Christian Head, Kirkby Stephen, Cumbria, CA17 4HA

017683 71693

Kirkby Stephen Grammar School

A Co-operative Academy

GCSE Design & Technology

Course Overview

This is a relatively new GCSE, which started in 2017.  It is different to the previous GCSE Design and Technology course, which the school had offered in the past.  It is split up into two assessments, both are worth 50% of the total marks for the exam.  The two assessments are; Paper 1 a written externally marked exam and Paper 2 a Non Exam Assessment, which is a Design & Make project, internally assessed.

The course has been designed so that pupils in Year 10 gain a lot of practical skills and cover the paper 1 knowledge through  

Exam Profile

Subject content and assessment:

Paper 1

This is a 2 hour exam and accounts for 50% of the GCSE marks.  It is broken down into 3 sections:

Core Technical Principles (20 Marks)
Students will be taught a breadth of core technical knowledge and understanding that consists of:

  • New and emerging technologies.
  • Energy generation and storage.
  • Developments in new materials.
  • Systems approach to designing.
  • Mechanical devices.
  • Materials and their working.

Specialist Technical Principles (30 Marks) 
Students must know and understand the impact of new and emerging technologies on current and future issues in relation to the following areas:

  • New & Emerging Technologies.
  • Energy Generation & Storage.
  • Developments in New Materials.
  • Systems Approach to Designing.
  • Mechanical Devices.
  • Materials Properties.

Design & Making Principles (50 Marks)

All students will develop an in-depth knowledge and understanding of the following specialist technical principles:

  • Selection of materials or components.
  • Forces and stresses.
  • Ecological and social footprint.
  • Sources and origins.
  • Using and working with materials.
  • Stock forms, types and sizes.
  • Scales of production.
  • Specialist techniques and processes.
  • Surface treatments and finishes.

Non-exam Assessment (NEA)

This is a Design & Make task and will cover 4 main areas: Investigating, Designing, Making and Analysing / Evaluating and is worth 50% of the GCSE marks.  This will be marked and assessed by the teacher, under the exam board's strict guidelines.

The NEA is a Design and Make Assessment or coursework task. Pupils will design and make a product which will be a task given to them to by the exam board. Pupils will no longer be able to choose their own projects. Due to the restructuring of the GCSE the practical aspect of the course has fewer marks apportioned to it than in previous years.

More Information

The course content and specification, when finalised, can be found on the AQA exam board website.