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Product Design (Key Stage 4)


Year 9

What will pupils study this year?

Students will begin the 3 year GCSE in Design and Technology by completing a range of design and make projects to develop skills and understanding that will provide them with the necessary knowledge to successfully complete the NEA and Exam element of the GCSE Specification.



 Autumn Term

 Presentation Skills

 Presentation Skills 8 week project where pupils will learn how to present work in a clear and professional style. Skills covered- -CAD and presentation of CAD work -Mathematical drawings i.e. isometric, exploded views, scaling and crating. - Presentation techniques i.e. rendering, swatch, slash techniques. -Modelling techniques, how to use paper and card to make prototype models. This provide will help develop the necessary skills needed for presenting design work in controlled assessment tasks in Yr11.

 Practical Skills:

 Brahma Puzzle

 6 week focused practical tasks to build pupils measuring, marking and making skills, high focus on routine and safe practice. Emphasis on the use of numeracy in design and technology with particular focus on unit conversion, measuring and mathematical planning and drawing techniques i.e. Orthographic plans, isometric and one-point perspective.

 Sustainable Bird Box

 Research and make project: students explore the sustainability and environmental impacts of products and look at how designers have a role in improving this. They will explore properties of materials and finishes and select appropriate materials for everyday products. Using a variety of 2D design CAD skills and workshop skills this project will help them to move closely towards independent makers. In preparation for controlled assessment a production log of this project is produced so students are familiar in recorded and writing up what they have been doing.

 Subject Knowledge

 Colour Theory | Papers and Boards | Categorisation of Materials | Natural and Manufactured timbers | Natural and Man-made Fibres | Measuring and marking, scale drawings, unit conversion, and mathematical drawings | Drawing and presentation techniques | Computer aided design (CAD) development | Finishing processes | Sustainability

 Spring Term

 Design Skills: 

 Designing for a User - Festival Product

 Using a real life case study students will explore the needs of a specific user in order for the design and model a suitable product for them to use. The project will give them the opportunity to experience working within an Iterative design context similar to the controlled assessment unit in Yr11. The project will require students to conduct Primary and Secondary Research, investigating ergonomics and anthropometrics as well as scientific applications such as Smart materials, levers and mechanisms. The work produced will be recorded and presented in a similar style to the NEA unit so that students are fully prepared for the demands of the GCSE.

 Subject Knowledge

 Primary and Secondary Research | Technical specification | Fibres and Fabrics | Ergonomics and Anthropometrics | Smart Materials | Levers/Mechanisms | Modelling techniques | Designing a concept page | Production Methods

 Summer Term

 Design and Make:

 Desk Tidy

 Practical project that builds on student’s practical knowledge from previous projects. This project has no set outcome requiring students to move on to a more independent design and make where they are fully responsible for the planning and progress of their practical project. All students will be given a set sized piece of MDF to design their own desk tidy which will force them to think creatively and economically about how they use their materials. The will also be given a small amount of acrylic plastic and aluminium so that their knowledge of material properties can be applied practically to support their theory.

 Mock Exam Revision

 Using a variety of revision techniques and application tasks students will prepare for the mock exam unit. This will include identified theory subjects that will have been covered in the previous units and maths and science application.

 Subject Knowledge

 Measuring and Marking | Technical Specification | Stock Forms | Production Log | Materials properties | Practical Skills | Materials Knowledge


Year 10

What will pupils study this year?

Students will complete a Design and Make project that will mirror the NEA controlled assessment unit that they will complete in Yr11. This will ensure that students are fully prepared for all aspects of the NEA including research, analysis, design, making and evaluation. Alongside this students will also complete theory and revision lessons that have a strong emphasis on building subject knowledge that will prepare them for Yr10 mock examinations and their final exams in Yr11.



 Autumn Term

 Iterative Design Challenge (Context taken from OCR release materials) 

 ‘What part can design play in securing personal belongings?’ A design and make project that mirrors the NEA that will be completed in Yr11. The project will focus on working through a design process within the context set by the exam board, the theme this year being the ‘security of personal belongings’. All students will follow an iterative design process with no set outcome, focusing on creativity and meeting a target user’s needs. Based on their research students will need to produce a range of design ideas that will be developed to consider function, aesthetics, ergonomics and user influences.

 As part of this unit students will complete - Analysis - Research - Designing - Specifcation - Design Development - Planning - Making - Testing - Evaluation

 Subject Knowledge

 Materials Knowledge | Construction | Technical knowledge: Electronic circuits, smart materials, e-textiles, CAD/CAM. | Sustainability | Ergonomics and Anthropometrics | Colour Theory

 Spring Term

 Presentation Skills

 As an extension of the Iterative Design Challenge project, students will complete a 6 week project where pupils will learn how to present and model their ideas in a clear and professional style. Students will use a range of techniques including CAD/CAM and iterative modelling to present and develop their ideas.

 The Skills covered include - Marker rendering - Presentation techniques i.e. marker rendering, swatch, slash techniques - Advanced mathematical drawings i.e. isometric, one point perspective, orthographic - Presentation techniques i.e. rendering, swatch, slash techniques -Modelling techniques, how to use modelling materials to make prototype models -Modelling and development in CAD/CAM

 Subject Knowledge 

 - Mathematical drawing | Colour Theory | Designing with colour | Seasons, availability of colours.

 Summer Term

 Principles of Ikea

 Theory preparation and revision taught through the IKEA concept and ideals. In this project all students will design and make a flat pack, laser cut, souvenir product that could be marketed at an IKEA store. The main focus of the project is for students to learn more about global production and ethical selling using IKEA as a research case study. Students will look at how IKEA use material selection and manufacturing techniques to reduce the cost of their products and how their global approach to selling affects their design choices. The theory knowledge that students acquire through this project will be used to develop a product that reflect IKEAS’s approach to designing. The Theory from this Unit, as well as theory knowledge from Year9 will be used to prepare and inform the Yr10 mock assessment.

 Subject Knowledge

 Cost | Material selection and cost | Sustainability | Ethical practice | Globalisation | Marketing techniques | Stakeholders 



Year 11

What will pupils study this year?

Students will complete two controlled assessments for GCSE in Product Design. Each controlled assessment unit is worth 30% each of their final grade. Students develop practical skills alongside design, analysis, evaluating and building subject knowledge for the written exams in year 11. Also in year 11 students will complete two exam units that are worth 20% each.



 Autumn Term

 A553: Making, Testing and Marketing Products

 The start of this controlled assessment will begin with students developing a concept page for a product that they would like to develop along with a detailed design specification.

 Students will design and make a 3D working prototype product. Students will develop their own prototype selecting their own materials from a variety of timbers and polymers. Full exploration of the workshop is encouraged and use of CAD/CAM facilities should also be used. To accompany the prototype a production log must also be produced to fully explain all stages of manufacture. 

 Students need to select appropriate tools, equipment and processes effectively and safely to make products that match the specification. Using tools and techniques to achieve precision and using CAM where appropriate. 

 Economic use of material and sustainability will run throughout the project and careful consideration of materials will be needed. It is expected that all health and safety will be enforced throughout.

 Subject Knowledge

 Practical skills | Safe working practices | Production logs | Economic use of materials and sustainability | CAD/CAM

 Spring Term

 Once the practical stage is complete students’ needs to show evidence of testing the product to demonstrate how the product functions. User feedback is also required so that the success of the product can be evaluated. Products will be evaluated against the initial specification and along with feedback this should be used to show modifications or additions that could be made to the final product. Marketing presentations will be produced in the form of a ‘sales pitch’ in an interesting way to bring the product to the attention of a manufacturer or potential consumer.

 Marketing presentations will be produced in the form of a ‘sales pitch’ in an interesting way to bring the product to the attention of a manufacturer or potential consumer. 

 A552 Exam Unit

 In this unit, candidates work within examination conditions, over 6 hours and without the intervention of a teacher. Students should be able to:

  •  think with an ‘open’ mind about a design situation
  • respond in ways which might appear at first ‘unrealistic’ yet, after consideration, provide a unique, valuable contribution to designing
  • use collections of existing products as a stimulus for innovative design
  • record thinking, innovation and flair

 Subject Knowledge

 User testing | Product development | Modifications | Production methods | Marketing | Innovative design Advertising

 Summer Term

  •  demonstrate the ability to focus thoughts and be decisive within a set, limited time frame
  •  seek opinions of others and react accordingly
  •  reflect and record ideas as they develop
  •  present to a group and acknowledge feedback
  •  identify good design ideas worthy of further development and reject those of less value
  •  use modelling materials adeptly
  •  plan the use of materials and equipment
  •  record progress using sketches and photographs 

 A554 Exam Unit

 Students will complete a mock exam, the theme of this exam will be realised in February and theory content and lessons will be tailored to meet this theme. The exam unit (A554) is worth 20% of student’s final grade in year 11. This exam looks at iconic designers, each year the theme of this exam will change. Past themes have been Mini Cooper, Ikea and Robin Day.

 Subject Knowledge 

 Model making | Design development | Creative designs | Presentation techniques   

 Students will continually revisit core subject knowledge in preparation for the two exams in year 11 (40% of the final mark)