Summer 2021 exam support

In August 2020 Ofqual confirmed there will be changes to the 2021 examination series due to the impact coronavirus has had on students’ education. Here you’ll find the information you need to help you understand the changes to GCSE Design and Technology.

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Ofqual has confirmed that the changes for the 2021 series will be to:

  • permit exam boards to accept mockups and/or clear/detailed intentions of prototypes 
  • permit demonstration of using machinery/tools/processes

The details of exactly what this means for our specifications and assessments are listed below:

  • Allow candidates to produce a ‘proof of concept model’ instead of a ‘high-quality final prototype’.
  • Remove marking grid 3.2, Quality and accuracy (AO2 12 marks) from Component 2.
  • Allow candidates to demonstrate using machinery/tools/processes that are not directly linked to the product they intended to make, in order that they will be able to access the requirements stated in the marking grid 3.1b, Manufacture. They can provide written, photographic or video evidence.
  • Allow candidates to demonstrate the requirements of marking grid 4.1, Testing and evaluation, using a proof of concept model instead of a final working prototype.

We will be providing you and your students with materials specifically tailored to help you prepare for the submission of the NEA component 2 for the summer 2021 exam series. This will include:

  • Social Distance Guidance in relation to D&T
  • Frequently Asked Questions relating to D&T
  • Exemplar work of a range of made outcomes including 'proof of concept' models and how to conduct appropriate testing and evaluation
  • Guidance on how to capture and evidence tools, equipment and machinery use

These and further support materials can be found using the link below, and we will let you know when further information is added as it becomes available.

Please note, the changes outlined are correct at time of publication and apply to the 2021 exam series only. For students due to be examined in 2022 these changes do not apply.

Preparing for Summer 2021: Pearson support materials

Below is a table with some useful hyperlinks to support materials on the Pearson website, which may be useful for you to use when teaching your year 11 students.

Support type and hyperlink Description
Past exam papers The 2019 exam series papers including question papers, mark schemes and examiner reports
NEA Student exemplars Examples of student NEA with examiner commentary
Course Planner

Two editable course planners for you to adapt

Maths guide (PDF | 3 MB) Advice and guidance around the delivery of maths for design and technology
Summer 2021 information Information and FAQs to support you through the changes for summer 2021
NEA Delivery Guide (PDF | 11 MB) Advice and guidance around the delivery of the NEA