Design & Technology

Head of Faculty - Mrs B Lewis

Curriculum Intent, Implementation and Impact in Technology


Introduction to subject

Design and Technology is a diverse and ever-changing subject that aims to develop the next generation of designers so that they can solve many of our current global challenges and drive progress in the areas of innovation that we have all come to rely on and enjoy.

We embrace this importance at St Martin’s by ensuring our students experience all areas of our wide subject in Key Stage 3 by following the National Curriculum.  We are a successful and popular subject at Key Stage 4 and 5, enabling students to study technical material specialisms further in our well-resourced department.

We enjoy seeing our students take pride in their work, gain a passion for design, and achieve practical skills that they initially perceive as challenging.

Why is the study of Design and Technology important?

Enabling students to develop their passion for design and innovation will help them to become resilient and creative problem solvers.  Empowering them to think outside the box to overcome obstacles whilst showing regard for the users needs and wants will help students become capable, compassionate individuals.  Learning these valuable skills will help prepare students for the future in areas such as; preparing meals independently, repairing clothing, simple DIY skills at home as well as developing a love of design and making.

Through studying Design & Technology students will gain knowledge and experience working with a variety of materials and manufacturing processes.  By designing and creating prototype products, students understand and support the drive towards a more diverse and sustainable world.

How does the study of Design & Technology develop your skills, knowledge and understanding?

We encourage you to be active creators of your learning by using practical skills alongside theoretical knowledge to produce products and models that demonstrate your making ability and design thinking.

Design and technology encourages you to work creatively and independently on your own designs and be resilient in the pursuit of solutions.  These skills will help you to achieve success at GCSE and then A-level if desired.

Whilst learning about materials and processes you will learn how to use hand tools, workshop machines and digital making skills via CAD/CAM.  You will find out how to evaluate and analyse existing products, past designers/eras, sustainability & climate change.

In food technology we learn about; healthy eating, food science and ingredient knowledge, whilst developing culinary skills.  You will study the diversity of food across the globe and the impact of climate change and the drive towards greater use of sustainable local produce.

Design and technology aims to engage your curiosity into the world of design and technological developments by exploring the impact products have on society and its wellbeing, and providing you with wider cultural capital.

How are students assessed in Design and Technology?

At Key Stage 3 students are assessed formally at the end of each carousel rotation and given a practical grade based on set criteria for that project.  For each project a short test assesses technical and theoretical understanding.

In Key Stage 4 and 5 students undertake a series of projects based on materials or food commodities and are assessed on practical pieces they have produced and end of unit theory tests.  At GCSE and A-level both DT and food students are externally assessed via a non-examined assessment and external examination.

How does Design & Technology support learning in other areas of the curriculum?

Our subject equips students with a diverse set of skills that can be applied to their overall learning and life beyond education such as; creativity in the face of adversity, time management and organisation as well as a wide set of communication skills.

Much of what we study in Design and Technology encompasses and expands skills and knowledge from a wide range of subjects.  For example, through the use of; maths when making, science when selecting the right materials and ingredients, humanities through history of design and the emphasis on becoming sustainable designers.  Computing helps us explore new innovative ways of designing and producing prototypes with enhanced functionality.

How can students extend and deepen their knowledge in Design and Technology?

We offer STEM and Food club at Key Stage 3 and enter competitions such as Rampaging Chariots where students can apply their learning to an external context.

Our external links and visits from business professionals give students opportunities for work experience and knowledge beyond our curriculum.  We run various masterclasses such as game preparation and chocolate tempering. 

We also take students on trips to give a real-life perspective to design, the most recent being a joint visit with the art department to partake in costume and set design workshops at the Harry Potter museum.

How does Design and Technology link to the world of work?

Students have the option to study our subject through to university if desired or pursue routes into apprenticeships at the end of Key Stage 4 and 5.  We have strong links to a variety of commercial industries such as engineering, animation and catering and regularly invite companies to speak to our students and send us information on opportunities available to them.

We work with the STEM organisation and via our collaboration with them were able to encourage girls into the world of engineering by seeing it in practice at the SKY development centre.  Again, our diverse set of skills equips students for a varied field of careers from project management to food scientist.

How does Design & Technology link to the three strands of our core values?
Traditional Values
Learning for the Future
Outstanding Personal Achievement

Students are polite, considerate and respectful during all aspects of their lessons, including practical work, team and independent study.

Students are punctual to lessons and all lessons are well attended.  They are equipped for learning and supply their own materials and ingredients; weighed and measured successfully at home prior to the lessons.

Students treat all equipment with respect and are taught to use all equipment in a safe and responsible manner.

Within Technology lessons, schemes of work develop students’ empathy towards a diverse range of backgrounds.  For example, students in Key Stage 3 complete a task where they have an opportunity to design and make a product for someone with a physical disability.

Students develop their cultural capital with British values being embedded into their learning, they have an opportunity to study relevant professionals who have made a large impact on the subject studied.

Students take pride in their work; all diagrams and design work are completed with appropriate drawing equipment and students learn key drawing styles throughout Technology lessons from year 7 through to Year 13.

Students take personal responsibility for much of their learning as they are empowered to choose from a variety of contexts through Key Stages 3, 4 and 5.

Students reflect on their personal feedback and will make improvements in all project work to enhance their desired outcomes. 

Students have opportunities to learn about technological advancements within a variety of aspects of the subject.  For example, Key Stage 3 students learn about Smart Materials which adapt to the world around them.

Students learn how to use a wide range of tools and equipment to support the practical application and communication of their design ideas in both 2D and 3D. This includes traditional and computer aided approaches.

Students are engaged with lessons and extra-curricular opportunities (for example Food club, STEM club) trips (Harry Potter creative workshops, visits to the Design Museum) to develop their passion in Technology.

Students are regularly introduced to real world learning opportunities including, but not exclusive to, Females into Engineering visits at Sky TV and visits from Disney Animators.

Students receive opportunities to learn about careers they could progress onto after gaining qualifications in our offered GCSE and A-level subject areas.  Our students often continue into affiliated careers after their time at St Martin's.

Students develop resilience through regularly being exposed to all elements of the Design and Make activities to enable them to draw on this knowledge in the future.


Students feel confident to apply their learning through a variety of subject areas. They are able to carry out research tasks to aid project work. Essay style questioning is developed and students have opportunities to reflect on their learning to better understand their outcomes.

Students are able to demonstrate their independence through their work. They regularly partake in group-based learning and can be versatile when working through a variety of problem-based activities.

Throughout the subject within Technology students have many chances to be supported and entered for National competitions such as Rotary Young Chef, Chelmsford Young Engineering.

There are many opportunities for students to better understand their learning by looking at real world examples.  Key Stage 5 students often read and discuss Technology issues in current media, for example, products to support displaced people fleeing conflict.

Extra-curricular opportunities are offered throughout the seven years of study within the Technology Department.




Design and Technology follow the school’s curriculum implementation of shared learning intentions, retrieval practice and effective assessment to ensure we provide the very best learning opportunities for our students.

Shared Learning Intentions:  We have designed our Design and Technology curriculum to cover the wide and diverse aspects of our subject in a coherently sequenced learning journey that builds upon prior knowledge whilst introducing new concepts based around the key areas of design, material knowledge, practical skills, and evaluation.  Using this format, we have mapped across the key stages the wide range of topics that we cover whilst building on the core key areas through a series of increasingly complex activities.  Lesson intentions and success criteria are shared with students to help them to understand the bigger picture of how their studies fit within our curriculum and their relevance to the wider world.

Retrieval Practice:  Having our core key areas embedded within our curriculum will help students see the cross curricular links and therefore aid knowledge retrieval.  Asking students to reflect on their designs using key technical language helps them to embed these phrases through repeated use and application.  Exploring materials through range of activities and practical making aids students’ retention helping form deeper understanding.  Evaluating their own products and the designs of others over the key stages enables students to retrieve and skilfully apply technical language to our core key areas.  Dedicated Improvement and Reflection Time (DIRT) at the end of projects or a theoretical unit gives students time to step back, see the overall bigger picture and their progress within it.

Effective Assessment:  We use a range of assessment strategies to support our students learning in Design & Technology; verbal, written, informal, formal, self, peer and teacher assessed.  Much of what we do in Design & Technology is based on dialogue between the teacher and student to assess, problem solve and perfect drawings, written pieces, dishes and physical and virtual prototypes.  This gives students a continual feedback loop that is personalised, instant and designed to help them reflect, react and therefore, make progress.  Effective questioning at different points within a lesson helps teachers to check students' understanding, identify misconceptions accurately and measure and deepen the understanding of their students.  Examples of this are no hands up rule, think, pair, share and asking students to improve upon the answers of their classmates.

Teachers' subject knowledge:  The Design & Technology department is made up of highly knowledgeable and well-qualified teachers, with a mix of collective professional experience in specialist areas spanning across several decades.  Our teachers are adept at using a range of pedagogical methods to engage and inspire the students at St Martin’s School. 

Personal development in curriculum implementation:  We aim to give students the skills they need for future learning and employment, whether that be in within engineering, construction, creative industries or food and nutrition.  Our wide and diverse subject has many transferrable skills that enable to students to succeed in a vast variety of career sectors.  Embedded within all our Design & Technology lessons and schemes of work are the personal skills and attributes we focus on at St Martin’s School to ensure every student can THRIVE; helping to develop their skills in teamwork, honesty, resilience, independence, versatility, and empathy.  Embedded in our curriculum is the study of a diversified society, the health and welfare of our planet and the ethical nature of design.  Building cultural capital through the exploration of these British values allows students to understand how they can develop their role within our wider society.


Students acquire the cultural capital, skills, and knowledge they need to be successful in the next stage of their life through the teaching of a well-planned curriculum, delivered by subject specialist teachers in Design & Technology.  To support our curriculum further we run afterschool STEM and food clubs at KS3 and subject specialist sessions for KS4 and KS5 pupils.

Previous students having studied one or several of the specialist Design and Technology subject areas at GCSE and A-level, have secured successful careers in games, costume, graphic and product design as well as engineering, aerospace, and catering vocations via university, direct employment, or apprenticeship schemes.  Many are often inspired by our visiting industry professionals, past student talks or our educational visits, for example the year 8 girls’ trip to Sky to celebrate the Women into Engineering Week.  We encourage and support our students to enter local and national competitions and have gained awards from the Rotary Young Chef, Rampaging Chariots and Chelmsford Engineering competitions.

Learners gain confidence in their ability through displaying their practical work in the annual Art and DT Summer Show, display cases in the school reception and by their pieces being used as exemplars to inspire other students to take pride in their work.  We are a popular subject at GCSE and A-level and have seen our cohort increase year on year allowing us to offer further specialist subjects at A-level not seen in many other local schools.  As a result of the high expectations we have of our students, results at GCSE and A-level compare favourably to national averages and have also been increasing year on year.

Design and Technology, through the unique nature of our practical work allows us to give students instant feedback and therefore, self-actualisation whilst developing their ability to articulate and critique their own ideas.  These skills along with the many transferable life skills and traditional values that Design & Technology nurtures helps students to move on from St-Martin’s as well-rounded individuals with the confidence to follow their aspirations.

Fashion & Textiles
Food Science & Nutrition
Product Design