Design Technology

In recent years technology has been changing the ethos of supporting young learners through their understanding of the subject and developing their skill in line with the needs to the community and modern technologies with investment in modern manufacturing methods and the used to CAD/CAM. This includes investment in a laser cutter, CNC milling machine, lathe and now our capabilities include 3D printing. Students have been introduced to the notion of presenting their work in booklets which helps our staff team to support whole school initiatives on habits of mind, marking and feedback for progression in line with or above expectation. Students are also encouraged to link their working into a STEM approach (Science Technology Engineering and Maths) as linking with other subjects in a cross curricular way helps students broaden understanding and application of knowledge in practical situations.

Mr J Purchall Head of Design Technology
Ms A Crook Teacher of Design Technogy (Food)
Ms V Webber Teacher of Design Technogy (Food)
Mr D Hewlett Teacher of Design Technogy

Year 7 Year 8 Year 9

In year 7 students are taught the health and safety rules of the workshops. They develop their designing skills and learn how to present their ideas on paper using isometric projection and adding tone and colour to enhance drawings. Students design and make a key ring and design and make an acrylic fridge magnet using the computer controlled laser cutter. Students also make a product in wood and complete a written project. They also learn how to produce a set of production instructions. 


In year 8 students design and make a mechanical toy, a board game while extending their capability with the use of CAD adding components designed and cut using the laser cutter. They also design and make a cast pewter products learning about batch production and the use of moulds.. Some student will also complete a project looking a simple electronics and soldering. These projects build on the skills learnt in year 7. Homework’s are designed to reinforce understanding and our aim is to provide an interactive Moodle resource with the use of i-am learning


During year 9 students design and make a clock using more than one material. This is a full design project based on the work of an artist or an artistic movement, students are expected to combine their knowledge and understanding of the working properties of materials and their understanding of making products for a client group to produce a high quality product. Students also learn the importance of modelling a prototype and build on their communication skills through a range of media.

Students have the choice of developing their designing and making skills by opting to study Design and Technology further to GCSE level. The GCSE courses available are Food, Resistant Materials and Graphic Products.

Resistant Materials

This course aims to develop students’ skills in working primarily with wood, metal and plastic. By studying designers and design processes and using a range of materials and workshop equipment, students develop their design and making capabilities whilst working on their own projects.

Year 10:  Skills building through focussed practical tasks and practical design and make assignments including a child’s chair and mobile phone protective case. Formal design drawing skills and use of computer controlled machining are taught so that students can confidently design for laser cutting and vacuum forming. Basic electronics is also taught in preparation for year 11.

Year 11: Major design and make project completed by Easter. For example; Design and make a product to encourage wildlife in the garden. The project consists of a concise design portfolio (max 20 sides A3) that shows the research, development and testing of the product and the practical realisation of the design. Further requirements of the syllabus are also taught and tested through the year. The course work is 60% of the final GCSE grade. Exam board AQA

Graphic Products

The Graphic Products GCSE aims to develop students designing and making skills by working with lightweight compliant materials (cards, thin plastic) to model and make design ideas. The emphasis is on 3d designing and producing high quality products including using the laser cutter for precise outcomes.

Year 10: During this year students develop their formal drawing and designing skills by working on 3d practical assignments. Students are taught how to use the laser cutter competently and how to develop their ideas with the identified target market. Projects include colourful photo frames, packaging and modelling. Designers and design movements are studied along with presentation techniques.

Year 11: Students complete a major design and work on an assignment that consists of a concise design portfolio (max 20 sides of A3) and a 3d product. Popular projects include board games and architectural models. The design portfolio can be completed using ICT and students develop their skills using ICT drawing tools. Further designing and presentation skills are taught. The course work is 60% of the final GCSE grade. Exam board AQA

Post 16
A level Product Design

Exam board Edexcel

This course aims to build on and develop the designing and making skills developed at GCSE Resistant materials or Graphic Products. Designers, processes, materials and manufacturing processes are looked at in some detail and students develop their designing and making capability through project work.

Year 12

Students are taught material properties, woods, metals, plastics, composites and smart materials and produce a portfolio of creative skills. This consists of three discrete projects that demonstrate designing skills, analytical skills and making capability

Autumn  term.  Materials theory, portfolio task 1  designing task. Portfolio task 2 product analysis task

Spring  term.  Portfolio making task. Theory

Summer  term. Start of A2 topics and introduction to main project

Year 13

By using the skills developed in year 12, students complete a major coursework project. This will include product analysis, development and testing and liasing with a client to produce a product that meets the clients specification. Students can, with guidance, design and make a project of their choice. The coursework is worth 50% of the A level grade. Alongside the project students will be taught further exam topics to widen their understanding and prepare for the 2 hour written exam

STEM – Science Technology Engineering & Maths

What is STEM?

Stem subjects are those linked with technological careers and jobs. This area is very short of suitable recruits and the Government created the STEM initiative to raise awareness and interest in these careers. Staff are working in cross curricular teams to promote these career options with innovative projects, targeted activities, attending inspirational days and in curriculum teaching.

Two current examples lead by the Design Technology team are:

4×4 in schools

Currently the Clyst Vale Community College team are National Champions in this now global challenge. A team of 8 students won last year seeing off strong competition from many highly ranked and privately funded schools. Last year they picked up award for their Engineering and Teamwork and Track driving ability, and have since visited the Royal academy in London to showcase their work to many national business leaders and educationalists of the IET.

This coming year the school has developed 2 teams to enter the event at both class 1 and 2 levels, and have built links with Flybe, Supacat and the EXIST group to help and support the project.

For more information:


Go4SET is Go for Science Technology and Engineering, the school has completed two projects over the last year. They looked at sustainability through designing a sustainable classroom and also a new environmentally friendly sports centre which catered for minority sports and the needs of the disabled and rehabilitation of service personnel. These projects were entered into a local competition and then showcased at “The BIG Bang!” held at Exeter University, where students displayed their ideas and presented their work to engineers and experts from industry.