Design and Technology

a picture of a group of students working together on a project

King Edward’s School has an excellent reputation for Design and Technology.

Our boys have been successful in national and international competitions, and the brightest boys are encouraged to consider engineering and design-related fields as future careers.

Design and technology is housed in its own purpose built centre which has two large workshops with classrooms attached as well as a separate computer aided design room. The subject is compulsory in Year 7 and Year 8 and as an optional creative subject in Year 9. 

The curriculum is designed to develop students’ designing and making skills through a series of projects. Boys cover the main technologies of electronics, control, mechanisms, structures and materials using woods, metals and plastics. Each project allows students to interpret a given design brief in their own way so that they can develop and demonstrate their particular talents.

A large number of boys choose to study GCSE Design and Technology, which offers a unique opportunity for boys to identify and solve real problems by designing and making products or systems. 

Boys study core technical principles and develop an in-depth knowledge and understanding of electronic systems, programmable components and mechanical devices. A significant proportion of the course is assigned to practical tasks to develop boys’ knowledge of design and making principles, and enable them to make successful and functioning prototypes.

Design technology, offered at both Standard and Higher Level, aims to develop responsible, considerate, highly skilled and internationally minded designers and engineers. A practical approach is taken to reinforce students’ understanding of the topics covered and to enable them to design, develop and manufacture high-quality outcomes.

Boys will gain a high technological and scientific understanding of how products work, as well as how they are designed, developed and manufactured. They will also continue to develop their awareness of how products affect society on a personal, social, moral, economic and environmental level, as well as an appreciation of global issues and how international designers and engineers are addressing these. 

Former pupils have gone on to study engineering at some of the very best universities in the country including Oxford and Cambridge.

Future careers

Those who pursue Design and Technology at IB level can explore diverse career opportunities in the fields of engineering, architecture, product and industrial design, automotive design, marketing and business management, among others.

Beyond the classroom

As well as topics being brought to life through industrial visits, students spend a weekend at the Centre for Alternative Technology, living in one of their eco-cabins.

Arkwright Engineering Scholarships

We have been very successful in gaining prestigious Arkwright Engineering Scholarships for boys with an interest in pursuing a career in design and engineering.

Following a rigorous selection process, successful scholars receive a financial award to help support project work during their IB Diploma studies and also gain access to a range of enrichment opportunities, such as mentoring and company visits.

Two former pupils have also been awarded Arkwright Undergraduate Scholarships, worth £12,000, to support them through their undergraduate engineering studies.

Meet the Head of Department

Mr Balkham

Mr Balkham has been teaching Design and Technology since 1994 and joined King Edward’s School as Head of Department in 2003. His fascination with design and making began as a child, when he would often be found drawing and designing cars, making models, and tinkering with his bike. He studied Industrial Design at the University of Wales in Cardiff, earning a first class honours degree, and spent some time at ENSCI Les Ateliers in Paris before working as a Product Designer.

After helping Sixth Form students with their design projects, Mr Balkham became interested in teaching and earned a PGCE at Brunel University. He has never regretted his decision to enter the profession, as he loves being creative with students, helping them solve real-world problems, and watching them make and model their ideas in the workshop. Outside of school, Mr Balkham enjoys cycling, mountain biking, and supporting Liverpool Football Club.

Phil Balkham - Head of Design and Technology

All Departments





Design and Technology


Economics and Business Management

Environmental Systems and Societies






Modern Languages


Philosophy, Religious Studies and School for Thought

PE, Games and Sports Science


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