Design and Technology

At Bluecoat Wollaton the Design Technology curriculum provides a rich, challenging, enjoyable and enhancing programme of learning. It is a contemporary and varied curriculum which enables pupils to participate in tomorrow’s rapidly changing technologies. Pupils combine practical skills with an understanding of aesthetics, social and environmental issues, function and industrial practices. Pupils learn to design and make products that solve genuine, relevant problems within different contexts, whilst considering their own and others’ needs, wants and values. For example across Key Stage 3 pupils design and make Ping Pong bats, a CAD 150mm rule, lighting and storage products. In Key Stage 4 pupils redesign and modify existing products and design movement inspired larger pieces.

Through a variety of creative and practical activities, we teach the knowledge, understanding and skills needed to engage in an iterative process of designing, making and evaluating. When designing, pupils will use their research to generate creative design ideas that are communicated clearly using annotated sketches and accurate technical working drawings. When making, Bluecoat Wollaton pupils work with a wide range of materials and techniques both traditional and contemporary. They use their understanding to carefully select the tools, processes and manufacturing techniques needed to create their design. This also includes CAD and a range of CAM methods such as 3D Printing, LASER cutting, Vinyl cutting and a CNC router.

The subject includes the practical application of mathematical and scientific concepts combined with practical skills, and an understanding of aesthetic, social and environmental issues, linked together with industrial practices. Through the evaluation of: their own work; past and present designers; and the work of others; our pupils develop a critical understanding of its impact on daily life and the wider world. Design Technology at Bluecoat Wollaton will enable pupils to become a discriminating and informed consumers and promising innovators.

AQA GCSE in Design and Technology (8552)

This qualification is linear. Linear means that students will sit all their exams and submit all their non-exam assessment at the end of the course.

Subject content:

  1. Core technical principles
  2. Specialist technical principles
  3. Designing and making principles

Paper 1

  • Written exam: 2 hours
  • 100 marks
  • 50% of GCSE

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)

  • Non-exam assessment: 30-35 hours approximately
  • 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
  • In the spirit of the iterative design process, the above should be awarded holistically where they take place and not in a linear manner
  • 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 and a portfolio of evidence
  • Work will be marked by teachers and moderated by AQA

Contact Us

Bluecoat Wollaton Academy
Sutton Passeys Crescent
Wollaton Park

Tel: 0115 900 72 10

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Bluecoat Wollaton Academy