Design & Technology

The Purbeck School Product Design and Food Curriculum 

Why Study Product Design and Food at The Purbeck School? 

  • Practical skills, communication, the ability to problem solve, follow stick time lines, plan, and develop ideas and constantly striving for improvement following evaluation are all at the heart of learning within Product Design and Food as well as later successes in life. At the Purbeck School, we take great pride in our ability to nurture and challenge students in all of these areas to help them to reach their potential. Through engaging lessons with thought provoking practical lessons as well as skills and knowledge based theory lessons, we foster an environment in which students are confident in their ability to problem solve through ideas development and evaluation of their, as well as, others work, as well as a clear understanding of materials and their working properties, material provenance etc. We promote a culture in which being incorrect at first is not failure, but striving for solutions is celebrated. Enrichment projects promote this culture outside of lessons and this work is rewarded and celebrated.  
  • Each year we aim to enrich our curriculum by visiting the design museum, welcoming in guest speakers from within the industries that Product Design and Food could take you into as well as setting competitions such as:  The cook 5 competition for year 9 students in food and the celebration cake competition in year 10.  The department also works closely with Maths and Science in running the very popular STEM club, showcasing their work in the annual Science Fare in spring term. 

How is Product Design and Food taught? 

  • KS3 – Students are taught in mixed ability classes of no more than 20 students, this works within a 7-8 week rotation where each student is taught Food, Product Design, Textiles (in year 7 &8 only) and Computing (in year 9 only), lessons are once a week for a double lesson.  
  • KS4 – Students are taught in mixed ability classes of no more than 20 students for 5 hours a fortnight, this includes 2 double lessons. 
  • KS5 – Product Design only, lessons are taught in mixed ability classes of no more than 20 students for 9 hours a fortnight.  

Rationale and ambition for The Purbeck School Product Design and Food curriculum: 

  • Our Product Design and Food curriculum aims to transfer a varied and enriching knowledge and understanding of key skills and knowledge within Design and Technology and Food, by remaining up to date and delivering relevant and diverse projects, developing the cultural capital of students at the school. 
  • Our Product Design and Food curriculum aims to develop creative and resourceful citizens through careful project choice, reflect current issues and material developments and innovations, covering consumer trends, changing needs and technological advancements 
  • Our Product Design and Food curriculum aims to support students in developing confidence in expressing their own views and opinions.  
  • Our Product Design and Food curriculum aims to prepare students for work and life through the development of soft skills such as communication, time keeping, teamwork, adaptability, problem solving, independence, public speaking and leadership. 
  • Our Product Design and Food curriculum aims to offer suitable challenge to students of all abilities. 

Key concepts: 

The concepts that The Purbeck School Product Design and Food curriculum aims to support student progression in are:  

Product Design 

  • Understanding  core technical principles
  • Understanding specialist technical principles 
  • Understanding designing and making principles 
  • Understanding technical principles 

Food Preparation and Nutrition:  

  • Understanding Food, nutrition and health 
  • Understanding Food science 
  • Understanding Food safety 
  • Understanding Food choice 
  • Understanding Food provenance 

Useful Links: 

Long Term Overview

Year 7 Projects
Subject Module
Food 1.       Healthy eating including lower fat, salt and sugar content of food and increasing fibre as well as focusing on basic practical skills
Food 2.       Food for your family, making dishes that meet the needs of your family and increasing practical skills
Textiles 1.       Dream catcher, learning about material bonding methods
DT 1.       Desk tidy, using a range of timbers used and HIPs to vacuum form
DT 2.       Maze made of wood and acrylic, working on practical skills and planning
New Technologies (X Year half only) 1.       New Technologies, with a focus on food, water and energy


Year 8 Projects
Subject Module
Food 1.       Food choice, target groups and nutritional needs
Food 2.       Food provenance, including organic, free range, fair trade and local produce
Textiles 1.       Sock monkeys, improving practical skills such as use of sewing machines and completing product analysis
DT 1.       Storage box- wooden with inlays of acrylic and plywood
DT 2.       USB light made from pine and acrylic with electric circuits.


Year 9 Projects
Subject Module
Food 1.       British and international cuisine, including a focus on cooking techniques, ingredients and equipment from other countries and cultures.
Food 2.       Nutrition and healthy eating, this project gives more freedom to explore the nutritional content of foods and includes the cook 5 competition.
DT 1.       USB speaker made from wood and acrylic with a focus on planning
DT 2.       Work of others, prototyping with different mediums, with a focus on developing ideas
New Technologies (X Year half only) 1.       Board game focusing on new and sustainable technologies.

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