Design Tech – The New Course

An isolated village full of people, in need of clean drinking water. How can you get water from a nearby river to this isolated village? What type of pumps and systems do we need in place to help these villagers? These are the types of questions that the new Design Technology course will challenge students to answer.

The aims of the new Design and Technology curriculum are to….

  • Develop the creative, technical and practical expertise needed to perform everyday tasks confidently and to participate successfully in an increasingly technological world
  • Build and apply a repertoire of knowledge, understanding and skills in order to design and make high-quality prototypes and products for a wide range of users
  • Critique, evaluate and test their ideas and products and the work of others
  • Understand and apply the principles of nutrition and learn how to cook


This big update is to make the courses more relevant to meet the expectations and needs for modern day employers.

The course will be taught through a variety of creative and practical activities. Pupils will be taught the knowledge, understanding and skills needed to engage in an iterative process of designing and making.

They will work in a range of domestic and local contexts [for example, the home, health, leisure and culture] and industrial contexts [for example, engineering, manufacturing, construction, food, energy, agriculture (including horticulture) and fashion].

The new course will have less emphasis on the practical elements and be replaced with a more creative, design based approach to problem solving, building in the use of modern CAD technology.

The new course (Product Design) is set to roll in at the start of the new academic year. This will affect all KS3 and KS4 across the whole country.

Mr Colin O’Donnell, the head of Technology at Swanlea, had the following to say:

“It is what we should be doing. It’s going to be a huge perception change for parents, staff and students. It’s not about woodwork anymore; it’s instead more focused towards the needs of the engineering world”.

Students that are considering a carrier in engineering should look into the details on this new course.