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 1 hours per hour a week at KS3.

Design and Technology

In D&T, students will learn a variety of skills, including traditional practical workshop skills, Graphics graphic 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.

Food lessons

The school has 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 Guide, 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. Pastries, Pasta, Breads, Calzone, a variety of soups, and a selection of sweet dishes.


All summative assessment within the department is in line with the Design Curriculum Team and the schools’ Loxford Academy 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.  Tabor Academy currently provide the facility to study GCSE Food Preparation and Nutrition and/or GCSE Design and Technology.

GCSE Food Preparation and Nutrition

Students will follow the new AQA specification; an exciting and creative course which focuses on practical cooking skills to ensure students develop a thorough understanding of nutrition, food provenance and the working characteristics of food materials.  At its heart, this qualification focuses on nurturing students’ practical cookery skills to give them a strong understanding of nutrition.

Food preparation skills are integrated into five core topics:

  • Food, nutrition and health
  • Food science
  • Food safety
  • Food choice
  • Food provenance.

Upon completion of this course, students will be qualified to go on to further study, or embark on an apprenticeship or full time career in the catering or food industries.

The course is assessed by:

One written exam: 1 hour 45 minutes (50% of GCSE) at the end of Year 11


Two practical assessments during Year 11

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.

Work will be marked by teachers and moderated by AQA.


GCSE Design and Technology

Students will follow the new AQA specification; a stimulating and imaginative course which 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.

The GCSE allows students to 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.

Core technical principles

In order to make effective design choices students will need a breadth of core technical knowledge and understanding that consists of:

  • new and emerging technologies
  • energy generation and storage
  • developments in new materials
  • systems approach to designing
  • mechanical devices
  • materials and their working properties

The course is assessed by:

One written exam: 2 hours (50% of GCSE) at the end of Year 11


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


One practical assessment during Year 11

Non-exam assessment (NEA): 30–35 hours approx

Task: 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

Students will produce a prototype and a portfolio of evidence.

Work will be marked by teachers and moderated by AQA.

Y11 GCSE Product Design Projects

Examples of work from the last year of GCSE Product Design included a pool table, various storage units and a giant lantern.

Students are currently studying GCSE Design and Technology which covers a broader range of materials to include textiles and even food products.  This will allow for even greater scope for creativity.