Design and Technology builds on the skills and knowledge pupils have already learnt at primary school. At Sutton Grammar School we use increasingly sophisticated resources, including dedicated teaching environments, manufacturing equipment and specialist teaching. As students progress through key stages 3, 4 and 5 they are given the opportunity to focus on specific aspects of the subject such as product design and Computer Aided Design and Computer Aided Manufacture (CAD/CAM). Creativity, imagination, health and safety and sustainable designing integral aspects of Design and Technology at Sutton Grammar School. Students learn to design and make products that solve genuine, relevant problems within different contexts whilst considering their own and others’ needs, wants and values. To do this effectively, they acquire a broad range of subject knowledge and draw on additional disciplines such as mathematics, science, engineering, computing and art.

Design and Technology is a practical and valuable subject. It enables children and young people to actively contribute to the creativity, culture, wealth and well-being of themselves, their community and their nation. It teaches how to take risks and become more resourceful, innovative, enterprising and capable. Students develop a critical understanding of the impact of Design and Technology on daily life and the wider world. Additionally, it provides excellent opportunities for students to develop and apply value judgments of an aesthetic, economic, moral, social, and technical nature both in their designs and when evaluating the work of others.

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Key stage 3 Design and Technology aims to promote safe working practices, creativity, knowledge and skills development. Pupils will also learn how to design and make products with the environment and sustainability as high priorities. Projects are regularly reviewed to make the best use of available resources and advances in technology. Current projects are detailed below.

Napkin Ring/Egg Cup/Coaster

This project introduces students to working with resistant materials, traditional woodworking tools/machinery and flat-packed technology. They are encouraged to produce original design ideas which must be based on a fun theme of their choice.

Acrylic Maze Game

Pupils will be making a maze game that features the Sutton Grammar School, owl logo, using acrylic sheets. The shape will be designed and manufactured using hand tools by the students and should be based on being a marketable product. Accuracy and a good finish is very important for good marks. Some parts will be made with the use of CAD/CAM.

Multi-Jointed Box

Pupils will be making a box, joined together with a variety of joints, from resistant materials and manufactured by hand using hand tools and traditional woodworking methods. This project is designed to give pupils an introduction to working with plywood and pine.
Pupils will learn about tools for cutting and shaping wood-based materials, building on the skills learnt throughout the year.

Pewter Cast Jewellery Project

Pupils will be introduced to jewellery making and using the technique of pewter casting. Pupils will learn about what pewter is, its history and what it is used for. They will then experiment with pewter before designing and making their own pewter cast pendant.
This exciting project introduces students to casting using molten metal using a range of methods and techniques. Students will be using a wide range of metal working tools and equipment throughout the manufacturing process.


Students will be making a 3D clock using Medium Density Fibreboard and sheet acrylic. The shape will be designed by students and developed using CAD software. Designed and manufactured using laser cutting technology. The final design should demonstrate an awareness to be conscious of the environment. Pupils will also learn methods of joining and shaping thermoplastics and MDF and finishing techniques.


Specification – Eduqas – Design and Technology (603/1121/6)

Through studying GCSE Design and Technology, learners will be prepared to participate confidently and successfully in an increasingly technological world; and be aware of, and learn from, wider influences on design and technology, including historical, social/cultural, environmental and economic factors.

Designing and making real products, for real purposes, using resistant materials is fun, challenging and relevant to the modern technological world in which we live. Computer Aided Design and Manufacture is taught and used throughout the course and students will also be made aware of the need to consider sustainability and the environmental impact of their designing.

GCSE Product Design allows students to work with all 3 of the major materials groups; Woods, Metals and Plastics and therefore gives students a broad learning experience. There is a good balance between theory and practical lessons which deliver a relevant curriculum that is up-to-date, stimulating and interesting. Students will be expected to produce high-quality well-made working products, which they show pride in. We encourage students to express themselves creatively and work autonomously, actively seeking solutions to design problems using their ingenuity. Students will gain experience working with a variety of processes including the use of traditional workshop tools and equipment as well as making use of computer-aided design and manufacture (CAD/CAM).


Students will complete two projects which will have folder work and one Mock GCSE exam in year 10. Students will complete their NEA and sit mock exams in year 11.


Specification – Eduqas – Design and Technology (603/1178/2)

The qualification is split into two assessed areas, a Contextual Studies Design Project and a Written Theory Paper.

The Contextual Studies Project is a design and make task that demonstrates your ability to work and manage a design project independently. This project is started early in year one, you will explore possible project topics, carrying out a range of research activities and development concept ideas. This work is done whilst also undertaking other design based activities to build knowledge and skills within the subject. During the second year you will be working predominantly on your Contextual Studies Project.

The written theory paper tests the depth and breadth of your knowledge in the subject. It is taught through short assignments and activities and covers a range of subjects such as materials, manufacturing and design history. There is also a strong element of learning through the work done on your Contextual Studies Project.

The course looks at how product designers and engineers produce innovative changes in the world.

Core units studied include; Materials, Manufacturing Techniques, Design History, Human Factors and Ergonomics, Resource Management and Sustainable Production, Modelling, Raw Material to Final Product, Innovation and Design. These topics are taught through the use of practical assignments and theory based lessons. These activities enhance your understanding and develop your constructional skills.

You will be encouraged to make use of the workshop facilities including the Laser Cutter and CNC machines. CAD skills are encouraged and used within all aspects of the course.

What skills will I gain?

The core skill at the heart of the course will develop your ability to independently follow the Design Process, starting from an Initial Brief and then through the use of Research, Idea Development, Prototyping, testing and improving, produce a high quality fully resolved product and project folder.

Where can A Level Product Design lead?

You will gain an excellent understanding of the design process and problem solving skills undertaken by people working in design industries. The courses will be of great benefit to students with an interest in engineering, product design, architecture or other careers that involve a combination of creativity and sound analytical thinking. The course will also enable you to develop a wide variety of transferable skills useful in many other occupations. Former students have pursued careers in Civil, Mechanical, Electronic Engineering, Industrial Design, Product Design and Architecture.

What qualifications do you need to study A Level Product Design?

You will predominantly come through from a GCSE in Design Technology. We accept students who have not studied Design Technology at GCSE but are able to show an ability to meet the levels required and an understanding of the learning methods and practical skills used in this subject.

National Competitions and recent success

As part of the course, you will be encouraged to take part in at least two national competitions, The TDI Challenge and The Big Bang Science & Engineering competitions.  We have had several successes and produced several finalist and winners over the past few years.

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