Skip to content ↓

Key Stage 4

The new Design and Technology GCSE will prepare students to participate confidently and successfully in an increasingly technological world. Students will gain awareness and learn from wider influences on Design and Technology including historical, social, cultural, environmental and economic factors. Students will get the opportunity to work creatively when designing and making and apply technical and practical expertise.

The course allows students to study core technical and designing and making principles, including a broad range of design processes, materials techniques and equipment. They will also have the opportunity to study specialist technical principles in greater depth.

In order to make effective design choices students will need a breadth of technical knowledge and understanding. The core technical principles are taught to all students. Students must then cover the specialised technical principles in the material category of their choice, the Design and Technology department will be offering the following material categories.

Papers and boards, Timber, Metal based products, Polymers

Core Technical Principles


Specialist Technical Principles

(Chosen material category)

      •    New and emerging technologies


  • forces and stresses
  • Energy storage and generation


  • ecological and social footprint
  • Modern and smart materials


  • scales of production
  • Systems approach to designing


  • sources and origins
  • Mechanical devices


  • using and working with materials
  • Materials and their working properties


  • stock forms, types and sizes



  • specialist techniques



  • surface treatments and finishes

How it's assessed
Written exam

2 hours • 100 marks • 50% of GCSE
Section A – Core technical principles (20 marks)
Section B – Specialist technical principles (30 marks)
Section C – Designing and making principles (50 marks)

Non-exam assessment (NEA)
30-35 hours approx. • 100 marks • 50% of GCSE
Substantial context based design and make task
Students will produce a working prototype and a portfolio of evidence (max 20 pages)