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Design Technology

Creating The Future.

Engineers and designers are ready to tackle the next generation of global challenges we face, through creative solutions.

Spark, Influence and Provoke

Spark – students are given numerous opportunities and encouragement to take their own ideas and ‘run with them’.  That first thought or idea can be inspired by their immediate or wider environment and can even be started by studying the work of others.

Influence – students' designs and products should have a profound effect on their target audience, alter trends and have a positive impact on society.  Their work should dictate fashions and push the boundaries of what is possible.

Provoke – students' work should be groundbreaking and not always instantly appeal to all consumers.  Their work should provoke discussion and debate and, if necessary, be contentious.  Their work should challenge what society sees as acceptable.

Curriculum Intent

It is our vision to help foster and develop confident designers, fit for the future; ensuring they have the skills, resilience and confidence to deal with the challenges of modern life; To provide the wider community with individuals who are conscious of the role a designer plays in society and to prepare them for problems that don’t even exist yet; To establish a brand of designer who has both a broad range of technical abilities and a deeper understanding of the world around them, intervening to solve design problems.

Design and Technology (D&T) is an inspiring, rigorous and practical subject which prepares all young people to live and work in a designed and made world. Cultural capital is explored across the key stages by appreciation of the work of others locally, nationally and internationally. Each subject identifies and relates schemes of work to real contextual challenges focussing upon people, communities or businesses. 

Design and Technology builds on the skills and knowledge pupils have already learnt at primary school. As a result of primary liaison and transition work, staff are well-informed of the pupils' starting point as they commence KS3. 

The DT curriculum is collaboratively and coherently planned and sequenced across Years 7-9/GCSE to ensure that pupils build on all aspects of prior learning and stretches and challenges all pupils regardless of their starting point.

As pupils progress through Key Stage 3, they are given the opportunity to focus on specific areas of the subject, such as product design, food technology, engineering, mechanisms, electronics, and graphics. Pupils follow a rotation of work in 6 subject disciplines each year from years 7 to 9. Pupils work in mixed ability groups in year 7 and 8 and 9.

All teachers are made aware of any disadvantaged pupils on the DT department tracking sheets and class lists, all teachers are reminded of their responsibility to ensure that any obstacles to learning are removed. The department supports the needs of all pupils regardless of any potential barriers, as we believe in ‘success for all’. Close tracking of all pupils continues to be an intrinsic part of our monitoring in DT to ensure all pupils' progress is regularly reviewed and intervened/supported where appropriate. 

Curriculum Overview

The design technology provision at Spalding Grammar is delivered over 2 50-minute lessons per week at KS3, on a two-week timetable. The pupils experience a variety of subjects by rotating around 5 specialist learning environments in order to expose them to a variety of experiences. For example, food, product design, graphics, mechanisms, electronics and engineering. (see appendix KS3 Curriculum and PoS documents).

The departments' schemes of learning are based upon the national curriculum for design technology and the related GCSE or enrichment(s). KS4 work is evidenced even in year 7 as we instil in all our pupil’s high academic rigour and challenge from the outset. 

In Years 7-9, all pupils experience three areas of design technology each year, taught by specialist well-qualified subject teachers, who are enthusiastic about their subjects and share this passion with all our pupils. As a result, the vast majority enjoy and achieve design technology and a large proportion of pupils choose to study beyond KS3. 

DT staff use academic language consistently and appropriately in their subject specific teaching and learning. Pupils are encouraged to use tier 2 & 3 language in lessons both verbally and in extended written work, for example, in evaluations. Project booklets for each unit of work reinforce this language and encourage routine application in their e-portfolio/work submitted to Teams.

At the heart of our creative curriculum is the engagement of pupils with practical tasks. These tasks specifically serve identified needs, solve problems - and function. It is considered essential that these learning activities reflect the nature of the subject within a range of contexts. These include the world of work, the development of communities and society, the environment (sustainability impact) and the ways in which technologies or technological solutions address or affect these. Pupils are encouraged to make, share, justify and discuss value judgements with respect to their own design decisions. 

Extracurricular opportunities are varied and offer many opportunities to refine and develop pupils’ interests in food, product design, the environment, engineering and GCSE work. These remain very popular with pupils and are a regular feature of our celebrations. 

At KS4, pupils opt to choose a design technology subject. Courses are delivered over 5 hours across the key stage, for example, 3 x 50 mins per week in year 10 and 3 x 50 mins in year 11.

Each subject will aim to cover a variety of core skills and technical knowledge so that pupils understand the demands of the GCSEs they may choose in the future on KS4 or further education courses. Pupils make choices during year 9 to study 1 of a variety of pathways that can lead to advanced progression at school/college in: 

  • Engineering 
  • Design Technology - with a chosen specialist opportunity in materials, or graphics.

Assessment: CAT (common assessment task) assessment of skills and knowledge of all years 7-9 midway through each project, informs planning and teaching and learning. This establishes individual starting points and is used in conjunction with whole school data to set challenging targets for all pupils. 

Capability is assessed through a mastery of: knowledge and understanding, designing and making and the development of informed attitudes and opinions. The wide-ranging content naturally lends itself to a variety of assessment strategies which can be used to focus teaching and support on pupil needs and in recognising achievement. Use of such assessment strategies ensures that pupils have experienced successful and balanced learning in all four areas of mastery. (See appendix assessment framework/timetable).

Teachers challenge progress by using up-to-date relevant and pertinent tracking. This enables incremental progress throughout the whole academic experience in DT. Pupils are expected to ‘live up to’ our high expectations of all of their own unique starting points. 

The subject naturally cultivates several important aspects, particularly critical and creative thinking, problem-solving, evaluating and decision-making.

Curriculum Impact

By the end of year 9, all pupils will be able to relate Design Technology to the real world, have a growing technical knowledge of Design Technology in a variety of material areas including food, product design, engineering, CAD/CAM, graphics and materials technology.

Students will be able to problem-solve and solve real contextualised briefs in a variety of materials. They will also know how to critique and evaluate their own work and the work of others. 

Uptake at GCSE continues to be impressive given the demands of the Ebacc, regular over 70 pupils choose to study one of the courses on offer in DT. Nationally DT is in decline however at Spalding Grammar numbers remain impressive, particularly at A level.

The outcomes in Design Technology at the end of KS4 indicate the vast majority make at least expected progress and standards are very high when compared nationally. Pupils make excellent progress because teachers’ expectations are high of all, all pupils are fully supported, lessons are engaging, active and are highly relevant to a modern technological society. 

We are very proud of our facilities - each of the 4 specialist rooms is modern and very well-equipped. Visitors, trainees, parents all confirm that the department offers a modern, high-tech-outstanding facility that motivates, inspires and offers first-class T&L facilities. 

All pupils are made aware of all the pathways available to 6th forms, local colleges and apprenticeship routes with a variety of DT related careers. Progression into FE, HE and apprenticeships have consistently been 100%.

The department works closely with our careers staff and celebrates pupils’ progression into university and the world of work, sometimes promoting a variety of apprenticeships in the local area. 

The department has excellent links with our feeder primary schools. We offer a variety of opportunities for pupils to come to Spalding Grammar and experience design technology (food and product design) from year 4 onwards, during taster days. Ongoing feedback suggests this is having a real impact on the pupils at primary school. 

Some of the department’s staff also support local secondary schools design technology departments with curriculum planning, teacher support/training, learning walks or any aspect of T&L the school specifically requests. Excellent feedback suggests we have had a positive impact on other schools too. 

The department celebrates success in the school newsletter and has entered national competitions. We are proud of our pupils’ achievements and celebrate their success. Feedback from parents suggests this is very much appreciated.


  • Mr D Jones (Head of Department)
  • Mr T Mardle
  • Mr G Richards
  • Mr J Morris ( School Technician DT and Art)


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The department consists of three well-equipped workshops, with access to a dedicated CAD CAM centre and an additional state-of-the-art catering kitchen.

All workshops (T1 – T3) are equipped with industry standard machinery, computer-aided hardware and solid workbenches. Each workshop has a fully stocked, self-contained tool cupboard, interactive BenQ display board and lockable storage. In addition, each workshop has access to a vacuum former, two strip heaters, two hearths in a heat area, with aluminium casting capabilities, one spot welder, a welding bay with MiG and TiG welding equipment, an extraction cupboard, wood turning lathes and centre lathes.

The department’s CAD CAM suite (CC) comprises 25 PCs and 32 laptops which wirelessly connect to a variety of computer-aided hardware, including one laser cutter, three 3D printers, two vinyl cutters, a CNC Boxford mill and one CNC lathe.  Software includes 2D design, Space Claim and Keyshots 9.0.

The department’s kitchen (T4) is equipped with stainless steel work surfaces throughout and catering standard hobs and ovens. The kitchen also has 2 electric ovens, a gas grill and a blast chiller.

The department also has a preparation room containing a table saw, chop saw and planer/thicknesser. DT is also lucky enough to have a dedicated DT technician who maintains, repairs, and prepares raw materials, machinery, displays and equipment in the department. Large storage areas for timber, metal, and polymers also mean the department is able to provide a vast range of resources.


Students have opportunities to develop a wide range of practical skills and techniques including CAD/CAM designing and manufacturing, rapid prototyping, welding, drawing techniques, food hygiene and preparation to name a few.

Key Stage 3

All projects progress skills and knowledge learnt within the subject to enable an easy progression into either Product Design or Engineering.

Year 7: Acrobat man - using jigs and fixtures and Computer Aided Design program, Tea light holder - design and make a holder out of CAM base and copper rod & plate, Food – learn food hygiene and preparation with designing own dishes.

Year 8: Alarm project – basic wood working skills, plastic forming and the manufacture of an electronic circuit. Food – learn/extend food hygiene and preparation with designing own dishes and Desk tidy – mark out and make using sheet metal tools and machinery and finished with a plastic coating.

Year 9: Contemporary clock project – design and make using a variety of processes including CAM , an Automata project to develop knowledge and practice of mechanisms and CAD design, and a Graphics project to develop and produce corporate identity as part of product design.

Key Stage 4

Students can follow either the AQA Product Design or Engineering courses.

Product Design – consists of researching and identifying a need and solving a problem through development and manufacture and evaluation of final outcome.

Engineering – consists of manufacture of a given product using working drawings given to fine tolerances, using a variety of machines and computer manufacturing equipment. Theoretical knowledge features high maths content for problem solving and application of engineering solutions.

Key Stage 5

Students can follow either the AQA Product Design A Level or AQA Technical Level 3 in Mechatronic Engineering.

Product Design – consists of researching and identifying a need and solving a problem through development and manufacture and evaluation of final outcome.

Technical Level3 in Mechatronic Engineering - consists of working with real life local engineering firm problems, Health & Safety and current legislation, material investigations, theory calculations of engineering structures and appropriate design solutions, culminating in product manufacture of a functioning prototype. The course is studied over 8 Modules which takes 2 A level subject timeslots and can earn twice as many UCAS points as a single A Level.


Students have access to the workshops and computer facilities at lunchtime and after school. KS5 are also encouraged to use facilities during PS lessons. Students are encouraged to enter regional and national competitions. The department has enjoyed success reaching regional finals for the Land Rover 4×4 challenge and the Engineering Education Scheme for England competition. We also run a Lego Mindstorm club and Engineering club for all Key Stages, where students are encouraged to make their own products using our facilities.

 Careers Zone

To support students with their option choices, GCSEs and A-levels, DT have their very own careers zone. This is an area that is specifically designed for students to analyse, read and interact with, whilst making important life choices. 

Included in the careers zone are the top ten universities, across the UK, in Design Crafts, Engineering, Product Design and ‘other’ design courses.  DT have also provided the college/university prospectus for each of the top ten, plus additional businesses and course available at GCSE, A level and Degree. 

In addition to the specific college or university information, Mr Mardle has also included Alumni documents, which provide the students at SGS with extra information they might need to know about the courses, qualifications and towns/cities themselves. 

The careers zone also contains information about local, national and international companies should students want to pursue apprenticeships and/or the world of work.  These include JCB, Progressive CNC (Peterborough), Gutteridge (Spalding), Dyson, Perkins (Peterborough) and many more. 

As a department, we also hold webinars, seminars and welcome visitors to our department.  These include SGS DT alumni, universities and national companies, all of which feed into our department careers provision. 

If you or anyone in your family has since left SGS and followed a career in Design or Engineering, please contact Mr Mardle ( and he would be very happy to advertise you and your career path. 

If you or anyone in your family has since left SGS and runs a business in Design or Engineering, please contact Mr Mardle ( and he would be very happy to advertise you and your career path/company.