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John Milton Academy Trust

These schools are part of the John Milton Academy Trust. Click on the school's logo to visit their website.

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Powerful Knowledge

Powerful knowledge is the realisation that most of the products we interact with are designed by humans, for humans for a reason. Students are made aware that design (problem solving) provides solutions for human needs and sometimes desires. Students are to know that design is there to aid comfort, transport, physical need, mental and health needs, communication and for aesthetic reasons. Real world problems are used to develop the students' understanding of the huge, life-changing role and impact a designer can have.

This is manifested in the final piece of NEA, where students apply their knowledge and understanding of design and the process of design following the Iterative design process- DISCUSS- EXPERIMENT-EVALUATE (REPEAT)

Underpinning this NEA project is a raft of knowledge that will be demonstrated throughout their work and also form the knowledge needed for the formal examination.

Knowledge topics, either taught discreetly or part of NEA.


UNIT 1 New and emerging technologies

  • Industry and enterprise
  • Sustainability and the environment
  • People, culture and society
  • Production techniques and systems
  • Informing  design decisions

UNIT 2 Energy, materials, systems and devices

  • Energy generation
  • Energy storage
  • Modern materials
  • Smart materials
  • Composite materials and technical textiles
  • Systems approach to designing
  • Electronic systems processing
  • Mechanical devices

UNIT 3 Materials and their working properties

  • Papers and boards
  • Natural and manufactured timbers
  • Metals and alloys
  • Polymers
  • Textiles

UNIT 4 Common specialist technical principles

  • Forces and stresses on materials and objects
  • Improving functionality
  • Ecological and social footprint
  • The 6 Rs
  • Scales of production

UNIT 5 Specialist materials and properties- Wood, Metal, Polymers, Textiles, Electronics, Paper and boards

  • Sources, origins and properties
  • Working with materials
  • Commercial manufacturing, surface treatments and finishes

UNIT 6 Designing principles

  • Investigation, primary and secondary data
  • The work of others
  • Design strategies
  • Communication of design ideas and prototype development

UNIT 7 Making Principles

  • Selection of materials and components
  • Tolerances and allowances
  • Materials management and marking out
  • Specialist tools, equipment, techniques and processes
  • Surface treatments and finishes


Hospitality and Catering:

UNIT 1: The Hospitality and Catering Industry

  • Hospitality and catering providers
  • Working in the Hospitality and Catering industry
  • Working conditions in the Hospitality and Catering Industry
  • Contributing Factors to the success of hospitality and catering provision
  • The operation of front and back of house
  • Customer requirements in hospitality and catering
  • Hospitality and catering provision to meet specific requirements
  • Health and safety  in hospitality and catering provision
  • Food safety
  • Food related causes of ill health
  • Symptoms and signs of food related ill health
  • Preventable control measures of food related ill health
  • The environmental health officer

UNIT 2: Hospitality and Catering in Action

  • Understanding the importance of nutrition
  • How cooking methods can impact on nutritional value
  • Factors affecting menu planning
  • How to plan production
  • How to prepare and make dishes
  • Presentation techniques
  • Food safety practices
  • Evaluating cooking skills


The key literacy/vocabulary overlaps each Unit (All key terms/ vocabulary are on the knowledge organisers)


Unit 1

CAD, CAM, JIT, compatibility, planned obsolescence, disposability, precision, sustainability, overproduction, continuous improvement, lean manufacturing, carbon offsetting, one off, batch, mass production, CNC, EPOS, additive manufacturing, crowdfunding, co-operatives, fairtrade and automation.

Unit 2

Finite, fracking,renewable, pneumatics, hydraulics,kinetic, biomass, biodegradable, nanomaterials, metal foams, composites, carbon neutral, polymers, analogue, digital, monostable, Astable, oscillating, reciprocating, rotary, linear, levers, linkages, range of electronic components ( diode, resistor, thermistor, thermostat, capacitor, toggle switch etc.)

Unit 3

Function, aesthetics, ergonomics, anthropometrics, ethical, cultural, microns,GSM, strength, elasticity, ductility, malleability, hardness, toughness, comparison, synthetic.

Unit 4

Tension, compression, torsion, shear, lamination, stabiliser, annealing, seasoning, webbing, reinforcing, fabric interfacing

Unit 5

Ferrous, non ferrous, alloy, composite,thermoplastic, thermoset plastic, veneer, manufactured board, (Textile knowledge needed as follows) pattern, seam allowance, pressing, applique, embroidery, overlocker.

Biopolymers, polymerisation, monomers, catalyst, fractional distillation, plasticisers, stabilisers, pigments, LCA (life cycle assessment), abrading,deforming, reforming, vacuum forming, extrusion, rotational moulding, blow moulding, injection moulding.

Unit 6 & 7

Outsourcing, PPE, risk assessments, data sheets, iterative, feedback, (range of Art & Design movements e.g.Bauhaus), user- centred design, intuitive design, design fixation, oblique projection, orthographic projection, isometric projection, perspective, exploded drawings, schematics, tolerances,prototypes, allowances, tessellation, SI units, templates, jigs, oxidisation, corrosion, uv degradation.

Mathematics that thread through all units

 Mechanical advantage, load, effort, ratio, gear ratio, velocity ratio, speed, acceleration, force, work, trigonometry, algebra (COS/TAN/SIN), volumes, area, scaling, multiplication, division, addition, subtraction.


Hospitality and Catering:

Unit 1:

Commercial  residential, Commercial Non -residential, Non Commercial residential, Non Commercial Non-residential, Counter Service, Buffet service, Cafeteria, Carvery service, Table service, Gueridon system, ratings, restaurant standards, environmental standards, employee, employer, worker, managers, administrators, front of house, back of house, chef de cuisine, sous chef, chefs de partie, commis chef, boucher, entremetier, friturier, garde manger, grillardin, patissier, poissonier, rotisserie, saucier, boulanger, decoratateur, glacier, confiseur, plongeur, personal attributes, workflow, Risk Assessment, accident report, hazard, RiDDOR, HASAWA, COSHH, MHOR, PPER, microbes, cross contamination, bacteria, moulds, fermentation, germinate, spores, allergies, intolerances, symptoms, anaphylaxis, lactose, coeliac, legislation, labelling regulations.

Unit 2:

Balanced diet, good nutrition, nutrients, sources, whole foods, protein, macronutrient, HBV, LBV, amino acids, carbohydrates, glucose, fructose, galactose, maltose, sucrose, starch, pectin, dextrin, dietary fibre, on-starch polysaccharide, fat, essential fatty acids, solid fats, liquid plant oils, fat soluble, insulates, energy, vitamins, micronutrients, water soluble, minerals, calcium, iron, sodium, magnesium, potassium, hydration, vegan, pescatarian, deficiency, growth, movement, coagulated, denatured, gelantised, boiling, steaming, poaching, baking, roasting, stir - fry, preparation, storage, A la carte, Cyclic menu, Du Jour Menu, Table d’hote, Entree, Carbon footprint, food provenance, fossil fuels, non-renewable energy, organic, production, food miles, reduce, reuse, recycle, food waste, sustainability, customers, organoleptic, appetising, senses, cooking techniques; hydrating, tenderising, kneading, pureeing, crimping, laminating, moulding, piping, aeration, julienne, brunoise, deboning, segmenting, emulsifying, reduction, sauteing, caramelising, water-bath, blanching, garnishes, portion, accompaniments.

School Context

Appreciation of how the region currently sits with regard to industry and industrial links.

Students are encouraged to see the positive and negative aspects of ‘Design’ in its broadest sense in the region and to  have an understanding of the history of design and manufacture here in East Anglia.

Specialist industries- Offshore renewable energy hub in the region- Lowestoft/Gt Yarmouth.

F1 racing hub and  specialist ‘feeder’ industries in the region- Lotus etc.

Electronic and communication industries particularly rapid expansion and world leading in Cambridge.

Links to mainland Europe from this region.

Food production - sugar beet, cottage industry, local farm - seasonal produce,

Local Hospitality and catering establishments - commercial and non commercial, residential and non residential.



Formal assessment takes place at end of course NEA - 50%, Examination - 50%

Hospitality and Catering:

Formal assessment takes place at end of course Unit 1: Examination - 40%, Unit 2: NEA - 60%


Information on further education options and career advice within the Design Technology displays within the department.

Advice and knowledge passed down from the teacher. Visual examples of work by older students at GCSE and A Level.

Various jobs within  the Design Technology/Hospitality and Catering  sector discussed when looking at various Designers and types of design work within projects.

  • Graphic Designer
  • Mechanical Engineer
  • Architect
  • Civil Engineer
  • Interior Designer
  • Chef
  • Hotel Manager
  • Event Planner
  • Baker
  • Waiter
  • Nutritionist
  • Environmental Health Officer