Tarporley High School

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Tarporley High School
& Sixth Form College

Design & Technology

Design and Technology creates culture. Culture shapes values. Values determine the future. Robert L. Peters


A challenging programme of study that raises aspirations for developing practical skills, understanding design and its place in the contemporary world.

It is a dynamic and enjoyable curriculum where teachers employ their specialist knowledge to encourages an imaginative approach to all aspects of Technology which stimulates resonant learning.

A skills-based curriculum, designed to encourage a desire in students to make quality outcomes and to be inquisitive about the technological aspects of their environment.  A curriculum which provides pupils with the knowledge, skills and understanding to achieve a solid realisation of their own ideas

What you can expect studying Technology at Tarporley High School and Sixth Form College

In Technology, you will study a curriculum that consist of Food and Nutrition, Textiles, Resistant Materials, Electronics and Control Technology.

In all of these areas you will study the core design process and also experience the tools, machines, materials and specialist techniques that you will need to be successful in each of the areas.

Key Stage 3 Curriculum – what to expect

During Year 7 and 8 you will visit all of the main Technology areas during the year on a carousel system.  You will visit different classrooms and workshops and be taught by different specialist teachers.  You will design and manufacture a range of items in wood, metal, plastics and textiles.  You will also make things from components and ingredients.

In Year 9 you will spend the first term on the carousel system.  You will then choose one of the technology subjects to specialise in and study this until the end of Year 9 until you decide on your GCSE options.

How we assess at KS3

Students are continuously assessed by their teacher.  In Year 7 & 8 they are also given a short examination at the end of each project.  This is to test their retention of specialist knowledge and their ability to design for a target market.  At the end of the year they are given a longer more formal examination which tests them on all the areas studied.  In Year 9 they are continuously assessed in the first term and have a single end of year test.

This enables us to evidence their progress in the theoretical aspects of Technology and prepares them for formal examinations in KS4. Practical work is continuously assessed during its production.

Key Stage 4 – GCSE Curriculum


The new GCSE Design and Technology will prepare 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. Most importantly students will get the opportunity to work creatively when designing and making and apply technical and practical expertise.

Our GCSE allows students to study core technical, designing and making principles, including a broad range of design processes, materials techniques and equipment. They will also have the opportunity to study their chosen specialist technical principles and materials in greater depth.

You can choose to work in a range of your favourite areas.  Textiles, electronic components or resistant materials which are wood, metal and plastics. This journey will be an enjoyable one and will provide you with the opportunity not only to be creative, but also the satisfaction of manufacturing a unique practical outcome of your own.  It is also a subject that prepares you for life outside schools by giving you access to a wide range of skills you will always need. 

As the bulk of the coursework is completed early in Year 11, it will also leave you with more time to address your other subjects. It will be good to know your biggest task is behind you.  This allows you to concentrate on your exam preparation and personal projects, ensuring you are in an ideal position to take your final examination and maximise your success. 

The aim of all the courses in Technology is to give you a good grounding in your chosen subject, to prepare you for taking it further if you wish to, but also to give you life skills which you will use long after you have left education.  Giving you the ability to deal with real life practical situations has always been the strength of these subjects, as is their ability to build on and develop other subjects that you have chosen to help you on your career path.

The key features of the course include learning practical skills, recording the progress you make stage by stage and learning the theory that will back up your practical activities.  As well as a design based examination you will also be required to complete a practical project in your chosen field.

The courses are suited to a range of students, but are ideally suited to creative people who wish to use their talents to produce a useful outcome, those who enjoy working with materials who see their career path in engineering, trades and manufacturing and those who wish to make a business based career choice where a knowledge of project management would be a strength.

Food Technology, which is always a popular subject, is ideal for students who may wish to enter the food industry, become chefs, or go in to the hospitality industry in a management role.  Essentially it is ideal for anyone who likes the subject, regardless of their future plans, who want an active, stimulating subject that they can become personally involved in.

Students should supply their own apron, A3 clear wallet folder and basic drawing equipment.


In this particular area of Design and Technology you will learn to cut, join and finish a range of materials to a high standard using hand, power and bench tools.  This includes working with wood, metal and plastics.  As well as looking at traditional areas such as woodwork joints, you will also look at working with metals using heat and pressure as well as plastics using adhesives and moulding machinery. 

You will study the design process, a system which provides us with an excellent framework to guide us through our coursework and give us a greater understanding of the manufactured objects around us.

Recent outcomes that have helped students reach a high level of achievement at GCSE include personal items, storage systems, furniture, sports and also audio equipment.  Because of the wide range of projects, techniques and materials this is a popular subject that appeals to both creative and practical students.

Exam Boards: AQA Design and Technology Construction

Course 8552


50% Single Coursework Project. (An A3 portfolio and practical outcome) Year 10

50% Single Examination Year 11

Progression Routes

As well as leading directly to apprenticeships, Product Design A Level, or in higher education to degree level, this subject is ideal for students looking at BTECs at FE, Engineering, Business Administration, Furniture and Industrial Design.  It complements college courses in Automotive Engineering, Joinery and Building Studies.


Textiles are concerned with the popular areas of fashion design, practical clothing, accessories and soft furnishings.  It is a very useful subject which gives you a range of very helpful life skills and the opportunity to manipulate fabrics in both a creative and practical way.  You will learn to choose appropriate textiles, understand how they are produced and the best way to join them together using a range of fastening techniques.

As well as hand sewing and embroidery techniques, you will use sewing machines, printing and dyeing equipment and become familiar with the skills that will help you produce very high quality garments.  You will also design your own patterns for your garments, how they can be adapted and used as a basis for a range of designs.

The course is structured by having the first two terms experimenting with Textiles and other materials to give you the opportunity to develop your practical skills on the sewing machine, whilst covering the theory aspect of the course through homework research projects.  It should be noted that the theory element of this course covers a wide range of technological concepts, knowledge and information which does not directly relate to textiles as a material.  Students will be expected to know about a range of materials and manufacturing techniques for the final examination. Design coursework is selected from a set of approved tasks from the Exam board.

Exam Board: AQA Design Technology Textiles 

Course 8552


50% Single Coursework project. (An A3 portfolio and practical outcome)

50% Single Examination.

Progression Routes

As well as leading directly into Fashion and Textiles at ‘A’ Level, this subject is ideal for students looking for a career in Fashion, Interior design, Fashion communication, Materials Science, Medical Textiles and retail management and Business Management. It leads onto several course at FE and compliments Art and Design.


Food is a popular subject and one which everybody is guaranteed to use on a regular basis throughout their lives.  The course equips learners with the knowledge, understanding and skills required to cook and apply the principles of food science, nutrition and healthy eating. It encourages learners to cook, enables them to make informed decisions about food and nutrition and allows them to acquire knowledge in order to be able to feed themselves and others affordably and nutritiously, now and later in life.

The coursework is split into a food science investigation and a practical examination. The practical parts of these are worth 30% of the GCSE, this is then supported by research, planning and evaluation documents worth a further 20%. Pupils would normally be given the opportunity to cook and develop dishes on a weekly basis.  You will also learn to organise yourself in a kitchen, prepare and source ingredients efficiently and economically.  You will be required to observe health and safety rules and be particularly aware of health and hygiene so the food you produce is safe for consumption. 

Exam content requires students to develop their knowledge and understanding of the functional properties and chemical characteristics of food. They are required to have a sound knowledge of the nutritional content of food and drinks and to understand the relationship between diet, nutrition and health. This part of the course is Science based rather than creative. 

Students will sample and analyse food as well as preparing it and gather an in-depth knowledge of commercial food production in its various forms. Recent themes for successful projects at GCSE have included designing a product suitable for a coffee shop or sports person.

Exam Board:  Food Preparation & Nutrition – EDUQAS


50% Coursework project. (35% A design and make task. 15% An investigative task)

50% Single Examination.

Progression Routes

GCSE Food can lead to Further and Higher education courses, particularly qualifications and further study in food preparation and manufacture and the hospitality industry in civilian life, the armed forces and in the other services. Often, chefs start their career in GCSE Food Technology and this course provides you with the basics that you need to take either the college route or to start the first level of training and apprenticeship. The manufacturing industry is wide and varied with opportunities across sales, marketing, production, technical and product development roles. The third employment opportunity is retail where supermarkets have many graduate recruitment schemes across a range of roles. The food industry is fast paced and there is always opportunities for hard working employees to enjoy a diverse career with quick promotion.

How we assess at KS4

During Year 10 students develop their skills and knowledge and make a complex project.  In year 10 pupils are continuously assessed and have a mock examination at the end of the year.

In Year 11 students are assessed through an examination and a coursework project.  Each element is worth 50% 0f the final mark. 

Extra-Curricular Opportunities

Tarporley Technology students are offered a range of extra-curricular opportunities.

At KS3 they include Year 7 and 8 catch up clubs for all Technology subjects.  KS3 and KS4 Makers Clubs encourages pupils to work on their own projects in the workshops.  Junior Master Chef competition is also a popular activity as is Young Bakers and Christmas cake club.  Pupils can also enter a range of competitions which typically include The Toyota Challenge and Young Designer. 

For KS4 and KS5 students, Young Engineer and the Engineering Education Scheme are offered to students who would like to take up engineering as a career.   Technology is also the hub for Tarporley’s very successful Karting Club.

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