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The James Hornsby School

Resistant Materials

Resistant Materials


Our GCSE Design and Technology specification sets out the knowledge, understanding and skills required to undertake the iterative design process of exploring, creating and evaluating.

The majority of the specification should be delivered through the practical application of this knowledge and understanding.

Topics and themes have been grouped to help you teach the specification, but these are not intended as a route through the specification, you can teach the content in any order.

The subject content has been split into three sections as follows:

  • Core technical principles
  • Specialist technical principles
  • Designing and making principles

Core technical principles covers core technical principles and all content must be taught and include:

  • new and emerging technologies
  • energy generation and storage
  • developments in new materials
  • systems approach to designing
  • mechanical devices
  • materials and their working properties.

Specialist technical principles covers specialist technical principles where students will go into greater depth.

These include:

  • selection of materials or components
  • forces and stresses
  • ecological and social footprint
  • sources and origins
  • using and working with materials
  • stock forms, types and sizes
  • scales of production
  • specialist techniques and processes
  • surface treatments and finishes.

Each specialist technical principle is delivered through at least one material category. 

They are:

  • timber based materials
  • metal based materials
  • polymers

Designing and making principles covers design and making principles and all content in this section must be taught.

Students should know and understand that all design and technology activities take place within a wide range of contexts. They should also understand how the prototypes they develop must satisfy wants or needs and be fit for their intended use. For example, the home, school, work or leisure.

They will need to demonstrate and apply knowledge and understanding of designing and making principles in relation to the following areas:

  • investigation, primary and secondary data
  • environmental, social and economic challenge
  • the work of others
  • design strategies
  • communication of design ideas
  • prototype development
  • selection of materials and components
  • tolerances
  • material management
  • specialist tools and equipment
  • specialist techniques and processes relation to design and technology.

Students must also demonstrate mathematical and scientific knowledge and understanding in relation to design and technology, this is vital to the course as it is worth 20% of marks in both the controlled assessment and exam.

The exam is worth 50% as is the controlled assessment.


Exam board: