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Gcse Dt Coursework Ideas

Design and Information Technology

The Team     

  • Miss A Acton - Director of Learning / Product Design

  • Mr P Thomas - Second in Department / Textiles

  • Mrs L Vinson - Food Technology

  • Mrs M Lane - Information Technology

  • Miss M Evans - Design Technology

  • Mrs B Hodgson - Food and Textiles Technician

  • Mrs W Mitchell - Resistant Materials Technician


Design and Information Technology allows students to work with the many materials and technologies that society uses today. From the construction of furniture to how we communicate, DIT focuses on how we make things and how those materials and methods are continually developing. Within DIT we are preparing our students to live and work in a rapidly developing technological society and to give them the skills to allow them to manipulate those technologies with confidence and skill.

The subject is split into four key areas:

  • Product Design 

  • Textiles Technology

  • Food Technology

  • Information Communication Technology


Key Stage 3

In Years 7 and 8 students rotate four subject areas in Design and Information Technology:

  • Product Design

  • Textiles Technology

  • Food Technology

  • Information Communication Technology

The rotations are designed to cover all aspects of the Design and Information Technology National Curriculum, as well as provide students with core, transferable ICT skills. At the end of Year 8 when students make their option choices, they can choice from a range of pathways within DIT. Please see individual subject areas for more information.

KS3 - Product Design

Year 7: Jewellery Project

  • During this project, students will be introduced to the workshop and be taught how to use a range of equipment and machinery safely.
  • Students will learn how to create a range of creative and imaginative design ideas for either a pendant or keyring and manufacture their final product to a high standard.
  • In addition, students will create packaging of their final product and explore a range of graphic techniques using Photoshop.

Year 8: Mechanical Toy Project

  • During this project, students will learn to make a range of mechanical systems. They will learn the four types of motion and understand how input motion can be turned into output motion.
  • Students will create a mechanical toy using a cams mechanical system. The project also gives students the opportunity to develop their making and finishing skills, exploring traditional wood joints.

For examples of our students previous KS3 work click here


 KS3 - Textiles

Year 7: World pillow case project

  • In this project you will be designing and making a Pillowcase with the theme of ‘countries around the world’.

  • During this project you will learn to research using a wide variety of sources, taking inspiration from current and past designers.

  • You will learn how to create designs using different creative techniques.

  • You will also learn how to use a variety of hand and machine techniques to create your pillowcase. These include dying, printing and even adding lights to your pillowcase.


Year 8: Up-cycled garment project

  • As we should all be concerned about the environment, this project is aimed at adding new life to your old clothes that would otherwise be thrown in the bin.

  • First you will learn why it is important for designers to consider the environment and how we can make ‘greener’ products.

  • There are a wide variety of techniques that you will learn that will help transform your old garments into something new and wonderful.

  • You will also learn the importance of evaluation by gaining feedback from different people to help you improve your work


ks3 - Food Technology

Year 7: Chefs Apprentice Project


Project Outline: In this project students learn how to use the Food Technology room safely and confidently. They practise a variety of cooking techniques making both sweet and savoury food products using a wide range of ingredients. Students are shown how to use the equipment in the room and will develop confidence and skill using basic equipment and the hob, grill and oven. Students are encouraged to evaluate their cooking at home using sensory analysis and think about how they would change the recipe if they were to make the dish again. Year 7 recipes include: fruit salad, egg salad platter, vegetable chow mein, chefs cheesy mash, fruity flapjack, cinnamon scones and mini muffins. We ask that all students bring their ingredients and a take home container to the food tech room before school on the day of the scheduled practical lesson.


Year 8: Designing for others


Project Outline: In this project students explore different target groups including those with special dietary needs and the need to follow healthy eating guidelines. A range of sweet and savoury dishes are made, building on the practical skills learnt in Year 7. Evaluations encourage students to write about the changes they made during practical tasks and developing their ideas to suit different dietary requirements. Presentation of food products is very important. Students are encouraged to think more independently about how to present their own work professionally. Year 8 recipes include: Vegetable gratin, gluten free banana muffins, home-made tomato sauce for pasta, bread-base pizza and vegetable curry. We ask that all students bring their ingredients and a take home container to the food tech room before school on the day of the scheduled practical lesson.


Click here to view past students exemplary work in Food Technology 



KS3 - Information Communication Technology

Year 7: Digital Literacy


Year 7 will be given an introduction to basic digital literacy.

  • This will include creating a folder structure.  Understanding how to save to different drives including the One Drive and how to share this work with others including a teacher.

  • You will learn how to create a presentation that meets the requirements of the target audience.

  • You will learn how to create a formal letter and how to lay it out properly. Also how to create tables in word processing software.

  • You will learn how to layout a spreadsheet and to create basic functions and formulas.  You will also learn how to make a graph/chart.  How to print out a spreadsheet correctly.

  • You will learn how to use desktop publishing software including different templates.  Within this aspect you will learn how to use image editing software


Year 8


  • As we should all be aware how to use IT for any given scenario.

  • You will use a range of software to create documents that will be needed for this production.  This will include a spreadsheet, desktop publishing software, image editing software, word processing software and presentation software.

  • You will also learn the importance of evaluation by gaining feedback from different people to help you improve your work.



Key Stage 4

At Key Stage four, students can study up to two Technology subjects at GCSE.



KS4 - Product Design

AQA GCSE Product Design


For previous examples of our GCSE work click here


Year 9- Product Design Foundation Year - AQA Design Technology (New Specification)


For those who have opted for GCSE Product Design, students will undertake a range of theory and practical based projects to help develop their skills and knowledge prior to Year 10. Projects include:

  • Clock Project- using CAD/CAM

  • Materials theory- Wood based products, polymers, ferrous and non ferrous metals

  • Box project- traditional manufacturing techniques

  • Environment and sustainability

  • Ergonomics and anthropometrics

  • Mechanical devices- levers and linkages


Year 10 and 11 GCSE Product Design - AQA Design Technology: Product Design


By choosing Product Design you will have the opportunity to study the principles of design. You will learn to produce creative and innovative products that meet the needs of clients and consumers. Through the study of past and present designers you will be able to analyse and evaluate a range of products to help inform the development of your own design ideas. In addition, you will select and use tools/equipment to manufacture quality products. All students will be taught to work safely in the workshop and how to solve technical problems in the design and manufacture process. Materials will include: paper/card, timber based materials as well as plastics. Through testing, modification and evaluation activities you will ensure the manufacture of quality outcomes. A range of graphics techniques and ICT, including CAD/CAM will be used to help you generate, develop, model and communicate your design proposals.


The Product Design GCSE will cover:

  • Materials: plastic, wood, metal, paper and card, man-made boards

  • Product packaging

  • Designing for a target market

  • Generation of imaginative and creative design solutions

  • Product planning

  • Computer aided design and computer aided manufacture

  • Finishing processes

  • Smart and modern materials

  • Industrial production

  • Environmental and sustainability issues

  • Health and safety

  • Product evaluation


  • Unit 1 40%: 2 hour written exam to be completed at the end of year 11

  • Unit 2: 60% Controlled assessment


ks4 - Textiles 

WJEC GCSE Textiles



Year 9


Year 9 is a foundation year, through a different project each term you will learn all the skills and knowledge that you will need for your GCSE. For each of the following projects you will research develop and create a wide range of products:

  • Creative designing project

  • Materials project

  • Techniques project

  • Sustainability project

  • Finishing project

  • Prototype project

Examples of items you will make are: Bags, fashion items, children’s toys and home furnishings.


Year 10-11


  • This course is 60% coursework and 40% exam. The exam board provide a range of different briefs for you to choose from but each brief follows the same format of; research, design, development, make and evaluation.

  • The core focus of your coursework is designing and making skills, where you will aim to make a creative product to a high standard that is commercially viable.

  • For your exam you will develop a working knowledge of textiles materials and components appropriate to modelling, prototyping and manufacturing. 

For examples of both GCSE and A-Level students final work, please click here


ks4 - Food Technology

AQA GCSE Food Preparation and Nutrition


  • Year 9 is a foundation course to the AQA GCSE in Food Preparation and Nutrition (8585) specification.

  • Year 10 students are studying the new AQA GCSE Food Preparation and Nutrition (8585) Specification which is proving to be very popular. 

  • Year 11 are following the AQA Food Technology (4545) Specification.

Year 9


  • Students work on developing their practical skills on a number of recipes including: Sausage Rolls, Breaded Chicken Goujons, fried rice, savoury scones, mini quiches, stuffed peppers, lamb tagine, spring rolls, stir fry, fish cakes, fruity traybake, focaccia, pasta bake, spaghetti bolognese.

  • Students work on developing skills of recipe planning and timekeeping in a practical setting.

  • The importance of food hygiene and the safe storage, handling, preparation and cooking of ingredients particularly those with a high risk of food spoilage and contamination is a continued focus.

  • The nutritional value of food is investigated this year. Students study the 5 Nutrients including the function in the body, good food sources and the effects of excess and deficiency.

  • Students also complete nutritional analysis for all recipes, sometimes using computer software, and include this in evaluations and future planning.

  • There will be Practical and Theory Assessment every term.

  • Students are actively encouraged to cook at home, practising recipes for assessments as well as family recipes and preparation of meals. Any additional experience with different equipment and ingredients is useful in developing confidence and skill in the kitchen.

  • In June students have the opportunity to visit Bore Place which is an Organic dairy farm and market garden. On this day students learn about organic farming, gather seasonal organic fruit and vegetables and use them to prepare a lunch of pizza and fruit crumble. Further details of this visit will be available in May.

  • Food provenance and sustainability are key aspects of the GCSE course and are discussed where relevant in Year 9.


Year 10


  • Year 10 students are studying the new GCSE Food Preparation and Nutrition course which is proving to be very popular. Students research and make dishes to meet the nutritional needs of children, teenagers, adults and older adults throughout the year. We also consider special dietary needs related to health, religious and moral choices.  Evaluations are more detailed and include the nutritional value and the cost of ingredients as well as the suitability for different groups.

  • Food science is a strong theme this year learning about the functional and chemical properties of protein, carbohydrates, fats and oils, the function of water and energy including PAL and BMI.

  • Through practical work students learn about how and why food is cooked using different cooking techniques and processes and the science behind this.

  • Sustainability and food provenance is a strong thread again with discussion on the importance of reducing food waste and the impact of food labelling and packaging on consumer choices.

  • Regular practical and theory assessment continues every term, this time with 2 hour practical exams where students must plan and cook 2 recipes relevant to their chosen target group. The skill of dovetailing practical tasks to maximise the use of time and ensure both dishes are served together at the end is developed here in preparation for the 3-hour practical assessment in year 11 where students will need to cook 3 or 4 dishes.

  • Recipes include high vitamin salad with dressing, soup and savoury scones, sauces, shortbread, pilau rice, samosas and raita, shortcrust pastry pasties, trifle, from scratch puff pastry, sausage rolls or cheese twists, Chelsea buns and swiss roll, lemon meringue pie and potato topped pie.

  • In term 5 we will be investigating the best ingredients for successful bread making in preparation for the Non-Exam Assessment food investigation in Year 11.


Year 11


  • This year students will be revisiting theory work from year 9 and 10 and complete termley mini mock assessments with questions from GCSE exam papers. Further intensive revision for the written exam (40% of final mark) in June starts in March 2017.

  • The next stage of the Coursework (60% of final mark) Project focuses on Product Development. Students choose one of their initial ideas from Year 10 and complete a series of practical investigations to develop this idea into a new product. For example: testing different types of sugar in a cake or different types of flour in pastry.  The most successful results from 4 different investigations are combined to create a brand new food product.

  • Students are expected to work independently at home on exam revision as well as in lessons and to complete their coursework project ready for final assessment and moderation in April 2017.


KS4 - Information Communication Technology

OCR Cambridge Nationals Level 1/2 in ICT


  • The GCSE ICT course is 75% coursework and 25% exam. There will be 3 pieces of coursework.  One of these is mandatory unit and covers a range of IT skills.  2 other units will cover spreadsheets and databases.

  • For the coursework there will be a scenario given by the examination board and a range of skills will be assessed including justification for why choices are made.  Higher grades can only be accessed by extended writing.

  • For your exam you will be given a pre-release scenario and the questions will be related to this scenario.


Key Stage Five

At Key Stage five students can take Product Design, Fashion or Computing at Advanced Level.



KS5 - Product Design

OCR GCE A-Level Product Design


Product Design is a creative subject, which has been designed to encourage students to broaden their understanding of a range of materials, components and manufacturing techniques. They will have the opportunity to develop their design skills through a range of imaginative and innovative methods and produce a portfolio of evidence to support the development of a final prototype.


In addition, students will learn to produce creative and innovative products that meet the needs of a range of clients and consumers. This course is suited to individuals with a creative flair for designing and those who enjoy developing ideas through sketching, modelling and CAD. It is also an excellent choice for those who enjoy practical subjects and want to develop their technical skills in the workshop through the development of models and prototypes. A range of graphics techniques and ICT, including CAD/CAM will be used to help generate, develop, model and communicate students design proposals.


This courses is suitable for those interested in pursuing a career in the design industry. Possible careers include: Product Designer, Architect, Interior Designer, Graphic Designer.


Entry Requirements

5 grade A* - C at GCSE. Students should have a grade C or above in GCSE English Language and GCSE Design Technology.


AS Assessment Units: H053


F521 - Advanced Innovation Challenge (40% of AS; 20% of A Level)

The advanced innovation challenge is a design challenge assessing students ability to design and model a product and then reflect on their design concept. Marks are awarded for innovation and originality. A set brief is released from the exam board prior to the exam for students to collect research and produce a job bag.

Assessment: 7 hour design challenge (undertaken in two three hour sessions over the period of one day and a one hour session at a later date)


F522 - Product Study (60% of AS; 30% of A Level)

The product study is a coursework unit. It consists of product analysis and product development, prototype, modelling and testing. Students choose a suitable, every day product to analyse and develop.

Assessment: Coursework (Approx. 30 hours of work)


A2 Assessment Units: H453


F523: Design, Make and Evaluate (30% of A Level)

Students are required to produce a coursework portfolio and product that fully demonstrates their designing, making and evaluation skills using creativity, flair and innovation. The coursework consists of designing, making and evaluating a product, a marketing presentation, and a review and reflection. This unit is intended to draw upon and develop skills learnt in other units. Students will write and develop their own design brief.

Assessment: Coursework (Approx. 40 hours of work)


F524: Product Design (20% of A Level)

This is a written paper that consists of two components. Students are able to select questions across the focus material areas. Students answer one question in component one related to their material choice. Component two assesses the abilities of students to make immediate design thinking responses to a given situation.

Assessment: 2 hours 30 minutes (Answer two questions on one scenario and one essay question)


 KS5 - Fashion Design

WJEC A-Level GCE Fashion Design


AS Fashion


This course is 60% coursework and 40% exam.


At AS you will submit a design and make project folder that consists of you making a structured garment, that is created for a certain client to wear to a particular occasion. The theme of your project is up to you. You will sit a two-hour exam in which you will answer questions on the following:

  • Design and innovation

  • Product analysis

  • Materials and components

  • Industrial and commercial practice


A2 Fashion


This course is 60% coursework and 40% exam.


At A2 you will undertake a substantial design and make project folder that consists of you making a structured garment, that is created for a certain client to wear to a particular occasion. Each year WJEC will set eight themes for the project, for you to choose from. You will sit a two-hour exam in which you will answer questions in full essays on the following:

  • Human responsibility

  • Processes

  • Public interaction

  • Production systems and control


ks5 - Information Communication Technology

Year 12 - IB Standard Level IT in The Global Society


  • The ITGS IB Standard Level is taught over two years and consists of three written examinations.

ITGS is a subject that:

· Focuses on the systematic and critical study of human experience and behaviour relating to the relationship between human beings and IT systems.

· Requires students to have sufficient technical knowledge of IT systems to be able to make information decisions about their use (digital wisdom in contrast to digital literacy)

· Discusses the moral and ethical issues leading to informed decisions being made about the development, implementation, use and disposal of IT systems.

· Requires students to be able to competently use a range of digital technologies (digital literacy).

Units of Study:

Strand 1 – IT in a Global Society

Students will look at scenarios as a basis for IT systems and the related social and ethical considerations. They need to be aware of current news stories relating to IT.

For the examination students answer 2 of 4 structured questions. The topics are presented as scenarios.

Strand 2 – Applications to Specific Scenarios

Students will look at Business and Employment, Education and Training, Environment, Health, Home and Leisure, Government and Politics. Within these areas they will look at how IT is used and consider the implications to the business.

Strand 3 – IT Systems

Students will study core subjects including hardware and software.

All three units are externally assessed.


Year 13 - Cambridge Technicals Level 3 in ICT (2016 version)


  • This course is 60% coursework and 40% exam.

  • In Year 12 focus will be on the 2 mandatory exam units. You will sit 2 two-hour exams. Unit 1 – Fundamentals of IT.  Unit 2 Global Information


The internet can be a great source of ideas for your Design and Technology projects, but it can also help you with the other skills that you need to learn for your GCSE. As well as finding sites dedicated to the area of design and technology that you are studying, you can also find plenty of resources online that have been created specifically for students studying a GCSE course.

1. The BBC’s Bitesize website is a good place to start if you are looking for help with your course. It has sections for each of the subjects covered by Design and Technology courses, including graphics, electronics and textiles. Bitesize is a good place to review the material that you have covered in class and then to test yourself to check that you have understood all of the important ideas. You can find a selection of different resources within the section for your subject, including revision materials, activities and tests, so there are plenty of ways you can incorporate this site into your preferred revision style.

2. Technology Student has plenty of resources that might help you with the ideas that you encounter during your course. The site has information about the design process and the use of different kinds of materials. There are sections for electronics, graphics and resistant materials, which will be particularly useful for GCSE Design and Technology students, but there are other resources too that could be useful if you want to learn more about technology.

3. The Mr DT site features some examples of work by students on GCSE Design and Technology courses, which might help to inspire you with some ideas for your own projects, but it also has some useful tips and resources to help you with the skills you need to develop during your course. You can find tips on how to lay out your product designs, how to plan your project and how to develop your ideas, as well as practical tips for different kinds of projects. This is a very useful site if you want to review a particular topic, but it will be most helpful if you take a look at the resources on offer when you start your coursework as it can guide you through the process of coming up with and implementing your ideas.

4. The Design Technology Department website has a selection of quizzes and resources that can help you with the ideas you need to learn for your exams. You can test yourself on your knowledge of different kinds of materials, or read up on topics that you are revising.

5. Practical Action has a section on sustainable design and technology that might help you to understand some of the ideas that you have covered in class. The site is intended for teachers, but it is full of resources that you can download to use on your own.

6. Many of these sites focus on other areas of Design and Technology, but if you are studying Food Technology for your GCSE, S-Cool has some useful resources to help you to understand the most important topics. The site has notes to review for each idea and questions for you to use to test yourself on what you’ve learned.

7. Plenty of sites can help you to come up with ideas and techniques that you can use in your course. Instructables is a good place to start looking, as there are suggestions for a wide range of different products and materials that you could use in your work, but there are also some more specialized sites that are worth checking out if you are interested in a particular type of design. For example, Popular Mechanics has some interesting articles on different kinds of technologies, as well as some useful how to articles that describe the kinds of projects you might like to develop if you are taking a course in electronics or resistant materials.

8. Design Addict is an interesting site if you are looking for inspiration for your projects, particularly if you are interested in furniture or jewellery making. The index has information on many famous designers and you can also search for individual products by period, function or material. Web Urbanist is another good design site that includes sections for some of the graphics and design subjects studied at GCSE. If you are interested in pursuing design or technology at a higher level, these sites will be particularly useful as they give a good idea of what can be accomplished in this sort of career. If you are intending to study Design and Technology at A Level, you might also want to check the Arkwright Scholarship website to find out if you can apply for support.




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