Teaching GCSE classes for the first time can be a daunting prospect. From the non-examined assessment all the way to those all important exams, there is a lot to get your head around. In addition, the new GCSE in Design and Technology represents a huge change in how the subject is delivered and assessed. This course explores methods of successfully teaching the content of the new GCSE for the first time. It looks at ways of delivering the design content successfully, introducing the new maths and science content and strategies for enabling students to successfully tackle the examination itself. It also offers the opportunity to consider possibilities for the new ‘contextual challenges’ that will make up 50% of the assessment for the course.


  • Understand the requirements of the specification and assessment components of the course
  • Increase understanding of contextual challenges in the new GCSE
  • Improve student attainment in the examination component of the course
  • Develop and take away strategies to teach the maths, science and design elements of the course
  • Take away strategies and resources that enable students to make meaningful design choices
  • 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
  • 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 design elements of the course

  • How D&T fits into the wider STEM agenda and challenges for your students to get involved with
  • The use of ‘Big Ideas’ when teaching D&T
  • Different approaches to teaching design skills
  • Strategies that enable students to make meaningful design choices
  • Planning to ensure time is appropriately spent on design tasks and teaching technical knowledge

11.30 – 11.45am: Discussion: coffee break


11.45 – 1.00pm: Teaching the examined content of the course

  • The structure of the examination paper – sections A, B and C
  • Teaching the maths and science requirements of the specification
  • Where students often fall down in examinations – an examiner’s view
  • Understanding what the questions are asking for
  • Using homework and other strategies to build exam technique and confidence
  • Strategies for supporting students with lower levels of literacy and differentiating work

1.00 – 2.00pm: Lunch and informal discussion


2.00 - 3.00pm: Contextual challenges

  • What are contextual challenges?
  • Examples of contextual challenges and their implementation
  • Methods of delivering contextual challenges
  • Managing students completing different projects and using different tools/equipment

3.00 – 3.15pm: Discussion: afternoon tea


3.15 – 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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