The Design and Technology department at Thurstable is made up of five subject areas including; Food, Graphics, Resistant Materials, Systems and Control and Textiles. The department is staffed with five specialist teachers and two support technicians who work effectively together to harness talents and support student progress.

Curriculum Intent

In design and technology, we aim to create opportunities for students to: Work independently and in teams to produce creative and innovative design solutions to real world problems. Apply knowledge and theory from DT and other related subjects linking to the design and development of ideas. Develop practical skills working with a range of tools, equipment and machines and work with a variety of materials. Use evaluation skills to critically assess their own work and that of others whilst considering the impact of these designs in the current world and the future.

In food and nutrition, we provide opportunities for students to: Work independently and in teams to develop an understanding of how ingredients work and why. Apply knowledge and theory from food and other related subjects linking to; nutrition and health, food science, food safety, food choice, food provenance and food preparation skills. Work independently to plan and demonstrate a wide range of sweet and savoury recipes, selecting and using a variety of suitable equipment safely and hygienically. Use evaluation skills to critically assess their own work and that of others, considering nutritional value, technical skills, sensory analysis and environmental impact.

GCSE & A level

AQA GCSE Design and Technology

Written exam

  • 2 hours

  • 100 marks

  • 50% of GCSE

What's assessed?

  • Core technical principles

  • Specialist technical principles

  • Designing and making principles

  • How it's assessed


Section A – Core technical principles (20 marks)

A mixture of multiple choice and short answer questions assessing a breadth of technical knowledge and understanding.

Section B – Specialist technical principles (30 marks)

Several short answer questions (2–5 marks) and one extended response to assess a more in depth knowledge of technical principles.

Section C – Designing and making principles (50 marks)

A mixture of short answer and extended response questions.

Non-exam assessment (NEA)

What's assessed?

Practical application of:

  • Core technical principles

  • Specialist technical principles

  • Designing and making principles

How It's Assessed

Non-exam assessment (NEA)

students can specialise in textiles, resistant materials or graphics:

  • 100 marks

  • 50% of GCSE

  • Substantial design and make task

Assessment Criteria

  • Identifying and investigating design possibilities

  • Producing a design brief and specification

  • Generating design ideas

  • Developing design ideas

  • Realising design ideas

  • Analysing & evaluating

Contextual challenges to be released annually by AQA on 1 June in the year prior to the submission of the NEA

Students will produce a prototype or toile and a portfolio of evidence

Work will be marked by teachers and moderated by AQA

AQA GCSE Food and Nutrition

Written exam : Food preparation and nutrition

What's assessed?

Theoretical knowledge of food preparation and nutrition from Sections 1 to 5.

How it's assessed

  • Written exam: 1 hour 45 minutes

  • 100 marks

  • 50% of GCSE


Multiple choice questions (20 marks)

Five questions each with a number of sub questions (80 marks)

Non-exam assessment (NEA)

What's assessed?

Task 1: Food investigation (30 marks)

Students' understanding of the working characteristics, functional and chemical properties of ingredients.

Practical investigations are a compulsory element of this NEA task.

Task 2: Food preparation assessment (70 marks)

Students' knowledge, skills and understanding in relation to the planning, preparation, cooking, presentation of food and application of nutrition related to the chosen task.

Students will prepare, cook and present a final menu of three dishes within a single period of no more than three hours, planning in advance how this will be achieved.

How it's assessed

Task 1: Written or electronic report (1,500–2,000 words) including photographic evidence of the practical investigation.

Task 2: Written or electronic portfolio including photographic evidence. Photographic evidence of the three final dishes must be included.

Alevels – OCR exam board

Two specialisms are available:

Graphic communication (H602)

Fashion and Textile design (H604)

Assessment overview

Personal investigation (01)

60% Non-exam assessment (internally assessed and externally moderated). Students should produce a portfolio of practical work in response to a brief, scenario or stimulus provided by the student or centre, and a related written study of at least 1000 words.

A practical portfolio with supporting contextual research in response to a set theme. The portfolio may be presented in a format appropriate to the specialism and area of study chosen.

A related study using words and illustrations demonstrating the context in which their portfolio exists, exploring the relevant genre, subject matter, movement or historical framework of the selected theme.

Externally set task (02)

40% 15 hours non-exam assessment (internally assessed and externally moderated). Students produce a response to one of several provided themes, each of which will have a range of written and visual starting points, briefs and stimuli.

Students can choose a starting point from any of the seven given themes for which they will generate an appropriate personal response for assessment. They will carry out preparatory work to research, plan and develop their ideas, before engaging in 15 hours of supervised time to complete their work.


The department is made up of 2 workshops, 2 food technology rooms, 1 graphics room, 1 textiles room and 2 computer suites. The rooms are equipped with the specialist equipment required to teach all elements of the subject. We are fortunate to have a laser cutter and a range of Computer-Aided Design software to present work to a high standard.


Extra activities are offered outside the normal day and include competitions such as a young fashion designer and the wool mark award, visits and extra holiday and workshop time for examination classes.

Useful Subject Links

https://www.ocr.org.uk/qualifications/as-and-a-level/art-and-design-h200-h600-from-2015/specification-at-a-glance/ DT GCSE

https://www.aqa.org.uk/subjects/design-and-technology/gcse/design-and-technology-8552 Food and Nutrition GCSE


Textiles Websites

V&A museum - https://www.vam.ac.uk/

Fashion museum Bath - https://www.fashionmuseum.co.uk/

Fashion and Textiles museum London - https://www.ftmlondon.org/

Fashion trends - https://www.tag-walk.com/en/

Food Websites

BBC Goodfood - https://www.bbcgoodfood.com/

Food fact of life - https://www.foodafactoflife.org.uk/

Epicurious - https://www.youtube.com/user/epicuriousdotcom

Graphics Websites

Google sketch up - https://www.sketchup.com/plans-and-pricing/sketchup-free

Drawing styles - https://www.behance.net/gallery/73380673/and-even-more-ballpoint-pen-drawings?tracking_source=search_projects_recommended

D&AD - https://www.dandad.org/

Design museum - https://designmuseum.org/

Resistant Materials Websites

Stady Craftin - https://www.youtube.com/channel/UCzsjHlc0WRwZYwlinsmtM4w

RM YouTube channel - https://www.youtube.com/channel/UC6XMvO-5H1-HSZtMojFxY4A

Mike Turpin DT - https://www.youtube.com/channel/UCcbkgPuRCFQ-iZTXSZn-A8g

Adam Savage - https://www.youtube.com/hashtag/adamsavage

Systems and Control Websites

Tinkercad - https://www.tinkercad.com/

STEM - https://www.stem.org.uk/

BBC Bitesize - https://www.bbc.co.uk/bitesize/topics/z7hg9j6