Design & Technology

The Design Technology department is housed in a separate block, along with the Art and Design Department, between upper and lower school. It comprises of a kitchen area, two wood working rooms, a textiles room, an electronics room and a graphics suite. We are fortunate to have good ICT facilities, including networked computers in the graphics suite, twenty lap tops and a state of the art high powered laser cutter. This has enabled us to develop computer aided design and manufacture in the department helping to raise the quality of work produced to a high standard.

In the Design Technology Department we actively encourage pupils to extend their learning and develop their creativity outside lesson times and believe that that by offering a range of clubs we allow pupils to flourish and focus on specific interests.

We offer a gardening club where pupils have the opportunity plant and grow their own produce. We enter many food competitions per year, just recently two pupils from out school met Kate Humble who was a guest judge for the competition. Of course part of the fun comes from having to sample and test the dishes as they improve and progress!
We offer a number of craft activities throughout the year. On the run up to Christmas for we have a club that pupils can attend to make their friend, families (or themselves!) a personalised, engraved wooden plaque. In the spring we make bird boxes to help encourage and protect wildlife.

We believe that we can offer learners a diverse, unique and individually tailored learning experience that will help them develop crucial practical skills required for the future and desired by employers.

Learning Page

What will you learn?

The aim of our subject is to teach pupils how to identify a problem and then design and manufacture a working solution to encourage and develop creativity and innovation. This ethos is covered in all subject areas and pupils are given the opportunity to specialise in the area they prefer. The subject areas covered are

  • Textiles
  • Graphic Media
  • Resistant Materials
  • Food Technology
  • Electronics

Key Stage 3 (11-14years)

At Key Stage 3 pupils will study all of the above areas giving them a broad knowledge and a diverse experience of design with different outcomes. Pupils will make fun and interesting products such as sock monkeys and latch and hook wall hangings in Textiles, a toy boat, a retro style photo frame which incorporates CAD/CAM and a mobile phone holder in Resistant Materials. In Food Technology pupils will learn that cooking and eat healthily doesn’t have to be boring and bland, learn about foods from around the world and how to grow and cook their own balanced meals. Graphic Media will enable pupils to learn how graphic designers go about creating packaging and will design their own chocolate bar wrapper, invent a new PlayStation game and design the latest mobile phone.

Key Stage 4 (14-16) Level 2 Courses

At Key Stage 4 we offer a wide range of courses to allow pupils to specialise in one or more of the chosen areas that they studied at key stage 3. We currently offer learners a choice of 3 GCSE courses and one BTEC option.

GCSE Design and Technology

If pupils choose to follow the GCSE route they will have a choice of studying Graphic Media, Resistant Materials or Textiles Technology. Learners will have the opportunity to analyse and research situations, design and make products and then evaluate their final outcome against their original specification. Learners are required to complete a controlled design and make assessment worth 60% and a final written examination worth 40%.

BTEC Level 2 Hospitality and Catering

If learners decide to follow the BTEC vocational route they can opt for Hospitality and Catering which is the equivalent of 2 GCSE’s A – C plus a basic hygiene certificate.

This is an interesting course involving practical opportunities to prepare and serve food for a variety of occasions such as careers conventions, lunchtime meals to staff, coffee mornings etc. The catering industry in the local area is looked at in detail with an opportunity for work experience placements in local hotels and restaurants. Learners can work in groups or individually to plan organise and run events.

In addition, healthy living and preparing meals nutritionally and hygienically will be studied with the possibility of additional qualifications gained din basic food hygiene. Hard work is required to produce the folder of evidence through practical based teaching.

Key Stage 5 (16-18) Level 3 Courses

At key stage 5, again we offer the pupils a choice of A/AS level or BTEC vocational courses. If pupils decide to follow the A/As level route we offer a newly introduced Design Technology course following the OCR specification. The course is split into the following units.

Design Technology A/AS Level

AS (Year 1)

Advanced Innovation challenge

The Advanced Innovation challenge is a design challenge assessing candidates’ ability to design and model a product and then reflect on their design concept. Marks will be awarded for innovation and originality.

Product Study

The Product Study is a coursework unit. It consists of product analysis and product development, prototype modelling and testing. It is not envisaged that this task will involve the complete redesign of an existing product, but rather identify opportunities for its further development or enhancement.

A2 (Year 2)

Design, Make and Evaluate

Candidates are required to produce a coursework portfolio and product that fully demonstrates their designing, making and evaluation skills using creativity, flair and innovation and that can be assessed against the assessment criteria. The coursework consists of designing, making, and evaluating a product, a marketing presentation, and a review and reflection. This unit is intended to draw upon and develop skills learnt in other units.

Product Design

This is a written paper that consists of two components. Candidates will be able to select questions across the focus material areas.

Component One consists of eight questions, and each question follows a common format. Marking: 24 of the 36 marks are drawn from the core content and relate to the material focus; 12 marks are allocated to the specific material content from each of the focus areas. Candidates answer one question.

Component Two assesses the abilities of candidates to make immediate design thinking responses to a given situation. It is intended to be a discriminator in identifying those candidates who can effectively use their experiences and knowledge in designing and making.

BTEC Level 3 Subsidiary Diploma in Hospitality.

The BTEC Subsidiary Diploma offers a unique opportunity for students to identify and solve real problems by investigating the Hospitality Industry in a wide range of contexts relating to their personal knowledge of hospitality and travel interests. Employment in the hospitality industry has increased faster than the economy overall but there remains significant skills gaps – this BTEC National seeks to address the gaps preparing learner for real world employment.

The Course

This two year course is about developing skills and understanding in supervisory skills within the hospitality industry. There is a strong practical emphasis throughout and assignments will often be related to the world of world in hospitality, travel and tourism.

Mandatory Units

Unit 1: The Hospitality Industry
Unit 2: Principles of Supervising Customer Service Performance in Hospitality, Leisure, Travel and Tourism.
Unit 3: Providing Customer Service in Hospitality
Specialist Units
Students will study further optional specialist units that provide a combined total of 60 credits.


T (01633) 643950
Fairwater High School
Ty-Gwyn Way
NP44 4YZ