Design & Technology

“Good Art is interpreted.

Good Design is understood.”

(James Cooper, Kilbracken, 2019)


"Design at Rugby School opens doors for creativity and allows pupils to express themselves through practical outcomes. It provides pupils a real-world opportunity to use ingenuity to create their vision.

Making stuff is proven to help well-being and the practical nature of the courses within the Design Department at Rugby provide pupils with ample hands on experience to work in a different way from the normal academic approaches that make up the majority of school life.

An iterative approach to problem solving and developing fantastic solutions creates an enjoyable, fast moving work environment that enriches the experience of those studying Design at Rugby."

Phil Byrne, Head of Department


Design and Technology is a popular and highly enjoyable subject at Rugby where, due to our superb facilities, we are able to be innovative and adventurous in our work.

The courses in the F-Block begin gently with skill development, technical practice and teacher supported activities. Through the exam courses, as levels of knowledge, experience and confidence increase, work becomes more independent as pupils learn to identify their own projects, carry out research and development, before planning and realising their selected outcome.

Throughout the process there will be analysis and evaluation at every stage to inform and support their decision making. Exciting trips to London and New York for the older year groups help to inspire pupils in their own work.

In School working briefs can be based on real or hypothetical problems, they can be based on historical and traditional situations or look forward to use modern and futuristic technology.

Pupils can work in traditional resistant materials such as wood, metal and plastics; compliant materials – card, paper and textiles; smart, modern or composite materials or any combination of these. At GCSE we follow the AQA D&T: Resistant Materials Technology course and at A’ Level the AQA D&T: Product Design (3-D Design) course.

Both have substantial coursework elements that enable students to be creative and to experience the wide range of facilities on offer in the School’s excellent workshops.

In teaching the D&T course we attempt to enable pupils to make informed decisions about their own environment and that of the greater population that allows them to develop lifelong skills about choice and decision making. The ability to make independent judgements and be confident in justifying their selections is fundamental to the development of successful designers, but also of self-assured and responsible members of society.