↑ Return to Curriculum

D & T

Food and Textiles Technology

At Dame Alice Owen’s School we have a very vibrant and creative Food and Textiles Department with the emphasis firmly on developing practical design and make skills.

At KS3, students study Textiles and Food Technology for half of the school year each, in years 7, 8 and 9. There are also a number of exciting options which enable students to continue with the subjects at KS4 and KS5. We have a number of food and textiles clubs which run throughout the year. These include knitting club, fashion club, KS3 textiles club and a number of lunch and after school sessions and coursework clubs for upper school students in both Food and Textiles.

We also run an annual ‘Great Owens Bake Off’ competition in the summer term, which gives students the opportunity to show off their baking talents.

Design & Technology

Design and Technology provides students with an opportunity to enhance their previous experience through the design and manufacture of a range of products.

To enable greater access to tools, materials and equipment, students are taught in the areas of Food Technology, Textiles Technology, Resistant Materials, Product Design and Graphics. Each area has its own specialised approach but all areas aim to develop a greater awareness of design and technology in society.

From a given brief, students develop ideas and manufacture quality products to meet real needs. As their technical knowledge increases they are encouraged to take greater responsibility for their projects, setting targets, managing resources and evaluating progress. Extensive use is made of ICT to support learning.

This is a broad based subject that encourages intellectual, creative and personal development, requiring students to use their initiative and to develop practical, problem-solving skills.

Food Technology

In Food Technology, at KS3, students will make a broad range of sweet and savoury recipes with practical lesson taking place at least every other week. The basic principbake_off_2016_winner_wples of nutrition and healthy eating also play a key part in the teaching of this subject.


At KS4 we follow the AQA full GCSE course. This is a two year course leading to a full GCSE qualification. It is designed for students who enjoy working with food.  The course provides many opportunities for practical work including food preparation, tasting and analysing food products, and investigating how ingredients combine and react together.

Students have the opportunity to develop their own choice of interesting and exciting practical work within a given design brief. Students learn about aspects of commercial food production, eg ways of maintaining quality during production when making products in quantity. There are also opportunities for students to use their ICT skills: using a database to analyse the nutritional content of products they have made, spreadsheets for costing, and graphics software for producing their design ideas.

The emphasis of the course is on the development of recipes and the making of new food products suitable for a particular target customer and students will learn how to generate a portfolio from a given design brief.

Assessment is by a 40 hour controlled assessment task (undertaken in year 11) which forms 60% of the marks, the remaining 40% will be by a two hour written examination.
Link to the AQA Food Technology homepage –

Textiles Technology

textilesIn Textiles Technology, at KS3, a creative approach is taken, with the emphasis firmly on developing practical design and make skills. Throughout the key stage students will follow design and make tasks which are open ended, and create products for a set target market. Practical making skills are developed over the three year period allowing for the manufacture of increasingly sophisticated products.


GCSE Textiles Technology is a two year Full Course subject.  We follow the AQA examinations board, which involves 60% controlled assessment and 40% Theory.
Unit 1: 40% Theory, which involves completing a 2 hour written examination in the summer of the second year of the course. The theory paper involves a design question and the reminder on industrial practice.
Unit 2: 60% Controlled assessment involves producing a large GCSE design and make project selected from a range of tasks given by the exam board. Students complete a 20 page A3 design folder and a finished textile product.


At Key Stage 5 we follow the AQA GCE Product Design Textiles Syllabus.

This is a 2 year full time course where students will continue to build on the skills and knowledge acquired from GCSE Textiles. The course consists of four units of work, two for AS level and two for A2. Coursework forms a large part of the course and is worth 50% of the overall grade, the remainder 50% is covered as textiles theory and industrial practice and takes the form of a 2 hour written exam.
A Level Textiles is an exciting, creative, stimulating, and demanding course, which aims to develop:
• knowledge of materials and components, design and market influences, processes and manufacturing
• creative design skills
• knowledge and awareness of the fashion history
• knowledge and understanding of design practice and techniques
• an independent & personal response is encouraged

We have an excellent record of results in both Food and Textiles at both GCSE and A level. The majority of students who study textiles at A level go on to study the subject the further. We have a very successful record of entry to foundation and degree courses, with students regularly accepted to Central St Martins and other prestigious art and design colleges such as Ravensbourne and Rochester.

Ms C Cerny (Head of Food and Textiles)

Design and Technology

design_technologyThroughout Key Stage 3 work on a wide range of exciting projects in Design and Technology, including graphics, textiles, systems & control, food, product design and resistant materials technology. Each project develops specific skill development and fosters innovative design and making. The projects range from programming a robot to making bespoke jewellery.

The department offers a wealth of opportunities to study key aspects of Design and Technology at GCSE and A level. This includes:

Graphic Products (AQA  4550) 60% Coursework & 40% examination

GCSE Graphic Products covers a wide range of designing, including packaging, point-of-sale display, interior and architectural design and product design. Over the course of two years students develop a whole range of creative designing and making skills, technical knowledge and understanding relating to the design of new products.

Resistant Materials (AQA 4560) 60% Coursework & 40% examination

GCSE RM covers a wide range of activities based on designing and making products that are manufactured using materials such as wood, metal and plastics to produce products in many forms. As well as learning hand tool skills, you will use a range of industrials processes to shape and form materials into functioning products. Over the course of two years you will develop a whole range of creative designing and making skills, technical knowledge and understanding relating to RM and invaluable transferable skills such as problem solving and time management.

AS/A Level GCE (OCR Examination Board)

Design and Technology: Product Design – H053, H453

This specification is designed to offer learner’s opportunities to study, propose and realise prototype solutions closely linked to the real world of product manufacture in a range of material areas. Recognising the routes that are pursued at GCSE this specification provides candidates with opportunities to continue their studies either exclusively or as a combination of focus material areas.


  • Excellent progression from GCSE DT subjects with an AS Advanced Innovation challenge unit.
  • Has four units (2 each year), thus reducing the assessment burden on learners.
  • Accommodates exclusive use of materials or a combination of focus material areas.
  • E Portfolio allows improvement in reflect customer feedback and learning platform linked to industry and universities (show cases their design work).
  • Creative and innovative course, A2 project is very open for student’s to generate very creative briefs.
  • AS no written examination paper (Not changed to new style A levels until Sep 2017)
  • There is a wide range possible pathways offered within this qualification –using a range of materials from a wider specialist area.

Mrs  L Chan (Head of Design and Technology)