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Design and Technology

Design & Technology


Department Staff 

Mr Robert Barton - H.O.D.

Mr. K. Franklin,

Mr. J Gallagher

Mr. M. Mc Laughlin

Mr. S. Mc Kevitt (Technician)




All junior classes follow the Northern Ireland Revised Curriculum for Design and Technology at Key Stage 3.

The Programmes of study (POS) are addressed through project work. Projects in each year are designed to cover specific key elements and skills. These projects increase in complexity to ensure continuity and progression in both designing and making skills.

The primary aim of the department during these formative years is to ensure success for each pupil in the form of a number of quality products produced in each of the three years. In the department good work is expected, and rewarded.

Pupils are keen to have their work displayed in the foyer and on classroom walls. Pupil motivation has been further increased by the introduction of the interactive whiteboards. These are used to great effect in the presentation of resources and displaying pupils ongoing progress on screen each lesson.


In recent times CAD/CAM has been an integral part of all KS3 Project work.



Approaching the end of Key Stage 3 pupils and parents meet with teachers to choose subjects for GCSE. As Design and Technology is an optional subject at GCSE a decision is made on whether a pupil has the aptitude and interest to pursue the subject at this level.

Once the decision is made the pupil then embarks on a two-year course (CCEA) Product Design, which builds upon Key Stage 3 foundation skills and knowledge towards greater individual Design and Technology capability and of course good final results.


The current GCSE syllabus is CCEA  T&D  PRODUCT DESIGN.


In the first year (S1)


Unit 1. Study of product design theory, Technology and Design Core Content materials, skills, tools / machines and processes. This theory is examined in late May by a 1 ½ hr examination.



In the second year (S2) Unit 2. Further study of Design and Technology (Product Design theory) with formal 1 hr examination in May.



Unit 3. Design and Manufacturing Project.


Themes for the assignment are set by CCEA each year.


Timetabled periods are divided between theory classes and coursework. However it is generally necessary for pupils to work after school to produce work of a high standard. In S2 pupils are largely focused on their individual project work. They closely follow the class 'Coursework Guidance and Record chart' ensuring that all aspects of the design process are properly addressed and that work is of the expected high standard.

The final term is primarily set aside for revision of theory both general and specialist and department facilities are open to all senior pupils and As / A2 level students both during and after school hours. Examples of GCSE coursework and projects is on display in the department foyer and on the College Virtual Learning environment.


The Product Design GCSE serves as a good foundation for those students wishing to study Design and technology at Advanced level (also a Product Design course).



Advanced level Design and Technology


AS and Advanced level


Studying Design and Technology beyond GCSE level provides an opportunity for College students to develop their own creativity, capability and entrepreneurial skills. Past projects undertaken have covered a broad spectrum of technologies and skills from electronics to heavy engineering.

In many cases students have taken on real life design briefs from industrial and agricultural origin, developed and realised very innovative and successful product solutions, many with patent potential. In recent years many College students have achieved regional awards and national recognition for their A level products in the Young Innovators / Young Engineers for Britain competition.

However, although coursework is a challenging and rewarding element of the AS and A2 levels, accounting for 50% of the marks, the theoretical aspects are also important, aiming to give an insight into the technologies and designs which shape our lives.

The current syllabus is CCEA  Design and Technology (Product Design – Resistant materials).

In the first year AS (Sixth form) two units are studied, which together form the AS level.



AS Level

AS 1a. Theory Exam (1 Hour)  Core topics (50% AS course / 20% of full A level)


AS 1b. Theory Exam (1 Hour)  Option topic   (Product Design)



AS 2. Course work Project  (50% AS course / 20% of full A level)


Product Re - Design – Students undertake analysis and comparisons of commercial products to investigate their design and manufacture.


Product Design – Students identify an opportunity to Re - design and manufacture a product to meet a need or situation.


A2 Level


To achieve a full A level qualification candidates study two further units in the second year (Upper Sixth) A2.


A2  1.   Theory exam  (2 hours)   (Specialist option  Product Design)   30% of A Level.


A2  2..  Course work  Product Design and Manufacture        30%  of  A Level


Students are required to identify potential or an opportunity to design and manufacture a resistant materials product which will have good sustainability attributes and commercial viability.



Arkwright Engineering Scholarships


In 2013 St. Colman’s College were one of four schools in Northern Ireland to affiliate to the Arkwright Scholarships Trust.


The renowned Arkwright Engineering Scholarships provide students with sponsorship / mentoring from a major engineering company, a £600 financial award to enhance their A level studies and a range of activities to enhance their understanding and experience of engineering. St. Colman’s College also receives £400 for each Scholarship awarded to one of its students. The Scholarships are highly valued by leading universities and companies and are supported by top engineering employers and organisations such as Rolls-Royce, BAE Systems, National Grid, Balfour Beatty, Microsoft Research, Thales, The Royal Air Force, The Royal Navy and the Institution of Engineering and Technology.


St. Colman’s College students awarded scholarships to date are:

2013-15 Colum Mc Nally (Newry), Declan Loy (Anaclone)

2014-16 Ciaran Curran (Newcastle), Morgan Cumiskey (Ravensdale)

2015-17 Adam Toner (Mowhan), John Mc Anearney (Banbridge)

2016-18 Glen Fitzpatrick (Newry).

2017-19  John Walsh (Banbridge).


Arkwright Engineering Scholarships identifies these students as some of the country’s future leaders in engineering and technical design.

Students have to successfully complete a rigorous selection process consisting of a detailed application form, a two-hour aptitude exam and an interview hosted at a top engineering university.

Students are formally presented with their Scholarships at prestigious ceremonies in Glasgow and London supported by The Institution of Engineering and Technology.


Dr. Martin Thomas, Chief Executive of the Arkwright Scholarships Trust said:


 “I am delighted to see students from St. Colman’s College secure this prestigious accolade. Clearly, there is considerable technical talent in the Newry and South Down area. With the competition for rewarding jobs becoming ever-more fierce, the receipt of an Arkwright Engineering Scholarship can help dynamic young people at the start of their journey to be the country’s future leaders in engineering and technical design.”




St. Colman’s College Design and Technology students enter the annual Sentinus Young Innovators / National Science and Technology Competition ‘The Big Bang’ held in Belfast.


This competition is the regional final of the prestigious National Science and Technology CompetitionThe Big Bang’  in which the very best young designers and innovators from the UK display and present their projects to industrial expert  judges and over 70,000 visitors at the three day event held in London or Birmingham.


In recent years many St. Colman’s Technology students have received top awards for craftsmanship, innovative design and commercial potential.


Of particular note are the following students all of whom have been awarded National UK prizes and recognition.



James Morgan (Kilcoo) London 2009 with the ‘Rubble Rake’.


Mark Mc Evoy (Dromore) NEC Birmingham 2012 with his ‘Multi Lift’ prototype.

In 2013 Mark was again successful with his Multi-Spike’ product.


Niall Murphy (Mullaghbawn) NEC Birmingham 2013 with his TELE-SPIKE.


In March 2014 Niall Murphy received a further Highly Commended UK award at ‘The Big Bang’ in NEC Birmingham for his ‘UNREEL’ system.


In 2015 Colum Mc Nally (Saval) achieved National success by winning the top prize Overall Winner ‘ UK Young Engineer of the Year 2015’. Colum’s Agri-Hammer / Log Splitter received UK national media exposure and was featured on BBC and local press.


As a direct consequence of their success at the NSEC ‘Big Bang’ a number of these students have also been offered work placements and secured employment with prestigious companies such as Jaguar Land Rover and JCB. All acknowledge the personal benefits the experience of competing at this level has brought them. All remain in contact and have developed a common network of expertise and support for each other



DESIGNING Magazine Autumn 2015 (issue 102)

Following Colum Mc Nally’s UK Young Engineer of the Year award DESIGNING Magazine featured the Design and Technology department at St. Colman’s College. The article centred on the successes of our students engineering projects in recent years at the National Science and Engineering Competition ‘The Big Bang’ and the motivation provided to our junior pupils interested in STEM subjects and real life problem solving.


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