Skip to content ↓

Design and Technology

"Design is not just what it looks like and feels like. Design is how it works." Steve Jobs, co-founder of Apple, Inc.​​​​​​​​​​​​​​

Head of Department: Mr O Collins

Teachers: Mr F Berkkun, Mr M Jean-Marie, Mr B Kakaiya.

Design & Technology is the study of how the man-made world is created. It underpins almost everything we do, because without it, there would be no buildings, vehicles, furniture, electricity, clean water, printed books, internet, clothing or even pencils and paper. At Latymer we have a strong emphasis on engineering, meaning we focus on the more challenging and technical aspects of the subject such as electronics and mechanisms.

The Design and Technology team provides an exciting design and manufacturing experience for all pupils in Key Stage 3, and for those who pick the subject as an option for GCSE. This involves the use of traditional tools, machinery and techniques along with new cutting-edge technology including the latest CAD software, a range of CNC equipment, 3 laser cutters and multiple 3D printers.

The Design & Technology curriculum is designed to get students to engage in the design process with a strong emphasis on functional and technical issues, using an approach based on problem-solving and creativity.


This is an introduction to the key skills and concepts of designing and making. Students get a range of workshop and CAD experiences with a keen focus on learning through making, whether using CAM (laser cutting and 3D printing) or traditional hand skills. The aim is to give students lots of practical experience in order to develop their understanding of designing for specific materials and processes.

Projects in Key Stage 3 include: learning to prototype electronics, making a bee house, building a toothbrush timer, making Lego pulley systems, designing, building and coding a simple robot using the BBC microbit, a bedroom lamp and a garden light.


In Year 10, students learn a range of making skills focused on their chosen specialist area. Students can specialise in Timbers, Metals, Electronics, Graphics, Plastics or Textiles. Designing and making are learned through project work, with the emphasis being on developing creativity and technical understanding.

In the final half term of Year 10, coursework (now called Non-Exam Assessment -NEA) begins when the exam board releases the ‘Contextual Challenges’, which students respond to by investigating a need and producing their own individual brief which they develop going into Year 11. Exam skills and knowledge are learned through homework over the two years. Recent GCSE grade 9 work has included mechanical recycling bins, motorized furniture, fruit dispensing games and lighting that doubles as furniture.

Coursework: 50% Exam: 50%

Members of the Design & Technology Department are always available at lunch and break times for keen students to develop their skills and knowledge.


A Level Design & Technology is back on the Latymer curriculum from September 2022! We offer three possible pathways: Design Engineering, Product Design and Textiles. Students will develop the knowledge, understanding and skills relevant to 21st century creative, engineering and manufacturing industries. With a focus on iterative design to equip them with valuable critical thinking skills needed for higher education and industry. OCR is the exam board for A Level Design & Technology.

Design Engineering
Although A Level Design Engineering is not essential to studying engineering at university, we strongly recommend it, as it gives students a practical, hands-on understanding of materials, systems and mechanisms that will give them a huge advantage over their peers who have only studied engineering academically (i.e. Maths, Further Maths, Physics).

Design Engineering covers the study of systems, robotics, mechanisms, electronics and all the other more technical aspects of the Design & Technology spectrum. 

Product Design
This is the study of designing and making with a focus on human factors and aesthetics. Students analyse existing products, demonstrate applied mathematical skills, demonstrate their technical knowledge of materials, product functionality, manufacturing processes and techniques. They also undertake case studies to demonstrate their understanding of wider social, moral and environmental issues that impact on the design and manufacturing industries.

Similar to Product Design, but with a focus on products made from fabrics. 


The annual Design & Technology show is a selection of the best work from across the school, covering robotics, textiles, furniture, and electronics products. The work on show covers everything from students in Years 12 and 13 who have developed projects in their own free time to curriculum-based projects lower down the school.

This is always a vibrant and exciting exhibition in which students present their work to the public. It is very well attended, promoted by the pupils and attended by parents, former and current teachers and other schools, college and university lecturers and other interested parties, many of whom support the Department in one way or another.

Arkwright Engineering Scholarships

Each year students are selected to take part in the prestigious Arkwright Scholarship. This scholarship is set up to identify, inspire and nurture future leaders in Engineering and technical design. Through a rigorous selection process, high-calibre students in Year 11 are offered the opportunity to sit an aptitude paper and if successful are invited to interview. Every Scholarship is sponsored by industrial companies, universities, charitable trusts, trade associations, professional engineering institutions such as the Armed Services, Worshipful Companies, industry regulators or personal donors.