Technology and Design

Key Stage Three

Our aim is to promote “Technology and Design Capability” by enabling all pupils to become confident and logically competent in producing solutions to real life problems. Pupils are encouraged to seek creative solutions to problems, be socially aware and to strive at all times to achieve product satisfaction and excellence. In Technology and Design we strive to develop and promote: 

  • Creativity

  • Problem solving skills 

  • Research and planning skills 

  • Manufacturing skills 

  • Evaluation skills 

  • ICT skills

Pupils learn about product design, manufacturing processes, resistant materials (both traditional and modern) and control systems, as well as how to use a wide variety of tools and equipment safely.

Various extracurricular activities are held across each year group including:

  • STEM Club for Year 8 students

  • FIRST Lego League competition

  • SENTINUS young innovators

  • Rocketry challenge

  • Various STEM related activity workshops

Links to industry through practical workshops lead by St Mary’s University College


At GCSE, pupils complete a highly structured programme of theory (enhanced by the completion of a number of practical activities) and a piece of Controlled Assessment.  Controlled Assessment consists of a product that is designed and manufactured by the pupil to meet a particular need or situation.  This course aims to develop skills of creativity and critical analysis through making links between the principles of good design, existing solutions and technological knowledge.  Pupils are encouraged to develop Computer Aided Design using modern programmes, such as SolidWorks, and utilising the department’s Computer Aided Manufacturing equipment – CNC lathe and Laser Cutter.

At GCSE level pupils follow the CCEA Technology and Design programme of study.

All pupils complete a Controlled Assessment piece of work that begins in the third term of Year 11.  This is weighted at 50% of their final grade, and consists of a design portfolio and manufactured product.  Students will be issued with an overview of the Assessment and set deadlines for each task.

Pupils sit two exam papers at the end of year 12, weighted at 50% of their final GCSE grade.  This covers a wide range of topics that are taught from the beginning of Year 11.  Students will receive a substantial written homework in this area at least once per week and is in addition to any coursework requirements.

When studying Technology and Design at GCSE pupils have the opportunity to avail of industrial visits and activity based workshops which enhance theory knowledge but can be applied to coursework portfolio development. 

In January of Year 12 pupils have the opportunity to apply for a prestigious Arkwright Scholarship that will support A-Level studies for those who are planning a career in engineering.  This involves a rigorous application process, aptitude exam and interview before being selected for scholarship.  The Technology and Design department has been involved with the Arkwright Scholarship Trust since its launch in Northern Ireland and we are very proud of our pupil achievements in this prestigious award.


A-Level study enhances knowledge and understanding gained at GCSE, enabling pupils to develop skills in Product Design and Manufacture.  Pupils have greater scope and are expected to justify a wide range of resistant materials, processes and techniques, in order to complete complex products that meet target users’ requirements.  Pupils are encouraged to consider sustainability, ergonomic and anthropometric issues but also to study various design influences in order to gain inspiration for their own work.  Computer Aided Design and Computer Aided Manufacture also play a substantial part in this level of study, with pupils using similar programmes and machinery to GCSE but expected to utilise them more efficiently by completing more complex and demanding products.

Pupils follow the CCEA Technology and Design (revised specification) area of study.

In support of curricular activities, A-Level students have the opportunity to develop their knowledge of industrial practices through site visits.  Pupils are also encouraged to participate in the Design challenges to enhance the quality of their portfolio submissions.

Tech and Design Department

Teaching Staff

Mr Andrew Donnelly (HoD)

Mr Conor Scullion

Mr Luke Beegan

Mr Paddy Boyle (Senior technician and Audio visual coordinator)