“Design is not just what it looks like and feels like. Design is how it works.” – Steve Jobs

“Enjoy failure and learn from it. You can never learn from success” – Sir James Dyson

“Design is not a philosophy its for life” – Izzy Miyake

“Design creates culture. Culture shapes values. Values determine the future.” – Robert L Peters

“Design isn’t finished until somebody is using it.” – Branda Laurel


The Design technology curriculum at Rushey Mead Academy supports students to develop creativity and imagination, to design or make products that solve real and relevant problems. Students will need to consider their own and others’ needs, wants and values so that they acquire a broad range of subject knowledge and become designers that are conscious of the environment. Pupils learn how to take risks, through innovative designing. Through the evaluation of past and present outcomes in Design & Technology and Food Preparation & Nutrition, they develop a critical understanding of its impact on daily life and the wider world. As part of their work with Food Preparation & Nutrition, pupils are taught how to cook and apply the principles of nutrition and healthy eating, so that a passion for cooking is instilled in pupils.


The curriculum for design and technology aims to ensure that all pupils:

  • develop the creative, technical and practical expertise needed to perform everyday tasks confidently and to participate successfully in an increasingly technological world
  • build and apply a repertoire of knowledge, understanding and skills in order to design and make high-quality prototypes and products for a wide range of users
  • critique, evaluate and test their ideas and products and the work of others

understand and apply the principles of nutrition and learn how to cook.

Key Stage 3 features and summary

In Years 7, 8 and 9 students study Design Technology on a rotation basis. They will undertake lessons on an aspect of Design Technology for eight weeks before changing.  This gives them an opportunity to gain good experience of the curriculum within Design Technology and Food Preparation and Nutrition. 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.

All areas of the Design Technology curriculum highlights key theories with are tested regularly such as:

  • Properties of Materials
  • Sustainability & Environment
  • Scales of Production
  • People, Culture & Society
  • Energy Generation & Storage
  • Informing Design Decisions

In Textiles Design, students study and design products made from fabric this ranges from accessories to Fashion based outcomes. Students will also look at advancing technologies and how electronics can work within fabric. Textiles Design works parallel to the Product Design rotations in similarity 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 nutritional properties of ingredients and why they are used within dishes. Students will investigate different cuisines to give them a broader understanding of the cultural impact on the food we eat.

Product Design have practical elements where students learn how to use different machinery to manufacture prototypes that allow them to test their design concepts. Alongside the designing of products, students also have theory lessons which enables them to research and investigate different approaches that solve the problem. 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.

KS3 curriculum map & knowledge organisers

Design Technology KS3 Curriculum Map

Key Stage 4 features and summary

For GCSE, Design Technology offers two options, Design and Technology and Food Preparation & Nutrition.

Design and Technology enables students to work with a range of different materials including Timbers, Polymers and Textiles. This allows them to investigate a range of material to create an outcome. The requirements for the new Design Technology course is 50% non-examination assessment (NEA) and 50% final written exam. GCSE Design Technology is studied so students gain understanding of a range of materials but during the NEA aspect of this course, students can specialise in one material area of their choice, for example: Textiles or Timber based outcomes. Over the two year course students will develop their knowledge of different material area in preparation for their Exam, in which they are expected to study all materials in depth. Recent changes at KS4 reflect Rushey Mead Academy’s view on Design Technology as less emphasis is placed on the traditional practical skills and more on the reasoning and theory behind creative solutions.

During the Non-Examination assessment the students will investigate a context of their choice given from the exam board. They will be solving a problem and finding a design solution to their chosen context. Once the problem or need has been discovered, they will produce a design brief and begin studying the type of user they are going to design for and establish understanding of current trends that already exist. They then produce a range of designs and research into the various aspects of the design such as materials, methods of manufacture and 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. All of this will be assessed against a pre-determined success criteria formulated by the exam board.

The importance of studying GCSE: Design Technology 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.

KS4 curriculum map & knowledge organisers

Design Technology KS4 Curriculum Map

Food Prep KS4 Curriculum Map

Assessment and feedback


Students are assessed in each area of Design and Technology (Textiles, Product Design and Food Preparation & Nutrition). Students designing and practical work is assessed by teachers using the department threshold assessment tables for each rotation and students also complete an end of rotation test consolidating all the theory learning that has taken place. The test is constructed of multiple choice questions and then moves on to two to four marker questions, finally finishing on one 6 or 8 marks question. This structure is used so students can familiarise themselves with GCSE format.


Students receive regular ongoing feedback about their work throughout the year and complete a range of mini projects based on Timbers, Plastics and Textiles that are assessed. Students undergo weekly testing to assess their subject knowledge and retention of the theory topics being delivered. The topics outlined for each term are highlighted in the curriculum maps. Students undertake a full 2 hour mock exam in Yr10 & Yr11 in preparation for their actual exam in May.

Exam Board

GCSE AQA Design and Technology


Food Technology


Useful websites and resources

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
  • www.pinterest.com (inspiration for ideas in both KS3 and KS4)

Further Reading KS3 Design & Technology – Link

Further Reading KS4 Design & Technology – Link

Co-curricular opportunities

Year 10 Art and Design Show at De Montfort University

Year 9 STEM workshop

DT Club 7-9 Wednesday

GCSE Catch Up Thursday

Design Crest Award New for 2019

Stretch and challenge opportunities

Design Ventura New for 2019

Young Designers Award

Design Council

New Designers


Homework will be set on Show My Homework every four lessons and will extend and consolidate the learning taking place within the classroom. Homework tasks should take between 30mins-1hr to be completed.

Design Study Club is every Wednesday

Websites to support with homework:



Revision advice

(See revision folder on shared area.)

  • Draw up a revision timetable, so you can dedicate a certain amount of revision on each subject/topic. Make sure you have a quiet place to conduct your revision, far away from distractions!
  • Make sure you know which topics you need to revise for each subject. Use your knowledge organisers (KS3) or AQA exam board specifications (KS4) as a revision list
  • Make your revision active. Don’t just read notes. You could make flash cards; mind maps or use post it notes. Complete summaries of each topic to help consolidate your understanding.
  • Watching videos online can really help to bring your notes alive!
  • Test yourself by completing past papers or asking a friend to test you! This will identify areas of strength and weakness

Build in rewards for your revision e.g.: your favourite snack or using social media

Additional information

Twitter Link @rusheymeaddnt

Designing Assessment
Year 7 Designing TAT
Year 8 Designing TAT
Year 9 Designing TAT

FPN Assessment
Year 7 Food Making TAT
Year 8 Food Making TAT
Year 9 Food Making TAT

Making Assessment
Year 7 Making TAT
Year 8 Making TAT
Year 9 Making TAT

Faculty Staff

Mrs J Mamo – Curriculum Lead – [email protected]
Ms N Griffiths – Second in charge for D&T – [email protected]
Ms P Launa Hewage – Specialist Leader for Timetabling, Options & Logistics & Teacher of Design & Technology – [email protected]
Ms N Thanki Assistant Principal: Personal Development & Teacher of Design & Technology – [email protected]
Mr Y Puna – Teacher of Design & Technology – [email protected]
Ms S Elmishri – Teacher of Design & Technology – [email protected]
Ms B Smith-Hayes – Teacher of Design & Technology – [email protected]
Mr P Kimche – Design Technician – [email protected]
Ms M Jewell – Design Technician – [email protected]
Mr A Sagir – Design Technician – [email protected]