Key Stage 3 – Product Design and Resistant Materials
KS3 pupils will spend one term each year studying Resistant Materials. At the end of KS3, pupils can choose if they would like to continue their studies at GCSE level.
In Key Stage 3 Resistant Materials, we aim for pupils to learn about:
- The design that surrounds them every day
- Implications of design on the environment and their responsibility as a designer
- Knowledge of materials and their uses;
- Manufacturing skills and systems
- The tools to create innovative designs.
In Year 7, pupils draw on cultures around the world to inspire their designing, whilst learning the fundamental research skills, safety rules and planning, to create the building blocks for D&T. This results in a quality handmade acrylic final product, manufactured in the RM workshop.
Year 8 pupils learn how to use copper and traditional silversmithing skills to create a piece of contemporary jewellery. Inspiration is taken from illustration, creating links with literacy. These high level skills give pupils the opportunity to practice precision and accuracy within their practical work, whilst discovering how fashions and trends can influence designing.
In Year 9 pupils develop higher level thinking considering sustainability, designing to a client’s needs and creating 3D structures. Designing a piece of flat-pack lighting, pupils must apply their problem solving skills to create a high quality functioning product within material limitations while focusing on aesthetics. Reflecting aspects of GCSE Product Design, pupils have a deeper understanding of what the course will entail should they choose to continue their learning in this area.
Key Stage 4 – Product Design
From packaging to lighting, catwalk jewellery to innovative inventions, Product Design GCSE provides the opportunity for pupils to think creatively, design effectively, experiment with materials and manufacture to a quality standard. The course is exciting and relevant to everyday life, empowering pupils to make informed decisions as both a consumer and a designer. A range of social, moral, economic and environmental considerations are studied to create a broad understanding of how to design for society. The department has a workshop containing a range of specialist tools and machinery to enable pupils to learn about materials and processes through practice.
The course is split into the following sections and is taught over two years following the AQA specification:
- Designing Skills
- Manufacturing skills
- Materials and Components (including timber, plastics, metals, paper and card and ceramics)
- Design and Market influences
- Processes and Manufacture
Pupils are assessed through an end of KS4 GCSE examination (40%) and Design and Making Practice Controlled Assessment which is mainly completed in Year 11 (60%).
Extra Curricular Activities
|Product Design-Jewellery Club (Year 9)||Friday||12:30 – 13:00||F6||Mrs Lovelady|
|Product Design GCSE Catch up||Friday||3:30 – 5:00||F6||Mrs Lovelady|
The internet can be a great source of ideas for your Design and Technology projects, but it can also help you with the other skills that you need to learn for your GCSE. As well as finding sites dedicated to the area of design and technology that you are studying, you can also find plenty of resources online that have been created specifically for students studying a GCSE course.
1. The BBC’s Bitesize website is a good place to start if you are looking for help with your course. It has sections for each of the subjects covered by Design and Technology courses, including graphics, electronics and textiles. Bitesize is a good place to review the material that you have covered in class and then to test yourself to check that you have understood all of the important ideas. You can find a selection of different resources within the section for your subject, including revision materials, activities and tests, so there are plenty of ways you can incorporate this site into your preferred revision style.
2. Technology Student has plenty of resources that might help you with the ideas that you encounter during your course. The site has information about the design process and the use of different kinds of materials. There are sections for electronics, graphics and resistant materials, which will be particularly useful for GCSE Design and Technology students, but there are other resources too that could be useful if you want to learn more about technology.
3. The Mr DT site features some examples of work by students on GCSE Design and Technology courses, which might help to inspire you with some ideas for your own projects, but it also has some useful tips and resources to help you with the skills you need to develop during your course. You can find tips on how to lay out your product designs, how to plan your project and how to develop your ideas, as well as practical tips for different kinds of projects. This is a very useful site if you want to review a particular topic, but it will be most helpful if you take a look at the resources on offer when you start your coursework as it can guide you through the process of coming up with and implementing your ideas.
4. The Design Technology Department website has a selection of quizzes and resources that can help you with the ideas you need to learn for your exams. You can test yourself on your knowledge of different kinds of materials, or read up on topics that you are revising.
5. Practical Action has a section on sustainable design and technology that might help you to understand some of the ideas that you have covered in class. The site is intended for teachers, but it is full of resources that you can download to use on your own.
6. Many of these sites focus on other areas of Design and Technology, but if you are studying Food Technology for your GCSE, S-Cool has some useful resources to help you to understand the most important topics. The site has notes to review for each idea and questions for you to use to test yourself on what you’ve learned.
7. Plenty of sites can help you to come up with ideas and techniques that you can use in your course. Instructables is a good place to start looking, as there are suggestions for a wide range of different products and materials that you could use in your work, but there are also some more specialized sites that are worth checking out if you are interested in a particular type of design. For example, Popular Mechanics has some interesting articles on different kinds of technologies, as well as some useful how to articles that describe the kinds of projects you might like to develop if you are taking a course in electronics or resistant materials.
8. Design Addict is an interesting site if you are looking for inspiration for your projects, particularly if you are interested in furniture or jewellery making. The index has information on many famous designers and you can also search for individual products by period, function or material. Web Urbanist is another good design site that includes sections for some of the graphics and design subjects studied at GCSE. If you are interested in pursuing design or technology at a higher level, these sites will be particularly useful as they give a good idea of what can be accomplished in this sort of career. If you are intending to study Design and Technology at A Level, you might also want to check the Arkwright Scholarship website to find out if you can apply for support.