Attainment in Education

Expert Educational Resources to Improve Results in the STEM Subjects     

Key Stage 3 Design & Technology Progression Matrix

This is an Excel spreadsheet based tool to assist Design & Technology departments in ensuring that they are addressing all of the requirements of the National Curriculum 2014 Programme of Study.


Every project or significant activity in Key Stage 3 Design & Technology should be evaluated to determine which areas of the National Curriculum 2014 Programme of Study (PoS) are being addressed. Across any Key Stage as a whole, learners should have the opportunity to address every area - this will normally be achieved by addressing different requirements across several different projects. This resource can be used to identify areas where action is needed to improve how well the PoS is addressed. 

Meeting Minutes Blank

A template for recording minutes and actions arising from department and faculty meetings.


Department/Faculty Meeting Minutes Blank

Textbooks for Design & Technology and Engineering

The following listing includes books that are currently available (‘in print’). This list is not comprehensive - if you could suggest any additions, we would be delighted to hear from you!


D&T and Engineering Book List

Baselining Using New Level Criteria

This free resource allows schools still using levels to set a baseline and target level for their new KS3 pupils. It provides a set of four worksheet based activities that can be self, peer and/or teacher assessed. It makes use of our level criteria developed for the new KS3 curriculum. Click the link below to download.

Key Stage 3 Baseline Levels

These worksheets are taken from a pack of nearly 30 similar sheets that allow the continuation of a level based approach to AfL in Design and Technology. This can be purchased from our online shop.

Attainment Criteria for KS3 Design and Technology (Grade Criteria)

Schools use attainment criteria to facilitate the assessment of progress. However, Department for Education has disapplied the 2008 attainment criteria previously used for Design & Technology. One of the weaknesses of the previous attainment criteria was that there was no direct link to progression at Key Stage 4/GCSE D&T. This disapplication gives the opportunity to adopt new assessment criteria, which more accurately reflect the development of skills that will be assessed in GCSE D&T subjects.


Whilst many schools are continuing to use a numeric-based level system, some are switching to letter-based grades. The following grade descriptors have been developed by a team of senior examiners from the GCSE criteria used by the two largest exam boards. They are skills-based and should be suitable for use across all subject specialisms of Design & Technology, allowing standardised assessment across a department. Click the link below to download the new grade based criteria.


Attainment Criteria for KS3 Design and Technology (Grade Criteria) 

Star Charts

This Excel based tool provides star charts that can be used, for example, in Food Technology. The appropriate tab can be copied and edited into other work books as required. Simply click on the link below to download.


Start Charts Tool

New KS3 Programmes of Study for STEM Subjects with Letters

The documents below are copies of the new KS3 Programmes of Study for Maths, Science and D&T. They have been edited to replace the bullet points with letters for easier cross referencing with assessment structures and models. 


Maths KS3 PoS with Letters

Science KS3 PoS with Letters

D&T KS3 PoS with Letters

New Attainment Criteria for Key Stage 3 Design & Technology

Schools use attainment criteria to facilitate the assessment of progress. However, the Secretary of State for education has disapplied the attainment criteria previously used for Key Stage 3 Design & Technology. One of the weaknesses of the previous attainment criteria was that there was no direct link to progression at Key Stage 4/GCSE D&T. This disapplication gives the opportunity to adopt new assessment criteria, which more accurately reflect the development of skills that will be assessed in GCSE D&T subjects.


The following level descriptors have been developed by a team of senior examiners and experienced teachers from the GCSE criteria used by the two largest exam boards. They are skills based and should be suitable for use across all subject specialisms of Design & Technology, allowing standardised assessment across a department.


In broad terms, the criteria for Level 8 are equivalent to a GCSE Grade C. Similarly, Level 6 is broadly equivalent to GCSE grade E and Level 4 is broadly equivalent to GCSE grade G. With typical progress of one level per year, over a two year GCSE course a typical learner would expect to improve by two grades; i.e. a learner achieving Level 6 in year 9 could therefore be expected to achieve GCSE grade C in year 11.

Get a FREE PDF Copy!

You can get a FREE PDF copy of the level descriptors by clicking here.

Supporting Resources

These level descriptors are also fully supported by a range of materials and Assessment for Learning (AfL) resources available from our resource store. These resources include:


  • The level descriptors in a tickbox format so that the requirements for each level are made exceptionally clear.
  • Levels rewritten in child speak.
  • AfL worksheets for self and peer assessment (which can be used to support both existing and new projects).