Design Technology

At Rushey Mead, Design Technology is split into three areas, Product Design, Textiles Design and Food & Nutrition.

The study of Design allows students to be creative while applying the theories and knowledge learnt in Science and Mathematics. While allowing students to express themselves, Design Technology encourages high levels of thinking to solve problems and communicate ideas.

Students use analytical skills to assess their ideas and evaluate them to generate improvements. Using research to back up theories and to expand knowledge students learn the various factors that influence designs such as materials, production limitations, user requirements and the environmental impacts.

Design Technology at Rushey Mead Academy gives students a progressive curriculum. Students are encouraged to find creative solutions as they study the different aspects of the design process.  

All these skills are transferable as the different areas of Design Technology demonstrate with all skills being used in Product Design, Textiles Design and Food & Nutrition. With skills and knowledge learnt in Design Technology at Rushey Mead Academy, we feel that students are equipped to Make a Positive Difference.


In Years 7, 8 and 9 students study Design Technology on a rotation basis. They will undertake lessons on an element of Design Technology for thirteen weeks before changing.  This gives them a balanced and full experience. Students will study Product Design, Textiles Design and Food & Nutrition each year, building on their skills and enhancing their understanding through an exciting and challenging curriculum. 

In Textiles Design, students study fashion trends and design products made from fabric. Students will also look at advancing technologies and how electronics can work within fabric. Textiles Design works with the Product Design rotations as students get to apply different designing skills to different projects and materials.

Food & Nutrition sees the students learn about what makes a healthy diet and how to cook meals for a healthy lifestyle and the impact it can have on their current and future life. Students will learn about the ingredients and why they are used within dishes.

Product Design has a practical element with students learning how to use different machinery to manufacture prototypes that allow them to test their designs. The main focus however is learning how to design and the approaches that can be taken. Students learn the importance of research and how its application can generate meaningful designs as well as how to critically assess their work to ensure that their concept meets the requirements of the customer and the original project brief.


For GCSE, Design Technology offers three options, Product Design, Textiles and Food & Nutrition.

Product Design and Textiles are very similar but with different outcomes. Textiles focuses more on fabric products such as fashion, bags, sportswear, while Product Design covers a wide range of products with less of a focus on particular materials. Both are 50% non-examination assessment and 50% final exam. Both Product Design and Textiles are studied under one course, GCSE: Design Technology but as part of this course, students are expected to specialise in one material area. Those students who opt to study Textiles will specialise in fabrics and students who study Product Design will specialise in more resistant materials. Recent changes at KS4 reflect Rushey Mead Academy's view on design as less emphasis is placed on the traditional practical skill and more on the reasoning and theory behind creative solutions.

Students will investigate a context given by the exam board and look to find a problem or need that they can design a solution for. Once the problem or need has been discovered, they will produce a design brief and begin studying the type of user, current market etc. They then produce a range of designs and research into the various aspects of the design such as materials, methods of manufacture, ways to perform the function etc. All the while they will be evaluating their idea, making improvements based on their findings. They will produce a model to test aspects of the design before concluding on a final design to meet the original brief.  A working prototype is then made and evaluated against a pre-determined success criteria, based on the research findings.

The importance of studying GCSE: Design Technology through Product Design or Textiles has been emphasised through the new GCSE specifications. Greater emphasis has been placed on the study of subjects such as Mathematics and Science through design, showing how the study of Design Technology can support students' wider studies.

GCSE Food & Nutrition enables students to develop their knowledge and understanding of human needs with a focus on food and nutrition. Through studying technological and scientific developments and examining issues which affect the quality of human life through food choice, students gather food related knowledge in the following areas: nutrition, diet and health, food preparation and cooking, food processing, hygiene and safety, marketing and advertising food. Students apply this knowledge through practical activities as well as learning and consolidating skills in the kitchen to benefit a domestic setting as well as providing a springboard for careers in food and nutrition.


Product Design and Textiles courses run through the AQA examining body, the link to each course can be found below:

Product Design


The Food & Nutrition course also runs through the AQA examination board, the link is below:

Home Economics

All links provide access to past papers for students to use as revision aids.  They can also provide students with detailed examination content to again help them know what to revise and study.


Beyond the examination board website there are various other sources of support for students, including:

  • Design Technology Twitter Page (@rusheymeaddnt)
  • Textiles Twitter Page (@rusheymeadtexti)
  • Food & Nutrition Twitter Page (@rusheymeadfood)
  • All staff make time for students when needed and are happy to offer support on an individual basis
  • (inspiration for ideas in both KS3 and KS4)


Design Technology are currently developing the extra-curricular opportunities offered to students. Coming in the academic year 2018/2019 students will be offered CAD (Computer Aided Design) experiences as well as extra design opportunities and projects.

In Year 9 a selected number of students who have shown a flair and passion for design get to be part of a Design Day with an external manufacturing company coming into school to offer them a fantastic design experience and a feel for the careers available within design.