Skip to content ↓



Design and Technology is an inspiring, rigorous and practical subject. Using creativity and imagination, pupils design and make products that solve real and relevant problems within a variety of contexts, considering their own and others’ needs, wants and values. We help pupils to 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. Through the evaluation of past and present design and technology, they develop a critical understanding of its impact on daily life and the wider world. High-quality design and technology education makes an essential contribution to the creativity, culture, wealth and well-being of the nation.

Our curriculum aims to ensure that all pupils develop the creative, technical and practical expertise needed to perform everyday tasks confidently and to participate successfully in an increasingly technological world. We teach pupils to build and apply a repertoire of knowledge, design and make high-quality prototypes and products for a wide range of users; critique, evaluate and test their ideas and products and the work of others and understand and apply the principles of nutrition and learn how to cook.

The KS3 Design Curriculum at Castle Donington College mirrors the National Curriculum closely in breadth and ambition and in addition, ensures all pupils;

  • use research and exploration, such as the study of different cultures, to identify and understand user needs 
  • identify and solve their own design problems and understand how to reformulate problems given to them 
  • develop specifications to inform the design of innovative, functional, appealing products that respond to needs in a variety of situations 
  • use a variety of approaches to generate creative ideas and avoid stereotypical responses 
  • develop and communicate design ideas using annotated sketches, detailed plans, 3-D and mathematical modelling, oral and digital presentations and computer-based tools
  • select from and use specialist tools, techniques, processes, equipment and machinery precisely, including computer-aided manufacture 
  • select from and use a wider, more complex range of materials, components and ingredients, taking into account their properties

Pupils will also gain technical knowledge so they can understand and use the properties of materials and the performance of structural elements to achieve functioning solutions. They will be taught to understand how more advanced mechanical systems used in their products enable changes in movement and force and how more advanced electrical and electronic systems can be powered and used in their products [for example, circuits with heat, light, sound and movement as inputs and outputs]. Pupils will apply computing and use electronics to embed intelligence in products that respond to inputs [for example, sensors], and control outputs [for example, actuators], using programmable components [for example, microcontrollers].

Food Preparation and Nutrition 

As part of their work with food, pupils should be taught how to cook and apply the principles of nutrition and healthy eating. Instilling a love of cooking in pupils will also open a door to one of the great expressions of human creativity. Learning how to cook is a crucial life skill that enables pupils to feed themselves and others affordably and well, now and in later life. 

All pupils at KS3 will be taught to understand and apply the principles of nutrition and health, cook a repertoire of predominantly savoury dishes so that they are able to feed themselves and others a healthy and varied diet , become competent in a range of cooking techniques and understand the source, seasonality and characteristics of a broad range of ingredients.

Pupils arrive in year 7 with a wide range of design experiences, skills and knowledge. At KS3, pupils receive lessons in core design, delivered to mixed ability tutor groups. In addition, pupils receive project based lessons in design to give them the opportunity to apply their developing knowledge of design theory and increasing design realisation skills in a project based setting. Project lessons are run on a rotation including Design, Graphics Electronics and Food. Practical lessons are delivered to smaller mixed ability groups.