Assessment Report

Level 1 Technology 2021

Standards 91048  91049  91053


Part B:  Report on standards

91048:  Demonstrate understanding of how technological modelling supports decision-making


Candidates that provided relevant, sequential, and legible photographic evidence from their portfolio were more likely to be successful in displaying their understanding in the report. Those accessing higher levels of achievement had a clear authentic brief that allowed the candidate to interact with stakeholders.

It is still evident that candidates are misinterpreting risk management and are confusing it with health and safety as opposed to how their modelling reveals and manages potential issues (risks) that could arise as the outcome develops.

The technological modelling undertaken needs to be related to the candidates own practice. Where candidates included material from case studies it was of little benefit, unless they linked it directly to decisions made with their own modelling.

Candidates whose evidence was generated in group work were disadvantaged as they were often unable to demonstrate an independent understanding of the purpose of the modelling, the evidence gained, and the subsequent decision(s) made.

Reports analysing the generic advantages and disadvantages of selected forms of modelling were often unable to present specific evidence, resulting from specific modelling, leading to specific decisions.

Some report specifications were not adhered to by some candidates e.g., page limits, font styles and size and spacing. Candidates that do not adhere to the page limit may have an unfair advantage to those that have stayed within the 8-page limit and as such the report will only be marked to 8 pages.

Grade awarding 

Candidates who were awarded Achievement commonly:

  • showed their process with evidence of one or more decisions they made from their modelling
  • identified the technological outcome they had developed
  • focussed the report on more than one technological outcome
  • identified one or more methods of technological modelling they had undertaken
  • provided some evidence of the results of the technological modelling they had undertaken
  • described some basic decision(s) made as a result of reviewing the evidence of the modelling they had undertaken
  • supported their writing with evidence e.g. examples/photos from their design portfolio’s.

Candidates whose work was assessed as Not Achieved commonly:

  • did not include a named outcome
  • conducted some modelling but did not make relevant decisions related to their modelling
  • answered set generic questions that did not clearly show they understood the implications of the modelling
  • provided no supporting evidence from their portfolio
  • identified and explained their manufacturing process only
  • undertook modelling but provided no evidence of decisions that they made
  • identified advantages and disadvantages (pros and cons) of the modelling without referring to any decisions that were made
  • wrote generic responses which did not show evidence of what was learned when modelling
  • followed set questions which did not meet the requirements of the standard
  • submitted incomplete reports.

Candidates who were awarded Achievement with Merit commonly:

  • explained why they selected a particular method of technological modelling
  • explained the relevance of a particular method of technological modelling to the developing outcome
  • explained how the evidence gained from a particular method of technological modelling influenced subsequent decision(s) about the developing outcome
  • provided evidence of modelling (functional modelling and/or prototyping) regarding the technical feasibility and / or social acceptability of the potential outcome
  • provided relevant and curated evidence from their portfolio
  • showed that they were aware of the intention of the modelling before undertaking it.
  • Identified some risks, but these were either generic in nature, or not linked to decisions made and how that impacted on the developing outcome.

Candidates who were awarded Achievement with Excellence commonly:

  • had a detailed authentic brief with high levels of stakeholder and/or client interactions.
  • discussed in depth why they selected a type of technological modelling and what they wanted to find out
  • analysed findings from their technological modelling to ensure appropriateness of procedures; materials; resources; personal capability to develop outcomes and prototypes; technical feasibility; social acceptability; and environmental considerations
  • included risk management that was explicit and/or embedded in the analysis of the technological modelling to identify problems that needed to be resolved (seen and unforeseen)
  • discussed how risk management was used to resolve problems to ensure technical feasibility and social acceptability
  • submitted sequential reports sections focussed on the development of one technological outcome only
  • clearly justified the reason for choosing the form of modelling they used with reference to the social and physical environment
  • did not use a template or answer pre-set questions to complete their report.

91049:  Demonstrate understanding of how materials enable technological products to function


Candidates who provided evidence in the form of a clearly structured report related to their own practice performed better. These candidates tended to use the bullet points of the Achievement Standard to shape their response.

Candidates who used their own voice in the presentation of their evidence could often demonstrate their understanding in greater depth, enabling them to access the higher grades of achievement.

Candidates should reference their reports as instructed in the Assessment Specifications.

Candidates do not have to write about multiple materials to access the higher grades of achievement.

This enables canditates to be able to demonstrate how and why the material(s) can or have been manipulated to enable their product to function and meet the product specifications. And how this is determined by the materials composition and structure.

Candidates need to demonstrate more understanding of how and why they may have altered a material’s performance properties due to the way the material has been manipulated in their product. (Explanatory Note 4 in the Achievement Standard).

Grade awarding 

Candidates who were awarded Achievement commonly:

  • introduced their project, and stated the required product specifications, which gave purpose and context to the report (specifications are measurable outcomes that the product should have.)
  • based their report on their own technological experience i.e. linked the material(s) being used to their own project work and the product they made
  • described the material(s) they had used, the performance properties of the material(s) (EN 4 in the Achievement Standard) and how these related to the product and its specifications
  • explained how the material(s) could be manipulated, but provided only basic information related to composition, structure, and performance properties
  • described the composition, structure and performance properties of their material(s), but understanding of how materials could be manipulated to allow their technological product to function was only just sufficiently demonstrated
  • used diagrams or written text to describe the composition and structure of the basic material(s) being used
  • presented a clearly structured report that had been scaffolded
  • completed a bibliography, or appropriately referenced evidence that supported their project
  • used student voice to demonstrate their understanding of how their chosen material(s) enabled their product to function.

Candidates whose work was assessed as Not Achieved commonly:

  • did not have any product specifications to relate the material(s) performance properties to the product or only identified some attributes
  • described the performance properties of a material(s) but did not address how the material was used or how it would be useful in the development of a technological outcome
  • did not include the manipulation of material(s) in relation to their own practice
  • did not explain how the material(s) used had been manipulated to enable their product to function and meet the product specifications
  • included a step by step description of how their project was made but did not relate them to the performance properties of the material(s) which made it functional
  • presented irrelevant material, that did not link to their project for example the history of materials, e.g., how wood is cultivated
  • identified information only

Candidates who were awarded Achievement with Merit commonly:

  • presented clear, structured responses that explained but did not discuss
  • explained material(s) in terms of its structure and composition, and how these determine its performance properties
  • explained how the performance properties allow a material(s) to be manipulated to perform its function and contribute to developing a functional product
  • presented evidence of interactions with their product specifications, material(s), and research
  • presented examples from their own project using their own voice.

Candidates who were awarded Achievement with Excellence commonly:

  • discussed material(s) in terms of its properties, composition, and structure and how those factors allow it to be manipulated to perform its function and contribute to developing a functional product
  • included comparison with alternative methods in their discussion of how they had manipulated the material
  • discussed the reasons behind the material(s) behaviour when manipulated or formed
  • provided a discussion, justifying material(s) selection and how the individual properties of the focus material combined with other material(s) to ensure the product functions as intended
  • based the report on their own experiences whilst developing their own product
  • discussed in depth the composition, structure, and performance properties of the material(s) that enabled their project to function as intended, as required by the performance specifications provided
  • demonstrated understanding of the material(s) they used throughout their discussion
  • used complex sentence structures and synthesised the information they had discovered
  • wrote clear, well-structured reports.


91053:  Demonstrate understanding of design elements


Candidates were more successful when they considered the specific design elements related to a technological outcome produced as part of their own technological practice. This increases personal voice and inclusion of personal opinion.

Candidates should be encouraged to consider the negative impact of the use of design elements in the analysis of a case study and/or their own work. Most analyses were limited to positive aspects and how the design element improved the outcome.

Contrasting and comparing case studies to their own work adds depth to the discussion. A number of candidates who were unsuccessful limited their report to identifying the existence of an element(s) within a design rather than how the design elements were applied, and did not comment on the impact (both positive and negative) that the application of design elements had on the outcome.

Some candidates appear to be disadvantaged due to the range of different products being used to identify / describe the application of each design element. These candidates were unlikely to advance beyond an Achieved grade due to a lack of explanation. Comprehensive understanding was often characterised by candidates being able to comment on how the application of one element can impact on and influence other design elements.

Candidates who used writing frameworks that promoted this integrated approach to the use and application of design elements were often advantaged.

Template-based submissions tended to show limited scope for divergent thought. Candidates who utilised templates often duplicated the same content and level of evidence for different products. In cases where a candidate’s own work could not be clearly recognised (from the teacher or group work), they seldom gained higher than an Achieved grade.

Grade awarding 

Candidates who were awarded Achievement commonly:

  • identified and described design elements that were relevant to their own outcome or those designed by others
  • identified how the design elements identified affected the quality of the outcome
  • included personal voice and opinion, although limited in detail
  • analysed aesthetic design elements and did not fully explore the functional considerations
  • described the use of design elements from a positive viewpoint with limited description of what was unsuccessful
  • identified and described limited subjective and objective considerations within their specified context
  • included outcomes that often limited their opportunity to describe the relevant design elements in more depth.

Candidates whose work was assessed as Not Achieved commonly:

  • made limited or no connection between student practice and design elements.
  • identified and described the design elements only
  • overused unreferenced information
  • did not include technological outcomes with enough scope to demonstrate understanding of design elements
  • included pre-formatted scaffolded worksheets prepared by the teacher, which did not allow depth of student knowledge to be demonstrated.
  • included incomplete reports
  • provided brief reports with numerous images of irrelevant products or graphics.
  • lacked evaluative comments of case studies and / or their own work.

Candidates who were awarded Achievement with Merit commonly:

  • used at least one case study and their own work to inform their reporting.
  • identified, described, and explained a selection of aesthetic and functional design elements.
  • identified, described, and explained subjective and objective considerations within their specified context.
  • identified, described, and explained how the application of design elements within the chosen context improved the quality of their outcome (or the selected case study).
  • supported explanations with imagery and / or screen snips of their developing ideas (evidence of technological modelling).
  • some candidates compared existing products with their own outcomes which enabled a more in-depth discussion regarding the quality of the design(s) and underpinning design elements.

Candidates who were awarded Achievement with Excellence commonly:

  • provided a concise and comprehensive in description, evaluation and discussion of design elements and how and why they contributed to the quality of outcome/s in their specified context
  • shared opinions and thoughts supported with multiple examples.
  • used case studies and own work and compared and contrasted within their specific contexts.
  • discussed how and why design elements contributed to their own outcome’s development and implementation.
  • discussed how the interaction of different design elements impacted the quality of the design and final outcome.
  • supported discussion with curated selection of imagery and / or screen shots of their developing ideas and final outcome.

Technology subject page

Previous years' reports
2020 (PDF, 197KB)

2019 (PDF, 394KB)

2018 (PDF, 170KB)

2017 (PDF, 71KB)

2016 (PDF, 241KB)

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