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Pupil working with machinery during a Technology class

Technology is comprised of three subject areas:

  • Product Design
  • Textile Technology
  • Food Preparation and Nutrition

All pupils study Design and Technology in the Lower School. In the First Year, pupils spend one third of their time in Food Preparation and Nutrition and the rest of their time in Product Design. During the Second Year pupils spend one third of their time in Product Design and the rest in Food Preparation and Nutrition. Textile Technology is studied by all pupils in the First Year for one period a cycle.

Design and Technology, Textile Technology and Food Preparation and Nutrition are an options in the Third Year.


We aim to:

  • Combine practical skills with knowledge and understanding in order to design and manufacture quality products in a variety of scales of production
  • Analyse and evaluate industrially manufactured products and production processes to develop an understanding of commercial practice
  • Develop and demonstrate a wide range of graphical presentation, and practical techniques, develop strategies for developing ideas, planning and producing products
  • Consider how past and present design and technology, relevant to a designing and making context, affects society
  • Recognise the moral, cultural and environmental issues inherent in design and technology.

Staff and facilities

There are ten members of staff in the Technology department, including the Technician support. The department is located in the Sports and Technology Centre which was opened by the Duchess of Gloucester in November 2001. The building provides fabulous accommodation for Product Design, Food Preparation and Nutrition and Textiles Technology.

Product Design in the Lower School

First Year

Pupils are introduced to a wide range of materials and processes during the First Year. They start the course by learning about the basic classification of materials and then take part in a “design and make” project in which they construct a hanging mobile from softwood and MDF.

This teaches them to use basic hand tools and a range of machine tools such as pillar drills, fret saws and vertical belt sanders. They will also produce a range of pieces of jewellery using the enamelling and etching processes, and design and make a storage unit which they will design in CAD (computer aided design) and cut out on a laser cutter.

Second Year

Pupils cover a range of jewellery techniques: casting, enamelling and etching. They then complete a “design and make” project to produce a gift for a local museum.

Third Year

Pupils are introduced to a wide range of manufacturing techniques such as casting and brazing. They gain experience in CAD and are taught how to use it to produce components on a computer controlled laser cutter. They design and make a picture frame and a clock based on their research of the Memphis design movement.

Textiles Technology

First Year

The First Year course will involve the pupils in a design and make project that will focus on surface pattern design and the use of sewing machines. Theoretical aspects of the course will cover the material technology of fabrics and the production processes commonly found in industry.

Third Year

Textiles is offered as an option and if enough pupils opt to study the subject, it may be possible to run a dedicated Textiles group. Pupils will be involved in a range of project work using surface decoration and pattern drafting techniques to produce a variety of different products. They will gain a further commercial insight by relating their work to the mass production of textile products in industry, including the use of computer aided design and manufacturing. Pupils also study the environmental impact of the textiles industry and investigate ethical issues such as Fair Trade.

Further up the school

At GCSE pupils currently study AQA Design and Technology.

Product Design


The course involves pupils designing and manufacturing products using a range of materials including wood, metals, plastics and composites. They will study industrial processes to give them an understanding of how everyday products are produced commercially.

The use of ICT will form a key element of the course with CAD (computer aided design) and CAM (computer aided manufacturing) being used in the development and realisation of their ideas.


The department offers AQA Product Design. This course offers a considerable breadth of experience for pupils who have studied Product Design, Resistant Materials or Graphic Products at GCSE.

The course provides wide ranging opportunities from creative design to aspects of manufacturing, industrial and commercial practice. It allows pupils to continue their studies to Advanced Level, possibly leading to the study of a variety of courses at university such as Engineering, Industrial Design, Graphic Design or Architecture.

Graphics is an integral part of any Design and Technology course. In Product Design it is important that pupils communicate their thinking clearly and represent their ideas graphically. This section can however be expanded to provide opportunities for more graphically orientated coursework but it must be noted that all project work requires a three dimensional outcome.

Textiles Technology


The course at GCSE builds on the work done through Textiles Technology lessons in Lower School. Pupils demonstrate creativity through designing and making a range of textile products. Pupils develop their pattern drafting and garment construction skills. They study commercial practice and keep up to date with technological advances in fabric manufacture and current issues in the textiles and fashion industry.

Pupils wishing to pursue an academic career in textiles are advised to take A-level Art which offers a textile endorsement.

Please consult the Sixth Form Handbook (pdf) for further information

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