Design and Technology

The Design and Technology department aims to build global Catholic citizens by providing all pupils with an enriching experience within their lessons and extra-curricular activities. Through our KS3 curriculum diet, we aim to nurture intellectual curiosity and encourage a lifelong interest in the subject by promoting risk taking and developing problem solving skills. We strive to ensure that every pupil, irrespective of their starting point is given the skills and knowledge they need to meet their potential. Throughout this process, each pupil is given an insight into the diverse career potential of the subject.

Design and Technology is about providing opportunities for pupils to develop their capability, combining their investigating, designing and making skills with knowledge and understanding in order to create quality products. At St James’ this is achieved through the implementation of the ‘iterative’ design process. Iterative design is the process of designing new products through the cycle of testing, prototyping and continual improvement. Embedded throughout each of the projects is the Core and Specialist subject knowledge alongside cross-curricular Mathematics and Science requirements, to fully prepare pupils for their GCSE examinations. All of which is carefully planned to maximise the 15 hours available for each year group.

Demonstrating a thorough understanding of the design process is one strand of the Design and Technology GCSE. In addition, pupils need to acquire a general knowledge of all material categories and systems but then be able to specialise on one specific area. With this in mind, at KS3 we provide all pupils with both a Textiles and Product Design rotation.

During their time in Textiles pupils:

  • Develop efficient and safe hand stitch skills, learning a variety of different techniques to assist with hand crafting a 3D product
  • Understand the importance of sustainability in our lives
  • Demonstrate safe and effective use of irons
  • Develop safe sewing machine control skills, acknowledging all safety measures required
  • Develop a variety of colouring fabric methods, i.e. screen printing and develop an understanding of methods of manipulating fabric
  • Are given an introduction as to why ergonomics and anthropometrics is imperative to design

During their time in Product Design pupils:

  • Develop their knowledge and understanding of the design process
  • Begin to appreciate the importance of the client-designer-user relationship
  • Experiment with a range of creative design strategies when generating ideas
  • Demonstrate an understanding of different 2D and 3D drawing methods including CAD
  • Investigate and evidence a range of different manufacturing techniques including traditional and CAM
  • Understand the importance of testing and evaluation

Textiles is a fun and creative subject, which allows pupils to demonstrate and learn a variety of essential life skills. Pupils are exposed to new decorative techniques and are able to experience fabric manipulation. Whilst doing this, pupils explore some of the moral and social issues relating to the Textiles industry. Pupils develop knowledge about the origin of materials and the impact synthetic materials can have on the environment. Invaluable knowledge which will be relevant throughout their lives.

Product Design is part of everyday life and is constantly evolving. Our projects focus on problem solving, exploring design strategies and developing practical skills within a specific material area(s), allowing pupils to manufacture high quality prototypes. They will learn about commercial processes and careers in related industries, as well as developing core transferable skills, such as collaboration and communication. All of which should prepare them fully to become more responsible contributors to society and to reach their academic potential if Design and Technology is opted for in Year 10.


“Enjoy failure and learn from it. You can never learn from success”

James Dyson, British Designer

Jesus looked at them and said,
“With man this is impossible, but with God all things are possible”

Matthew 19:26