Thorp Academy

Together We Achieve

Design Technology

Faculty vision statement and ethos

The Design and Technology team is committed to making a difference by delivering worthy, and exciting learning experiences for young people at Key Stage 3 and beyond. We believe that creative learning opportunities in Design and Technology, together with innovative teaching methods, will inspire our students to challenge themselves and to gain in confidence. Most importantly, students will be encouraged to take an active role in their learning and become autonomous learners. We endeavour to engage all learners and raise standards by giving them the opportunity to equip themselves with the skills they need to succeed.

The courses offered in Design and Technology work towards achieving the following aims: To stimulate and maintain student's interest, enjoyment, curiosity, and concerns about technological aspects of the world in which they live.

• To develop students' knowledge, understanding, skills, principles and vocabulary in Design and Technology, enabling them to become competent and confident in developing, designing, and producing a range of products of good quality and evaluating their own products and those designed by others.

Assessment takes place half termly, through practical and project work and a written test at the end of each unit. Students are encouraged to self-assess and peer-assess work, and teachers mark work regularly, ensuring that all feedback helps students to develop their learning.

Expectations and the journey to success

Design and Technology is both a practical and academic subject. It includes the use of a broad range of knowledge, skills, and understanding, and prompts engagement in a wide variety of activities.

We have high expectations of our students and encourage them to try their best with everything they do. Students should take pride in their work and are encouraged to work to the best possible standard to ensure they reach their target level or above.

Students need to arrive to lessons on time and with the correct equipment. They must ensure that they follow all the Health and Safety rules that have been explained to them, and work in a sensible and calm manner.

We want our students to do well and succeed in D&T, but most importantly we want them to enjoy the subject and have a desire to further their knowledge and understanding beyond their classroom lessons.

Teachers in the Department

Head of Department: Mrs E. Liddle

Graphics & Product Design: Mrs E. Liddle [email protected]

Food: Miss S. Watson [email protected]

Construction: Mr W. Kennedy [email protected]

Textiles: Mrs R. Waldram [email protected]

Mrs T. McVeigh (Textiles Maternity Cover) [email protected]

What is taught in Design & Technology?

Year 7 & 8

Students follow a 12 week, carousel programme, in which they study 3 of the 4 areas of D&T, including: Food, Textiles, Graphics & Resistant Materials.




Corporate Identity


Headphone Wrap








Mad Hatters Tea Party


Screen Cleaners




Students who opt to study Design & Technology at KS4, either study the AQA Design & Technology Technical Awards or a BTEC in Construction.

AQA Technical Awards

Design and Technology is part of everyday life and is constantly evolving. The Technical Awards focus on developing practical skills within a material area, allowing students to manufacture high quality outcomes. They'll learn about commercial processes and careers in related industries, as well as developing core transferable skills, such as collaboration and communication.

The Technical Awards are taught over 2 years and are designed to equip learners with the practical, transferable skills and core knowledge they need to progress to further general or vocational study, including level 3 qualifications, employment, or apprenticeships.

Design and Technology at Thorp Academy offers students the opportunity to study Technical Awards in:

  • Visual Communications
  • Materials Technology
  • Fashion & Textiles
  • Food & Catering

Students study graphics in a practical and imaginative way, developing the graphic design skills needed to create materials for marketing and promotion.

Students are expected to make a range of products, prototypes and samples, applying technical and practical expertise to ensure that the product is fit for purpose. Learners will have the opportunity to use traditional skills and modern technologies.

This subject equips learners with the practical skills in Fashion & Textiles they need to progress to further general or vocational study. They'll develop a broad understanding of the sector so they can make informed decisions about their career opportunities. Learners will also develop valuable transferable skills including communication and collaboration.

The Technical Award in Food and Catering gives young learners a hands-on introduction to life and work in the catering industry. Learners will develop, practice and demonstrate key food preparation skills, making a variety of food products. They'll learn how to scale up production to produce larger quantities suitable for a commercial setting and get to demonstrate their skills through two internally assessed projects.

BTEC Construction

BTEC Construction is a combination of practical experience and written assignments. These vocational qualifications provide level 2 learners with the knowledge, skills and understanding needed for a career in the sector.

The course is split into 4 units:

Unit 1: Construction Technology (Written Exam; externally assessed).

Unit 2:Construction & Design

Unit 3:Scientific and Mathematical Principles

Unit 6:Exploring Carpentry and Joinery Principles and Techniques

A-Level Design & Technology

This is a 2-year linear course covering the different materials pathways of either Fashion and Textiles or Product Design.

Learning about Design and Technology at A-level strengthens learners' critical thinking and problem-solving skills within a creative environment, enabling them to develop and make prototypes that solve real-world problems, considering their own and others' needs, wants, aspirations and values when designing new and exciting products.

Over the two years, students work on a substantial design, make and evaluate project centred on the iterative processes of explore, create, and evaluate. Projects will develop skills from GCSE coursework and consist of: developing a Brief, outlining requirements, generating Ideas, development to final solutions, development of prototypes and evaluation.

Theory is embedded into lessons to equip students with the knowledge and understanding that they need for the two written exams that they will sit. Theory topics include, History of Design, Product Analysis, Environmental Design, Ergonomics, Manufacture, and Design in the Future.


In Key Stage 3 students are set a termly homework project that will develop their design skills, subject knowledge, and encourage them to be creative and imaginative thinkers.

In Key Stage 4 and 5, students will be set weekly homework tasks that will be linked to the theory that has been covered in class. This will be both self and teacher assessed, and is designed to deepen students' knowledge and understanding of the subject and prepare them for their final exam.

KS4 and 5 students are also encouraged to attend weekly coursework support sessions after school, these are designed to give students more one to one support from their teachers, ensuring that they reach their target grades.

Useful websites and support material