Arden Academy and Language College

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Arden: preparing you for a world of opportunity

Key Stage 3

Design and Technology KS3

Students have two lessons a week and during each year they will work on the following projects:

Year 7


We aim to introduce basic nutrition and cooking skills. We begin with a unit on safety in the kitchen and discuss food hygiene and safety at home and school. Cooking at school is quite different to cooking at home with extra constraints of time and space and no dish washers! We practice routines and working as a team. The first practical lessons use the hobs, ovens and small utensils to ensure that everyone can work independently and safely.

Our second unit focuses on basic nutrition and healthy eating. In particular we look at the use of starchy carbohydrates and high fibre foods. Planning for practical lessons should ensure that tasks are written in the correct order and safety and hygiene are considered. Evaluations should describe the taste, texture and appearance of their cooking. We consider how to adapt and improve our food products after evaluation.

Resistant Materials

In Year 7 students are given the opportunity to experience the use of basic hand tools, modern CADCAM technology, and gain an understanding of workshop health and safety issues and processes. The outcome of this is a timber storage box with laser engraved lid that they can take home and be proud of, along with a hand cut and finished clock made from plastic to be designed for a room at home.

Textiles – Keep It Covered

Students undertake a project to design and make a pencil case. This enables them to learn basic sewing techniques and sewing machine skills. The pencil case makes use of 'soft circuits', which is conductive fabric and thread combined with LEDS that they can incorporate into their design. This means that their pencil has the ability to light up.

Throughout the project, students work on all aspects of the design process. This includes researching, designing, planning, manufacturing and evaluating their pencil case while at the same time learning and developing practical skills.

Graphics – Shine a Light

Year 7 students complete a design and make project based around a torch and its packaging. Students learn about product analysis and generating design ideas as well as CADCAM to produce the torch on the laser cutter. Students will also gain an understanding of vacuum forming and some simple electronics. CAD is again used to produce professional looking graphics for their blister pack packaging, ensuring that they have a high quality final product that they are proud of.

Year 8


Planning healthy, nutritionally balanced meals is the topic for the first unit in Year 8. We begin by looking at the risks of food poisoning and how it can be avoided. Pupils design and make meals suitable for teenagers, vegetarians and for low fat diets. Investigative work looks at the nutritional problems that may arise with these diets and how they can be improved but still enjoyed. Practical work encourages the pupils to adapt recipes and increase confidence by learning new skills and using a variety of equipment. Planning for practicals should include ideas for alternative ingredients. Product analysis of food products is an opportunity to consider sensory descriptions of a product, costing, environmental and ethical decisions when designing products.

The second unit looks at the importance of fruit and vegetables in the diet and the five-a-day campaign. Practical work incorporates the use of a variety of fruits and vegetable in both sweet and savoury dishes. Evaluations should include the opinions of others.

Resistant Materials

In Year 8 students are given the opportunity to build on their basic skills by designing and making a desk lamp in a particular theme from plastic and timber. This project expands their previous experience by introducing machinery, bending processes and an understanding of basic electronics.

Textiles – I’m with the band

In Year 8 students work on a merchandise project. They select an event or celebration that will be the focus of the project and then produce designs for a bag or bunting that will be suitable. taking the wants and needs of their target market into consideration. Students carry out a wide range of practical work. producing a range of samples of surface decoration techniques before putting them into practice on their chosen product. They will make a paper template to enable them to accurately cut out their product and develope their sewing machine skills through the making of it. This project builds on the skills learnt in Year 7.

Graphics – Keep it covered

Year 8 students will be designing and creating realistic looking product cover designs, final versions will be created using CAD software including Adobe Photoshop. Year 8 students will build on skills gained in Year 7 when considering the use of colour, fonts, images and the layout of their graphics. Students will then go on to design and make an innovative ‘Point of Sale’ display using card engineering. The ‘Point of Sale’ display will advertise the release of their DVD, CD, book or computer game.

Year 9


Pupils will study the industrial aspects of safety and hygiene in food production. The emphasis in practical work is on independence. Pupils will make a range of healthy main meals and desserts using a variety of skills, following recipes and time plans. They are encouraged to adapt recipes to meet healthy eating guidelines and their own likes and dislikes. Evaluations should show that they can make adaptations to improve a recipe. Pupils will use findings from food product analysis to help design their own recipes. A final group task will enable gifted and talented pupils to show their leadership skills.

Resistant materials

In Year 9 students have the opportunity to expand on their previous practical and electronics experience by producing a small music amplifier and its housing. This improves their electronics understanding and allows more design freedom and problem solving tasks when creating the housing. The housing can be produced from a multitude of materials which are only restricted by the students imagination.


Students work in teams. following 'The Apprentice' idea and decide on a team identity and target maket. They then design and make individual products suitable for their chosen market. Students select from hats. shorts and toys. To make these products requires greater accuracy and precision in all areas of their practical skills. The focus of this project is to produce a high quality marketable product.

Graphics - Festival branding and marketing

Students in Year 9 Graphics will complete an electronic folio of graphics work, which will give them a clear idea of the style of coursework expected at GCSE Graphics level. During the project they will design their own festival and it’s branding. They will use traditional advertising as well as exploring more modern marketing techniques to build a professional marketing strategy for their festival, aimed clearly at their target audience. They will use professional standard 2D software to create the brand style as well as a large range of advertising and marketing materials. Students will be encouraged to produce challenging and original graphics throughout this project and they will also develop their analysis and evaluative skills.