Explore Haileybury

Design Technology

"Design and Technology is an inspiring yet challenging subject. Pupils learn to combine understanding of subject knowledge with the practical skills required to design and make a quality product. We strive to keep pace with the ever changing world around us; this ensures our pupils have a relevant and well-rounded design education that draws on a range of different disciplines such as Mathematics, Science, Computing and Art."

Tom Opie Head of Design Technology

Design Technology

Design Technology at Haileybury

At Haileybury, pupils learn about the theory and the materials, tools, techniques and processes related to graphics, resistant materials and systems and control technologies.

They combine practical skills with an understanding of aesthetics, social and environmental issues, function and industrial practices with marketing matters also covered.

The subject enjoys good exam results and a number of pupils have used their experience to go on to read Design and Engineering in its various forms at university. In recent years this has included Interior and Industrial Design, Civil Engineering and Marine Architecture.


Design Technology is introduced through the department’s Foundation Course in Years 7-9, offering a wide range of experiences, skills and knowledge on which to build in future. We then offer three IGCSE courses in Graphics, Resistant Materials and Systems and follow the Cambridge International exam board syllabus.

At A Level we follow the Edexcel course where pupils can specialise in Graphics or Resistant Materials and for those taking the IB programme Design Technology is grouped with the experimental sciences.


Contextual understanding of how design is used is fundamental. Visitors from a variety of backgrounds come to talk with pupils about their work and a number of groups have enjoyed off-site visits to local companies. In recent years we also have organised trips to London’s Design Museum and we are regular visitors to the biennial Index exhibition in Copenhagen.

We also take part in the International Rotary Challenge where we have enjoyed a good deal of success, in addition to several other design competitions such as the Audi Challenge and the Toyota Design Competition. We also host our own Technology Challenge for Prep and Primary schools and this has been running now for some ten years.

We encourage engagement at all ages. A Lower School technology club runs in most terms and allows these pupils to try projects that are a little different from the work they cover in class. Each year a number of Fifths are invited to apply for the prestigious Arkwright Engineering Scholarship and this year two of our pupils enjoyed particular success. These pupils will be sponsored by a top company throughout their Sixth Form and will benefit from a number of opportunities and support.

Helpful team

The department staff team members are friendly, approachable and have a wealth of expertise and experience at the disposal of every pupil.

Trophies, awards, plaques, signs, racks, props, furniture, watches, jewellery, cars, bikes and boats - as well as flight-simulators and other general items - have all been designed, repaired, altered, upgraded, restored and/or re-built by the team at some stage or other.

Head of Department

Tom Opie joined Haileybury in September 2015. He studied Industrial Design at Sheffield Hallam University, gaining both a BA and an MA in the subject. He completed a PGCE at Goldsmiths, University of London. Tom has eight years' teaching experience in a range of different schools and before joining Haileybury was Head of Department at Simon Balle School. A keen yachtsman, he currently coaches rugby.

Teaching staff

Tom's team at Haileybury includes:

Anna Bell BEd; Peter Johns BEd Head of Boarding; Graham Mitchell; Roger Lapidge Design Technology Technician.


To find out more about our recent Design Technology results, please click on the link below:

Haileybury Hertford SG13 7NU01992 706200 Registered charity number 310013