The Design and Technology Department at Tabor encompasses Product Design, (taught as Graphics, 3D Design or Resistant Materials) Textiles and Food.

With new changes to the national curriculum, every student must be taught the basics of ‘cooking’ skills in KS3. We therefore rotate our students on an annual carousel allowing each student to study one academic year in Food and two years in other Design and Technology subjects.

The aim and objectives of the Design and Technology Department relate directly to those of the school and to the requirements of The National Curriculum. We see Design and Technology as an area of practical and creative activity that aims to prepare young people for life in a changing technological society. We feel that the modern approach to teaching this subject should emphasise areas such as design and communication, mechanisms, structures, electronics and computer applications alongside the more traditional skills of realisation in wood, metal and plastic. We aim and endeavour to excite and challenge pupils at Tabor Academy as a result, both in lessons and extra-curricular time. We live by the motto: explore, create and evaluate!

The practical applications of mathematical, scientific and art concepts are combined with practical skills and an understanding of aesthetic, social and environmental issues together with industrial practices. The wider influence of our environment, social and moral choices are naturally woven into the teaching and learning in the classroom and indeed, through all aspects of designing for others. We encourage students to reflect on and evaluate present and past design and technology, its uses and its impacts. Technology helps all students to become critical and creative designers who will become informed consumers for the future.

Latest News

Jimmy’s Farm
Year 7 Students are invited to join a trip to Jimmy’s Farm, to see the source of some of their food. This year’s Year 7 made a very positive impression on the staff, and even Jimmy himself who made time in his day to come and say hello. Nearly a third of the year group came along to meet the farm animals, learnt from the resident Butcher Daryl about how meat is prepared, tried a range of Jimmy’s Farm sausages and had a farm walk to meet the rare breed animals.  They also had a chance to roam through the vegetable and herb patches to view the other flavoursome ingredients added to the famous Jimmy’s brand sausage meat mixtures.

Jimmys Farm cropped for website finalCadbury’s World
Key Stage four students were treated to a day full of chocolate, with a trip to Cadbury’s World in Bournville. Our students were amazed by the size of the company and how many brands that are associated with Cadbury’s, before exploring the chocolate factory and seeing chocolate production in action. All in all, this was an amazing day out. All of our students were superb ambassadors for the school and had a wonderful experience. We even found the Proverbial Chocolate Teapot!

choc teapotCadbury factory

Students studying the new GCSE Food Preparation and Nutrition course next year will have another food related trip to look forward to in the summer term of 2017.

Part of the Braintree Able, Gifted and Talented consortium, Tabor students are invited to take part in a local Masterchef to create a ‘healthy meal’ with a set of given criteria. The Food Dept at Tabor is proud to continue to host the KS3 Finals and this year the skills shown by our budding Jamies and Nigellas were nothing short of amazing.

Caitlin's winning picture edit Jacob L masterchef edit


Each course of KS3 D&T is designed to further improve the students designing and making skills, whilst also embedding the Personal, Learning and Thinking Skills such as Team Work, Innovation and Creativity.

Every student studies D&T for 2 hours per week at KS3.

Design and Technology – Product Design

In D&T, students will learn a variety of skills, including traditional practical workshop skills, Graphics skills and CAD/CAM skills using our ICT facilities. Students will complete a number of projects that will enhance both their practical skills, and theoretical understanding of this wide ranging subject. The projects will allow students to build on, and develop, their skills enabling them to successfully complete GCSE courses at KS4. New courses for this year include the re-vamped Graphics course, and a brand new 3D design course which will look at design on a larger scale.

Food lessons

The school has recently updated the subject content of the Key Stage 3 Food Studies course, in line with the New National Curriculum. This involves more exploration of food and nutrition linked to a range of healthy recipes. There is an approximate 80% savoury to 20% sweet recipe split. The pupils study a range of topics including the Eat Well Plate, the 8 tips for healthy eating, dairy products, carbohydrates, protein, nutrition through the life stages and food allergies and intolerances. They will also cook a range of products including, coleslaw, vegetarian chilli, risotto, pasta bake, spaghetti bolognese, a variety of soups, breads and a selection of cakes/sweet dishes.

Textiles Lessons

Students will follow a course to develop their practical skills and designing skills. This brand new course for 2016 has been written with enjoyment and inspiration in mind. Students will be challenged to create new product outcomes using their creativity with inspiration taken from their everyday living and things less obvious.

The course includes the use of ICT, CAD (computer aided design) and computerised sewing machines to assist in the production of students’ designs, as well as a wide variety of hand textile making skills.

Both fashion design and interior design are studied. The course also covers dyeing, embellishing and construction techniques as well as manufacturing and marketing in relation to textiles.


All summative assessment within the department is in line with the Design Curriculum Team and the schools’ assessment and recording policy. Key Stage 3 students have a minimum of 6 assessed pieces a year including assessed homework pieces, Students can expect to receive regular advice on their work and its progress from their teacher including frequent verbal feedback, which will be recorded by the student.


There is a range of KS4 options offered within the D&T suite. Each of these subjects have their own dedicated web page;

  • GCSE Catering
  • GCSE Child Development
  • GCSE Product Design

Extra-Curricular Opportunities

Extra-curricular opportunities include after school support for our KS3 and KS4 students, held on a Tuesday and /or Thursday evening after school. Students should check the plasma screens for more details and look at their form notice boards for further information.

We also have a number of exciting opportunities for students involving our Greenpower car and links with STEM initiatives, namely our quadcopter.

How to support your child at home

Parents can help their children to develop an awareness of the role of Design and Technology in development of the modern world through simple yet effective ways.

  • To help your child to see the value of designing and making in today’s modern world, and the good job opportunities that this line of study can offer.

To encourage your child’s enjoyment in, and to help her in solving, technological problems.

  • To give time and opportunities for your child to discuss their technology projects at home and give feedback on the things they make.
  • To encourage your child to complete her homework on time and to the best of their ability.
  • To encourage your child to always aim to improve on their previous best performance.

Useful links

Links to other websites

Possible places to visit to support students learning

Design Museum, 28 Shad Thames, London SE1 2YD