Design and Technology
...Design and Technology supports the developing of key cross-disciplinary skills and systems thinking. It provides a unique platform within which to inspire young people to re-think, re-design and build a positive future.
Dame Ellen MacArthur

Design and Technology covers a large skill set from the applied art skills of Graphic Design to the applied physics and maths skills of Electronics.

Bridging the gap bewteen Art and Physics

At Eltham College, all areas of Design and Technology are taught and the department specialises in Product Design and Systems and Control at A level.

Studying Design and Technology at Eltham College helps students to:

  • Look to the future in a creative and innovative manner

  • Design and make high quality products using a variety of materials and techniques

  • Solve real life problems by making design decisions based upon research and analysis

  • Understand how design fits into a modern enterprise culture

  • Develop both applied art and applied science skills alongside design skills

  • Learn “soft skills” that are in demand from most employers

The Design and Technology Workshops are an exciting place to work; students have made everything from a hovercraft to a robotic fish and educational tables for primary school pupils to display units for the Mervyn Peake Library.

The subject material covered is wide and varied. Students are frequently required to use knowledge imparted in other subjects alongside the subject specific skills that they gain in the workshops. The students also develop the soft skills that are demanded in most work places, including, problem solving, creative thinking, experimentation, research, critical analysis, resilience, presentation - both oral and written. The department’s facilities include computers in every room to ensure pupils have access to industry standard design software and also all the key Office software for presenting work and developing their project management skills.

The workshops are kept open as much as possible so that pupils can just pop in and make something or use the facilities that are exclusive to the Design and Technology Department. A level students will frequently use their free periods during the day to work on their coursework.

Pupils from other departments frequently visit to use the facilities available; Physics students have developed their rockets or manufacture an electro-magnetic rail system, Drama students have built props, and Art students will often come down for materials and guidance. The Music department also sought assistance for the creation of their Scrap Heap Orchestra.

Curriculum

I consider D&T to be unique in the school curriculum. The level of practical project work D&T offers is rarely seen in other popular subjects. I see this as helping to build invaluable ‘employability skills’, such as problem solving, communication and presentational skills.
Kate Bellingham Engineer, TV presenter and president of Young Engineers


Design and Technology is one of the youngest of subjects, having been created in 1989. Since then it has developed to reflect the rapidly changing world that we live in. The department still teaches some of the skills that were taught in the days of CDT or woodwork and metalwork, but the subject has changed considerably since then.

In the Sixth Form students have the choice between selecting two courses based upon their personal skills and preference and their desired end point.

A level Design and Technology diagram

Design and Technology is recognised as an essential A level for entry into associated subject areas such as Product Design. The Russell Group of universities also see Design and Technology as a useful third A level for most engineering and technological subjects. It also provides key skills that students need as they progress onto higher education and then employment.

While the two subject areas have similar elements they also cover specific areas that allow more complex understanding of the subject specific skills.

In the final year the students are required to obtain a client for whom they can design and make a product to solve a real life problem. Current A level projects include a display area within the school library and a quick change area for the school theatre.

Arkwright Scholarship

Our economy is facing shortages of science, technology, engineering and maths skills, and to secure growth in high value sectors we need more young people with practical D&T skills. The design and technology students of today are the engineers and technicians of tomorrow.
Helen Alexander (President, CBI)


Arkwright ScholarshipThe Design and Technology Department run the Arkwright Scholarship each year. This nationally recognised award promotes engineering and financially rewards those students who are thinking of studying engineering or a design related subject at degree level.

Promising Year 11 pupils are selected and helped through the application process both by members of the department and the current Arkwright Scholars within the school.

Trips

The Design and Technology Department runs regular trips to various places around the UK including, The Design Museum and The New Designers Show.

Facilities

D&T education is an essential part of a school’s curriculum, not just as preparation for a career, or further education in the creative industries, but for its wider educational benefits.
Dick Powell  (Co-founder - Seymour Powell)


The Design and Technology Department is a well-resourced department that enables all students to use the modern design and manufacturing equipment that is available in industry.

There are three workshops, all of which are equipped with computer facilities to enable the pupils to use the subject specific software that enables 2D and 3D drawing along with circuit simulation software. All computer workstations have the complete Microsoft Office package that enables the pupils to use the basic programmes for presenting work alongside the project management software that enables mind maps and project planning to be undertaken.

The workshops are all designed for the specialist areas taught at A level.

The department has a dedicated CAD/CAM suite which includes a laser cutter, combined routing/milling machine and A3 printer/scanner. Some of the older CAD/CAM machinery is has recently been updated and the department houses milling machines, a vinyl cutter and a new 3D printer, amongst other facilities, all available for pupils to use.

Departmental staff:

There are three teachers within the department all of whom have their own specialist areas within Design and Technology:

The department also has and a dedicated technician, Mr J Bacon, who specialises in Manufacturing and Production.

Science provides explanations of how the world works, mathematics gives us numbers and procedures through which to explore it, and languages enable us to communicate within it. But uniquely, design and technology empowers us to change the made world.
Design and Technology in a Knowledge Economy, Richard Kimbell and David Perry