Product Design

Within this area students will develop their practical and theoretical skills, through a process of research, designing, making and evaluation. They will have the opportunities to use a wide range of different materials and equipment. Students will build on prior knowledge throughout their time in product design, looking at designs styles both traditional and modern and how these have impacted on everyday life.

Technology club is a popular extra-curricular activity, students are given the opportunity within this to work on a variety of projects that are either set by staff, of their own interest, or complete competition briefs.



Students learn to combine creative thinking with practical and technological skills in order to design and make products and systems that will meet human needs. They learn how to identify needs and opportunities, solve problems and how products can be developed to improve the quality of life. They learn to use current technology and consider the impact of future technological developments.

Year 7

Sustainable pencil case for the Eden Project

Learners will have the opportunity explore the workshop. Gaining an understanding of research methods, design development, joinery and CAD/CAM. They will follow plans to build and customise their own pencil box in a natural theme as though it was going to be sold at the Eden Project.

Bird feeder for the National Trust Project

Learners will produce a bird feeder as part of a project that is presented in the style of a ‘live’ brief with the National Trust as a hypothetical client. This project gives a brief insight into engineering principles, tools and materials giving the learners an idea of a wider range of potential careers that can develop from an interest in design.

Year 8

Door Hanger Project

Learners will focus on developing their independence in the workshop applying the skills they learned in the two previous projects to a new context; a customised door hanger. They will mark and cut materials using a variety of processes before creating their own individual font designs and professional paint finish, producing a finished product.



AQA GCSE Design and Technology

AQA GCSE Design and Technology will prepare students to participate confidently and successfully in an increasingly technological world. Students will gain awareness and learn from wider influences on Design and Technology including historical, social, cultural, environmental and economic factors. Students will get the opportunity to work creatively when designing and making and apply technical and practical expertise.

The AQA GCSE allows students to study core technical and designing and making principles, including a broad range of design processes, materials techniques and equipment. They will also have the opportunity to study specialist technical principles in greater depth.


This subject is 50% coursework, consisting of one long project in which you will undertake a Controlled Assessment. During this project you will be able to choose from a selection of briefs supplied by the exam board. This includes researching the topic, designing and making a realistic product solution to a professional standard, finally, evaluating its success.

The remaining 50% will be made up by a theoretical exam, which focuses on both your design skills and the theory behind commercial manufacturing.

The exam is two hours long and consists of the following elements:

Section A – Core technical principles (20 marks)

A mixture of multiple choice and short answer questions assessing a breadth of technical knowledge and understanding.

Section B – Specialist technical principles (30 marks)

Several short answer questions (2–5 marks) and one extended response to assess a more in depth knowledge of technical principles.

Section C – Designing and making principles (50 marks)

A mixture of short answer and extended response questions.

Year 9

In Year 9 learners will work through a range of skills based projects that will focus on solving problems through an iterative design process. They will be encouraged to experiment with new materials and processes that they are not familiar with and apply these new concepts in a practical manner.

Areas of study:

  • Workshop safety
  • Tool maintenance
  • Materials and their working properties
  • Specialist technical principles
  • Designing and making principles

Year 10

In Year 10 learners will focus on gaining the knowledge required to support their controlled assessment and exam both of which will be completed within Year 11. This will be delivered through a variety of methods to cater for a wide variety of learners needs and interests including: classroom work, drawing, practical tasks, experiments and computer work.

Areas of study:

  • New and emerging technologies
  • Energy, materials, systems and devices
  • Materials and their working properties
  • Specialist technical principles
  • Papers and boards
  • Timber based materials
  • Metal based materials
  • Polymers
  • Textile based materials
  • Electronic systems

Year 11

In Year 11 learners will complete their controlled assessment task. This will be a prototype product and portfolio of evidence that they will create over the 30 to 35 hours of controlled assessment time. This project will test their practical application of the core technical principles, specialist technical principles, designing and making principles learned in the previous years. This part of the course is worth 50% of their over all GCSE.

The portfolio will be made up of the following:

  • Identifying and investigating design possibilities from a contextual challenge set by AQA
  • Producing and design brief and specification
  • Generating design ideas
  • Developing design ideas
  • Realising design idea
  • Analysing and evaluating design ideas

After the controlled assessment is complete the students will focus all of their attention to the exam and will be working back through the topics covered in Year 9. They will focus this revision on application of their knowledge in exam contexts and developing good exam technique.