Design and technology

sandbach high school

Curriculum Intentions

Through Design and Technology, we develop student’s abilities to be innovative problem solvers of real and relevant problems in inspiring and interesting contexts considering a wide range of needs and values. Our students take risks independently which develops their resilience and ability to manage themselves and increases their confidence.  Through studying Design and Technology, our students become inquisitive critical thinkers who identify problems and develop an appreciation for continuous improvement.  We develop discerning and informed consumers who understand their role in domestic and wider contexts.  Design and Technology at Sandbach High School has a positive impact on the students that study it, the society that they are part of and the economies that they contribute to. 

Curriculum Lead

Mr D Massey – Curriculum Leader 


Key Stage 3

Key Stage 3 

Our Key Stage 3 (KS3) curriculum is based on the national curriculum for Design and Technology, and whilst it prepares students for Key Stage 4, it strives to achieve a greater breath than that offered in the associated Key Stage 4 specifications.  To achieve this, we deliver 19 schemes of work over the 3 years covering topics from environmental issues to food provenance.  We use a carousel, so students are taught by experts in the schemes of work delivered.   The disciplines covered are Product Design, Engineering, Graphics, Textiles, Robotics, CAD, Food and Hospitality and Catering.   

In addition to a broad curriculum, we also place great importance on the personal development of our students.  Design and Technology is conveniently positioned to develop Independent and Autonomous learners, Reflective practitioners and Creative problem solvers. 

 Independent learners:  We encourage students to take ownership of their work and we provide an environment where they feel confident and comfortable to ‘give it a go’ and learn from the experience. 

Autonomous learners:  Students manage their own progress and navigate their own learning journey in a supportive environment  

Reflective practitioners: Our students reflect on their experiences and their progress; this then informs the next step of their learning journey and facilities their independent and autonomous learning. 

Creative problem solvers:  Our students solve problems and feel comfortable taking risks in their work.  They are creative and they understand the importance of creativity. 

Key Stage 4

Key Stage 4 

At Key Stage 4 we offer a range of GCSEs and vocational qualifications catering for the diverse needs of our students.  Being optional subjects, our classes are all mixed ability and fully inclusive.  There really is something for everyone. 

Our courses allow students focus on their preferred element of their Key Stage 3 education whilst continuing to develop their critical thinking, problem solving and understanding of the designed world. 


Key Stage 5

Key Stage 5 

At Key Stage 5 we offer a range of level 3 courses in Food studies, Product Design and Fashion and Textiles.  All of these subjects are at least 50% non-examination assessment (coursework) which demonstrates the varied nature of these subjects.  They are creative, technical, scientific, applied and practical.  At this stage in their education, students are expected to take full responsibility for their learning and more specifically, their projects.  This can be challenging but rewarding in terms of self-fulfilment and external achievements.  Our students have won numerous national awards which have provided them with exceptional opportunities.  


Further information on all of these course is available on the Sandbach College webpage: 



Course  Qualification  Exam board  Lead Teacher 
Product Design  GCSE  AQA  D. Massey 
Graphics  GCSE   AQA  R. Hughes 
Fashion and Textiles  GCSE  Edexcel  S. Asbridge & K. Windle 
Food Preparation and Nutrition   GCSE  WJEC  J. Haughton
Engineering  Level 1/2 Cambridge National   OCR  R. Hughes  
Hospitality and Catering  Level 1/2 Vocational Award  WJEC  J. Unwin 


Course  Qualification  Exam board  Lead Teacher 
Product Design  A level  AQA  D. Massey 
Fashion and Textiles  A level  AQA  S. Asbridge & K. Windle 
Food Science and Nutrition    Level 3 Diploma   WJEC  J. Haughton

Wider Curriculum

We offer a vast range of extracurricular opportunities to our students. 

STEM Club 

Our STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics) club is open to all students from Year 8 upwards.  Our students have won many awards, including Young Engineers school of the Year, 9 Teentech awards and multiple Big Bang awards to name a few.  Primarily students work in teams on projects that address real world problems.  Examples of projects include lighting for disaster areas and rehabilitation aids for Stroke sufferers. 


CAUC is our longstanding and very successful Greenpower electronic car team.  Our students design manufacture and race electronic cars all over the country from Goodwood and Anglesey.  They have been crowned international champions on a few occasions and are always working on their next car. 

F1 In Schools 

Our F1 in schools teams race small F1 style cars powered by CO2 canisters.  Our teams have won the North West championships on several occasions.  

Future chef 

Future chef challenges students to device their own dish which are then judge against a variety of criteria including taste, health and originality.  Our students have has much success in this competition in the past, particularly at the regional competitions 

The Common Room Restaurant  

Our Hospitality and Catering students and aspiring KS3 students organise and run events from our onsite restaurant.  These are often open to the public, so keep an eye on our twitter account for future events.  

Arkwright scholarships  

An Arkwright Engineering Scholarship is the most esteemed scholarship of its type in the UK, designed to inspire students to pursue their dreams and change the world as a future leader in engineering.  We support applications from several students each year and have a strong record of our students winning scholarships. 

Trips and Visits  

We offer a variety of trips from day trips to residential, from a day in London to a week at NASA.   

Social Media  

Please follow our accounts on Twitter: 

Main Design and Technology account: @SandhighDT 

Textiles: @SandHighTex 

Food studies: @SandhighFood 



Useful Links

5 ways to help your child: 

  1.  Visit museums and exhibitions such as the V&A, New Designers, The Design Museum and Manchester Science and Industry Museum. 
  2. Watch TV programs such as Grand Designs, The Great British Bake Off, Design for Life and Master Chef 
  3. Cook, build, craft and design at home.  There are some excellent STEM (Science, Technology Engineering and Maths) challenges available from organisations such as: Dyson National STEM Centre: 
  4. Install relevant software on to your home computer, for example, Autodesk Inventor.  We have an educational license, which allows students to install it on their home computers for free. 
  5. Encourage your child to play with toys such as Lego and Meccano