Design & Technology

Mrs B Smith (Head of Faculty, Teacher of Design and Technology)

Mr P Nti (Teacher of Design and Technology)

Mr G Parsons (Teacher of Design and Technology/Assistant Head Teacher)

Mrs E Pether (Teacher of Design and Technology)

Mrs S Munnelly, Mrs S Reed, Mr B Smeath - Technicians


Recognising the importance of design and manufacture in everyday life.   

Our Vision

We promote the value of design and making in people’s lives and in doing so provide enjoyment through creative expression. We enable this through a variety of projects that allow students to; create their own ideas, use their hands as well as CAD/CAM to make products, evaluate their work, take risks within a safe environment and to have fun. We help them to discover how to apply their learning from all other subjects (maths and science in particular) to real life situations. Students use a variety of design strategies, developing resilience and problem-solving skills (iterative design) whilst also understanding the importance of considering different people’s needs (user-centred design). We foster independence and individuality, developing responsible citizens who gain skills that they can transfer not only into the wider workplace, but also into the rest of their lives. Students leave the department ready to design their future and ours. 

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.

In Year 7 and 8 students follow a carousel system of projects (which includes lessons in Food Preparation and Nutrition), taught by our multi- skilled staff team. They work with a variety of materials and processes to become increasingly confident designers, makers and problem solvers. Students have access to an increasingly wide range of tools, equipment and up to date machinery.  Our workshops and CAD/CAM suite are spacious and well equipped. We provide an excellent environment in which to explore, learn and innovate.

To view more of our students’ work please click here (link coming soon).

James Dyson engineering and science challenges have been attempted at home by some of our students.  To see their investigations please click below.

At the end of Year 8, students are asked to choose between continuing with either Design and Technology or Food Preparation and Nutrition for their Year 9 programme of study.  Please click on the image below for a further explanation of these choices.

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.

Our Year 9 programme of study is designed to increase students’ understanding of modern technologies and to further develop their communication and CAD/CAM skills.



One of the highlights of our Year 9 curriculum is a trip to the Jaguar Land Rover factory, one of the most advanced car manufacturing plants in the world. Students tour the factory floor and see first hand how the robots build the cars. They learn about lean manufacturing processes and test this knowledge in a competitive team exercise.


RS Components Innovation Challenge Competition 2019 (click link to see our students entries) 

Shell Bright Ideas Challenge 2020 (Students work coming soon)

During Year 9, students will be asked to choose their GCSE options.

According to a new report from the World Economic Forum, creativity at work is going to be one of the most important and in-demand skills in the next 5 years. Click here to read more 

Students who choose GCSE Design and Technology can look forward to exciting careers that improve peoples’ lives. Everything you encounter has been designed and manufactured by someone. We need designers and engineers who consider our planet and its resources, as well as the needs of a growing and diverse population. You will learn skills that enable you to be part of designing the future in an innovative, sustainable and inclusive way.

Click below to see our GCSE option presentation which gives you an overview of the course and mentions the transferable skills you will gain from studying D&T.

Click below to see some ideas that have changed peoples lives:

Folding wheels for a wheel chair (YouTube)

Solar powered light in developing countries (YouTube)


GCSE Design and Technology will prepare students to participate confidently and successfully in an increasingly technological world. Students will gain awareness and learn from wider influences on Design and Technology including historical, social, cultural, environmental and economic factors. Students will get the opportunity to work creatively when designing and making and apply technical and practical expertise.

Students  study core technical and designing and making principles, including a broad range of design processes, materials techniques and equipment. They will also have the opportunity to study specialist technical principles in greater depth.

You can find out more about the Design and Technology qualification here:  


What's assessed

- Core technical principles
- Specialist technical principles
- Designing and making principles

How it's assessed
- Written exam: 2 hours
- 100 marks
- 50% of GCSE

Non-exam assessment (NEA)

What's assessedPractical application of:
- Core technical principles
- Specialist technical principles
- Designing and making principles

How it's assessed
- Non-exam assessment (NEA): 30–35 hours approx
- 100 marks
- 50% of GCSE


Students are encouraged to visit the design museum in the holidays. Occasionally a school trip may be possible.

Click here to visit the Design Museum web site 


A Level Product Design at Herschel from Herschel Grammar School on Vimeo.

A level Product Design is a creative and thought-provoking qualification. It gives students the practical skills, theoretical knowledge and confidence to succeed in a number of careers, especially those in the creative industries.

They will investigate historical, social, cultural, environmental and economic influences on design and technology, whilst enjoying opportunities to put their learning into practice by producing prototypes of their choice.

Students will gain a real understanding of what it means to be a designer, alongside the knowledge and skills sought by higher education and employers.

You can find out more about the Product Design qualification here:


Paper 1 

What's assessed
Technical principles

How it's assessed
Written exam: 2 hours and 30 minutes
120 marks
30% of A-level

Mixture of short answer and extended response.

Paper 2

What's assessed
Designing and making principles

How it's assessed
Written exam: 1 hour and 30 minutes
80 marks
20% of A-level

Mixture of short answer and extended response questions.

Section A:
Product Analysis: 30 marks
Up to 6 short answer questions based on visual stimulus of product(s).

Section B:
Commercial manufacture: 50 marks
Mixture of short and extended response questions

Non-exam assessment (NEA)

What's assessed
Practical application of technical principles, designing and making principles.

How it's assessed
Substantial design and make project
100 marks
50% of A-level

Written or digital design portfolio and photographic evidence of final prototype.


Latest News

NEWS - 26 May 2023

Half-term Newsletter

NEWS - 22 May 2023

Word of the Week

NEWS - 22 March 2023

Maths Feast Event

NEWS - 07 March 2023

Lessons from Auschwitz 2023

NEWS - 10 February 2023

Empathy Week