Design & Technology

Information about D&T, Catering and Resistant Materials.

Contact head of subject for further information.

The D&T department aims to encourage quality work and develop student's potential by providing an interesting, stimulating and enjoyable environment. As a department we have worked hard to produce a comprehensive, integrated and enjoyable set of modules which inspire the students.

Design Technology prepares students to participate in our rapidly changing world. The subject requires students to become independent thinkers who can solve problems for themselves. The combination of practical skills along with an understanding of aesthetics, social, environmental issues and how the manufacturing industry works makes this a subject which will be used for life. By studying design and technology students can become innovators as well as informed users of products.

Design and technology enables students to

  • Understand how DT affects our lives
  • Contribute to the use and development of technology in our society.
  • Become independent workers
  • Become problem solvers
  • Understand the impact of design & manufacture on our environment
  • Develop an open and enquiring mind
  • To design and make products of quality
  • To improve self-esteem of young designers
  • Make informed evaluations of products

D&T at Foundation Stage

Design Technology is in essence one subject covering many areas of design. In order to cover the breadth of study required some areas are taught as discrete modules, food for example, others are combined to produce several different modules. An outline of the projects for each year group are below.

Food Technology

At Birkdale High School, the Food Technology staff aim to inspire in the students a passion to prepare and create a variety of foods with confidence and independence, encouraging awareness of food choices and the resulting effects on our health.

Building from the basics, making biscuits to designing their own pizza, students in Year 7 and 8 gain a range of cooking and kitchen skills, studying the importance of hygiene as well as food safety and how different foods contribute to a balanced diet.

In Year 9, practical food skills are extended to more complex recipes that reflect food in the catering industry and students are encouraged to make dishes that show off their skills and flair. Students will also learn what foods the body needs in order to be healthy.

The subject is offered to every student and each student will have experience of food technology up to Year 9.

Catering is then studied in Year 10 and 11 as a GCSE option.

The classroom has recently been refurbished and has a range of resources. The Food Technology Department has maintained excellent results and high standards both at Foundation Stage and GCSE level.

Hospitality & Catering

At Examination Stage we study WJEC GCSE Hospitality and Catering single award. This course is 60% controlled assessment and 40% written exam paper. Our controlled assessment is split into two tasks that both have a written and a practical element. The tasks are set yearly by WJEC and currently we are studying dairy products and international cuisine.

The topics covered by the written exam include

  • Understanding commodities
  • The structure of a restaurant
  • Environmental considerations within the catering trade
  • Nutrition and menu planning
  • Catering equipment
  • Legislation.

By studying catering, students, as well as improving their cooking, will develop skills in time management, team work and organisation.

WJEC Specification

Specification from the examination board.

Resistant Materials

GCSE Resistant Materials Technology is an option subject at GCSE. It focuses on the designing and making of ‘real-world’ products. Using a variety of approaches, students are challenged to identify design needs and produce marketable solutions.

This course helps students to understand and appreciate the design and manufacture process, making them more discriminating purchasers. It helps students to be creative in their approach and they use a wide variety of resources, including computers, to help with the research and design requirements of creating products.

Throughout the Key Stage, students learn about a range of materials and how they can be used effectively in the manufacturing of products. They also gain skills that will be useful in a wide range of future careers, in further study of Design and Technology and in other aspects of their personal life.

The course is project based and requires each candidate to design and make a quality realisation to satisfy the coursework component. The projects, along with their portfolios of design work, contribute 60% of the marks for the course.

Students particularly enjoy the creative hands-on approach of this element of the course.


During these two academic years, the course follows the AQA specification and provides the opportunity for students to enhance graphical communication skills and to work practically with a range of compliant materials. Projects include the design and manufacture of flat pack furniture and small-scale storage systems. In both instances, students are required to compile a design port-folio which contains research, the generation and development of design ideas, a final working solution and an evaluation to a given problem.

In Year 10 students produce two design and make projects. They will make use of CAD/CAM systems such as: Techsoft, Tinker CAD, Sketch-up, Roland CNC miller, Roland vinyl cutter, Leapfrog 3D printer.

Project 1 is ‘Die Casting’ in pewter a small object of an individual design.
Pupils will start their major controlled assessment task after this first project.

In Year 11 students complete their major controlled assessment task using a range of materials.

New AQA Specification

Design and Technology: Resistant Materials specification from the examination board.

AQA Specification

Current Resistant Materials specification being completed.


D&T Plan

About Us

Birkdale High School, a limited company registered in England and Wales under Company number 07695504.

Registered address: Windy Harbour Road, Southport PR8 3DT

Headteacher: G Bourgade


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