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Higham Lane School

Higham Lane School

Design & Technology

Design & Technology FAQs

Is there a lot of practical work?

When studying Food and Design students undertake practical activities every double lesson. 

What will we make? 

When studying Food and Design students embark on a range of skills to  learn how to create high quality outcomes

Where can Design and Technology take me?

Food Preparation and Nutrition can lead into a wide variety of specialisms including Food Science, Nutrition, Health, Product Development and Hospitality.

Design can lead into Engineering, Product Design, Interior and Exterior Architecture, Jewellery, Graphics, Furniture Design and Manufacture.

Design & Technology is a subject that encourages creativity, imagination and analytical thinking. Students will study both Food and Engineering at Key Stage 3 and across both disciplines, they will be involved in a range of design, research, practical, experimental and evaluation tasks that reflect design and technology in the society we live in. Students will work with a range of different materials and processes, as well as developing their knowledge and understanding of more complex design principles.

We have recently invested in a new 3D printer and a new laser cutter, and introduced Fusion 360 as a new CAD/CAM programmes. Food has seen a significant investment from the Savoy Trust in recent years too, so we feel we can really offer students a high-level experience. The Department is a welcoming and highly-functioning one, full of teachers and technicians with excellent subject knowledge and the willingness to help students make progress.

Year 7

Year 7 students will undertake six modules, all six weeks in length. Students will keep the same Design Technology teacher all year. The modules are:

Food Preparation & Nutrition 1

This focuses solely on developing knife skills and generally being safe in the kitchen environment. There is an introduction to nutrition and good food hygiene too. Students also have the opportunity to learn about enzymic browning through an experiment in their lesson. Students will make a fruit salad, healthy sandwich and coleslaw.

Food Preparation & Nutrition 2

Knowledge and understanding of nutrition is developed in this module, but also with a focus on different cultures & cuisines. This is consolidated along with further knife skills during their layered salad practical. Students learn about dextrinization and caramelisation through an experiment in lessons, and they will also learn how to use the oven safely by making apple crumble and sausage rolls.

Food Preparation & Nutrition 3

This module focuses on developing the students understanding of food provenance and food waste. They learn about different raising agents through an experiment and how to use the hob safely by making their own fajitas! We also make carrot cakes and garlic bread in this module.


Students cover a range of techniques and skills in this module whilst focusing on iterative design and biomimicry. The over arching theme is how to be eco friendly, and this is displayed through designing their own eco brand which is put together in a ‘festival promotion pack’. This includes a poster, laser engraved ‘spork’, tote bag and festival site model.

Working with Polymers

Students use the CAD/CAM programme 2D Design to create a layered keyring made from acrylic. They also learn about different polymers and what they can be used for. They will also make their own mould to be used on the vacuum former.

Hydraulics & Pneumatics

Students will learn about inputs and outputs through a variety of CAMs. They will also build and test a robot arm using both air (pneumatics) and water (hydraulics).

Year 8

Food Preparation & Nutrition 1

Students recap knife skills by producing a healthy version of a Pot Noodle (Top Noodle!), along with revisiting health, safety and hygiene rules. They will find out which fats make the best short crust pastry by running an experiment. This information will then be used to make a batch of chocolate ganache tarts. Students also build on their raising agents knowledge from last year and make a pizza with the choice of their own toppings.

Food Preparation & Nutrition 2

This module focuses on eggs and their functions. Students produce cheese scones, brownies, custard and also learn about different dietary needs through a vegan lemon cake.

Food Preparation & Nutrition 3

In the final module before students finish their Key Stage 3 career in Food, they will learn new skills including handling high risk foods, coating foods, how to thicken sauces, and more complex baking skills. They will produce a béchamel sauce, lasagna, pineapple upside down cake and goujons. Once again, there is a focus on food provenance.

Environmental Bug Hotel

Students focus on learning about timbers in this project but from an environmental focus. They will look again at biomimicry and be given a set of materials to design and produce a ‘hotel’ for bugs that can be put in the garden to encourage insects. They will learn about different habitats and why insects are so important for our environment.

Sound Amplifier

Students will combine their knowledge of polymers and timbers in this module by producing an amplifier that a phone or MP3 player could stand on. They will create a design on the front that allows the sound to travel more freely and learn about different finishes available for these materials.

Animal LED Lamp

Students will revisit polymers and look at creating a mini USB LED lamp based around endangered species. The laser cutter will help them to create a CAD file that can then be produced and line bent to stand on up.

Year 9 New GCSEs

GCSE Food Preparation & Nutrition: Students will cover a variety of modules about scientific food processes and commodities, such as protein, dairy, fruit and vegetables.

Our students have the opportunity to study a new GCSE in Engineering. They will use new CAD/CAM, Fusion 360 and have the opportunity to learn about casting, 3D printing, modelling and basic electronics.

Year 10

GCSE Food Preparation & Nutrition: Students will cover a variety of modules about scientific food processes and commodities, such as carbohydrates, fats and sugars.

GCSE Product Design: CAD/CAM projects — a range of design and problem solving activities to develop analytical thinking. Students will also use a range of manufacturing processes, as well as completing a trial controlled assessment.

Year 11

All GCSE students will be working on controlled assessments and preparing for the written exam.

A TEMPLE, Subject Leader for Design & Technology