and making principles (50 marks)

A mixture of short answer and extended response questions.


2. Non-exam assessment (NEA)


Practical application of:

·         Core technical principles

·         Specialist technical principles

·         Designing and making principles


How it is assessed

·         Non-exam assessment (NEA): 30–35 hours approx.

·         100 marks

·         50% of GCSE



·         Substantial design and make task


Assessment criteria:


o    Identifying and investigating design possibilities

o    Producing a design brief and specification

o    Generating design ideas

o    Developing design ideas

o    Realising design ideas

o    Analysing & evaluating


·         In the spirit of the iterative design process, the above should be awarded holistically where they take place and not in a linear manner

·         Contextual challenges to be released annually by AQA on 1 June in the year prior to the submission of the NEA

·         Students will produce a prototype and a portfolio of evidence

·         Work will be marked by teachers and moderated by AQA


GCSE Results' 2023

Congratulations to the Year 11 students on achieving

Design Technology 26.7% Grades 9 to 4

Food Technology 36.4% Grades 9-4

GCSE Results 2022

Congratulations to the Year 11 students on achieving 86% grade 9 to 4

GCSE Results 2021

Congratulations to the Year 11 students on achieving 63% grade 9 to 4

Extra Curricular

We are pleased to be able to offer an after school Textiles club to all students. We aim to allow students to develop their skills for pleasure in a more relaxed environment.

In addition, all KS3 students will have the option to join a lunch time club in Design and Technology, where students can develop their skills in wood, metal and plastic.

Parents can help their children to develop an awareness of the role of Design and Technology in development of the modern world through simple yet effective ways.

  • Help your child to see the value of designing and making in today’s modern world, and the good job opportunities that this line of study can offer.
  • Encourage your child’s enjoyment in, and to help them in solving, technological problems.
  • Give time and opportunities for your child to discuss their technology projects at home and give feedback on the things they make made.
  • Encourage your child to complete their homework on time and to the best of their ability.
  • To encourage your child to always aim to improve on their previous best performance.

Useful Links

Links to Websites & Documents

Possible places to visit to support students learning

The Design Museum
224 - 238 Kensington
High Street
W8 6AG

William Morris Gallery, Walthamstow E17