Design and Technology

‘Design and Technology is the inspiring, rigorous and practical subject which prepares all young people to live and work in the designed and made world.’ Richard Green, Chief Executive of the Design and Technology Association.

‘The teaching of quality design and technology in our schools is a vital requirement for the country’s future in the 21st Century.’ James Dyson 

Design and Technology at Cokethorpe School is driven by a desire to develop a new generation of design innovators, inventors, engineers and discerning consumers and users of the designed world. Design and Technology is essentially a practical subject, which encourages pupils to recognise that Design and Technology are forces that change the world in which we live. It requires pupils to undertake rigorous tasks that require them to combine their designing and making skills with knowledge and understanding in order to design and make functional and innovative products. The use of knowledge from other curriculum areas is encouraged and a close partnership exists between Design and Technology and Computer Studies.

We aim to prepare pupils for a world in which technology is changing at an accelerating rate. Our vision is to provide the best education in Design and Technology, taught in a dedicated and stimulating environment. The requirements of the curriculum are met and enhanced with relevant and imaginative teaching. 

First Form to Third Form

All pupils in First, Second and Third Form follow a Design and Technology course that encompasses a wide range of curriculum strands ranging from electronics to Computer Aided Design, free-hand sketching, sustainability and mass production to mention a few. Pupils are introduced to Design and Technology through a number of projects, which equip them with knowledge, skills and understanding about materials, tools, processes, design and society. These projects help pupils to become discriminating consumers and users of products, to work productively in groups and individually, and prepare them to cope in a rapidly changing technological world.

Fourth Form to Fifth Form

We offer two Design and technology courses giving pupils the opportunity to continue to study an area of the subject where their strengths and interests lie. Both GCSE courses can lead to the A Level course offered post sixteen. 

The Graphic Products course focuses on the design and manufacture of products made from compliant materials (paper, card, plastics, electronics and smart materials) these are often products with a more transient life cycle. Understanding the need for sustainability and the impact on the environment are an essential and integral part of the course. Design projects can focus on such things as packaging design, marketing and promotional material as well as pop up books and board games. 

The Resistant Materials course focuses on the manufacturing of products using wood, metal, plastic, electronics and smart materials. The pupils study the work of designers and design trends of the past and are encouraged to consider the relationship between form and function. Understanding the need to design products that are ergonomically sound, sustainable and meet a need are fundamental components of successful design and innovation.

To view examples of GCSE Graphics and Resistant Materials work please click here.

Both courses are assessed in the same manner. Coursework plays a significant part in both courses and accounts for 60% of the final mark with a terminal theory exam making up the remaining 40%. The coursework portfolio of design work developed throughout either of the courses provides excellent material for students to show and discuss at any future interview.

Head of Design and Technology
: Mrs H V Brown

Trips, Activities and Extension 

The curriculum in Design and Technology is enhanced and enriched by the addition of a number of excursions and extra-curricular activities. Strong links with industry are vital for the development of Design and Technology; there are numerous visits to manufacturers and the Department is grateful to have links with some local businesses through parents of former pupils. 


CAD/CAM Lunchtime AOB

Interested in technology? Pupils will use 2D and 3D CAD (Computer-aided design) in increasingly complex ways to produce presentation drawings, working drawings and to control machinery for manufacturing.

Paddle Testing Regatta

Following the design and manufacture of their kayak paddles in Design and Technology lessons, the Second Form are given the opportunity to test the quality of their designs. Pupils visit the Cokethorpe Boathouse and paddle down the Thames in Katakanus.

Graphics Lunchtime AOB

Create your very own Chocolate Box complete with your own logo, graphic design and even making your own design in chocolate. This will be a club where you will be introduced to basic Graphic Design, and will experiment with nets, logos, and what makes an eye catching piece of packaging.


Visit to the Design Museum and Victoria and Albert Museum in London

Third Form pupils visit two iconic museums; the world’s largest museum of decorative arts and design, the V&A Museum in London and the Design Museum which displays a wide range of design types, including product, industrial, graphic, fashion and architectural design.

First Form Technology Challenge Day

The Design and Technology Day for First Form pupils involved a number of challenges. Teams of pupils designed and built marble runs aiming to have three marbles arriving at the bottom at different times and crossing paths on the way down. The second challenge required the teams to set up a paper hat making company, designing a production line, managing cash flow and dealing with the fluctuating markets of supply and demand. At the School’s boat house pupils were challenged to design a bridge. They began by making prototypes from Knex then chose their team’s best design to construct a large scale model .