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.

Product Design

In Year 7 students are given the opportunity to experience the use of tools, equipment, processes and graphical techniques to develop ‘mastery’ skills, this gives a solid foundation for their future progress and experiences within the department. This foundation covers a broad spectrum of skills from using basic hand tools, developing graphical drawing techniques; shading and texturing skills through to Computer Aided Design (CAD) and the use of specialised machinery. The culmination of these learning experiences is to produce a range of products that incorporate variety of skills the students can take home and be proud of.

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.

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.

Product Design

In Year 8 students are given the opportunity to build upon their ‘mastery’ skills by developing both graphical and manufacturing skills further. This will be accomplished through the use of more advanced CAD software from the ‘Adobe Design suite’, presentation styles and product modelling. As well as, more focussed work with materials, on cutting and bending along with some basic electronics. These projects allow students to show their creativity and ability to design and produce quality products.

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.

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.

Product Design

In Year 9 we give students the experience of how GCSE coursework would be approached and the type and quality of work that would be required to take the subject further in Key stage 4. Again, the projects allow for students to be creative, imaginative and innovative through the design and manufacture of a ‘passive speaker’ and the modelling, branding and marketing of an everyday item. During the projects they will look at traditional and modern marketing techniques to create a professional looking product that would meet their target audience, more advanced CAD work with ‘Adobe Design’ and greater practical skills with accuracy and quality of finish.


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.