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Northampton School for Boys

Northampton School for Boys

Design Technology

Team Leader - Mark Samples

 Key Stage 3 - Year 7, 8 & 9

During KS3 students engage in projects designed to prepare them for the GCSE Design Technology Product Design Controlled Assessment and examination. A wide variety of different Design Technology focus areas are learned including:

  • Graphical Communication
  • Material Technology
  • Computer Aided Design & Manufacture
  • Industrial Manufacturing
  • Nutrition & Food

Design Technology prepares students to participate confidently and successfully in an increasingly technological world. Students gain awareness of and learn from wider influences 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.

Year 7

  • Game controller design
  • Introduction to the workshop
  • Food
  • Pencil case
  • Graphics
  • 2D Design Tools (CAD)

Year 8

  • Solidworks (CAD)
  • Problem solving
  • Food
  • Functionality
  • Marketing the band
  • Design challenge

Year 9

  • Ikea flat pack
  • Food
  • Speaker re-design
  • Functionality and Aesthetics
  • Materials and their working properties

 GCSE - Year 10 & 11

AQA Design Technology Product Design GCSE.

In Year 10, students engage in a series of specialist projects that develop their understanding of key technological concepts, developing high quality written and practical material to prepare them for the Controlled Assessment element of the course.  The terminating examination is supported by completing past examination papers, self-evaluation skills, knowledge and understanding of the subject content and a series of lectures covering all aspects of the examination requirements.

In Year 11, students work on their Controlled Assessment contextual challenge which is set by the examination board. This involves students producing a substantial portfolio of evidence and a prototype product. It is assessed in the following way:

  • Identifying and investigating design possibilities
  • Producing a design brief and specification
  • Generating design ideas
  • Developing design ideas
  • Realising design ideas
  • Analysing & evaluating
  • Students produce a prototype and a portfolio of evidence
  • Work is marked by specialist subject teachers and moderated by AQA

Full details of the specification and units of content can be found on the AQA website here

 A-Level - Year 12 & 13

AQA Product Design A Level.

In Years 12 & 13, A Level Design Technology Product Design continues to be a very popular subject and many students continue Design as a subject at University and beyond. We have strong links to University of Northampton and students have the opportunity to visit the University to talk to students and lecturers about the options available after Sixth Form.

During the A Level course, students are encouraged to take a broader Design Technology to develop their capacity to design and make products and to appreciate the complex relationship between design, materials, manufacture and marketing. There is an emphasis on understanding and applying iterative design processes. Students  use their creativity and imagination to design and make prototypes that solve real and relevant problems, considering their own and others’ needs, wants and values.


Year 12:

Unit 1 - PROD1 Materials, Components and Application

25% of A Level

2 hour written examination paper

80 marks

Unit 2 - PROD2 Learning Through Designing and Making

 25% of A Level

Coursework - approx 50 hours

80 marks

Deign portfolio

Manufactured outcome

Year 13:

Unit 3 - PROD3 Design and Manufacture

25% of A Level

2 hour written examination paper

84 marks

Unit 4 - PROD4 Design and Making Practice

25% of A Level

Coursework - approx 60 hours

85 marks

Design folder

Manufactured outcome  

Full details of the specification and units of content can be found on the AQA website here


Scaletrix; Controlled Assessment Clinic; National Competitions; Crest Awards and more.

Design Technology staff continue to keep up to date with technological developments with regular training conducted in-house,  through high quality external agencies and through the examination board.

Please contact the school if you would like to find out more about the curriculum.

Design Technology Team

Mr M. Samples (Curriculum Team Leader for Design Technology)

Mrs K. Kennedy (Learning Co-ordinator)

Mr C. Osborne (Learning Co-ordinator)

Mrs L. Law (Learning Co-ordinator)

Mr J. Craffey

Miss J. Roberts

Ms G. Wilkes (Food Technician)

Mr D. Martin (DT Technician)

Mrs J. Wynn (Senior DT Technician)

Mr R. Murphy (Assistant Head)


Northampton School for Boys, Billing Road, Northampton, NN1 5RT
01604 230240