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Higham Lane School

Higham Lane School

Design & Technology

Design & Technology is a subject that encourages creativity, imagination and analytical thinking. Across all disciplines of the subject, students will be involved in a range of design, research, practical, experimental and evaluation tasks that reflect design and technology in the society we live in. Students will work with a range of different materials and processes, as well as developing their knowledge and understanding of more complex design principles.

Our curriculum is closely mapped against the National Curriculum Programmes of Study and we have had significant funding in recent times to develop our Computer Aided Design and Manufacture facilities. In Key Stage 3, students will undertake activities working with food, fabrics, metals, polymers, timbers, electronics, papers and boards. Students then have the opportunity to choose from Product Design (specialising in one material, e.g. timbers or fabrics) or Food Preparation & Nutrition as an option to study in Key Stage 4.

In 2017, 79% of students studying Resistant Materials achieved a Grade C or above with 35% achieving an A*/A grade. 89% of Textiles students achieved A*-C with 39% achieving A*-A. In Product Design, 100% achieved A*-C with 38% A*-A. In Catering, 94% achieved A*-C with 47% A*-A.

The Department is always open at lunchtimes for students to work on the computers. For example, to prepare for their Controlled Assessments.


Year 7 students will undertable six modules; all six weeks in length. Students will keep the same Design & Technology teacher for the whole year. The six modules are:

Working with fabrics & fibres

Students learn, through samples and experimentation of different fabrics and SMART materials, their properties, uses and structures. Students will also use 2D Design to create a stencil, the heat press for sublimation printing, and sewing machines for seams and applique.

Working with polymers

Students learn about different polymers and will create a mould using the vacuum former, a layered key ring using tensile cement, and a name card using the laser cutter and strip heater.

Food Preparation

Students will create a range of healthy, balanced meals that fit in with the Eatwell guide. They will develop a clear understanding of hygiene and how to stay safe in a kitchen, along with developing their knife skills.

Food Nutrition

This module focuses on nutrition; how it can be included in the diet, why we need it and health implications based on poor life choices. Students will also learn how to use the oven safely.

Working with metals

Students will understand different metals including ferrous and non ferrous. They will use the laser cutter to create a mould for their pewter pendant.

Papers & boards

Students will learn about a variety of different papers and boards; their functions, uses and properties. Students will create a presentation board about a chosen topic area.


As in Year 7, Year 8 students will undertake six modules; all six weeks in length. Students will rotate to different teachers to be taught these specialist modules. The six modules are:

Working with fabrics & fibres

Students will experiment with a range of SMART materials, and use their machine skills to produce a fully lined phone or tablet case, that includes one SMART element; e.g. phosphorescent or thermo chromic.

Food Preparation & Nutrition 1

Students will investigate into raising agents, including yeast, baking powder, bicarbonate of soda and whisking. They will conduct experiments in a scientific way and also produce a pizza, batch of scones and mini Victoria sponges.

Food Preparation & Nutution 2

Students will investigate eggs in this module, including the different ways they can be used, as well as their nutritional content, Students will learn about egg provenance and animal welfare too.

Working with timbers

Students will manufacture a mobile phone stand using timbers. They will research into the different types available and their properties and uses.

Creative Technologies 1

Students will learn about electronic circuits and components using the program Crocodile Clips. From this, they will create an LED lighting circuit from a kit, which includes soldering and applying their understanding of electronics. This will be stored in Design & Technology until Creative Technologies 2 module.

Creative Technologies 2

Students will look into the benefits of pre-manufactured parts, and re-visit 2D Design to create a surround for the mini lamp they will build. This surround will be placed onto a wooden pre-manufactured base, along with the lighting circuit from CT1.


GCSE Design & Technology: Students will learn the `core' topic areas of textiles, timbers, metals, papers and boards, electronics and polymers. They will also focus on one of these areas an `Area of Specialism'.

GCSE Food Preparation & Nutrition: Students will cover a variety of modules about scientific food processes and commodities, such as protein, dairy, fruit and vegetables.


GCSE Product Design - Textiles: Students will create a bag of their choice; clutch, shopping, etc. This will compound the skills they have developed over the previous years.

GCSE Food Preparation & Nutition: Students will cover a variety of modules about scientific food processes and commodities, such as carbohydrates, fats and sugars.

GCSE Product Design: CAD/CAM projects, wood and metal workshop skills and a practice controlled assessment.


All GCSE students will be working on controlled assessments and preparing for the written exam.

MR K TODD, Subject Leader for Design & Technology