Key Stage 4

KS4  DT and Art & Design

Design and Technology


GCSE Design and Technology is a 3 year course. 

Year 9: All work produced during Year 9 is internally assessed. This year is used as a foundation to the GCSE course. 

Year 10: Consists of a mock NEA, material testing and technical knowledge.

Year 11: NEA Design and Make project based upon an externally set contextual challenge. (50%) Written external exam (50%)Based on technical knowledge


GCSE Design and Technology is a new and inspiring, rigorous course. Using creativity and imagination, pupils design and make products that solve real and relevant problems within a variety of contexts. Design and Technology develops pupils’ interdisciplinary skills and their capacity for imaginative, innovative thinking, creativity and independence.

NEA (Non Examined Assessment) (50%)

  • Substantial design and make task
  • Assessment criteria:
    • Identifying and investigating design possibilities
    • Producing a design brief and specification
    • Generating design ideas
    • Developing design ideas
    • Realising design ideas
    • Analysing & evaluating
  • Contextual challenges to be released annually by AQA on 1 June in the year prior to the submission of the NEA
  • Students will produce a prototype and a portfolio of evidence
  • Work will be marked by teachers and moderated by AQA

Design and Technology Exam Paper (50%)

Section A – Core technical principles (20 marks)

A mixture of multiple choice and short answer questions assessing a breadth of technical knowledge and understanding.

Section B – Specialist technical principles (30 marks)

Several short answer questions (2–5 marks) and one extended response to assess a more in depth knowledge of technical principles.

Section C – Designing and making principles (50 marks)

A mixture of short answer and extended response questions.

Technical Knowledge covered - 

Core Technical Principles-

  • new and emerging technologies
  • energy generation and storage
  • developments in new materials
  • systems approach to designing
  • mechanical devices
  • materials and their working properties.

Specialist Technical Principles-

  • selection of materials or components
  • forces and stresses
  • ecological and social footprint
  • sources and origins
  • using and working with materials
  • stock forms, types and sizes
  • scales of production
  • specialist techniques and processes
  • surface treatments and finishes.

Design and Make Principles - 

  • investigation, primary and secondary data
  • environmental, social and economic challenge
  • the work of others
  • design strategies
  • communication of design ideas
  • prototype development
  • selection of materials and components
  • tolerances
  • material management
  • specialist tools and equipment
  • specialist techniques and processes

Food, Preparation and Nutrition


GCSE Food Preparation & Nutrition is a 3 year course.

Year 9: All work produced during Year 9 is internally assessed. This year is used as a foundation to the GCSE course.

Year 10:  Consists of guided teaching of Food Investigations and technical knowledge related to NEA 1.  Also, mock NEA 2, food preparation skills and technical knowledge.

Year 11: NEA 1 (15%) External set assignment. This is a  Written or electronic report (1,500–2,000 words) including photographic evidence of the practical investigation. NEA 2 (35%) External set assignment. This is a Written or electronic portfolio including photographic evidence. Photographic evidence of the three final dishes must be included. Written exam (50%) Based on technical knowledge


GCSE in Food Preparation and Nutrition is an exciting and creative course which focuses on practical skills, along with an experimental approach to understanding the nutritional and functional properties of food.

NEA (Non Examined Assessment)

Task 1: Food investigation (30 marks)

Students' understanding of the working characteristics, functional and chemical properties of ingredients.

Practical investigations are a compulsory element of this NEA task.

Task 2: Food preparation assessment (70 marks)

Students' knowledge, skills and understanding in relation to the planning, preparation, cooking, presentation of food and application of nutrition related to the chosen task.

Students will prepare, cook and present a final menu of three dishes within a single period of no more than three hours, planning in advance how this will be achieved.

Food Preparation and nutrition Exam Paper (50%)

  • Multiple choice questions (20 marks)
  • Five questions each with a number of sub questions (80 marks)

Based on theoretical knowledge of food preparation and nutrition.

Theoretical l Knowledge covered - 

  1. Food, nutrition and health
  2. Food science
  3. Food safety
  4. Food choice
  5. Food provenance.

The range of food and ingredients studied reflect the recommended guidelines for a healthy diet based on the main food commodity groups. Food groups include:

  • bread, cereals, flour, oats, rice, potatoes and pasta
  • fruit and vegetables (fresh, frozen, dried, canned and juiced)
  • milk, cheese and yoghurt
  • meat, fish, eggs, soya, tofu, beans, nuts and seeds
  • butter, oil, margarine, sugar and syrup.

Art and Design (Inc Textiles)


GCSE Art and Design is a 3 year course. 

Year 9: All work produced during Year 9 is internally assessed. This year is used as a foundation to the GCSE course. 

Year 10:  Component 1 (60%) 

Year 11: Component 2 (40%) External set assignment 

Both components are externally assessed at the end of Year 11. 


Our Art and Design courses are very popular. They allow  students to develop the skills learnt at KS3. Students will creatively explore a range of different media, materials and processes to enable them to become more confident, accomplished artists with the ability to communicate ideas visually. 

We currently offer 3 Art and Design courses at GCSE: 

  • Art, Craft and Design
  • Photography
  • Art Textiles 

Each of the Art and Design courses consist of 2 units of work:

Unit 1-

Art, Craft and Design: 

Students will produce a portfolio of work incorporating a variety of techniques, media and materials, including drawing, painting, photography, printmaking, graphic design, and Photoshop. There are also opportunities to develop outcomes in both 2D and 3D materials. Through studying the work of other artists, students will develop visual analytical skills. Projects are thematic and will be developed in sketchbooks, where students are encouraged to use creative approaches which go beyond observation and recording, to develop into more personal enquiries and outcomes.


Students will produce a portfolio of work exploring digital photography and photography genres. Projects are thematic, and will explore viewpoint, composition, focus, shutter speed and exposure. Students will explore digital manipulation using Photoshop software, as well as experiencing the use of professional photography equipment in our studio. Analytical and written annotation skills will be developed through studying the work of other photographers and artists. Students will be encouraged to use creative approaches which go beyond observation and recording, to develop into more personal enquiries and outcomes. 

Art Textiles: 

Students will produce a portfolio of work exploring Art Textiles. They will experiment with manipulating materials using dye, print, stitch and embellishments. Drawing is an essential skill in the development process of Art Textiles. Students will develop analytical skills through exploring the work of other artists and designers, as well as their own work as it progresses. They are expected to work to strict deadlines and complete independent study out of lesson time. Projects are thematic and preparatory work is developed in sketchbooks.

Unit 2- 

The externally set assignment (exam) is the culmination of the GCSE course, and is set by the exam board through a choice of different themes. Students have a substantial preparatory period to produce a sketchbook of work in response to one chosen theme in line with the assessment objectives. Students are given 10 hours of controlled assessment to produce a visual response and final outcome to their theme.