Priestlands School

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North Street, Lymington, Hampshire SO41 8FZ


Design and Technology

Head of Department:  Mr S Gillett

There are seven teachers of Design Technology and Food Preparation and Nutrition at Priestlands and all have a passion for their subject. This is passed on to the students through dynamic and interactive lessons which cover wide range of theoretical knowledge and challenging and innovative practical assignments.

Design and Technology gives young people the skills and abilities to engage positively with the designed and made world and to harness the benefits of technology.  They learn how products and systems are designed and manufactured, how to be innovative and to make creative use of a variety of resources including digital technologies, to improve the world around them. We focus on a range of materials from textiles, timbers, plastics and metals through to smart and modern materials including electronics and bioplastics.

This breadth of study is also reflected in the use of traditional hand tools and workshop machinery alongside more modern processes such as laser cutting, 3D printing, laser image transfer and vinyl cutting. We have computers available in each of the 6 specialist teaching areas which allows students to access and use the world wide web and generate high quality design, written and research work using various different applications.



  “The teaching of quality design and technology in our schools is a vital requirement for the country’s future in the 21st century.  Design and technology is about making things that work well.  Creating these things is hugely exciting: it is an inventive fun activity."

"For some reason Britons look down their noses at people who make things. They push intelligent people into the professions and into the media.  Making things, however, should be an intelligent activity.”

 James Dyson, British inventor, industrial designer, landowner and entrepreneur who founded Dyson Ltd


“British designers are celebrated all over the world for their creativity and innovation but the real strength of our industry has, and always will, lie in education. I have always believed that intelligent design is of fundamental importance, not only to the economy but to the quality of everyday life for ordinary people.”

Sir Terence Conran, Designer, Restaurateur and founder of Habitat and Conran


 “Many young people in school today will not retire until 2070.  It is our duty to give them the best possible education and prepare them for an uncertain future.  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, made yachting history in 2005, when she became the fastest solo sailor to circumnavigate the globe, and remains the UK’s most successful offshore racer ever. She is founder of the Ellen MacArthur Cancer Trust and, in 2010, launched the The Ellen MacArthur Foundation which develops and promotes the idea of a circular economy.


 “D&T is a crucial bedrock to a nation that once led the world in manufacturing and now treats it with a childish belief that the future is all about service and Intellectual property.  People who do not understand the making of things or the design of things to make them fit for purpose will rarely invent marvellous things.  We stand on the threshold of a new industrial revolution shaped by our need to build a sustainable future based on evolving new resource efficient technologies and developing low carbon energy supplies. In short, reshaping the logistics and consumption habits of a century of plenty (the 20th) to one of increasing leanness (the 21st).  To say D&T is important for our future is like saying that breathing is useful!”

Tim SmitChief Executive & co-founder of the Eden Project

In Year 7 students spend 12 weeks in the workshops following a Product Design unit of work.

The aim of this unit is to give the students as much experience of the machines and tools found in a school workshop as possible, whilst also introducing them to the basic concepts of researching, designing and evaluating a product.

Scalextric Car


You are a group of individuals who have got together to form a new touring car racing team. You are looking for a main sponsor who has ethical credentials to fund your teams work. You have just ten weeks in which to get your team ready to compete in the first event.

Design Brief

As a group you will need to develop your team’s identity and race car. You must promote your sponsor on the car and around the track and have development evidence to show how their money has been spent. You are also expected to contribute to the development of the track side and pit lane. 

Working in pairs students are required to research a range of design based topics, laser cut a chassis, solder together a scalextric kit, assemble a race chassis, design a body shell mould, vacuum form a bodyshell, apply suitable graphics and eventually race their car.

The aim of the project is to use as much of the workshop equipment as we can whilst undertaking an interesting and fun project.  Students often produce work of an excellent quality and level of presentation.  We also try to link the project into some of the local and national history associated with land speed records.

Year 8 students will spend 12 weeks in the workshops undertaking a Product Design Project. 

The Year 8 project will involve students working with plastics. Each student will design a ‘storage unit’ which they will then make.  The unit must use one of the three press formed trays which are also to be made by the students.  The choice and colour of tray is up to the individual.  The design for the rest of the storage unit is also down to the individual, we only ask that it be influenced by either the Alessi, Memphis or Art Deco design styles.

Press Formed Storage


Storage is a major part of our everyday lives. We store all manner of items big and small. Some storage is purely functional and some is made to look stylish. A stylish and interesting storage solution is needed to form part of a display of work by young designers. The choice of contents will be left up to the individual.

Design Brief

You have been commissioned to design and make a storage solution to form part of this display. Your target market is design conscious individuals who want interesting as well as functional products. You must use one of three press formed shapes as part of your solution and you must also use the laser image transfer process on some part of your final design. By the end of this project you will need to present your completed solution.

This project is very much about bringing out the creative and innovative design ideas within the students.  There will often be issues and mistakes made with practical work.  These will need to be resolved and developed as the project progresses.  It is important for the students to understand that when designing a new product mistakes and problems are all part of the creative process.  A mistake or a problem should be seem as an opportunity to improve.

Three projects are undertaken in Year 9:

Clocks. This project is a true design project which requires the students to produce a set of design ideas and then make the final design as a 3D prototype. The designs need to conform to a set of design criteria which will be provided by the teacher. This is the way in which a GCSE project will also work.

Situation  An exhibition of clock designs is to be held in the school. A range of design folders and realised final designs need to be presented for use during this event. Each member of this group is required to submit a folder and one finished clock along with all of the development models produced along the way. The clock must use Computer Aided Design and Computer Aided Manufacture for at least one component to produce and effective and skilfully made outcome.

Design Brief  A range of design ideas for a wall mounted clock need to be produced. The clock will need to be aesthetically pleasing whilst at the same time reflect the style of the environment in which it is to be used. The final design will then need to be modelled, evaluated, modified and finally produced as a prototype, making good use of C.A.D. / C.A.M. where necessary.

‘Funky Desk Tidy’. This project will be the major project of year 9 and will closely reflect the requirements of a full GCSE project. The aim is to give all the students a clearer idea of what the GCSE expectations will be. We will cover skills such as Corel Draw, Laser Cutting, Laser Image Transfer and Die Casting as well as Bending Wood, Industrial Processes, Injection Moulding and the expectations we have for the level of presentation within a design folio.

Context  One problem which continues to haunt work desks everywhere is that of stationery lying around or getting lost under piles of paper etc. A simple desk tidy will solve that issue quickly and effectively. As designers, however, we do not want to settle for something boring.

Design Brief  Design and produce a desk tidy which is interesting, well made and effective. You will need to consider your design style, materials, shape and form, and type of finish very carefully. Your end product should be a commercially viable product.

Walled Garden project.  The students will be given a design brief for a product to be used within the garden but which could also be commercially viable as a product. One of the products is a ‘Bug Apartment’. This will be designed so that it may be used in isolation or so that a number could be stacked together to create a ‘Bug Hotel’. This project is designed to raise an awareness of Horticultural design whilst at the same time utilising the wonderful Walled Garden we have on the school site.

The order in which the students will carry out the projects may differ from group to group but the ‘Clock’ project will always be completed prior to the ‘Desk Tidy’ project. During Year 9 students will also be making their GCSE option choices.  This needs to be done with a clear understanding of what may be involved at a GCSE level.  Take the opportunity to speak to your teachers about this throughout the year.  Design and Technology courses are challenging, interesting, innovative and enjoyable. They will draw on all of your skills from Maths, Science, English, Geography, History, ICT etc.

James Dyson, Kate Bellingham, Isla Parry, Thomas Heatherwick, Ingrid Baron, Marc Newson, Mandy Haberman, Philippe Starck are all Design and Technologists.

Year 10 is the first year of the GCSE course. As such we are looking to build upon the existing experiences of the students who have opted for these courses.  The Walkman / Ipod and the Walking Duck projects are common to both Resistant Materials and Product Design students.

Walkman / Ipod. Design History and its influences on modern society. The students spend about 4 weeks looking at the history of the Sony Walkman or Ipod and how the design has evolved and developed in response to changes in consumer moods and modern society. This is designed to make to students appreciate that there has been a lot of great and influential design in the past and that they can draw on this for inspiration.

Design & Development Work. The students will produce a slimmed down GCSE folder for a Lamp Project. They will also be required to make their final design in the workshops. This will be their first experience of a project which includes all of the GCSE coursework sections. Their final coursework task in year 11 will be a scaled up version of this format.

Walking Ducks. Working to a set of plans and working within design constraints is something that students often find difficult. This task is fun, but also requires a high degree of accuracy in the production of the ducks. This is designed to demonstrate the importance of accuracy and quality of craftsmanship in a finished product. We also race the ducks at the end of the project!

During the summer term of Year 10 we present the Final Design Briefs.  We look at how to analyse these in detail and we analyse the given task. From this point on the students will be guided by the GCSE specification provided by the exam board. 

The Product Design course in Year 10 has two projects which are specific to it. The first of these is the ‘Coasters’ project. The students are required to design and produce a set of coasters using a range of techniques. The design is produced using a vinyl cutter and this is then sealed using a heat / scratch proof coating. This project requires the students to produce a batch of 6 coasters which should all appear to be the same.

The second project is a ‘Lamp’ project which uses an LED array as its lights source. The students are required to create the LED array themselves, they may choose the layout for the LED’s. The lamp housing itself is also designed and produced by the students.  The end product should be a commercially viable product.

Year 10/11 Engineering

This Engineering course gives the students an engineering experience through projects undertaken in school.

The course requires students to undertake a range of engineering skills whilst building a lamp.

There are no homework tasks with this course and no exam.  The students do need to complete an apprentice style log book which will detail all of the tasks carried out across the 2 year course. This is completed using notes, sketches and digital photographs.

Year 11 students are guided by the exam specification provided by the exam board. They undertake a project in response to a series of design briefs which are offered each year.