Key Stage 4 and 5 - Product Design

Key Stage 4 - Year 10 and 11 -  Design and Technology GCSE – Examination Board – WJEC (educas)

Taught in both years, Technology is a subject option that relates to items that can be found in the present and the past. Comparisons are made between the materials used and product success and innovation. This course involves a range of materials used in manufacture and helps students understand how and why particular designs evolve. Because of the importance to research and design, homework forms a vital part of all courses - approximately one to two hours per week, might be expected. Results in the past have been above the national averages for similar schools.

Products are made by students throughout the two year course and it is expected that at least two prototype products will be made in each year. The use of a variety of materials and components is encouraged, including a range of manufacturing processes such as casting. computer aided design (CAD) can from a significant part of the non exam assessment (NEA). Students develop 2D and 3D prototypes using a laser cutter, however, traditional craft work is still encouraged which stems from work undertaken in Key Stage 3. Each student’s progress is tracked by teachers to help set individual targets and this method helps the students to work on tasks that lead to their expected grades.

Manufacturing facilities include: new A2 laser cutter, sublimation printing press, computer aided sewing and embroidery machines, stone polishing machine, systems electronics work benches, a milling machine and lathes for wood / metal, and mortising machines. The faculty has recently invested a substantial amount of capitation into a new plastics room with up to date industrial stand plastic forming equipment. All rooms have HD smart boards.

Students have the choice of which materials they use. Some prefer to work with harder materials, such as wood and metal, others prefer softer materials and use textiles and plastics. Often the choice is made during Key Stage 3. However, it may be a career interest or individual wish that decides the final subject choice in design and technology, e.g. wood craft projects lead well into carpentry and joinery.

The faculty has three catering/food facilities, three product design rooms and a computer room. Lessons are well planned with a mixture of practical, theory and demonstrations. A two hour written examination is taken in the final year for most product design subjects. However, all students must submit a detailed twenty five page design folder showing how and what they have made for their NEA / major project; this is worth 50% of the overall marks; The other 50% being the examination.

The use of practical skills is encouraged; however, the ability to show clear designs and write notes will be essential for examination revision and project folder work.


Exam board

Exam code



Design and Technology


New from 2017 first award in 2019





Year 10

Term 1

Examination theory. Skill Development

Term 2

Examination theory. Skill Development

Term 3

Introduction to (NEA) Controlled assessment project

Year 11

Term 1

(NEA) Controlled assessment project & examination revision

Term 2

Revision for  theory examination

Key Stage 5 - Year 12 and 13 Product Design A Level – The Examination Board – AQA 7551 - new 2017

The full A level will take two years to complete and is recommended for those that have achieved a 5 and above at GCSE in Design and Technology. This course is not linear so you can if you which stop at AS. Faculty/department results are often above the national average for similar schools. Students are offered a unique opportunity to solve real problems by designing and making products or systems relating to their own interests in areas used in the world of work. Both AS and A2 Level courses are theoretically based and rely on students’ capacity to show imagination, innovation and independence. The use of practical skills is encouraged; however, the ability to show clear designs and write notes will be essential for examination revisions and project folder work.

It must be emphasized that due to the assessment criteria, students will have to work under their own initiative for a large part of each topic. Work will be based on detailed notes and background reading completed by students. As in all A Level courses, a large number of the marks come from work completed in two written examinations - approximately 1.5 hours, one in yr12 and one in yr13.. The remainder of the marks, up to 50%, comes from the project work. The examination preparation will include mock tests, detailed lesson write-ups and discussion notes, all of which have to be kept up to date. Notes are marked regularly and examination questions are covered each week to help with examination preparation.

Lesson theory and discussion will require high levels of concentration and care towards note taking. Students will often study areas not studied before, for example, design innovation or production systems; these are difficult and at times highly academic, hence the need for regular background reading.

At least three hours per week should be spent reading information to help students learn more about designing and making. A textbook is available and free to all students to use at any time; however, it is advisable that one is purchased at the beginning of the course for revision purposes at home. Mr Barnes has also a range of excellent resources to hand and exemplar work to help guide/support students and parents’.

AS-yr12 PD OUTLINE TT- Nov 6th 2017