Churston Ferrers Grammar School

Tel: 01803 842289


Design & Technology

Head of Department: Mr B Nisbett

Department team member:

  • Mrs S Mires

Bruce Nisbett is subject lead for Design and Technology, teaching all years from 7 to 13.  A trained designer and enthusiastic problem solver who loves nothing more than helping unleash the curiosity and creativity of students.


Design and Technology is a popular subject at Churston, the rooms are always alive with students during the school day and lunch breaks

Design and Technology aims to equip students with superpowers: the ability to turn thoughts into things, find solutions where others see problems and to respect the needs of the planet and our increasingly fragile ecosystem, whilst attempting to improve quality of life for all   It allows us to gain a greater knowledge and understanding of many aspects of the man made world we live in and see opportunities to innovate in order to improve lives in an inclusive and sustainable way.

Students are encouraged to develop their design thinking skills and apply knowledge and skills developed across the curriculum.  We look at how society and design interplay and encourage a view that sustainability and social justice are key elements in any 21st century approach to innovation, engineering and design.  Students are encouraged to seek out local problems and address them with a global mindset – truly active citizens

We urge them to be creative, enthusiastic and imaginative, experiment and take risks with their work and approach.  All in a safe and nurturing environment.

What we do

We use a range of projects that are fun, thought provoking, informative and hopefully pass on infectious curiosity about the man made world around us; how it is, has been and what it could be in the future.

We work with outside companies, higher education and national and local bodies to allow students to look beyond the classroom and see the positive effects they can have, and how they can make a difference.

Students are encouraged to be independent and take charge of their progress.  They develop the communication skills of drawing, modelling and verbal presentation alongside developing their creative and persistent approach to problem-solving.  They work with both  big ideas and small steps.  Throughout the early years we look at a range of disciplines from architecture to information design, from products to systems.  Our work with professionals, businesses and educators from outside Churston allow students to see the range of opportunities and evolving careers that can be woven from their studies.

The overview below shows how the menu of projects builds a foundation for further study and informed citizenship.  We will not all be able to design the future, but we can help shape it, be critical and understand our possible choices and the impact they have.

As we teach as part of a carousel of subjects in both Year 7 and Year 8, there is not a termly plan.  Lessons are held across a 10 week block

Year 7

Year 8

10 Week Block

  • Develop practical confidence
  • Harness creativity through open design briefs
  • Explore modern manufacturing and traditional techniques
  • Explore the working differences of materials and their environmental impact
  • Consider energy use and embodied energy and carbon
  • Consider inclusive design
  • Explore designing for others
  • Build on materials knowledge
  • Build on understanding of the environmental impacts of designing and making
  • Explore local needs and local solutions in a national and global context
  • Look at how innovation can lead the drive to net zero