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Technology & Design

Department Staff

Mr J. McArdle

Miss O. Gribben

Mr K. McKernan (Technician)

Subject Information

In Technology and Design pupils combine practical and technological skills with creative thinking to design and manufacture products that meet human needs. We aim to provide pupils with a broad range of current and traditional manufacturing techniques, working with a variety of materials to produce quality products across all the key stages. Technology and Design aims to stimulate and maintain pupil’s interest, enjoyment, curiosity and concerns about the technological world in which they live in. Pupils will develop their knowledge, understanding, skills and technical vocabulary through their work. We also encourage links outside the classroom to aid learning and prepare students for life beyond school.

Curriculum Information

Key Stage 3 (GCSE)

All KS3 classes follow the Northern Ireland Revised Curriculum for Design and Technology. During Key Stage 3 pupils develop their technical knowledge and skills through a range of Design Projects.

Projects in each year are designed to cover specific key elements and skills. These projects develop each year and ensure progression in both designing and manufacturing. Health and Safety is also a main area of learning across all year groups. Assessment is weighted 50% practical and 50% written exam for each project in KS3.


Areas of learning and skill development include; creative design, manufacture, materials, modelling, electronics, Computer Aided Design (CAD) and Computer Aided Manufacture (CAM).

Year 8

Health and Safety in the workshop

Trinket Dish

Mini Torch

Wood Skills

Year 9

Health and Safety in the workshop

Night Light

Geometric Clock- CAD Design

Geometric Clock Project

Year 10

Health and Safety in the workshop

CAD Project

MP3 Speaker

Bird House

Key Stage 4 (GCSE)

GCSE Technology and Design (AQA)


The AQA qualification is modern and relevant, so students can learn about contemporary technologies, materials and processes, as well as established practices.


Year 11 consists of studying Section A. Core Technical Principles of the course. They will develop knowledge and understanding of:

•    New and emerging technologies

•    Energy, materials, systems and devices

•    Material and their working properties


Year 12 consists of studying Section B. Specialist Technical Principles. Pupils will develop knowledge and understanding of:

•    Common specialist technical principles

•    Papers and boards

•    Timber based materials

•    Metal based materials

•    Polymers

•    Textile based materials

•    Electronic systems


Pupils will have to pick one of these topics and prepare for more in depth responses during the examination.

Paper 1

What's assessed\

• Core technical principles

• Specialist technical principles

• Designing and making principles

In addition:

• at least 15% of the exam will assess maths

• at least 10% of the exam will assess science.

How it's assessed

• Written exam: 2 hours

• 100 marks

• 50% of GCSE


Section A – Core technical principles (20 marks)

A mixture of multiple choice and short answer questions assessing a breadth of technical

knowledge and understanding.

Section B – Specialist technical principles (30 marks)

Several short answer questions (2–5 marks) and one extended response to assess a more in

depth knowledge of technical principles.

Section C – Designing and making principles (50 marks)

A mixture of short answer and extended response questions.

Non – Exam Assessment (NEA)

This GCSE places emphasis on understanding and applying iterative design processes. Pupils will use their creativity and imagination to design and make prototypes that solve real and relevant problems, considering their own and others’ needs, wants and values.

Around January of Year 11 AQA will set their design tasks. Pupils will choose a task and prepare a design folder and manufacture a prototype or real life working model of their design. 

Non – Exam Assessment (NEA) 


What's assessed

Practical application of:

• Core technical principles

• Specialist technical principles

• Designing and making principles


How it's assessed

• Non-exam assessment (NEA): 30–35 hours approx

• 100 marks

• 50% of GCSE



• Substantial design and make task

• Assessment criteria:

• Identifying and investigating design possibilities

• Producing a design brief and specification

• Generating design ideas

• Developing design ideas

• Realising design ideas

• Analysing & evaluating

• In the spirit of the iterative design process, the above should be awarded holistically where

they take place and not in a linear manner

• Contextual challenges to be released annually by AQA on 1 June in the year prior to the

submission of the NEA

• Students will produce a prototype and a portfolio of evidence

• Work will be marked by teachers and moderated by AQA

Occupational Studies -Technology and Innovation – Bench Joinery

This unit is designed to provide increased vocational skills in bench joinery and associated activities. This unit includes:

 • consideration of health and safety issues with respect to workshop activities in bench joinery;

 • consideration of career opportunities related to working with wood in the construction industry;

 • an appreciation of environmental issues relating to timber;

 • the appropriate use of bench joinery hand tools, and basic hand-held power tools;

 • techniques of cutting, jointing, boring and planing to produce construction related components; 

• construction of a range of bench joinery models; and 

• a review and evaluation of performance.


This subject is divided into 3 sections;


Section 1 Health and Safety, Basic Hand Tools and Safety of Hand-Held Power Tools

Section 2 Craft Techniques 

Section 3 Manufacture of Joinery Components Using Basic Joints 


Practical Assessment

All pupils will follow a working drawing for a coffee table.

Learners will: 

• answer questions to demonstrate knowledge and understanding requirements; 

• cut centre rail to length; 

• interpret drawing and prepare a cutting list;

•assemble base of table with dry timber wedges;

• prepare the workshop and select tools;

• assemble completed table using adhesive, screws and wooden wedges; 

• mark out all materials.

• sand completed model; 

• cut timber for legs to length with a minimum of waste

• tidy up work area;

• mark out mortise and tenon joints;

• return tools and maintain in the appropriate manner; 

• cut joints;

• evaluate their own performance in the practical activity; and 

• assemble legs;

• carry out an end-of-unit evaluation.


GCSE Construction and Built Environment 

The GCSE Construction and Built Environment aims to develop a broad background knowledge and core knowledge of the construction industry. Pupils will apply their developing knowledge in relevant, enjoyable and work-related contexts for craft products and computer aided design (CAD) projects. This course will allow pupils to investigate opportunities to progress into further education, training or employment in the construction industry. Through construction pupils will develop and practise the key transferable skills that are important in working life and develop knowledge of the materials and sustainable methods used in domestic and commercial construction.


The breakdown of the course is outlined below. 

Unit 1:

Introduction to the Built Environment

External written examination


1 hour

Worth 20%

Unit 2:

Sustainable Construction

External written examination


1 hour 30 mins


Paper includes questions based on pre-release materials

Worth 30%

Unit 3:

The Construction Craft Project

Controlled assessment

Worth 25%

Unit 4:

Computer Aided Design in Construction

Controlled assessment

Worth 25%


The Technology and Design department ensures to consolidate learning with various guest speakers, workshops and projects provided to pupils in areas such as careers in Technology and Design, Bench Joinery and Construction. KS4 pupils are able to attend lunchtime and afterschool revision sessions throughout the year.


Technology and design will prepare pupils students for a range of courses in higher education as well as careers such as;

  • Mechanical Engineering, 

  • Aerospace Engineering, 

  • Electrical Engineering,

  • Joinery,

  • Shop Fitter, 

  • Plumber,

  • Cabinet Maker,

  • Architecture, 

  • Teaching,

  • Civil Engineering, 

  • CAD Designer,

  • Computing Science, 

  • Product Design.

Useful Links

BBC Bitesize Technology and Design

Mr DT Website

Technology Student

AQA Technology and Design

CCEA Occupational Studies- Bench Joinery

CCEA Construction and Built Environment

Technology Twitter Link >

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