GCSE Design and Technology (Materials)


In Year 10, pupils will undertake a number of mini projects that will allow them to understand and practice skills including using hand tools, machining and the use of power tools, using Computer Aided Design/Computer Aided Manufacture (CAD/CAM) systems, quality control and maintaining accuracy and teamwork.  These will be complemented by a series of relevant theory lessons.

In Year 11, pupils will undertake a non-examined assessment (NEA) that showcases the skills they have developed in Year 10 and the knowledge they have developed through the theory lessons.  It will be substantial 'design and make' task covering investigation of design possibilities, producing a design brief and specification, generating and developing design ideas, making, analysing and evaluating.

Paper 1 is an external exam in which pupils will be assessed on their knowledge and understanding of the following:

  • Core technical principles covering paper/card, timber, metal, polymers, textiles, electrical/mechanical systems;
  • Specialist technical principles covering at least one of the above materials category.  In this course we will focus on timber, with some metal and polymers;
  • Design and making principles.

Paper 1 (50%):
Section A - core technical principles (20 marks)
Section B - specialist technical principles (30 marks)
Section C - designing and making principles (50 marks)
NEA Project (50%): Practical application (100 marks) (in 30-35 marks hours approx)

PROGRESSION AND FUTURE CAREERSThis course is a GCSE.  It provides a good grounding for pupils thinking about any engineering, construction, architectural or product design careers.  It complements vocational qualifications and creative GCSEs and pupils can progress onto Technical Certificates, NVQs, apprenticeships or A-level courses.
It also provides the opportunity to develop practical skills, which are extremely useful in alter life, and it demonstrates that you can manage and carry out an extended project, a skill often sought after by employers.  Transferable skills include an understanding of commercial processes, in-depth knowledge of materials and their properties, communication and teamwork.