The Design and Technology at City Academy Norwich aims to provide a curriculum at Key Stage 3 that develops students’ creativity, problem-solving skills, and understanding of design processes. Through a spiraled approach, students will engage in a range of design challenges, utilizing various materials, tools, and technologies, to foster innovation and prepare them for further study and the demands of the modern world.

Key Principles

  • Creativity and Innovation: Encourage students to explore their creativity and develop innovative solutions to real-world problems through design thinking processes.
  • Practical Skills Development: Provide opportunities for students to acquire and refine practical skills in areas such as prototyping, construction, and manufacturing.
  • Critical Thinking: Foster critical thinking skills by analyzing existing products, evaluating design choices, and considering the social, cultural, and environmental impacts of design decisions.
  • Digital Literacy: Integrate digital technologies into the design process, equipping students with essential digital literacy skills required for the 21st century.
  • Cross-Curricular Links: Explore connections between DT and other subjects such as science, mathematics, and art, promoting interdisciplinary learning and application.

Topics covered in KS3

  • Introduction to Design and Technology: Understanding the design process, basic sketching, and modeling techniques.
  • Materials and Their Properties: Exploring a range of materials and their properties, including wood, metal, plastic, and textiles.
  • Electronics and Systems: Introduction to basic electronics principles, circuits, and systems.
  • Design Challenges: Small-scale design projects to apply knowledge and skills acquired, such as designing and building a simple structure or creating a product prototype.
  • Product Design: Understanding user needs, market research, and the iterative design process.
  • Graphic Communication: Introduction to technical drawing, CAD (Computer-Aided Design), and graphic design principles.
  • Sustainable Design: Investigating the environmental impact of design choices and exploring sustainable design solutions.
  • Design Challenges: More complex design projects involving problem-solving and collaboration, such as designing a product to meet specific user requirements or addressing a social or environmental issue.
  • Advanced Manufacturing Techniques: Introduction to advanced manufacturing processes such as 3D printing, CNC (Computer Numerical Control) machining, and laser cutting.
  • Design for the Future: Exploring emerging technologies and trends in design and technology, such as smart materials and wearable tech.
  • Entrepreneurship and Enterprise: Introduction to business and marketing concepts, including product branding, packaging design, and pitching ideas.
  • Design Challenges: Large-scale design projects that integrate multiple skills and knowledge areas, allowing students to showcase their creativity and problem-solving abilities.


Assessment in Design and Technology will be based on a combination of practical skills demonstrations, design portfolios, project presentations, and written evaluations. Assessment criteria will focus on creativity, technical proficiency, problem-solving abilities, and critical thinking skills.

Key Stage 4 (KS4) – OCR Engineering Design Course Statement

Course Overview

At Key Stage 4, students will have the opportunity to further develop their understanding of design and technology through the OCR Engineering Design course. This course is designed to provide students with a comprehensive understanding of engineering principles, practices, and processes, preparing them for further study or entry into the engineering industry.

Key Learning Objectives

  • Engineering Principles: Students will explore fundamental engineering principles, including mechanics, materials science, thermodynamics, and electrical systems.
  • Design Process: Through practical projects and theoretical study, students will deepen their understanding of the design process, from concept development to prototyping and testing.
  • Technical Skills: Students will develop technical skills in areas such as CAD (Computer-Aided Design), CAM (Computer-Aided Manufacturing), and technical drawing, enabling them to communicate their design ideas effectively.
  • Problem-Solving: Encourage students to apply their knowledge and skills to solve engineering problems, developing their critical thinking and problem-solving abilities.
  • Industry Insights: Provide opportunities for students to explore real-world engineering challenges and gain insights into the engineering industry through guest speakers, industry visits, and work placements.

Course Structure

The OCR Engineering Design course at Key Stage 4 will consist of the following components:

RO38 – Principles of Engineering Design: Written Paper – 40%

RO39 – Communicating designs: Coursework – 30% – Completed Year 10 – Spring 1&2

RO40 – Design, evaluation & modelling: Coursework – 30% – Completed Year 11 – Spring 1&2

Expectations and Support

  • Students will be expected to actively engage in all aspects of the course, including theoretical study, practical projects, and independent research.
  • Regular feedback and support will be provided to help students develop their skills and achieve their full potential.

The OCR Engineering Design course at Key Stage 4 provides students with a solid foundation in engineering principles and practices, equipping them with the skills and knowledge necessary for further study or entry into the engineering industry. Through a combination of theoretical study, practical projects, and industry insights, students will develop into confident, capable engineers ready to tackle the challenges of the future.