Welcome to the Design & Technology Department

Curriculum Aims

Design and Technology at Nottingham Free School is an inspiring, rigorous and practical subject. We aim to prepare students to take part confidently and successfully in an increasingly technological world. We give them the chance to work creatively and apply their technical knowledge and practical skills when designing and making products to fit a given brief. Students learn how to take risks, and solve problems becoming resourceful, innovative, enterprising and capable citizens. Through looking at past, present and future design and technology, students develop a critical understanding of its impact on daily life and the wider world. The curriculum we offer compliments STEM subjects across the school, providing skills and knowledge for employment. Our key stage 3 curriculum is planned to build upon the foundations developed at key stage 2. Based around a series of projects, students work through the full design and making process using a wide variety of materials and to fit a range of real-life briefs. Through these design projects, knowledge and skills are developed such as: design for user needs and contexts, communicating ideas, knowledge of designers, properties of materials and working with a variety of specialist materials. They are expected to evaluate their work and that of other designers.

Students develop an understanding of the needs of the world as many project briefs are based on the ‘global goals’ of development.

Throughout all of the key stage 3 and 4 courses, students are regularly required to recall prior knowledge to check their understanding and help them to remember more. There is an equal emphasis on acquiring knowledge and developing skills.

The key stage 4 curriculum utilises the knowledge and skills developed at key stage 3. We offer four courses and the choice of course will vary depending on the option cohort. This makes a technology option accessible to all types of learners.

In Design and Technology students have the opportunity to participate in activities beyond the lesson, such as the national future chef competition in Food and the 3D printing drone project in DT. We also offer students the chance to take part in a baking enrichment and gaining a level 2 food hygiene qualification.

Food Preparation and Nutrition

Cooking and healthy eating is an important life skill. Our objective is to nurture students' practical cookery skills to give them a robust understanding of nutrition and to be able to cook for themselves, making healthy and varied dishes. The majority of the dishes made are savoury to encourage a balanced diet.

Students are taught about the nutritional needs of different groups in society, food provenance and how to work with different ingredients. The science of how ingredients work is developed through each practical project e.g. knowledge of emulsions is taught when making salad dressings. Each practical also develops a different skill using a variety of practical equipment, e.g. knife skills and cookery techniques e.g. pastry making.


This course covers all of the skills mentioned above. It does not cover the science of food, however, it has a strong focus on the hospitality and catering industry. Students learn about job roles, relevant employee attributes and appropriate legislation. This is designed to help support students interested in a career in this sector and those wanting to develop their cookery skills.

Design and Technology

Students will gain awareness and learn from wider influences on Design and Technology including historical, social, cultural, environmental and economic factors. Students continue to follow through the design and making process to a given brief. They are expected to work with a material of their choice that best fits the product design. They develop a more technical understanding of the material they are working with and the specialist skills and techniques required.


This course has a stronger emphasis on the design process, in particular the design brief and specifications. Whilst the full design and making process is taught, students will spend more time of the design elements and will model their final product. Key skills such as technical drawing are developed which enable students to gain an understanding of the process used in industry.

September 2020


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