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St Francis Xavier

Product Design

Key Stage 3

Product Design is a very exciting, creative and inspiring subject to study.

The technology department consists of a suite of rooms where everyone is encouraged to be creative and develop original ideas. The Joy of this subject is that it enables pupils to blend traditional skills, new technologies, and a range of different materials.

Year 7

Pupils are introduced to a range of practical making skills and Computer Aided Design (CAD) techniques.

Following a number of short skill building exercises pupils use their creativity and new CAD skills to design and make (using the laser cutter) an illuminator, from acrylic, using biomimicry as an inspiration for their designs.

Pupils then design and make a mini deck chair phone stand. Pupils learn how to follow sequential instructions, combine materials and components, fabric paint, and use a computerised sewing.

Year 8

Pupils research the work of Gunter Schultz then design and make their own ‘Nut Man’ using nuts and bolts, tap and die sets, and brazing techniques.

Pupils build on their new CAD skills and are encouraged to think and work with a high level of precision. Pupils design an accessory for their Nut Man which is produced using computer aided manufacture.

Pupils use their Cad skills to produce a sophisticated repeat pattern design that is printed onto fabric. Pupils then construct a lined pouch/case for a mobile device. Techniques taught include pattern draughting, quilting, applique and more advanced use of the sewing machine.

Year 9

To develop hand tool skills pupils make a flat pack phone stand in MDF.

Pupils then progress on to more challenging 3D product, and are encouraged to think and work independently and with a high level of precision. Pupils draw on previous KS3 experience and techniques to plan and construct a Tin Can money box to support the RSPCA. Pupils will combine a range of materials; timber, tin cans, acrylic, laser ply and MDF. The tin can money box will incorporate an electronic sensor and circuitry. Finally pupils will present their product ready for sale.

GCSE – Product design

Product Design is a new AQA GCSE syllabus starting in September 2017.

Product Design is a very exciting, creative and dynamic subject. The Technology suit of rooms becomes a design studio and a place where pupils are inspired to make high quality prototypes and products, using industry compatible CAD/CAM. Everyone is encourages to be creative and have original ideas. Pupils will continue to develop their skills in all materials, but will specialise in at least two materials of their choice; wood, metal, plastic, fabric, card and board.

In addition pupils will learn about different materials, finishing processes, manufacturing, social moral cultural, health and safety and environmental issues involved in the design process and manufacturing industry.

We have strong links with local industry and pride ourselves with making products with a really professional finish.

By studying Product Design you will:

  • Being creative and deigning new products

  • Understanding how and why the ‘design process’ works

  • Learning how to research into a topic effectively and use this research to guide your designs

  • Learn making and modelling skills in a wide range of products

  • Developing many skills which enable you to present and make quality products

  • Experimenting, investigating and testing products

  • Understanding how a range of products are manufactures commercially

  • Having an insight into the use of colour, shape and layout of a design

  • Understanding and using a variety of CAD and CAM techniques.

Coursework component.

Non Examination Assessment (NEA)

Worth 50% of the GCSE

From approximately June in year 10 until Easter in Yr11 students complete a 35 hour NEA working in a design area set by the exam board. They ultimately present one practical final solution and a portfolio that documents each of the stages in developing one final product.

Outline of controlled assessment sections:

  • Investigating the Design Context
  • Development of Design Proposals
  • Making
  • Testing and Evaluation

Written Examination

Worth 50% of the total GCSE marks.

Graphic Products and a future Career

Studying Product Design can lead to a challenging, exciting and well-paid career. Having an associated Graphic Products qualification can lead to careers in the fields such as; graphic design, architecture, set design, printing, packaging design, corporate identity, branding and marketing, product design and industrial design. These fast moving industries are expanding all the time and are some of the largest employers in the UK