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Curriculum Intent

“Design and technology is an inspiring, rigorous and practical subject. Using creativity and imagination, pupils design and make products that solve real and relevant problems within a variety of contexts, considering their own and others’ needs, wants and values. They acquire a broad range of subject knowledge and draw on disciplines such as mathematics, science, engineering, computing and art. Pupils learn how to take risks, becoming resourceful, innovative, enterprising and capable citizens. Through the evaluation of past and present design and technology, they develop a critical understanding of its impact on daily life and the wider world. High-quality design and technology education makes an essential contribution to the creativity, culture, wealth and well-being of the nation.”

National Curriculum

The DT curriculum at Corpus Christi is designed to meet and exceed the broader aims of the National Curriculum whilst drawing in links to other subjects such as Science, Mathematics and Religious Education. It is our belief that the curriculum for DT at KS3 should be progressive through each year of study in the 30 teaching hours allocated to each pupil. As a result of this, pupils will be able to progressively build knowledge and understanding of key concepts and themes throughout the key stage; focusing on technical knowledge and the social, moral and environmental impact of Design and Technology as well as building designing and making skills through practical work.

Pupils will become proficient not only in technical and practical expertise needed to perform everyday tasks confidently, but also in the making and evaluating elements of the iterative design process. Additionally, pupils will learn about the properties of a range of materials and their environmental impact and build technical skill throughout a range of practical projects. Across the key stage pupils will carry out 15 hours of practical work, developing skills working with natural and man-made wood, plastics, electronics, CAD and metal casting. 

At the centre of this is the ability of pupils to understand and communicate the wider effects of design and technology on the environment and improve the pupils’ sense of stewardship of the planet we have been given by God. Pupils will gain an understanding of the wider impact of the materials they work with each year on the environment.

Teaching staff will be required to constantly develop their individual subject knowledge and implement new and emerging technologies into the schemes of work (which are to be continually developed and refined). In the limited time available for teaching staff key concepts are to be delivered with clarity and focus and linked throughout the key stage in order to be retained in pupil’s long-term memory.

The DT curriculum at Corpus Christi extends beyond the national curriculum with a range of extra-curricular clubs and activities available to all pupils which offers them the opportunity to explore and diversify their interests in more depth than what is covered in the classroom. Pupils can currently attend Baking club, Fashion and textiles club and Product Design club. The curriculum also enables pupils to make informed decisions about a wide range of further learning opportunities and career pathways within the subject.


The national curriculum for design and technology aims to ensure that all pupils:

  • Develop the creative, technical and practical expertise needed to perform everyday tasks confidently and to participate successfully in an increasingly technological world
  • build and apply a repertoire of knowledge, understanding and skills in order to design and make high-quality prototypes and products for a wide range of users
  • Critique, evaluate and test their ideas and products and the work of others
  • Understand and apply the principles of client centred design with regard to development of a prototype.

Subject content Key Stage 3

Through a variety of creative and practical activities, pupils should be taught the knowledge, understanding and skills needed to engage in an iterative process of designing and making. They should work in a range of domestic and local contexts [for example, the home, health, leisure and culture], and industrial contexts for example, engineering, manufacturing, construction, food, energy, agriculture (including horticulture) and fashion]. Topics and themes are focused and whilst supports the syllabus rather than a route through to the GCSE specification. These have been broken down into the following assessment objectives.

Core principles: – Recall, select and communicate knowledge and understanding in design and technology including its wider effects.

Designing and Making principles: – Apply knowledge, understanding and skills in a variety of contexts and in designing and making products.

Specialist Technical principles:– Analyse and evaluate products, including their design and production in greater depth taught through one material category or system.

  • use research and exploration, such as the study of different cultures, to identify and understand user needs
  • identify and solve their own design problems and understand how to reformulate problems given to them
  • develop specifications to inform the design of innovative, functional, appealing products that respond to needs in a variety of situations
  • use a variety of approaches [for example, biomimicry and user-centred design],
  • to generate creative ideas and avoid stereotypical responses
  • develop and communicate design ideas using annotated sketches, detailed plans, 3-D and mathematical modelling, oral and digital presentations and computer-based tools.
  • select from and use specialist tools, techniques, processes, equipment and machinery precisely, including computer-aided manufacture
  • select from and use a wider, more complex range of materials, components and ingredients, taking into account their properties
  • analyse the work of past and present professionals and others to develop and broaden their understanding
  • investigate new and emerging technologies
  • test, evaluate and refine their ideas and products against a specification, taking into account the views of intended users and other interested groups
  • understand developments in design and technology, its impact on individuals, society and the environment, and the responsibilities of designers, engineers and technologists
Technical knowledge
  • understand and use the properties of materials and the performance of structural elements to achieve functioning solutions
  • understand how more advanced mechanical systems used in their products enable changes in movement and force
  • understand how more advanced electrical and electronic systems can be powered and used in their products [for example, circuits with heat, light, sound and movement as inputs and outputs]
  • apply computing and use electronics to embed intelligence in products that respond to inputs [for example, sensors], and control outputs [for example, actuators], using programmable components [for example, microcontrollers].

KS3 Overview

Year 7

CD Project
  • Know the classifications and types of paper/board and their working properties
  • Understand to identify important features of a Design brief and be able to respond creatively and appropriately to meet the brief and the specific needs of a target user.
  • Understand key principles of the use of colour and tone in design and be able to apply and evaluate this knowledge in their design ideas.
  • Understand key principles of imagery and composition in design and demonstrate how to apply this knowledge in their design ideas.
  • Understand the basic practical elements of using Adobe Photoshop.

Year 8

Festival Project
  • Know the classifications and types of paper/board and their working properties
  • Understand to identify important features of a Design brief and be able to respond creatively and appropriately to meet the brief and the specific needs of a target user.
  • Understand key principles of the use of colour, tone, typography and composition in design and be able to apply and evaluate this knowledge in their design ideas.
  • Understand how to design within parameters for a range of events.
  • Understand the basic practical elements of using Adobe Photoshop.

Year 9

Airline branding
  • Know the classifications and types of paper/board and their working properties.
  • Pupils will explore design disciplines, examine the work of recognised designers and use their understanding of design components to identify successful design practice. Some work by a recognised designer and create their own piece of graphic design, taking inspiration from their research and using the components found in the work of their chosen designer.
  • Pupils must continue to develop and demonstrate their understanding of the 6 core components of Graphic Design which links to work carried out in KS4.
  • Pupils must continue to develop their individual skills and understanding of using Photoshop as a design tool.

KS4 Overview

NCFE Graphic Products

This course is appropriate for pupils who are interested in any aspect of graphic design, including sourcing ideas and design and are motivated and challenged by learning through hands-on experiences and through content, which is concrete and related directly to those experiences.

Year 10

Unit 1: Introduction to graphic design

Pupils will develop an understanding of the components of graphic design. They will do this by working with physical and/or digital materials and techniques.

The learner must know about and demonstrate the use of:

  • colour
  • tone
  • line
  • composition
  • typography
  • imagery

Pupils must evaluate:

  • the visual impact of their experiments
  • the choices made during their experiments
Unit 2: Graphic design practice
  • know examples of design practice in a chosen discipline
  • know recognised graphic designers in a chosen discipline
  • know the characteristics of design practice

Pupils must demonstrate use of:

  • technical skills
  • processes
  • techniques
  • equipment
  • material
  • composition

The pupil must evaluate:

  • how their design reflects the work of the graphic designer
  • their technical skills
  • their use of graphic design components
  • ways of improving

Year 11

Unit 3: Responding to a graphic design brief

The learner must know how to:

  • respond to a brief
  • develop ideas
  • demonstrate technical skills
  • demonstrate effective use of resources

The pupil must evaluate:

  • the final outcome
  • the purpose and impact of the graphic design
  • effective use of resources
  • what went well and not so well
Unit 4: Graphic design portfolio

The pupil must know about:

  • the range of employment opportunities in graphic design
  • entry and progression routes
  • ways to present and promote work
  • the characteristics of digital and physical portfolios

The pupil must demonstrate:

  • breadth of work
  • editing and selection of work
  • selection of format
  • presentation skills
  • reasons for choice

The pupil must evaluate:

  • strengths and weaknesses
  • technical skills
  • creative responses
  • presentation skills


In design technology, we believe that all pupils should be equipped with and supported in developing a high level of reading and literacy capability. There are clear expectations for how subject knowledge and understanding will be demonstrated through oracy and literacy. This will ensure that pupils show a deep understanding of the topics taught across both key stages. Age appropriate subject knowledge vocabulary will be taught to pupils. This will be modelled by teachers and explained to pupils to continually reinforce the expected standard.

Reading strategies are implemented in the design technology department and are informed by the demands of the scheme of work, pupils’ reading ages, and the key principles of the Corpus Christi approach to ensure pupils are supported in developing their reading, literacy, and oracy across the curriculum.

Colleagues should take time to model effective reading by, for example, reading a passage aloud prior to the class reading. Additionally, colleagues must be aware of when difficult vocabulary needs to be pre-taught and this should be highlighted within the scheme.

The way in which subject specific vocabulary is taught will be differentiated to suit the ability of all pupils.


Assessment will be continuous and largely formative through the use of regular recall and pupil explanation. In addition to this, understanding will be communicated and assessed through key pieces of written work. In Key Stage 4 pupils will complete assessments at the end of each unit to check their knowledge and understanding over time.

Curriculum Impact

The impact of the design technology curriculum is evident in the depth of secure knowledge acquired by our pupils. This is demonstrated by our recent examination results.  

In Graphic Products 100% of pupils achieved a level 2 pass or higher.  

We are consistently a popular option choice for Year 9 pupils and have over 120 pupils studying a design technology course in both Year 10 and Year 11. This is a result of the impact of our well planned, sequenced and stimulating curriculum that serves to inspire pupils to study our subject at GCSE. 

The Design Technology department also offers a variety of weekly clubs to all pupils. These are consistently well-attended and gives pupils the opportunity to experience aspects of the subject they may not encounter whilst studying the National Curriculum during lessons. 

The impact of our curriculum is also seen in pupils choosing to continue professionally in this industry. We have past alumni that have progressed into careers within technology, including Dale Collier who is a senior engineer at Rolls Royce and Henry Edwards who works in design and engineering at British Aerospace (BAE) 

Many of our pupils continue to study industry related courses at Preston College, such as, Construction and Joinery, or progress onto training apprenticeships gaining valuable hands-on experience in a real work environment. 

For further information regarding the Design and Technology curriculum please contact:

Mr Holden, email: or telephone school reception: (01772) 716912.

Together In One Body
Corpus Christi Catholic High School
St. Vincent’s Road, Fulwood, Preston PR2 8QY
Telephone: 01772 716912 Fax: 01772 718779 Email: