Technology - Key Stage 3

Why study Technology?

Technology -  Rationale:

Technology is a multi-disciplinary subject which is inspiring , motivating and practical in approach. Learning draws on a wealth of cross curricular subject knowledge, skills and approaches to develop products and processes that address real and relevant problems within varied contexts. Students acquire a broad range of knowledge and experience, drawing from disciplines such as Maths, Science and Art, to develop an overall capability in Technology.

The application of knowledge in the development of technical and practical processes underpin our Technology learning, together with the study and evaluation of past, present and future innovations. Students develop an awareness of the impact of technology on our lives and society, and are able to become discerning, resourceful, innovative and capable citizens. 

Technology – Curriculum Ambition:

  • Our aims for students at Tor Bridge High are to:
  • Understand the bigger picture – interlinking subjects with application in the real world, both vocationally and as discerning citizens
  • Become confident ‘self-managers’ in the solving of everyday problems within the context of an increasingly technical society
  • Be resourceful, employable young people, with the desire to develop vocational and career aspirations
  • Be able to draw on knowledge gained, to be critical users of technology, materials and energy use within the context of sustainability for the future
  • Become innovative and enterprising, recognising opportunities and constraints
  • Develop creativity and recognise that innovation is key to our future development
  • Become aware of the impact of technologies on our social systems and environment

Our Local Context

Plymouth manufacturing and technical industries contribute more than tourism to the local economy, with these industries employing around one in eight local people. This ranks Plymouth amongst the biggest industrial employers per capita, of any city in the south of England.

At Tor Bridge, we aim to foster an interest in technical careers, which will allow our students to become the next highly skilled workforce. We maintain our belief that students should be well-prepared and knowledgeable about current and future technical careers, and aim to provide practical experience of a broad range of technology related subjects through our key stage 3 Technology curriculum, where students experience a wide range of vocationally relevant areas of study, followed by options to study a choice of five subjects up to year 11.

All students study the following on a rotation system in years 7-8.

Hospitality and Catering, Engineering, Computer Science, Design & Technology and i-Media. The structure of each unit typically comprises elements of subject knowledge and the development of applied technical skill.

Knowledge and skills are combined during the completion of an integrated project with a theme or context, which allow students to develop an overall ‘capability’ within each subject.

Each unit is taught over three (hour-long) lessons a week over a 7-8 week period, 20-24 hrs, providing depth and focus, and allow all areas to be covered by all students in both yr 7 and 8 by the end of each year. Students are taught by specialist teachers in each area of study, allowing a real depth of technical knowledge to be developed.

All units contain assessed coursework, and an end of unit test.  Links between technology disciplines are fostered by the use of low stakes tests at the start of every lesson, providing both practice in recall of knowledge, and allow discussion, and interlinking of themes across the year.

Each unit has a context of varying theme. There is a wide range of topics from environmental, commercial and cultural within the key stage 3 programme.

Within each subject there are opportunities for widening cultural experiences for students, for example, studying the foods from other countries in hospitality and catering, or discussing the impact on the environment and less developed countries, through the production of raw materials across the world for engineering.

There are many clubs running to support students in completion of work on computers, workshops and food rooms. The use of online resources for technology is widely encouraged to support student learning, and links and materials provided within each unit. Some software licences for home use can be provided by staff to enhance learning in Engineering, Computer Science and I-Media.

Technology - Key Stage 4

Why study Technology?

Please click here for all options regarding Key Stage 4 Technology

Engineering and manufacture in Plymouth and surrounding area, employs around 12% of the workforce, which is the greatest concentration within any city in the south of England outside of London.

We aim to assist the local economy in being able to provide the next generation of engineers and employees from within the local population. There is a national shortage of highly qualified engineering staff, giving us the motivation to offer a high quality engineering pathway in the school from year 7 to year 13.

In Key Stage 4 we start in year 9 on a foundation course which aims to develop specific skills required for entry onto our vocational engineering qualification in year 10. The development of autonomy using workshop equipment forms a large part of year 9, coupled with the development of knowledge of specific engineering materials for commercial contexts.

Year 9 

The development of practical workshop skills in manufacture forms a large part of this foundation year. Students extend their skills and develop more depth in their ability to use tools, machinery and a wide range of equipment to plan and make products of varying complexity. The aim of the foundation course is to allow development of the underpinning skills and understanding of concepts which they will be requiring for developing a broad knowledge of mechanical and commercial principles, which are commonly found in the workplace. 


Year 10 

Cambridge National Engineering –  

  • Unit R109 - Development of exam specific knowledge and methods: Materials, Traditional and new processes, automation.   

  • Unit R110 - Development of practical and portfolio work for assessment in traditional manufacture. 


Year 11  

Cambridge National Engineering –  

  • Unit R111 - Assessment of engineering skills in computer aided manufacture 

  • Unit R112 - Assessment of engineering knowledge of quality control.  

  • Unit R109 - Development of exam specific content: materials, traditional and new processes, automation. 

Year 9 

50% Coursework Assessment – Practical and Portfolio Practical project work. 

50% Technical Knowledge – Unit Tests 


Year 10 

Unit R110 – Traditional Manufacture Portfolio (25% of final grade) 

Unit R111 – Computer Controlled Manufacture Portfolio (25%) 


Year 11 

Unit R112 – Quality Control Portfolio (25%) 

Unit R109 – Written Exam (25%) 

Links with local industry provide the context for learning activities. Case studies link directly to local companies and businesses to provide a real application for the knowledge being covered. 

The Tor Bridge Greenpower F24 electric racing car project provides a great motivational and aspirational focus for our young engineers. We have many students who have taken an active role in the development of our two school-built, multi award winning cars, with some taking on the challenge of competing against some of the top cars in the country during the South West regional events. Many activities also take place during lunch times, and also after school. 

Year 9

Foundation course consolidating and extending knowledge gained in year7-8 to include the development of programming skills, knowledge of hard and software.  

Throughout year 10 and 11 students will study six theory units based on computer programming and software development:  

1: Algorithms 

2: Programming Techniques 

3: Producing Robust Programs 

4: Computational Logic 

5: Translators and Facilities of Language 

6: Data Representation. 


Throughout Year 10 and Year 11 students will study 8 theory units based on computer systems: 

1: Systems Architecture 

2: Memory 

3: Storage 

4: Wired and Wireless Networks 

5: Network Topologies and Protocols 

6: System Security 

7: System Software 

8: Ethical, Legal, Cultural and Environmental 


Towards the end of Year 10 students are given a coursework task to complete which involves individual work on designing, developing and testing a computer program to solve a given scenario. 

Students are assessed through end of unit tests after each theory unit, we also have an internal exam at the end of year 10 and a mock exam in January of year 11. 

Students have been encouraged to purchase the CGP OCR GCSE Computer Science revision guide and exam practice workbook.

Year 9 – Foundation Course in food preparation with the aim of consolidating and extending the level of competence and skills covered in year 7-8. 


Year 10-11 Subject content is expanded to include the requirements of WJEC Hospitality and Catering. 

Unit 1 - External Exam worth 40%: 

A01 – Understanding the environment in the Hospitality and Catering industry. 

A02 – Understand how Hospitality and Catering provisions operate. 

A03 – Understand how Hospitality and Catering provision meets health and safety requirements. 

A04 – Know how food can cause ill health 


Unit 2 - Coursework and practical exam worth 60%: 

Nutrients, special dietary needs, deficiencies and excess, cooking methods, planning a menu, Environmental issues, Time planning, preparing to cook a two-course meal with compliments.  

Teachers will monitor and observe students throughout practical’s. Explain and model high skill preparing and cooking skills. Teachers will support and give students feedback throughout their lessons so that students make rapid progress. 

Pengelly’s fishmongers visit – sustainable fishing, line caught fish and the fishing industry in Devon and Cornwall and throughout the EU. 

City College visit – using industrial kitchens, information about Further Education and jobs in the hospitality and catering sector. 

Miss Browns – Young entrepreneur from Plymouth sharing her experiences and how to open up your own business. 


Food a fact of life website. 

Teacher PowerPoints – uploaded in the shared area for students. 

WJEC Website. 

WJEC Hospitality and Catering books – Student revision guide. 

The course is 75% coursework.  Four units, each is of equal size. 

R081 completed in Year 10.  Examination at end of year 10. 

R082 completed during year 10 

R086 completed during year 11 

R087 completed during year 11 

R081 will be assessed throughout the learning using previous exam papers and live marking. 

The remaining coursework units will be assessed at the end of the topic delivery.  During the delivery, tasks will be assessed by teachers, to establish the learning.   

During the live coursework, teachers will assess as learners progress (although direct feedback cannot be given).  Teachers will cover any common misconceptions during the coursework delivery.  Learners will be able to access previous notes during their assessments.  

earners are developing an awareness of the cycle of creating a digital solution.  They learn in depth methods of running a project, including the use of project planning software and a range of design techniques.  They will explore areas that utilize these products in a wide range of ways. 

Year 9 Foundation course in D&T aims to extend student knowledge from years 7-8, and to further develop competence in technical processes and self-management during the process of design. 

Year 10 enables students to expand their knowledge and apply this to develop GCSE level capability in D&T ready for AQA NEA and examined elements in line with course requirements. 

This course is 50% Exam and 50% NEA (Non-Examined Assessment “Coursework”) 

Exam Content:  

1: Key Ideas in D&T: CADCAM, Sustainability, Social Issues, Powering Systems 

2: Materials and Systems: Properties of Materials, Paper and Board, Timber, Metals, Alloys, Polymers, Textiles, Electronic Systems, Mechanical Systems, New Materials 

3: More about Materials: Selecting Materials, Forces and Stresses, Scales of Production, Quality Control, Production Aids, Production of Materials 

4: Woods Metals and Polymers: Uses of W/M/P, Stock Forms and Standard Components, Shaping Materials – Hand Tools, Shaping Materials – Machine Tools, Shaping Techniques, Moulding and Joining, Treatment and Finishes 

5: Designing and Making: The work of designers, User Needs, Briefs and Specs, Market Research, Product Analysis, Design Strategies, Development of Ideas, Drawing Techniques, Manufacturing Specs, Prototypes, Efficiency, Safety 


NEA Content: 

  1. Context and Analysis 

  1. Design Brief and Specification 

  1. Design Ideas 

  1. Development 

  1. Manufacturing 

  1. Evaluation and Testing 

Assessment during the theory units is via in class questioning and end of unit tests. We also have internal exams at the end of year 10 and a mock exam in January of year 11. 

Assessment of NEA unit is in line with JCQ guidelines for controlled assessment: 

There are several units within this course specifically designed to teach students about Ethical, Moral and Cultural needs and influences when designing products. Sustainability is a core theme throughout the designing and making where the impact of decisions on the environment is analysed and taken into account when manufacturing products. 

We encourage the students to purchase the CGP revision guide for AQA Design & Technology, alongside the Exam Practice Workbook. 

Technology - Key Stage 5 Engineering – Diploma or Extended Certificate

Why study Technology?

What is it you want them to learn (and why) in this phase?

BTec Engineering at Tor Bridge is aimed at learners who may be considering preparing for roles in engineering, for example engineering technician and higher apprenticeships, or students looking to further their knowledge of engineering sectors before choosing a specialist area in which to gain employment, or to study at a higher level. Learners gain relevant skills and knowledge from studying a range of content focused on electrical/electronic and mechanical disciplines, for example mechanical and fabrication manufacturing processes and maintenance of mechanical systems. The qualification has been designed to be the substantive part of a 16–19 study programme for learners who want a strong core of engineering based learning and a focus on the wider engineering industry. It may be complemented with other BTEC Nationals or A Levels or non-qualification elements to support progression to specific job roles or to higher education courses in engineering.

What modules, topics are they covering in this phase and when?

Four units are covered in the extended certificate, and all ten for the Diploma. Various learning methods and facilities are used during the course, from the more formal classroom based lessons, to independent workshop or CAD based project work.

  • Unit 1: Engineering Principles—Maths and Science
  • Unit2: Delivery of Engineering Processes as a Team
  • Unit3: Engineering Product Design
  • Unit 44: Fabrication Manufacturing Processes
  • Unit 10 : 3D and 2D Computer Aided Design
  • Unit 19: Electronic Devices and Circuits
  • Unit 4 : Commercial and Quality Principles
  • Unit 5: Specialist Engineering Project
  • Unit  9: Work Experience in Engineering
  • Unit 24: Maintenance of Mechanical Systems

What methods will be used to assess work, when are key assessment points? etc.
Unit 1 Engineering Principles – Examination
Unit 3 Engineering Design – 8 hour class based set task (externally marked)
All other units:
Three practical or written assignments per unit, assessed internally with external verification.
Assessment times are spread throughout the two years and fully documented. Assessment plans are published at the start of each year.

What opportunities do students get to broaden their cultural capital, increase their awareness of British Values, experience other cultures etc.
Work Experience and company visits form an important part of the BTech engineering courses, to allow a broad and relevant experience of possible career routes and sectors. Alumni student visits also form part of the wider enrichment opportunities that provide a great insight into future careers. We have strong links with organisations such as Plymouth manufacturers group, Applied Automation, Fine Tubes, Princess Yachts, Babcock, and the Royal Navy, and constantly aim to develop further industrial partners to give further enrichment and local relevance to our courses.

What materials can they buy, what websites are useful, what departmental interventions/support clubs take place etc
Solid Works CAD software is available through the course.
Autocad and other relevant software will also be provided.
Tor Bridge Greenpower Electric car race team also provides a great source of focus and motivation for aspiring engineering students to get involved and develop their knowledge further.
The engineering education scheme offers students a fantastic opportunity to get involved with local industry in year 12 during the development of an engineering project, which is set by a local business. The last few years have seen projects with the Royal Navy and Babcock, in the development of projects to design and make products such as survey drones, radio controlled submarines, autonomous pipe surveying machines and products for the protection of weapons onboard vessels.