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GSO Test

Est. 1921



What is the curriculum aim / vision for this subject?


  • The philosophy of the department, in summary, is that through the iterative processes of ‘design, make and evaluate’, students gain a sound education in technology whichever the medium they are working in. This can be thought of as a series of stages – the perceived need for a product, the design stage, the use of practical skills to work safely with equipment and materials in producing a product, and the evaluation of the finished article.
  • Students learn to recognise needs, wants and opportunities within society and respond to these by producing a range of ideas and products. It encourages creative thinking, independence of thought, perseverance, the development of craft skills and the ability to offer a critical evaluation of their work. 
  • It encourages students to think about safety and the need for discipline in what can be a potentially dangerous environment.
  • The study of Design and Technology enhances the quality of students’ learning through developing attitudes of cooperation and collaboration.
  • Students learn about our technological heritage and about influence of technology in society.

Food & Nutrition:

  • Instilling a love of cooking in pupils will opens 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.
  • Students are taught to understand and apply the principles of nutrition and health, cook a variety of predominantly savoury dishes so that they are able to feed themselves and others a healthy and varied diet. They will become competent in a range of cooking techniques, selecting and preparing ingredients, using utensils and electrical equipment, apply heat in different ways, use an awareness of taste, texture and smell to decide how to season dishes and combine ingredients and also be able to adapt and use their own recipes. Students will also understand the source, seasonality and characteristics of a broad range of ingredients.

What do we expect students to get from our subject?


  • To make students inquisitive about the developed world that we live in. Develop creatively and cultural awareness and appreciation
  • Work within a safe learning environment and develop their confidence with a range of tools and equipment.
  • Apply cross-curricular links into real world application (i.e. Food & Nutrition with Science and P.E; Technology and STEAM).
  • To gain the necessary skills, knowledge and experiences to be equipped for potential future pathways/qualifications/careers linked to Technology
  • Develop a number of life and transferable skills (e.g. healthy lifestyle/practical application/problem solving skills, etc.).

Food & Nutrition: 

  • Food & Nutrition is a ‘Life Skill’. It allows the students to develop their interest in food by tasting, creating and making dishes with a variety of foods.
  • Food & Nutrition allows the pupils to combine practical and technological skills with creative thinking to design and make dishes which meet human needs. The students focus on current nutritional thinking and use a variety of labour saving appliances and techniques.
  • Pupils will learn a range of practical skills which will enable them to make healthy, nutritious meals at home.


How does learning develop over the five years?

During Years 7 to 9, students initially build on prior learning from primary school which have been laid in KS1 and KS2. For the majority of students, there is a significant change in the learning environment in which Technology is taught. The use of specialised rooms and equipment enables a greater depth of learning that many students will not have experienced in primary school. 


  • Students initially develop their skills in a number of Focussed Practical Tasks (FPTs) and some initial Design and Make Activities/projects (DMAs). FPTs and DMAs initially are more closed design brief during the first few projects. This is to develop their skills further for more challenging activities in secondary school. As the curriculum progresses, key elements of the Technology curriculum are revisited to help secure key subject knowledge.
  • In Years 10 and 11, students will be equipped with a wide range of experience, FPTs and DMAs become more challenging, open and independent in nature. Students learn a number of key theory principles; mathematical skills; develop knowledge of careers and industries; etc. Students then finally apply their subject knowledge and their problem solving skills independently for their NEA and examinations in Year 11.

Food & Nutrition:

  • Throughout KS3, students are guided to develop knowledge, understanding and skills in order to create their own recipes. Students have one Food & Nutrition lesson a week. They cook once every two weeks and complete theory in the remaining lesson. There is a focus on practical tasks involving hygiene, safety, healthy eating and cultural foods in KS3. Students learn the foundation of nutrition and working in a kitchen. Throughout KS3 students build on this knowledge and apply it to the dishes they create. 
  • In KS4, success is built upon these foundation skills using different equipment and complex dishes. Students will complete practical lessons once a week. The course is exciting and creative which focuses on practical skills. The course will ensure students develop an understanding of nutrition, food provenance and the working characteristics of food materials and apply this to their NEAs and practical cooking exam.

What principles have guided our decision making in developing this curriculum? What is distinctive about our curriculum?


  • In Technology we have made a conscious effort to move away from the view that it  is a ‘practical subject’ and is one which does not cater for higher ability students’. Instead, the department supports the coherent orthodoxy for Technology, similar to the explanation found in the ‘Rebuilding D&T paper’ https://dandtfordandt.wordpress.com/resources/re-building-dt 
  • Our curriculum has evolved to focus more on the ‘problem solving’ aspect and wants to develop students who are inquisitive about the manufactured world around us.
  • Students within technology lessons ideally will have a very broad range of interests and potential pathways. For example, you may find students interested in a wide spectrum of related careers (e.g. from design to manufacturing careers).

Food & Nutrition: 

  • Underlying all our curriculum decisions is the health and wellbeing of students. We aim to teach students the importance of food and the effect it has on their body while also teaching them how to apply this knowledge in practical lessons by completing recipes..
  • We seek to promote a 'pro-food' ethos in schools and heighten awareness of the integral part that food and a whole school approach plays in children's health, well-being and attainment.
  • We seek guidance from national curriculum programme of study, School Food Plan, Public Health England and current healthy eating advice.  
  • We ensure that the range of food, topics and recipes studied come from the major food groups and reflect the recommended guidelines for a healthy diet.

How is the timetabled curriculum supplemented or enriched by other approaches to learning?

  • Increased capacity in Year 7 to 9.
  • KS3 and KS4 Technology/STEAM/Food clubs
  • Beekeeping society
  • Provision for CEIAG. 
  • STEAM passport
  • Trips and industry visits to/from school
  • Trips abroad for both Technology and Food (i.e. Barcelona trip)
  • Participation in external competitions (e.g. ‘Make it in Manufacturing’ competition)
  • External speakers (e.g. Chartwells' ‘Ready, Steady, Cook’ challenge)
  • Teaching beyond the classroom (e.g. STEM rocket car project)
  • Use of social media to promote the department (e.g. CaldiesDT on Instagram and Twitter.

In what ways does our curriculum help to develop?

Cultural diversity and identity:

  • Projects based on other cultural influences; SMSC is part of the curriculum; involvement in the cultural festival.

Physically and mentally healthy lifestyles:

  • Diet and nutrition is fundamental to the curriculum; lessons are physical and students are active throughout.

 Community participation:

  • External visits for beekeeping; year 5/6 transition projects; visits to/from local industries.

 Careers and enterprise:

  • Industry visits; careers/industrial practices feature heavily in the curriculum.

Technology and the media:

  • Food provenance; Innovation and design is a large part of the curriculum; technology and current affairs; SMSC.

 Creativity and critical thinking:

  • Technology: The design process is at the heart of the curriculum; iterative designing; conceptual designing; aesthetical creativity; technical creativity; constructional creativity;  problem solving; challenge; open ended challenges/briefs; supports inquisitive behaviour (e.g. conducting product analysis); teaches students to express their creativity in a wide variety of media.
  • Food & Nutrition: As students work their way through Calderstones they will develop knowledge and skills to allow them to develop and create their own dishes and recipes. Cooking allows for students to be as creative as they can be. 


What forms do assessments take? What is the purpose of assessment?

  • End of unit tests throughout the curriculum, as well as mock examinations to track pupil progress and assess pupil’s theoretical knowledge, as well as promoting the academic aspect of Technology.
  • Summative assessment (Attitude to Learning scores, homework, FPT/DMA assessments) to track attainment and pupil progress, as well to help identify targets for improvement.
  • DIRT and formative assessment to inform effective teaching and learning and future planning.

How do we know if we have a successful curriculum?

  • Healthy option numbers and exam results.
  • Pupil voice sessions
  • Feedback during parents evening
  • Attendance figures
  • Engagement and few behavioural issues in lessons
  • Low figures for students not bringing ingredients to food lessons



Click here for the D&T Key Stage 3 Curriculum Map for 2022/23

Click here for the Food & Nutrition Key Stage 3 Curriculum Map for 2022/23


Click here for the D&T Key Stage 4 Curriculum Map for 2022/23

Click here for the Food & Nutrition Key Stage 4 Curriculum Map for 2022/23


For more information on Design and Technology, Child Development and Food Preparation and Nutrition at GCSE, then please click here.