Product Design


Design and technology is an inspiring, rigorous and practical subject. Using creativity and imagination, pupils design and make products that solve real and relevant problems within a variety of contexts, considering their own and others’ needs, wants and values.

They acquire a broad range of subject knowledge and draw on disciplines such as mathematics, science, engineering, computing and art. Pupils learn how to take risks, becoming resourceful, innovative, enterprising and capable citizens. Through the evaluation of past and present design and technology, they develop a critical understanding of its impact on daily life and the wider world. All projects will reflect the modern fast moving world of technology. Pupils will be encouraged to use a wide range of design and making methods including Electronics, Computer Aided design, lazer cutting and 3D printing. Pupils are expected to critique, evaluate and test their ideas and products and the work of others

Extra-curricular activities and visits:

BAFTA Young Games Designer of the Year Award - Whether pupils love to code, draw or write the story, the competition allows you to explore the different areas of making a video game buy either entering the Game Making Award or Game Concept Award

Tomorrow’s Engineer Robotics Challenge – an annual competition in which student teams can apply to be part of an exciting robotics challenge that sees them involved in ‘aviation missions’. Teamwork, robots, design, discovery, fun and loads of LEGO are all part of the mix.

Christmas Craft and Enterprise Club - pupils not only look at the creative design and production of seasonal products but are also encouraged to develop their entrepreneurial skills but looking into the costings and profitability to the products made.

Inter-house Challenge – an annual challenge is set to all year groups to design a seasonal product. Winning designs are developed and are available for sale with monies raised being donated to the school’s selected charities.


Recent renovations mean that our pupils have access to three state of the art workshops. Whilst all workshops serve as multifunctional classrooms each has a specific focus; resistant Materials, engineering and electronics.

Pupils are given the opportunity to use a range of specialist machinery including:

  • Laser cutters that will cut a variety of materials (wood, metal, glass, fabric, card)
  • Lathes
  • Wood turning lathe
  • Vacuum formers
  • CNC Machine


Formally, all projects are assessed via DMEK (Design, Make, Evaluate, Knowledge). Each project requires research of existing products/market/industry before designing and making their own solution to a given brief. Students are assessed on the quality and skills shown in their final product, along with a portfolio documenting the product life cycle.

Informally each lesson pupil progress is assessed using the department system of blue, bronze, silver and gold. This may be based on pupils understanding, the quality of their work or the level of the challenge. The pupils are familiar with this system and find it useful to track their progress at any given point.

Schemes of Work:

Year 7:

Photo Frame (Resistant Materials)– pupils are introduced to the basic capabilities of the laser cutters. They learn CAD and CAM skills via 2D Design (basic) which are used to individualise their product. Other knowledge and skills which are developed include: thermo and thermosetting plastics, vacuum forming and properties of both manmade and natural woods.

Phone Holder (Graphics) – pupils develop line/drawing techniques taught including isometric, 3 tone shading and crating. Pupils are again able to demonstrate CAD and CAM to enhance their designs using the laser cutter, whilst making use of the line bender to bend the plastic to make a free standing product.

Year 8:

Clock Project (Resistant Materials) – pupils are given the choice to work with a range of materials including wood and acrylic. Their design skills are developed with the need to accurately mark out and cut products before assembly. Students are now using a wider range of tools including the banfacer, coping saws, draw files and laser cutter.

T-Shirt Logo Design & Packaging (Graphics) – pupils design and print their own logo t-shirt and produce recycled packaging to form a corporate identity. Graphics skills are developed with specific focus on logo rules, hand and CAD skills, typography and lettering styles, the use of colour and balance. Pupils learn about marketing strategies such as promotion and also look into sustainable design

Year 9:

Lantern Project (Resistant Materials)- pupils research existing products and light sources e.g. battery, LED and solar. At this level a deeper knowledge of 2D design is required with pupils designs showing awareness for silhouette transfer and contour. The build of the product requires a basic understanding of electronics such as soldering and basic circuits, whilst the build requires use of further equipment such as jigs and the use of 2D Design software and the laser cutter.

Activity Packs (Graphics) - the project requires pupils to develop a marketable product. The development process requires detailed research (primary and secondary) before designing and producing a prototype of a box net design. Pupils will demonstrate CAD and CAM techniques to develop their product and will evaluate their work against industry criteria.

Year 10 & Year 11 course:

Given the recent GCSE reform we currently operate two specifications dependent upon the year of examination.

Year 10 - AQA GCSE Design and Technology - 8852
Paper 1 – 50% of total GCSE

A theory based unit which is examined in the summer of Year 11. What is assessed:

  • Core technical principles
  • Specialist technical principles
  • Designing and making principles

Assessment overview: 1 x written exam. 2 hours. Total marks available 100 marks

Non Examined Assessment (NEA) – 50% of total GCSE

A practical unit examined at the start of Year 11. Students will produce a prototype and a portfolio of evidence in response to a contextual challenge which is released annually by AQA. Skills to be Identifying and investigating design possibilities

  • Producing a design brief and specification
  • Generating design ideas
  • Developing design ideas
  • Realising design ideas
  • Analysing & evaluating

Assessment overview: Non-exam assessment (NEA). 30–35 hours approx . Total marks available 100.

Year 11 - AQA GCSE Design and Technology: Resistant Materials- 4560

Unit 1: Written Paper (45601) – 40% of total GCSE

A theory unit which is examined in the summer of Year 11. Topics covered:

  • Materials and components
  • Design and market influences
  • Processes and manufacture

Assessment overview: 1 x written exam. 2 hours. Total marks 120.

Unit 2: Design and Making Practice (45602) – 60% of total GCSE

A practical unit which is examined at the start of Year 11. The task consists of a single design and make activity selected from a range of board set tasks. Evidence required:

  • Summary of the task
  • Investigating the design context
  • Development of design proposals
  • Making
  • Testing and evaluation
  • Communication

Assessment overview: A practical task. Approximately 45 hours. Total marks 90.