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    Design Technology and Engineering

    Design Technology and Engineering (DTE) at Kimbolton covers a wide range of skills and techniques, from the wood workshop to the metal welding bay and the CAD/CAM design studio and the latest rapid prototyping equipment.

    Pupils have the chance to learn in a safe yet challenging environment, with an emphasis on producing work of the highest quality. Traditional craft skills are taught along side the new tools of the design world including rapid prototyping and laser technology.

    A video of our latest work is here.

    Design Technology Lesson at Kimbolton School
    Design Technology Lesson at Kimbolton SchoolDesign Technology Lesson at Kimbolton SchoolAntiques Expert John Bly Unveils a Reproduction of the Kimbolton Cabinet Created by Design and Technology Students at Kimbolton SchoolDesign Technology Lesson at Kimbolton School

    Departmental Staff

    Head of Design Technology and Engineering

    01480 862235




    First and Second Forms – compulsory subject

    In the First and Second Forms, groups of up to 12 pupils focus on safety within the workshop, training on machinery, structures, mechanism and the use of the three main materials (wood, metal and plastic) to make various stimulating projects. 

    Third Form - optional subject

    All Third Form pupils will take two out of the three creative subjects (Art; Design Technology & Engineering; and Food & Nutrition) offered in the Third Form and at GCSE. In the Third Form, pupils can opt for DTE where the course is split into numerous projects, based upon wood, metal, graphics, CAD and Engineering, all in preparation for and gaining experience for the GCSE options on offer.

    Fourth and Fifth Forms – GCSE optional subject

    • CIE IGCSE Design Technology (Product Design) focuses on products made from unlimited materials and covers a very broad range of topics to interest all candidates.
    • CIE IGCSE Design Technology (Systems & Control, Mechanisms) focuses on real-time problem solving, CAD/CAM and workshop related engineering skills and principles

    Both courses involve 50% controlled assessment practical project and 50% examination.

    Sixth Form – A Level  optional subject

    Edexcel Product Design (9DT0) course ~

    • Component 1 – 50% – Paper 1 – Principles of Design Technology
    • Component 2 – 50% – Independent Design & Make Project

    Product Design is about developing practical solutions to everyday problems and this A Level has a natural progression from the two IGCSE Design Technology courses that we offer. It has much flexibility in its delivery and the learning experiences that the students can have; being able to focus on particular aspects that they aspire to study at University.

    The course will enhance your creative skills as well as sharpen an understanding of how technological advances can influence the design of products. You will have the opportunity to gain a greater understanding of the commercial world of designing and making, of the options and opportunities that are open to designers and engineers; and of the difficult choices that they are faced with. Computer Aided Design (CAD) and Computer Aided Manufacture (CAM) will form an increasingly important part of your work in the Sixth Form. CAD will offer you the opportunity to try out ideas quickly and realistically on screen. CAM has the facility to produce work to a high standard of repeatable accuracy, enabling you to make high quality objects. Skills such as creativity, freehand drawing and practical techniques remain a core feature of the subject alongside CAD/CAM.

    In the first year we follow a programme of stimulating design and make assignments and in the final year you will design and make a single assessed product of your choice, with the focus towards a prototype that could be developed into a commercially viable product. You will also be responsible for the planning, management and manufacture of a group project to encourage and experience teamwork. Students will have the opportunity to gain new skills, to improve existing ones gained from earlier study at GCSE and move towards designing and making in a real-life context.

    Each year, our Upper Sixth students undertake a group project as part of their learning and development within the syllabus.  This gives them the opportunity to experience the use of industrial management techniques, teamwork and working to deadlines - all good experience for their future careers.

    A recent project was to make a fully functional Cable-stay bridge where the students manufactured all the parts for it including the steel ‘A-frames’, cables and platforms. The bridge is an assembly kit and is used as a teaching aid for students to understand of values in bridge construction and the scientific principles involved.

    Another group project, a replica Charles Rennie Mackintosh ‘smokers cabinet’ is currently on permanent display at the 78 Derngate Museum in Northampton together with a previous project of 'Hill House' chairs. 

    Our most ambitious Sixth Form project to date - to remake the famous ‘Kimbolton Cabinet’ using modern day techniques and processes -  is on permanent display in the Castle.

    Kimbolton 7th Period Super-Curriculum: DTE students take part in the national 'F1 in Schools' competition - with our teams reaching the National Final of the competition in 2018 and 2019, and becoming national runners-up in 2020. They have also picked up many awards including the Jaguar-sponsored ‘Best Engineered Car’. Students may also focus on developing their CAD/CAM skills with the aim to study, complete and attain a CSWA qualification. As a Certified SolidWorks Associate, students will stand out from the crowd in today’s competitive job market.

    Extra-Curricular Activities

    These include various lunchtime and after school Clubs which cover a variety of interests for all age groups.


    Regular Trips, Visitors and Competitions

    As a department we recognise the importance and relevance of industrial visits. All our examination groups benefit from visits to companies such as:

    • Beamglows Packaging
    • Fairline Boats
    • 78 Derngate (the design museum for CR Mackintosh)
    • Warner Bros - the Harry Potter Studio Tour.

    Our recent Sixth Form residential trips have visited the Coca-Cola factory, BMW Mini, Thorpe Park, Ikea, JCB, Jaguar Land Rover, HellermanTyton and Alton Towers.

    We encourage our Fifth Form pupils who are considering reading engineering, architecture, industrial or product design at university to apply for prestigious Arkwright Scholarships. These provide cash awards plus career guidance and valuable industrial links and networking opportunities for the students.

    We continue to have great success in preparing students to achieve the much sought-after Arkwright Scholarships, having produced no less than 21 scholars over the past 12 years.Our current scholars are Priya, U6th and Alex, L6th.

    In 2018 our Design Technology and Engineering Department was named England’s Top Sixth Form Performer for DT Product Design.