The new 2017 GCSE in Design and Technology represents a huge change in how the subject is delivered and assessed. With a move to 50% examination weighting and a more challenging paper with increased focus on maths and science, how students perform in the examination will count more than ever towards their final grade. This course explores methods of successfully delivering technical content, marking work and preparing for the examination component of the AQA course. It looks at the structure of the exam paper, the styles of questions used and the way that students are expected to construct their answers, along with effective teaching methods to build examination technique. It also looks at the NEA and the key facts surrounding this component of the course.


  • Develop and take away strategies to teach the maths and science elements of the course
  • Improve student attainment in the examination and NEA components of the course
  • Understand the requirements of the specification and examined assessment component of the course
  • Increase confidence in marking and assessing the responses of learners to exam style questions
  • Take away resources and strategies to support pupils with lower levels of literacy
  • Network and share existing good practice


COURSE DATE In-school only
  • All teachers delivering the new D&T GCSE for the first time
  • Heads of Department for D&T
  • NQTs and trainee teachers of D&T
IN-SCHOOL You can also book this as an In-School Course
  • A specially prepared folder of 50+ pages full of detailed notes, practical advice and guidance
  • Notes prepared by the educational experts leading the course
  • Expert produced PowerPoint presentations
  • CPD Certificate of attendance
  • Two course restaurant lunch
  • Refreshments throughout the day
  • Guaranteed high quality venues



10.00 – 10.30am: Understanding the specification and assessment requirements of the course

  • The big picture – the situation nationally
  • Understanding the requirements of the specification and how it will be assessed

10.30 – 11.30am: Teaching the Maths and Science elements of the course

  • Analyse the maths and science requirements of the specification
  • Ideas for teaching the maths and science requirements effectively
  • Assessment of maths and science in the examination and how to prepare students for those questions

11.30 – 11.45am: Discussion: coffee break


11.45 – 1.00pm: Teaching and preparing students for the examined content the course

  • The structure of the examination
  • Where students often fall down in examinations – an examiner’s view
  • Skills students need to make progress and achieve well in the exam
  • Understanding what the questions are asking for
  • Using homework and other strategies to build exam technique and confidence
  • Techniques for supporting students with lower levels of literacy

1.00 – 2.00pm: Lunch and informal discussion


2.00 - 2.45pm: NEA and contextual challenges

  • Key facts and information about NEA and contextual challenges
  • Improving outcomes in NEAs/contextual challenges
  • Standardising work produced by students

2.45 - 3.30pm: Marking and assessing

  • Baselining students at the start of the course
  • How examiners mark different types of questions – what are they looking for?
  • Marking different types of questions – analysing responses, marking them using mark schemes and comparing to what an examiner would give
  • Collating and using marking data to inform future progress

3.30 – 3.45pm: Plenary and questions

  • Final thoughts, review of learning and next steps
  • Questions

David Hills-Taylor

David is a freelance educational consultant, published author and co-founder/director of STEM and D&T based resource development company Attainment in Education. A former SSAT Lead Practitioner, he has twelve years teaching and leadership experience in D&T, including roles as faculty KS3 and KS4 manager, VTLE coordinator and lead mentor for PGCE students in partnership with the University of Manchester. He is a senior examiner for Engineering courses, working across two of the three main awarding bodies.  In 2012 he received the D&T Association IET Digital D&T Award for his work in schools. This included joint management of a support hub for developing the electronics and digital capabilities of teachers both locally and nationally.

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