Design Technology is an inspiring and rigorous subject. High-quality design and technology education makes an essential contribution to the creativity, culture, wealth and well-being of the nation.

From the alarm that wakes you up, to the bike you ride to school, from the shoes on your feet to the food you eat at lunch time; it has all been designed and produced.  Through Design Technology students have the opportunity to understand not only how that happens, but why, and what impacts these products may have on not only our lives but the world itself.


In Design Technology we aim to immerse students in broad spectrum of subjects through practical, vocational and theoretical experiences.

Students will acquire a broad range of subject knowledge and draw on disciplines such as mathematics, science, engineering, computing and art. Students learn how to take risks, become resourceful, innovative, enterprising and capable citizens.

Through the evaluation of past and present design, they develop a critical understanding of its impact on daily life and the wider world. Design Technology is an excellent vehicle to deliver cultural and social understanding, awareness and equality, whether that is through producing a culturally inspired light source in the workshop or by learning and understanding about halal and kosha foods in Food Technology.

The curriculum offered in the department is extensive and covers a wide range of courses from Key Stage 3 through to Key Stage 5. Our aim is to prepare students for lifelong learning in an increasingly technological world. With close working links with our feeder schools students can maximise their progress by building upon prior knowledge through an enriching, enquiring and challenging curriculum.

Boys at Gosforth Academy cooking

Many of our students develop intellectual curiosity whilst working collaboratively to develop and refine their ideas which ultimately leads to further study within linked industries.  We have a great success rate of readying students for higher education courses in the field of design, engineering and manufacture.

A multidimensional approach is applied to learning. Students explore real world scenarios and are encouraged to think about wider problems based on contemporary issues including sustainability, recycling, provenance and availability. Students also investigate the spiritual, moral, social and cultural beliefs of others and how they impact on their choices as a designer. As part of their work with food, students are taught how to cook and apply the principles of nutrition and healthy eating. Instilling a love of cooking in pupils will also open a door to one of the great expressions of human creativity. Learning how to cook is a crucial life skill that enables pupils to feed themselves and others affordably and well, now and in later life.

We strongly believe that the versatility of the subject allows students to be taught the knowledge, understanding and skills needed to engage in an iterative process of designing and making. Students should work in a range of domestic and local contexts, for example the home, health, leisure and culture, as well as in industrial contexts such as engineering, manufacturing, construction, food and energy. Within the department we have a culture of high aspiration and all students are encouraged to take pride in their work and their achievements. They are also encouraged to extend their learning beyond the classroom with opportunities for STEM competitions, community events and industrial experience. 

The sense of creativity, pride and sense of achievement in your work is at the very core of the subject.  By nature Design Technology gives students to create things that they can take home, be proud of and use or eat! In the production of these outcomes students learn to be resilient, persistent and work individually and as part of a team.

Time management, safety, risk assessment, nutrition, cooking skills and resilience are amongst the skills learned in Design Technology and they form the foundations for a well-rounded and successful individual.  Our subject helps students to understand safety, well-being and health in a variety of ways. In the workshop students must utilise PPE, safe working practices and understand the necessity for training and experience, and recognise specialists such as technicians and their role in a working environment.  In the food classrooms students also learn physical and personal safety which is then enhanced further through the knowledge and importance of healthy eating and the important effects food can have on physical and mental health and well-being.

Regardless of a student’s chosen pathway and level of study, in Design Technology we equip all students with everyday life skills to become positive and effective members of society.

Curriculum Outline - Sixth Form