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Lavington School

EQUA Trust

Product Design

Subject Leader: Mr Nick Heal - n.heal@lavington.wilts.sch.uk

Years 10 and 11

What are we studying?

GCSE - AQA Design and Technology (8552)

Further information can be found from www.aqa.org.uk

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 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. KS4 Design Technology covers a wide range of topics, including materials and components, industrial and commercial processes, analysing products, designing products, technology, sustainability, ethical design and manufacture. Over the course of two years students will develop a whole range of creative designing and making skills, technical knowledge and understanding relating to wood, metal and plastic products and invaluable transferable skills such as problem solving and time management.

A significant proportion of the course is based on practical skills focusing on creative design in order to make and produce desirable, quality products to meet the needs of clients/groups. Time management, personal organisation, health, safety and independence of working are important areas of focus. Students will develop knowledge and understanding of a wide range of materials, skills and techniques in practical work focusing on designing and making, systems and control, computer aided design and manufacture (CAD/CAM), digital media and new technologies (where appropriate), analysis and evaluation of processes and products.

The areas of study within GCSE Resistant Materials Technology are:

  • Analysis of the task and research.
  • Creative design and communication skills.
  • Production planning and quality control.
  • High quality manufacture.
  • Health and safety, tool and machine use.
  • Testing and evaluation.
  • Gathering research and investigation are essential learning skills in Product Design and therefore we actively encourage students to be dynamic and proactive in their use of Product Design skills beyond the classroom.

How are we assessed?

Classwork (practical and theory work) and home learning is assessed throughout the Product Design course. Students will be given success criteria and GCSE grade descriptors linked to the work. Pupils final GCSE grade will be a combination of their controlled assessment and a written exam, each is worth 50% of their final grade.

  • Controlled assessment (GCSE)

  • Worth 50% of overall qualification:

Students have approximately 35 hours to complete the design and make activity under controlled conditions. This will equate to about two full terms of curriculum time, but planned within single and double lessons on a flexible basis. This is communicated to parents via letter to develop the partnership of learning between home and school.

Coursework activities are during the summer term in Year 10 and autumn/spring terms in Year 11. Students must complete the following:

  • A coursework project submitted in A3 format on 20 - 25 pages.
  • A design and make activity starting with a design brief that fits with one of AQAs set task themes.
  • Construction of a product designed to demonstrate a wide range of technical skills with independence, creativity and accuracy using effective time management and demonstrating competent safety procedures.
  • Use of communication techniques is also assessed, including ICT and CAD to produce the portfolio of creative skills.

Examination (GCSE)

Worth 50% of overall qualification

120 minute examination in Year 11

How are we grouped?

Students are in mixed ability groups in Product Design. The maximum class size is 18.

What home learning are we expected to do?

There will be at least one home learning task set per week, which should take around 45 minutes to complete. This will include research activities, work sheets, design and development work, evaluation of practical work and project based activities. In addition, students are expected to plan for their practical activities at home, by organising and preparing research, client interviews, sketches/presentation, photographs and additional  components etc. for various practical lessons. Instructions will be given out by the class teacher one week   prior to the practical lesson. Practise of any practical skills in the holidays or at weekends is desirable i.e. sketching practice/presentation skills, preparation. Students need an A3 folder to store and transport their classwork and home learning to and from school. Students are encouraged to keep up to date with all aspects of technology as well as familiarising themselves with past technology, which is either iconic, or proven and still relative today, by reading around the subject area to support their understanding and development of all its aspects, and to improve their understanding and technical vocabulary.

What can parents do to help?

  • Help/allow students to participate in any DIY projects or cleaning/maintenance or repair of equipment e.g. lawnmower.
  • Encourage the reading of related books/magazines or the watching of programmes.  
  • Collect a variety of interesting objects to study and or use as reference or to help generate ideas.
  • Family visits to museums (especially design/industrial) places of interest with technical interest e.g. windmills/waterwheels and more modern.
  • Ask your child to explain the meaning of the technical vocabulary that is new to each topic.