KS4 | Design

Head of Department: 

Ms C Lipparelli


Design Technology is a challenging and demanding course which is taught through a practical approach that encourages you to design, model and make products with creativity and originality in a variety of practical activities, using a range of materials and techniques. This will include hand tools, machinery and the use of CAD/CAM facilities. This course is ideal for those interested in the areas of engineering and design as a future career.

You will learn how woods, polymers and metals are produced and industrial methods for working with these. You will learn how to consider the social, moral and environmental impact of materials and processes and how product design can be used to inform future developments in design and engineering. You will also learn about the importance of good presentational skills to sketch, design and communicate your ideas and intentions. Lessons will consist of a range of practical activities and projects in addition to theory lessons to develop new skills, processes and knowledge.

Unit Titles and Assessment Methods

Written paper 2 hours, 100 marks – 50% of the total marks.  One paper with three sections: Section A—core technical principles; a mixture of multiple choice and short answer questions assessing a breadth of technical knowledge and understanding on different material areas, 20 marks. Sections B– short answer questions and one extended response to assess more in-depth knowledge of specialist material area and technical understanding, 30 marks. Section C– designing and making principles; a mixture of short and extended response questions on knowledge of design and manufacturing processes, 50 marks.

Non exam assessment (NEA), 100 marks, 50% of GCSE. A single, sustained design and make project from a choice of starting points consisting of the development of a prototype/ made outcome and a concise design folder featuring research, sketching and modelling, using the iterative design process. The design folder should consist of approximately: 20 pages of A3 paper or the ICT/A4 equivalent.

Additional Course Specific Information

To make the most of this course you should enjoy the principles of designing and making. This will include using the workshop equipment to work with a variety of different materials and processes.  You should also enjoy learning to use ICT software and hardware, including the CAD/CAM facilities. You should have an interest in creativity and imaginatively designing modern products, engineering and science and an ability to problem solve through the application of design. A good understanding of basic maths and science principles is also essential as these will be examined in both components from a design and technology perspective.

Higher Education Courses and Careers Progression Pathways

Product Design may be required in a number of training programmes, by employers or as an entry requirement for other subjects at advance level.  Further career opportunities could be as a Graphic Illustrator, Graphic Designer, Packaging Designer, Software Designer, Advertising Executive, Furniture Design, Product Design, Architecture, Model making, CAD technician, Engineering, Building & Construction or Automotive Design.

For further information please speak to Miss C Lipparelli, Head of Design, Expressive Arts Faculty.