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The North School


Subject Overview


“We are changing the world with technology.” Bill Gates

Welcome to the Technology Department at The North School which comprises both design technology and food technology. Within the department we strive for our students to develop their knowledge and understanding of this board curriculum area as well as developing their practical skills. The overall aim of the department is to develop students into problem solving individuals who take an interest in the knowledge they are gaining and who can demonstrate a wide range of practical skills which will serve them well as they move into the wider world outside of school.


At key stage three the students work on a rotation system between design technology and food technology spending two terms in each department.

Design Technology

In design technology year 7 students complete a board game and electronic dice project and in year 8 they complete an electronic amplifier project. Both schemes of work provide the students with the opportunity to develop their knowledge and skills within the subject areas of research and design, graphics, practical work and electronics.

Food Technology

In year 7, 8 and 9 food technology students develop their knowledge and understanding of nutrients and balanced diets, various equipment and cooking methods as well as a range of ingredients that they then use in practical lessons in order to produce impressive sweet and savoury dishes such as savoury breakfast muffins, mini meatballs and rice, ham and pea risotto, and chicken kebabs with flatbreads.

Constructing the Built Environment 

At KS3 (Year 7, 8 and 9) Design and Technology is a rotation subject. Each student will learn the subject for approximately 12 - 14 weeks. In Year 7 and 8, Students will gain an introduction to :

  • o Technical drawing styles
  • o Sustainability in design
  • o Safe working practices and working with tools, equipment and materials.
  • o Types of plastics
  • o Vacuum Forming
  • o Types of woods
  • o Use of machinery (such as the bench drill, scroll saw and belt sander).

In Year 9, students develop further knowledge of the subject by learning about the use, properties and selection of materials. They will learn construction skills through the recent introduction of the ‘Laminated storage box’ project. This unit of work also provides a useful preparation for those students who intend to study the subject further at KS4.

KS4 Hospitality and Catering

At KS4 the student’s study WJEC Level 2 Hospitality and Catering. We offer a vocational course that gives students access to hands-on practical cooking experiences as well as detailed knowledge of the hospitality and catering industry. The course is split into 40% exam assessment on the hospitality industry (Unit 1: The hospitality and catering industry) and 60% No Exam Assessment (Unit 2: Hospitality and catering in action) which consists of planning, preparing and cooking a menu of their choice, taking into consideration both nutrition and practical skills.

In Year 10, we aim to develop the students' cooking skills of a wide range of dishes, allowing them the opportunity to reflect on their outcomes. We continue to build on the students’ knowledge of nutrition and health and safety. Students go on to complete an online Level 1/2 health and safety certificate, giving them an additional professional qualification.

In year 11, we encourage students to enhance their creativity within the subject and advance their cooking skills. This is in preparation for the students to start the ‘non exam assessment unit’ which is assessed in the Spring of Year 11.  They then finish off with the theory formal exam that is sat in the summer.

Higher Education Links and Career Opportunities

Further study at college level including the food or hospitality industry, or apprenticeships in food and hospitality. There are career paths available as a chef or in food production, restaurant management, food manufacturing, nutrition and elsewhere in the public health sector

Design Technology

This is a GCSE course that is also delivered across 3 years. It is a versatile course which incorporates design, practical, research and theory based study. Whilst the main focus of the course is on the world of design technology, it is also heavily science and maths based with a minimum of 30% of the exam paper being based on these areas. It is assessed across 2 areas with component 1 being a written exam that is taken at the end of year 11 and is worth 50% of the overall grade. The other 50% of the grade is based on component 2 which is a coursework based unit where students present part of their final work in the form of an A3 design portfolio and part of it as one final product or prototype.

Higher Education Links and Career Opportunities

There are a wide range of undergraduate degrees that can be explored as a result of studying a technology based subject such as engineering, architecture and hospitality management.

  • Engineer
  • Designer
  • Tradesperson
  • Draftsperson
  • Marketing and advertising
  • Chef
  • Dietitian
  • Food manufacturing manager
  • Hospitality manager

Constructing the Built Environment

The recent introduction of this course (that is equivalent to a GCSE) reflects the need to a offer a wider range of theory and practical activities that are related to the working environment. Students are introduced to the construction industry and the variety of career roles within a flourishing sector of the economy.

Coursework elements include : 

  • o Health, safety and security in construction
  • o Laws and legislation
  • o Technical and planning drawings
  • o Developing construction projects
  • o Mathematical calculations
  • o Roles and responsibilities of those involved in construction projects

Practical work on the course may include :

  • o Working with wood
  • o Tiling
  • o Decoration

Course structure -

Unit 1 – Health, safety and security in construction (60 min examination)

Unit 2 – Developing construction projects (practical projects)

Unit 3 – Planning construction projects (120 min examination).