Design Technology

Design Technology is a popular option choice at Weatherhead. Students, who study creative subjects with us, thoroughly enjoy their lessons and want to come in free time to study further. The commitment of staff and students alike is what makes this department such a success.

Mrs Freckleton

Head of Art and Design


At Weatherhead High School, Design and Technology is taught across all Key Stages. Our intent is to provide our students with a curriculum that is both interesting and relevant in light of the world’s Economic, Social and Cultural issues whilst also giving them an insight into related creative and technical careers.

Students are taught to combine practical and technological skills with creative thinking to design and make products and systems that meet human needs. Across all Key Stages, students learn to use current technologies to work both individually and as part of teams.

The purpose of our curriculum is to help our students develop an understanding of the working properties of materials and to be creative problem solvers. We equip our students at Key Stage 3 with the necessary skills that allow them to be successful at Key Stage 4 and Key Stage 5. Students do this by building on the skills learned through design and make activities each year. Each year, builds on the knowledge gained in the previous year’s skills as they move through the Key Stages.

A deep understanding of Health and Safety, the use of tools and equipment and the properties and working characteristics of a range of materials is developed throughout all Key Stages. This allows our students to develop the confidence to attempt more complex design solutions at Keys Stage 4 and 5.



In Design and Technology, skills are delivered through units of work across the year group and are taught on a rota throughout the year. This allows all students full access to all Design and Technology resources across the year. In each year students’ complete units of work that develop their skills in designing principles, materials and their working properties, making principles and energy, systems and devices. At Key Stage 3 students’ study the materials areas of Timbers, Metals and Polymers. Each year builds on the skills of the previous year to develop a deeper understanding of each of the principles. students are assessed at the end of each topic and individual targets are given to help students to improve their work in the future.

At Key Stage 4 and 5, students follow the AQA Specifications. Theory knowledge is taught through a mixture of practical activities and written work. Students complete a series of practical tasks to develop knowledge and understanding of materials and components, specialist tools and equipment and techniques and processes. Students develop knowledge of material selection, their sources and the ecological and social impact they have on the environment and people. Students are then able apply this knowledge to specialist technique/processes questions at GCSE and A Level. Students can also apply the skill to their NEA if applicable.

Homework is set for Key Stage 4 and 5 students to consolidate their learning or to prepare them for a new topic. This can take the form of Seneca assignments, revision activities or example examination questions. End of term tests are given to check students’ understanding and are used as a tool to ascertain students strengths and weaknesses of a particular topic and inform Teacher planning.


The study of Design Technology at Weatherhead High School equips all students with the skills needed to allow them to develop the creative, technical and practical expertise that is needed to perform everyday tasks confidently and to participate successfully in an increasingly technological world.  The department allows students to study Design and Technology at GCSE and Product Design at A ‘Level.  Students are taught by specialist staff across all the key Stages. The department routinely achieves good results at GCSE level, achieving a positive residual over the past 5 years.  All students, regardless of their background, achieve well at GCSE.  At A level the department achieved an Alps score of 4 in 2019 with an average PA score of 6.20 and a value added score of 0.98.  “2019 was the first cohort through the more rigorous GCSE and A Level curriculum. The department has a thorough Quality Assurance programme which is evidenced through regular learning walks and book scrutiny.

By studying Design Technology at Weatherhead, students are able to progress onto further education and employment.  Students who show an interest in Engineering are encouraged to apply for the prestigious Arkwright Engineering Scholarship, which encourages and supports future leaders in Engineering. Our students have 100 per cent success in being successful in gaining this scholarship, which has resulted in these students receiving further opportunities to enhance their knowledge of the Engineering industry in readiness for their future careers.  

Many of our Year 13 students have gone on to study related subjects at University, after having their passion for design ignited through their study of Design Technology.  These courses include:

  • Product Design
  • Mechanical Engineering
  • Civil Engineering
  • Interior Design
  • Architecture

Students learn how to take risks, becoming resourceful, innovative, enterprising and capable citizens.  Key stage 3 students have also been successful in a variety of competitions, including the Ventura design competition where they won 1st place for their design for ‘petal pot’ This design later being made into a working product and going on sale in the Design Museum shop.

At Weatherhead we pride ourselves on a high-quality Design Technology education where students enjoy the subject. The subject encourages students to make an essential contribution to the creativity, culture, wealth and well being of the nation.  Through the evaluation of past and present Design and Technology, our students develop a critical understanding of its impact on daily life and the wider world.

Staff at Weatherhead

In the department we are fortunate to have experienced staff with a wide range of design backgrounds. Their diverse skills enrich teaching styles as well as inspiring our students.

Mrs Smith worked in industrial design for Shell as well as private companies before specialising in Design Technology. She also designed and made bespoke jewellery freelance.

Mrs French specialises in Design Technology Resistant Materials. Previous winner of the Young Engineer design prize.

Mrs Pearson is a specialist in Design Technology Resistant Materials, worked as a freelance designer and exhibited work in London.


Our Art rooms provide a creative workspace for students to experiment and explore practically, using a wide range of materials and media. Specialist equipment includes ceramic facilities, printing equipment and a heat presses. All classrooms are equipped with interactive white boards and overhead projectors that are used to visually support lessons and combine modern technology with traditional techniques.

Each room creatively displays a wide range of high quality students’ work ranging from KS3 to A level. This provides a personal, interesting and inspirational working environment for our students. High quality visual aides are used to inform and inspire creativity.


Classrooms are available within the department at lunchtime and after school to enable students to use practical equipment and complete work. Teachers are available to offer additional support and guidance during a range of organised support sessions. We encourage students to take ownership of their learning and strongly promote independence. As a result rooms are available at all times throughout the day and after school for A level students to continue their study outside of timetabled lessons.


We offer a range of practical based clubs to provide the opportunity for students to learn additional skills outside of lessons. Practicing artists and designers also run workshops for students at GCSE and A level, which give practical experience and an insight into the creative industry. Throughout the year a range of inspirational trips are arranged, including a European residential for A level students. There is also the opportunity for select students to be involved in a range of Art and Textiles based competitions and have their work exhibited in school, local galleries and nationally.

Visit for our current programme of extra-curricular activities.

Design Technology is a popular option choice at Weatherhead. Students, who study creative subjects with us, thoroughly enjoy their lessons and want to come in free time to study further. The commitment of staff and students alike is what makes this department such a success.

Mrs Freckleton

Head of Art and Design

Design Technology Learning Journey