Welcome to the Design Technology Department

Departmental Courses
  • GCSE Product Design
  • GCSE Food
  • GCE Product Design
  • GCE Food

At Key Stage 3 pupils study all areas of design, giving them a breadth of knowledge of each subject discipline.

  • Food: Where pupils learn to work with ingredients and gain understanding of nutrition and healthy eating.
    Product Design: Where pupils work with a range of tools and materials to produce a functional practical artefact, and also develop Computer Aided Design skills.
  • Systems and Control: Where pupils learn about electronics, electronic components and control systems as well as computer aided design. They combine this knowledge to produce a final working prototype.
  • Graphics: Where pupils learn to communicate their ideas and thoughts through production of various design drawings.

GCSE Food Preparation and Nutrition (AQA)

Why study GCSE Food Preparation and Nutrition?
This new GCSE Food Preparation and Nutrition is an exciting and creative course which focuses on practical cooking skills to ensure students develop a thorough understanding of nutrition, food provenance and the working characteristics of food materials.

Studying the GCSE Food Preparation and Nutrition course at Poole High School will get you working with different ingredients and learning basic and high level food preparation skills such as pastry making, meat handling and presentation techniques and to give a strong understanding of nutrition. You will learn how to prepare food hygienically and safely and have the opportunity to take your CIEH Level 2 Food Hygiene Certificate in Catering.

Food Preparation and Nutrition is a practical and theory based subject where you will learn about the principles of nutrition and food hygiene which will inform your practical based work. You will learn the functional and chemical properties of ingredients and why ingredients are added to certain products. You will also investigate what affects consumer choice when buying and preparing food and different cuisines from around the world.

Topics include:
Food, nutrition and health, Food science, Food safety, Food choice, Food provenance.

GCSE Design Technology: Product Design (AQA)

Why study this subject?
The UK needs Designers, Architects, Engineers and Design professionals. The UK design industry is the fastest growing employer in the country, worth an estimated £3.5 billion and due to its specialist nature; wages are amongst some of the highest. Today, three of every five products introduced to the market are designed by British designers. However, more people are retiring from the industry than are being recruited. This means more jobs for the next generation of designer.

Product Design is a subject based on a mixed curriculum of theory work and practical work, with the main focus being on the designing of innovative products for the modern market. You will become trained in all aspects of design, and in year 11 can decide on what you would like to specialise in.

Product Design will prepare you to progress from GCSE into various higher level courses including A-Level Product Design, Games Design, Engineering, Graphic Design and Architecture.

Topics include:
Graphic Design, Electronics, Commercial / Industrial Design, Design skills.

A Level Product Design

The Design and Technology – Product Design A Level combines creative use of the iterative design process, practical work shop skills, CAD/CAM development, plus theoretical knowledge of materials and material processing to develop on from the GCSE content. 

Year 12

Students will study theory of materials including Woods, Metals, Polymers, Textiles, Composites, and Smart and Modern materials.  Within these material areas, student will learn about the associated material processing methods, the physical, mechanical and material properties of each area, as well as how and why these materials are used for real life products. 

Students will undertake various design and make projects including: A scaled model of a design movement inspired piece of furniture, a 3D printed wireless speaker, and an infinity mirror.  Within all of these projects, students will use an iterative approach to design the most effective outcome for a client, and will be taught advanced manufacturing methods.

Year 13

Year two theory completes the theory syllabus started in year 12, topics include – sustainable design, social, moral, and ethical design factors, inclusive design, applied maths and physics, and advanced technical drawing.

Students will spend the end of year 12 and most of year 13 completing a single, self-identified “live” project.  This project MUST be undertaken with a live client to liaise with, and will entail the full design process.  Students will have to identify a need or problem that their client has, analyse and research associated area, then design and develop a suitable outcome, before manufacturing a working prototype.  At all stages, the client is involved and consulted as to whether the proposed designs meet their specifications.


The course is examined by a 2.5 hour exam worth 50% of the A Level plus a Non Examined Assessment also worth 50%

The examined content comprises:

  1. Materials
  2. Performance characteristics of materials
  3. Processes and techniques
  4. Digital technologies
  5. Factors influencing the development of products
  6. Effects of technological developments
  7. Potential hazards and risk assessment
  8. Features of manufacturing industries
  9. Designing for maintenance and the cleaner environment
  10. Current legislation
  11. Information handling, Modelling and forward planning
  12. Further processes and techniques.

The NEA:

  • The investigation report is internally assessed and externally moderated.
  • Students will produce a substantial design, make and evaluate project which consists of a portfolio and a prototype
  • The portfolio will contain approximately 40 sides of A3 paper (or electronic equivalent)
  • There are four parts to the assessment:
    1. Identifying and outlining possibilities for design Identification and investigation of a design possibility, investigation of client/end user needs, wants and values, research and production of a specification
    2. Designing a prototype Design ideas, development of design idea, final design solution, review of development and final design and communication of design ideas
    3. Making a final prototype Design, manufacture and realisation of a final prototype, including tools and equipment and quality and accuracy
    4. Evaluating own design and prototype Testing and evaluation.

Level 3 Diploma In Food Science and Nutrition

Level 3 diploma in Food Science and Nutrition combines practical food skills with nutrition, function of ingredients and food safety. The new course looks at nutrition, needs for specific groups of people, chemical composition alongside practical skills such as meat handling, sauces, bread making, desserts, pastries, fish and stocks and soups. Success on the course depends on a willingness to develop both practical and scientific skills within the subject of Food. Students have gone on to study nutrition and dietetics at University level, gain apprenticeships at leading confectionary brands and into different jobs within the food industry.

Year 12

Students will study unit 1 which is meeting nutritional needs of specific groups, which includes basic nutrition as well as more in depth studied into the chemical structure, function, sources and deficiencies. This unit of nutrition will also look at the nutritional needs of different age groups and people who suffer from dietary related illnesses. Students will then apply this nutritional knowledge to inform their controlled assessment which requires students to make a three course meal in a three hour time limit based on a brief issued by the exam board. Food science and nutrition supports subjects such as pe, biology and health and social care.

Year 13

Students will study two units which are ensuring food is safe to eat and experimenting to solve food production issues. Ensuring food is safe to eat unit will cover topics such as microorganisms, systems in place in different work areas in order produce safe food. Experimenting to solve food production issues unit will give students the opportunity to experiment with different ingredients in recipes to understand the function and purpose in different food products.


  1. Unit 1 is compulsory and worth 50% of the qualification.  There is an exam which is 90 minutes long and marked externally. There is a mixture of short and long response questions. In the second section there is a lot linked to meeting the need to a given target group. There is also a timed assessment (9.5 hours), which includes a practical exam based on a scenario given by the exam board. 3 course meal. This part is marked in school and moderated. Suggested 3 hours planning, 3.5 hours making and 3 hours evaluation.
  2. Unit 2 – ensuring food is safe to eat – 8 hour timed assessment issued on 1st may by the exam board based on a food safety scenario.
  3. Unit 3 – experimenting to solve food production issues – an internal assessment producing a report based on a food production problem which offers solutions based from experiments and investigations carried out by students.

The design industry is vast!  By completing this A Level, students will have the opportunity to advance into many design industries; from Graphic Design to Architecture, from Product Design to Product Engineering, from Automotive Design to Web Design. 

The Creative Industry within the UK is worth a massive £92 billion, to the UK GDP and is one of the fastest growing sectors with the UK economy, and is DESPERATE for talented young individuals.  On top of that, creativity is listed as one of the top desired characteristics of most leading UK employers; Design Technology is one of the few A Levels that embodies true creativity and critical problem solving in a real world scenario. 

The food industry is constantly expanding providing a wide range of opportunities. A qualification in food science and nutrition could lead to being a food scientist, nutritionist, dietitian, product developer, sports nutritionist, environmental health officer.