Design & Technology

At Ratcliffe, Design and Technology is a successful and forward thinking department.

Our aims are to provide opportunities for pupils to:

  • enjoy turning ideas into reality;
  • to strive for successful outcomes.
  • be creative and develop thinking skills;
  • to develop attitudes of curiosity, enquiry, initiative, ingenuity and resourcefulness;
  • to experience a range of different material areas.

The department is staffed by two full-time teachers, and one full-time Art and Design technician. The teaching staff are well qualified and experienced, providing a high level of expertise across all material areas. They also pride themselves in the setting of high standards and expectations and work tirelessly to ensure that pupils have the opportunities to achieve their full potential.

The Design and Technology Department comprises of two well-equipped workshops, which offer pupils the opportunity to fully explore design and practical activities while encompassing the principles of artistic creativity and innovation. Equipment includes machinery and hand tools to fabricate in wood metal and plastic. In addition, the department also has access to a class set of laptops, and a small design studio equipped with ICT and CAD/CAM equipment, including a laser and 3D printer.

Academic Programme

From Year 6, all students at Ratcliffe will experience Design and Technology in the main school workshops.

In Years 7 to Year 9, Design and Technology is taught throughout the year with all students having one 55-minute lesson per week. In addition, students also have one textiles lesson per fortnight, which is taught on rotation with Food Technology. Classes are taught in mixed ability groups of around 22 students.

These initial years focus on the understanding of the design process, and the development of practical abilities and creative thinking in preparation for further studies.

Current projects are:  Year 7: Birdfeeder / Desk Tidy Clock Year 8: Wire Portrait / Passive Amplifier Year 9: Sweet Dispenser / Vinyl Speaker


At GCSE, we follow a 2-year Edexcel course in Product Design.

The GCSE course enables students to understand and apply iterative design processes through which they explore, create and evaluate a range of outcomes. The qualification enables students to use creativity and imagination to design and make prototypes (together with evidence of modelling to develop and prove product concept and function) that solve real and relevant problems, considering their own and others’ needs, wants and values.

Assessment takes place at the end of the two-year linear course via the written examination (50%) and the coursework component (50%).

A Level

In the Sixth Form, students follow a 2-Year OCR course in Product Design.

The A Level course is focused towards consumer products and applications, their analysis in respect of materials, components, and marketability, in order to understand their selection and uses in industrial and commercial practices of product development.

Assessment takes place at the end of the two-year linear course via the ‘Iterative Design project’ (50%) and a theoretical examination sat at the end of Year 13 (50%).


Mr Seth joined Ratcliffe in 2006 with a specialism in Graphics and Resistant materials. He graduated with a degree in Physical Education, before completing a PCGE in Design and Technology.
Mr Rogers has worked at Ratcliffe for three years but has been teaching for over eight. He previously worked as a landscape gardener and has a keen interest in all things Design.
Mrs Bradshaw joined the D&T department as full-time technician this year. She prepares all teaching materials as well as maintaining tools, equipment and workshop areas. She has a number of interests, including theatre and travel and is also a published writer.
For further information on Design & Technology at Ratcliffe, please contact Adam Seth, Head of Design & Technology. You can call 01509 817056 or email