Saturday 17 April 2021


Design and Technology Curriculum

Using creativity and inspiration within the subject of Design and Technology, pupils create products that solve real and relevant problems within a variety of contexts, considering their own and others’ needs, wants and values. They acquire a broad range of subject knowledge and draw on disciplines such as mathematics, science, engineering, computing and art. Pupils learn how to take risks, becoming resourceful, innovative, enterprising and capable citizens. They develop critical understanding of how design and technology impacts on daily life and the wider world.   

At Thornhill Academy we aim to ensure that all pupils develop the creative, technical and practical expertise needed to participate successfully in an increasingly technological world. We also want pupils to build a repertoire of knowledge, understanding and skills in order to design and make high-quality prototypes and products for a wide range of users. Pupils will learn to be critical thinkers by constantly evaluating and testing products both independently and with others. They will also consider the principles of nutrition while learning how to prepare dishes using a variety of commodities demonstrating various preparation and cooking techniques. 


Key Stage 3 Design and Technology

In year 7 the pupils start their learning journey investigating different materials such as paper, boards, systems and control. Additionally, students start to understand the design process such as specifications, research methods, initial ideas and evaluation. Built within the design process students will also learn about the different ways to illustrate these ideas through various graphic communications, such as hand drawing styles and CAD/CAM.

In year 8, we build upon the knowledge of the design process by starting to get pupils to engage in writing specifications to further develop their initial ideas. This is achieved by looking at further materials such as textiles and polymers, their origins and uses in everyday life. In addition students will develop their practical skills of cutting, shaping, joining and applying finishes, whilst also looking at the different hand tools and machines, which can be used for these different processes to achieve various outcomes. This process enables students to build up their knowledge and confidence in the workshops.

In year 9, students experience more autonomy applying skills gained in year 7 and 8, into the design process to improve problem solving, provide real world scenarios. Further materials are introduced such as natural timbers and manufactured boards, increasing their knowledge. The aim is to provide a holistic overview of design and technology whilst allowing an insight to KS4.


Key stage 4 GCSE Design and Technology.

GCSE Design and Technology in Thornhill Academy builds upon all of the knowledge and skills from KS3 and prepares 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.

They will also have the opportunity to study specialist technical principles in greater depth. We work towards a grade of 1-9 in Design Technology which consists of two mandatory units of work. Unit 1 is studying the core technical and designing and making principles, including a broad range of design processes, materials techniques and equipment which equates to 50% of their mark with a final written exam taken at the end of year 11, which is a 2 hour paper.

The 2nd unit which is a Non Exam Assessment (NEA), or coursework, is externally set and begins in the summer of year 10.This adds up to the other 50% of final grade. Part of the assessment changes each year and is set by the exam board, the task consists of an everyday problem in society where the pupils work on a viable solution and prototype model. The qualification supports the progression to study in further education, apprenticeships or employment in the industry.



Key Stage 3 Food Technology 

As part of their work within food technology, pupils will be taught how to cook and apply the principles of nutrition and healthy eating. They will learn how to cook predominantly savoury dishes so that they are able to feed themselves and others a healthy and varied diet. Pupils will become competent in a range of cooking techniques and will learn food provenance, seasonality and characteristics of a broad range of ingredients to allow them to make informed decisions when planning a menu.

In year 7 pupils learn basic nutrition linked to ‘The Eatwell Guide’ and specific government guidelines to ensure an understanding of a healthy diet and lifestyle. They build on this knowledge to design dishes that cater for specific needs. They also link provenance knowledge to environmental issues and how this can effect moral consideration when buying food.

Practically pupils learn basic knife skills, heat control, how to use a food processor and portion control by producing predominantly savoury dishes.

In year 8, pupils build on nutritional knowledge by looking at the effects of malnutrition on the body and energy balance linked to energy drinks. They will also look further into food provenance by learning about food from different Countries, cultures and religions thus allowing them to make informed decisions when catering for individual needs.

Practically pupils will further advance by using more technical skills such as yeast dough production, the rubbing-in method, melting and creaming method of cake production, an electric whisk, sauce skills including a roux sauce demonstrating reduction to thicken and presentation techniques.

In year 9, pupils will further develop nutritional knowledge by identifying dietary needs at different life stages and why certain nutrients are needed. Pupils will independently research, design and make a practical product which includes the commodity cereal. They will compete against their class and sell the most popular design within school during a planned event. The product that makes the most money wins a prize.

Practically pupils will focus on products that contain the commodity cereal by making bread shapes, savoury short crust pastry pie and cupcakes piped with butter cream icing. They will then gain independence during the practical competition by taking risks to create an innovative product and demonstrate an entrepreneurial spirit.

Key Stage 4 Level 1/2 Award in Hospitality and Catering

Hospitality and catering is Britain’s fourth largest industry and accounts for around 10% of the total workforce. With this in mind, it is an important subject of study at Thornhill Academy. We work towards a level 1/2 Award in Hospitality and Catering which consists of two mandatory units of work. ‘The Hospitality and Catering Industry’ (Unit 1) is an externally assessed written exam paper which lasts for 1 hour 30 minutes and is work 40% of the final overall grade. ‘Hospitality and Catering in Action’ (Unit 2) is an internally assessed 9 hour controlled assessment which is 1/3 practical. Pupils are required to research, plan and make two nutritional dishes in a limited amount of time. This unit is worth 60% of the final course grade. This qualification supports learner who want to progress in this vocational sector and develop a career or go onto further study.   

WJEC Level 1/2 Award in Hospitality and Catering