Product Design – KS4

KS4 – Design and Technology

In KS4 students have the option to choose from two courses. One option is the GCSE Design and Technology course. The other option is the Level1/2 Technical Award in Materials Technology

AQA GCSE Design and Technology

The GCSE Design and Technology course gives students the opportunity to apply their practical, technical, mathematical and scientific expertise while working creatively to design and make a range of products. They study core technical and designing and making principles, alongside an in depth study of specialist technical principles. Students learn about the materials and processes that underpin the design and manufacture of everyday products through focused practical work. Designing and making skills are taught through 2D sketching, 3D modelling and CAD/CAM. Students also gain an awareness of the wider influences on Design and Technology, including; historical, social, cultural, environmental and economic factors.

What will students do on the course?

  • Use sophisticated 3D (AutoDesk Inventor) and 2D (TechSoft 2D Design) computer software to generate high quality design solutions.
  • Produce a range of innovative design ideas to solve everyday problems.
  • Use mathematics and scientific principles to select materials and components
  • Learn to operate hi-tech CNC machinery including 3D printers, Laser Cutters, CNC Router and CNC Lathe

How is the course assessed?

The assessment of the course is in two units:

Unit 1 – A two-hour exam worth 50% of GCSE

What will be assessed in Unit 1?

The exam is a mixture of multiple choice questions, short answer questions, extended response questions and a design question.

Unit 2 – Coursework (known as Non-examined Assessment or NEA) worth 50% of GCSE

What is the NEA?

The NEA is an extended design and make project. Students are assessed on the quality and accuracy of the final manufactured product, along with the content of their design portfolio.

What will be assessed on in the NEA?

  • Investigating the problem in detail
  • Designing and modelling ideas
  • Production of a sophisticated final design, including the use of CAD
  • The manufacture of a high quality product, including the use of CAM
  • Evaluation of the finished product

What will the course lead to?

This course provides an excellent foundation for further studies in Product Design at A-level, progressing through to University where the knowledge and skills learnt will be highly desirable in a whole range of design-based subjects, that include; Product Design, Architecture, Engineering, Interior Design, Industrial Design, Graphic Design, Marketing, Advertising, Furniture Design, Stage and Set Design and many more.

AQA Level 1/2 Technical award in Materials Technology

The Technical Award in Materials Technology is ideally suited to students who have a preference for practical, rather than theoretical learning. Students develop their core skills through working in a hands-on way to manufacture a variety of high-quality products. Students gain an understanding of commercial processes and an in-depth knowledge of materials including; woods, metals and plastics in a practical way. This Technical Award in Materials Technology provides the knowledge, skills and experience to open the door to further studies/careers in a whole host of technological industries.

What will students do on the course?

The course will provide students with a whole host of easily transferable skills, including:

  • Using tools and equipment to cut, shape and join materials accurately and safely.
  • Competently using sophisticated computer software to generate high quality 3D and 2D design solutions.
  • Skillfully operating hi-tech CNC machinery including 3D printers, Laser Cutters, CNC Router and CNC Lathe
  • Communication and teamwork

How is the course assessed?

The assessment of the course is in three units:

Unit 1: Skills demonstration – worth 30% of overall qualification

How is Unit 1 assessed?

In the first year students undertake a series of short projects during which they are assessed against a number of practical skills, including;

  • Using hand tools for cutting and shaping
  • Forming, bending or laminating
  • Casting or moulding
  • Permanent and non-permanent joining techniques
  • Machining and the use of power tools
  • Using Computer Aided Design/Computer Aided Manufacture (CAD/CAM)
  • Quality control and maintaining accuracy
  • Teamwork

Unit 2: Extended making project – worth 30% of overall qualification

How is Unit 2 assessed?

In the second year students undertake an extended making project that showcases the skills they have developed in Unit 1, and the knowledge gained through Unit 3. Students are assessed on the quality and accuracy of the final manufactured product. They also produce a small portfolio to show evidence of planning, development and testing.

Unit 3: A one-and-a-half-hour exam – worth 40% of overall qualification

How is Unit 3 assessed?

Unit 3: The exam is a mixture of multiple choice, short answer questions and extended response questions.

What will the course lead to?

The AQA Technical Awards are tailored towards specific career areas and all have a focus on creativity. The Materials Technology course provides an excellent foundation for further studies, including A-level Product Design with a progression through to University. The knowledge and skills learnt will be highly desirable in a whole range of subjects, including; Engineering, Product Design, Architecture, Industrial Design, Furniture Design, Theatrical Set Design and many more.