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Design and Technology

Curriculum Intent




Rotherham has a proud industrial heritage centered around the coal mining industry, the Steel Works other manufacturing industries. Our Design & Technology curriculum is designed to prepare learners for those careers, giving them the skills and knowledge that employers are looking for on a local and national level. Through investment in the Design and Technology, we have been able to develop our focus on engineering as a major part of what we are able to offer through our curriculum.


We strongly believe in the importance of Design and Technology as a subject. It helps us to understand and give meaning to the world in which we live and, as such, we strive to make our students think about the world we are living in. Through our curriculum we aim to provide students with an all-round experience that is exciting and ensures that our students combine practical and technological skills with creative thinking.  At the centre of our subject is creativity and imagination. Design & Technology draws, develops and implements a range of different disciplines including mathematics, science, engineering, computing, geography, business studies and art. The subject also embeds high quality literacy skills through analysis and evaluation techniques.

We support our students to aspire through their learning experiences to standards of excellence intellectually, practically, and aesthetically. Each student experiences a variety of media and techniques. In KS3 students will develop their skills and understanding with progressive complexity and sophistication, so that they are able to make informed choices and work with increasing independence into Key Stages 4 and 5.

We support students in learning to co-operate and negotiate and be able to share good practice and learn from others. We develop students’ awareness of the impact of design and design technology on society and expect them to achieve by applying a variety of skills from the wider curriculum together with those specific to, Design and Technology to produce effective and considered prototype products. We enable students to enjoy their learning in Design and Technology and gain transferable skills that will help them in other curriculum areas and in life.

We are a well-resourced department in terms of equipment and facilities. We are therefore able to offer a broad curriculum within our KS3 Design and Technology that gives a solid foundation in terms of technical knowledge and skills that allow our learners to progress into any of our KS4 options. We aim to create independent and confident learners, confident in the use of a broad range of tools, processes, materials and equipment by the end of the three years, even if they do not study Design and Technology in KS4. These are essential ‘life skills’ that should prove valuable time and time again in years to come, either in the workplace, or at home.

At KS4, learners will opt for one subject only in DT: NCFE Engineering Manufacture, this course is still relatively new to the school as there has been significant changes made on a national level in terms of the availability of courses at this level. We have responded to national changes and still offer a broad curriculum at Key Stage 3 to suit the needs of all learners.

We teach in such a way through KS3 & KS4 that we develop as much independence as possible in learners, so that they are able to take control of their own learning and their own projects at KS4. This gives them the best possible preparation for going on to employment with training, high quality technical apprenticeships or into Further Education. A good proportion of our learners go on to further education or employment in a technical area and our learners are frequently asked to take their Design and Technology work to interview with them in order to demonstrate their aptitude & ability.

Research and Design:

  • Engage in an iterative process of design and making.
  • Undergo primary and secondary research techniques into a range of user’s needs, wants and values, analysis of existing products, ergonomics and anthropometrics and the work of others.
  • Identify and solve their own problems and the problems of specific clients and target market groups.
  • Develop specifications to inform the design of innovative, functional, appealing products that respond to needs in a variety of situations.
  • Use a variety of design strategies when developing ideas using the iterative design process. For example; a range of 2D and 3D sketching techniques, rendering in different forms, modelling in traditional and CAD methods and the testing of materials and manufacturing techniques.
  • Develop and communicate their design ideas using annotated sketches, detailed plans, 3-D and mathematical modelling, oral and digital presentations and computer-based tools


  • Select from and use specialist tools, techniques, processes, equipment and machinery precisely, including computer-aided manufacture.
  • Select from and use a wider, more complex range of materials, components and ingredients, taking into account their properties.


  • Analyse the work of past and present professionals and others to develop and broaden their understanding.
  • Investigate new and emerging technologies.
  • Personal project work, analysing how the product fulfils the requirements of the specification and the user’s needs, wants and values.
  • Recognise how their product can be modified for commercial manufacturing
  • Understand developments in design and technology, its impact on individuals, society and the environment, and the responsibilities of designers, engineers and technologists


What will this look like?

By the time children leave our school they will:

  • An excellent attitude to learning and independent working.
  • The ability to use time efficiently and work constructively and productively with others.
  • The ability to carry out thorough research, show initiative and ask questions to develop an exceptionally detailed knowledge of users’ needs.
  • The ability to act as responsible designers and makers, working ethically, using finite materials carefully and working safely.
  • A thorough knowledge of which tools, equipment and materials to use to make their products.
  • The ability to apply mathematical knowledge and skills accurately.
  • The ability to manage risks exceptionally well to manufacture products safely and hygienically.
  • A passion for the subject.
  • Successful, independent learners who enjoy learning.
  • Confident self-managers and team-workers, who are willing to take risks and keep an open-mind about new ideas and techniques.
  • Confident individuals who are able to live safe, healthy and fulfilling lives.
  • Students who understand how to make progress and achieve to their potential.
  • Responsible citizens aware of the role they play in society and the importance of Design and Technology in contributing to society.

Curriculum time for Design & Technology:

  • Key Stage 3 - One x 100-minute lesson over two weeks.
  • Key Stage 4 - Three x 100-minute lessons over two weeks plus one 50-minute Period 4 lesson.
  • Key Stage 5 – Five x 100-minute lessons over two weeks.

Design and Technology – Staffing:

We have three specialist Design and Technology teachers, although two teachers are split across Art and Health and Social Care.

We also have a DT Technician but his time is split with Art.