Design Technology



The Design and Technology department at Breckenbrough School is committed to delivering a curriculum accessible to all, which provides the broadest possible range of opportunities for students and will allow students to become self-motivated and confident learners, who can work independently and as part of a team. We aim to ensure that our students develop technical and practical competencies, as well as the wider skills valued by employers. Our main priority is for students to be problem solvers who are not afraid of making mistakes. We hope our students will become responsible citizens who make a positive contribution to society.

The department firmly believes that students learn best by ‘doing’ and by allowing them to experiment and take risks, in a safe and positive learning environment. This is achieved through imaginative teaching that embraces new technologies and resembles modern industrial processes, whilst retaining the best of traditional practices. At the heart of this, is the desire to deliver a curriculum in which students produce high quality outcomes. Students must learn about the social and ethical responsibilities of designers and engineers and the importance of managing finite resources with care.

Department Aims

  • To establish a safe learning environment, which is conducive to learning, is stimulating, imaginative and relaxed where students feel supported and secure.
  • To link with many different curriculum areas in order to develop a set of transferable skills students can enjoy in school and use in their future working lives.
  • To enable students to combine their designing and making skills with knowledge and understanding, in order to design, make, analyse and evaluate products of high quality.
  • To value the work of all students, using assessment as a means to monitor student progress, provide information in relation to attainment on a national scale and to form a basis for individual action plans

The Curriculum

D&T students study Resistant Materials, Electronics, Product Design, Textiles and Graphics.

Key Stage 2

  • Jitterbug; Electronics and product design project
  • Textile Poppies; Introduction to textile technology
  • Pop up Puppet; Levers and mechanisms
  • Propeller car; Sustainable energy resources, gears
  • Kite; Textile technology

Key Stage 3

Year 7

  • Baseline project – students design and make a hand held ball bearing game.
  • Steady Hand Game; Focused practical task. Electronics, moulds and formers.
  • Desk Tidy; Basic woodwork skills
  • CAD/CAM; Introduction to Techsofts 2D Design and the laser cutter
  • Periscope; product design focused task
  • Sardine Can Boat; Energy types and usage

Year 8

  • Bridge Too Far; Structures project focussing on bridge design
  • Gum Ball Machine; Focussed practical task looking at alternative construction techniques
  • Flashing Christmas Trees; Micro electronics
  • Toys 4 Tots; Graphics project looking at Isometric and Oblique projection, creating and colour rendering
  • Clock Project; CAD/CAM project building on skills learned in YR7 project

Year 9

  • Table Project; Product Design project looking at flat packed furniture
  • Hanging Basket Bracket; Metal fabrication and welding
  • Pen Project; Turning project
  • Picture Frame Projects; Looking at the design movements that are Bauhaus, Art Deco and Celtic

Key Stage 4

At GCSE, students study Design & Technology: Resistant Materials. The course follows CIE’s IGCSE Specification (0445/31)

During the opening two terms of the course, (in Year 10), students partake in a variety of design, practical and theory focused activities developed to introduce the skills and knowledge required to succeed in the assessed units. The course has three assessed units:

  • Component 1: The Product Design paper is a 1 hour 15 minute exam, worth 50 marks, which makes up 25% of the total assessment. Students are expected to select one of three design contexts, from which they go on to: outline design specifications, demonstrate their designing skills by presenting three design ideas, evaluating each then, selecting one for development.
  • Component 2: The Resistant Materials paper is a 1 hour paper, worth 50 marks, which makes up 25% of the total assessment. Students are expected to answer all questions in Section A, then select one question from Section B. The paper tests their knowledge of: woods, metals, plastics, smart materials, composites, manufacturing processes and industrial production, CAD/CAM and design issues.
  • Component 3: Coursework Project. This single design and make project, worth 100 marks, which makes up 50% of the total assessment. Students are expected to present evidence of their research, designing and making over 20 A3 pages of a portfolio. They will be expected to manufacture a high quality, three-dimensional outcome. The project spans three terms from Summer in Year 10 (C) through to spring in Year 11 (B). The work is internally assessed and externally moderated.

Key Stage 5

We follow Pearsons BTEC Level 3 National Diploma in Engineering.  Equivalent in size to two A Levels. 10 units of which 5 are mandatory and 2 are external. Mandatory content (58%). External assessment (33%).

This qualification is aimed at learners preparing for roles in engineering, for example engineering technician or engineering operative. Learners gain relevant skills and knowledge from studying a range of content focused on electrical/electronic and mechanical disciplines, for example electrical machines and maintenance of mechanical systems. The qualification has been designed to be the substantive part of a 16–19 study programme for learners who want a strong core of sector study and a focus on the wider engineering industry. It may be complemented with other BTEC Nationals or A Levels or non-qualification elements to support progression to specific job roles or to higher education courses in engineering.


On a Monday evening after school, the workshop is open for the students to extend their learning through activities and projects of interest to them.  We also have enrichment time on Wednesday afternoon where students are engaged in activities outside of the prescribed curriculum.