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Higham Lane School

Higham Lane School

Design & Technology

Design & Technology FAQs

Is there a lot of practical work?

When studying Food and Design students undertake practical activities every double lesson. 

What will we make? 

When studying Food and Design students embark on a range of skills to  learn how to create high quality outcomes

Where can Design and Technology take me?

Food Preparation and Nutrition can lead into a wide variety of specialisms including Food Science, Nutrition, Health, Product Development and Hospitality.

Design can lead into Engineering, Product Design, Interior and Exterior Architecture, Jewellery, Graphics, Furniture Design and Manufacture.

Welcome to Design Technology! We are a team of four specialist teachers.

We are a team of four teachers and two technicians who have a passion for all areas of Design and Technology with a passion to instil success. Our expectations are high and never wavering.

The Department is a welcoming and highly-functioning one; with four specialist teachers and two technicians who bring a wealth of experience as well as a passion for helping our students make progress.

Our aim and vision is to grow and evolve a curriculum over the next 5 years that will produce well rounded, responsible and informed entrepreneurial young adults and to equip these students with the employability skills needed for a changing Britain and the wider global community.

Higham Lane School offers 3 clear avenues of academic and vocational experience consisting of Design Engineering, Product Design and Food Preparation and Nutrition. We aim to provide a provision that will support student’s accessibility to design disciplines such as; architecture, interior, furniture, product. Engineering disciplines such as; automotive, industrial, aerospace and food and Nutrition such as; Hospitality and catering, nutrition, food sciences etc.

In year 9 students will opt into 3 key areas: Cambridge National Engineering, GCSE Product Design, GCSE Food, Preparation and Nutrition.

Our Key Stage three curriculum comprises of three subject rotations each lasting 12 weeks: Product Design, Engineering and Food Preparation and Nutrition. Groups rotate between teachers to maximise each teacher’s specialism.


Start Points

Initial testing on entrance to Year 7 is used to benchmark prior knowledge and understanding of Design and Technology due to discrepancies in curriculum coverage at KS2. (analysis created Nov each year) This informs future planning and development of SOL

Student attributes: High quality work, commitment, resilience, independence, being knowledgeable, decision making, planning, curiosity, risk taking, equipped for a variety of careers, problem solving and adaptability.

Preparation for Life: The curriculum is designed to develop curious, confident and competent learners who apply valuable skills and knowledge in preparation for life.


Design Engineering

At KS3, all students will discover the impact of design on the world and how design is the core subject which underpins society and its needs. Students will evaluate the impact of technology and hypothesize regarding how the future of electronics will improve daily life.

Through a series of sequential lessons, students will know the categories of materials: woods, metals and plastics and discover the properties of hardwoods, softwoods and manufactured boards. Students will undertake practical skill projects in a variety of materials, applying a wide range of processes to create high quality, commercial outcomes.

Students will learn how to cut, file, shape and finish a jigsaw puzzle and apply these skills to the manufacture of  the Bug Hook under examination conditions.


Year 7 Product Design

In product design students will learn about electronics drawing form prior experience at KS2. Students will know and understand energy, electronics, components and how a circuit works. Students will apply this knowledge to a circuit when creating an electronic textile torch using batch production templates and hand stitching skill.

Students will apply basic wood working skill to manufacture a mobile phone holder. This will dovetail knowledge with the engineering curriculum understanding the categories of material. Students will use softwood material to create a tenon joint. Students will learn to mark out, cut shape and file. Sand, drill, join and finish the mobile phone holder using wood working hand tools, equipment and finishing processes.


Year 7 Food Preparation and Nutrition

In Food Preparation and Nutrition (FPN) we introduce students to food safety and hygiene. Students practical lessons are sequenced to build on skills, at present we produce: coleslaw, apple crumble, scones with homemade butter, goujons, fajitas and a roasted vegetable pasta bake. These aim to equip students with a skillset to take forward into year 8. Theory lessons support practical learning as well as embedding key learning such as food spoilage, key temperatures and enzymic browning.


Year 7 Homework

The Year 7 Homework Project will build upon prior graphic and analysis skills by the designing and evaluating of a functional mosaic. Parental engagement is encouraged for the manufacturing aspects from home.


Year 8 Engineering

Students will conduct a recall discovery lesson building prior knowledge utilizing research skills. They will apply prior knowledge of metal skills to mark out, cut, shape and form steel to accuracy, independently using a differentiated guide for support. This will be held in an increased examination period under examination conditions. Students are introduced to material stock forms and students will manufacture a solar light product.


Year 8 Product Design

Students are to learn about technical aspects of design and the importance of engineering drawing. Students apply their understanding of how to draw to drawing with technical accuracy.

Students apply these skills to the design and development of a laminated desk tidy. Prior learned skills are applied to a range of quality developments and final design. Students apply lamination skills to a block of pine and mark out, cut, shape, drill and apply decorative finishes to a create an innovative marketable product.


Year 8 Food Preparation and Nutrition

As students enter year 8, FPN builds on their year 7 learning as well as introducing new learning. We focus on the food science elements: gelatinisation and fermentation. Practical outcomes apply this new learning to produce a sweet and sour, mac and cheese, burger-in-bun, pizza and cinnamon rolls. We upskill our apple crumble practical from year 7 to produce a fruit pie: embedding the learning deeper and demonstrating more complex skills. We delve deeper into food safety and hygiene – introducing high risk foods.


Year 8 Homework

The Year 8 Homework is a Craft Skills Project where students recognize and access skills beyond the classroom. The task is to make a new product by learning a new skill. Students will know and understand that Design and Technology skills are all around us and that discovering a new skill can be a great way to find out about the people around us as well as what inspires us. Learning a new hobby can have a great impact on positive mental health. Students are to learn a skill, document their progress and manufacture a new product. This is to be evaluated by students with client feedback.


Extra-curricular activities

Students have the opportunity to participate in termly house competitions and activities. Most recently, a Halloween biscuit baking competition. GCSE students have the opportunity to gain additional support with their work as well as examination preparation and revision. We also run a KS3 Minecraft club which takes place each Wednesday lunchtime.



Year 9 Engineering

In preparation for the Cambridge National in Design Engineering, Year 9 students compete in a STEM spaghetti engineering project, researching into strength structures and discovering triangular structure, tension, torsion. Students will apply prior metal working skills to compare and contrast a range of metals to discover properties in depth. Students will use templates to ensure accuracy and test stamping and engraving principles. Students will analyse findings, resulting in the combining of two materials to create a composite material.

Students will apply prior knowledge of electronics to create circuits and design an aluminium folded lamp reflecting on the work of designer Charles and Ray Eames. Rebate and jointing methods used for the base of the product support the Joint Practical Examination – Mitre/Lap/Dowel under examination conditions. (5 hours)

Orthographic and Isometric design skills are developed from creative sketches to enable access to KS4 markschemes.


Year 10 Engineering

Year 10 students are introduced to the Cambridge National Specification, meeting the department’s vision: standards and expectations for high quality outcomes throughout the duration of the course.

During R039, engineers will analyse a range of products within the existing market. Engineers will apply prior knowledge of electronics to assemble and disassemble products, analyzing part(s), commercial production methods and processes.

Engineers will respond to briefs (Ro39) when designing and evaluating existing solutions before creating initial sketches. Engineers will develop a wide range of potential design ideas through 2d and 3d developments.  With enhanced knowledge of the Design Cycle, engineers will validate their design using primary research methods and optimize their products, modifying in light of client feedback. Prior knowledge is applied in modeling and development independently, optimizing product detail which will complete with isometric, orthographic and exploded views of the final proposal. Engineers will create assembly drawings knowing and understanding processes such as injection moulding.

Engineers will create 3d visual representations using CAD software and demonstrate a wide range of skill to communicate the final proposal in detail.


Practical examinations will be dovetailed throughout Year 10 to cement techniques and skills in readiness for R040 in Year 11.


Extra-curricular activities

Students are offered 121, small group and whole class catch up sessions to ensure all students have the opportunity to thrive.

Targeted intervention is also utilized to support progress, apprenticeship applications and revision.


Year 11 Engineering

Year 11 Engineers will respond to the examiner brief in R040 and evaluate a range of existing products through primary and secondary analysis. Engineers will disassemble a product and analyse its shape, form, circuitry, components and production methods evaluating and drawing conclusion.

Engineers are to develop detailed and skilled CAD drawing of the product and plan its production in preparation for a 10 hour practical manufacturing examination.

Students will draw upon prior knowledge of skill and manufacturing methods throughout KS3 and KS4 to understand and know the complexities of assembly. Production plans will be produced and dovetailed to ensure good and outstanding progress within the 10 hour intense practical timeframe.

A 10 hour practical examination will take place under examination conditions to allow students to independently manufacture outcomes using a wide range of skill, material and process. Further sequences of lessons will ensure product completion, evaluation, testing and refinement. This is an opportunity for students to access understanding about manufacturing within a real world adult learning context.

Engineers will reflect upon a wide range of knowledge from theoretical and skill-based projects to access a broad range of examination content in preparation for the Design Engineering Examination.


Year 9 Food Preparation and Nutrition

Year 9 introduces students to the GCSE qualification; learning from years 7 and 8 supports new learning in year 9. At present students start the academic year learning about protein (plant-based and animal). We then move on to modules on dairy, fruit and vegetables. Students sit a trial examination as well as undertake a range of practical assessments. Practical outcomes are aligned to the module and introduce / combine technical skills.


Year 10 Food Preparation and Nutrition

Year 10 FPN continues to build on the specification content and modules are centred around the following; cereals, fats and oils, sugars and syrups. Practical outcomes support the theory learning as well as continue to build on the technical skills. Students build up a repertoire of recipes and skills to aid them as they enter year 11. Learning is assessed through a range of assessed practical outcomes, trial exams, mock NEA tasks and topic tests.


Year 11 Food Preparation and Nutrition

Year 11 FPN is focused on the completion of NEA (Non-Exam Assessment) and preparing for their summer written examination. NEA 1 is introduced in the autumn term. NEA 1 is the Food Investigation Assessment and is worth 15% of the overall GCSE qualification. This comprises of a written report following a practical investigation focused on how ingredients function within a food product. NEA 2 is worth 35% and is the Food Practical Assessment. NEA 2 requires students to respond to a set brief and produce 3 dishes, and accompaniments which they produce within a 3-hour period. This assessment takes place early in the spring term and has become a superb school showcase of the students work and skills! To complete the qualification students, sit a written examination in the summer term of year 11. This is worth 50% of their overall qualification.


Extra-curricular activities

Students are offered 121, small group and whole class catch up sessions to ensure all students have the opportunity to thrive.

Targeted intervention is also utilized to support progress, apprenticeship applications and revision.

A TEMPLE, Subject Leader for Design & Technology