The King's School in Macclesfield


      Design and Technology

      About the Department

      The department is staffed by two full-time members of staff who are supported by a full-time Technician shared with the Art department. The department is committed to the teaching of product design as a philosophy and all pupils are encouraged to see design as an important everyday factor in their lives. The department is keen on developing design approaches which include iterative design and user centre design. 

      Examination Results

      GCSE          9-7 = 39%          9-4 = 97%

      A Level       A*-A = 29%       A*-B = 86%       A*-C = 100%

      Subject Content & Syllabus

      Design & Technology is taught to all pupils in Years 7 and 8. Each group has two lessons per fortnight during which pupils are introduced to a range of projects and materials, aimed at building students’ ability to solve problems, work in teams and develop manufacturing skills including the use of our CAD/ CAM facilities. Developing independence in students is a key philosophy which underpins the work of the department.  

      From Year 9, the subject is optional. Pupils are allocated an extra lesson per fortnight to allow them to become more specialised and develop a higher standard of practical outcome whilst always learning new skills. The importance of a broader view of design in society is also taught during this year.

      GCSE courses follow the AQA Design & Technology Course. This involves an iterative design approach alongside a more detailed and focused curriculum content. All pupils taking this course will develop skills across a full range of materials including electronics and textiles. The pupils will have to submit a Non Exam Assessment(NEA) in addition to a 2 hour examination paper. Pupils are allocated 6 periods per fortnight to follow this course.

      The current A Level provision for students follows the AQA Design & Technology: Product Design course. This new A level course is delivered as a linear programme with examinations and NEA being submitted at the end of Year 13. Year 12 work is focused on developing extensive subject knowledge and developing higher level manufacturing skills to ensure students can respond to the NEA challenge in Year 13. 

      Current lesson provision is for students to have 12 lessons per fortnight at A Level, which allows students to develop their skills to an exceptionally high level.

      Monitoring & Assessment

      Students are carefully monitored over the course of each half term and regular feedback is given to parents over progress. D&T National Curriculum criteria are used to ensure pupils are progressing.  At Key Stages 4 & 5, a greater focus on specific project criteria ensures that pupils are achieving the required national standards and more. Assessments of progress are made every half-term.

      Enrichment Opportunities

      • Arkwright Scholarships – aimed at A Level students wishing to follow a career in engineering. By a three-stage application starting around Christmas of Year 11.
      • IET Faraday Challenge days – by invitation for Year 8 pupils to take on a challenge set on the day. Requires creative and imaginative thinking.
      • Siemens Manufacturing Challenge – a day-long competition in a ‘Dragons’ Den’ style competition.
      • STEM Challenges – for all years: various challenges during the year involving Science, Technology, Engineering and Maths.
      • D&T Projects Club – for pupils to come along and tackle their own independent projects or to catch up on curriculum work.


      A huge range of careers can be followed through the study of D&T. Engineering careers from traditional engineering through to the modern application of new technology in the design and manufacture of products and Apps can all be followed at university.

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