Situated in the heart of school the Product Design & Manufacture suite boasts a very well appointed workshop, design studio and CAD/CAM facility staffed by experts who help to develop individual skills and understanding during lessons as well as delivering after school activities and specific support clinics. Recent personal projects include a wooden Surfboard, Quadcopter redesign and build, and a range of crafted presents as gifts. Department trips are varied but a recent trip to an automotive assembly line in Oxford enabled Sixth Form pupils to have first-hand experience of a wide range of topics that they study during their Product Design course.

Product Design: Resistant Materials Technology

Examination Board: EDEXCEL

Designers respond to these needs through the creative application of known traditional and modern technologies and systems. The subject includes an understanding of materials as well as environmental issues and the manufacture of products against a back drop of commercial production processes; recognising the need to take account of these external pressures which constrain the designer’s opportunities to bring about positive change in products, systems and environments. All of which if played out through the experience of Resistant Materials such as wood metals and plastics, and the more ‘high tech’ such as 3D printing and Laser cutting.

It is important to understand this is not a course solely focussed on the manufacture of artefacts and products. The study of Design Technology at A level over two years is intended to provide both an exciting and stimulating subject for study in the Sixth form. Whilst it is not a vocational course, the specification builds from a base at GCSE that will allow knowledge and understanding that is likely to be of benefit to candidates pursuing further studies and, directly in the world of work. The subject would suit those wishing to study Engineering at University and looking to study Maths and a Science, for example, at A level.

The subject encourages awareness and understanding, not only of ‘designing’ but also of the economic, political, social, aesthetic, cultural, health and environmental factors relevant to the commercial manufacture of products. Further to this is the development of a host of other ‘key skills’.

Aims

The course is set out to allow students the following opportunities.

  • To stimulate and sustain the interest of Design and Technology.
  • To develop awareness in all aspects of Design activity including sensitivity to aesthetic factors and refinement and accuracy in the choice and use of materials.
  • To develop the ability to discriminate and make value judgements.
  • To provide a body of knowledge and skills which will be of considerable benefit to candidates in their personal and working lives, whether or not they continue further studies in this or related subject areas.
  • To provide an opportunity for candidates to exercise initiative, imagination and resourcefulness and time management skills in the solution of Design problems.
  • To give an understanding and appreciation of the role of Design Technology in meeting human needs and an awareness of modern technological developments against a background of their historic perspective.
  • To encourage candidates to apply their knowledge and understanding of Design Technology, to familiar and unfamiliar situations and problems as active problem solvers.
  • To develop numerical and communication skills appropriate to Design Technology examination requirements.

Candidates study two components. The Principles of Design Technology which is examined at the end of the course and an independent Design and Make project which is internally marked and externally moderated.

Admission

Candidates wishing to study Design and Technology as a Sixth Form subject will have preferably have

studied and passed (grade B or equivalent point score) a GCSE course in Resistant Materials or Product Design. From their study, it will be assumed that candidates will have an elementary knowledge of the majority of the following:

  • Designing and Making skills needed to realise products.
  • Materials — common forms of paper/card, modelling materials, fibres and fabrics, plastics, woods, metals, lightweight materials, and composites.
  • Components and processes as used in products.
  • System and control functions as applied to the planning and manufacture of products, or as components within products.
  • Products and their applications.
  • Health and safety issues and a range of experience drawn from the wider study of graphical, textile and material based products.