GCSE Design and Technology

Product Design OR Fashion & Textiles

This Design and Technology course builds on and makes use of what you learn about designing and making in Key Stage 3. You will choose one specialist area to study, Product Design or Fashion & Textiles.

Why study Design and Technology?

Design and Technology brings your ideas to life!  Use your imagination to create innovative ideas that you will develop in a variety of contexts, using materials you choose.  Learn how to appreciate the design process behind items that you use every day.  Have you ever stopped to consider how the clothes you wear, the IPhone you use and the packaging you open are conceived and created?  Everything begins with an idea: that idea will be yours!

The subject combines well with and uses the skills learnt in Maths, Science, Art & Design and Computer Science.

Course Content

You will study:

Core technical principles

  • A broad knowledge of the range of materials covered at Key Stage 3

Specialist technical principles

  • A detailed knowledge of a material area of your choice

Designing and making principles

  • Skills and knowledge related to the process of designing and making

You will learn how to:

  • How to develop a specification for a product from a context
  • How to develop realistic design proposals as a result of exploration of design opportunities and users’ needs
  • How to communicate design ideas and decisions using different media and techniques
  • Develop a broad knowledge of materials, components and technologies and practical skills
  • How to select from a broad range of materials and work with tools and equipment safely
  • How to plan and organise resources, developing decision making skills to manage project work

The course will enable you to:

  • Have access to a wide range of careers in the creative, engineering and manufacturing industries.
  • Prepare for careers in many other fields e.g. medicine, law and computer science. Whatever career you choose, the knowledge and skills that you learn, particularly those concerned with rapidly developing technologies, will be extremely valuable.
  • Develop skills such as teamwork and time management which are highly prized by employers.

What can I expect?

In Year 10, you will undertake several small projects, using a range of materials and techniques, to develop your skills and knowledge related to your chosen specialist area.  Much of year 11 will be spent working on the Non-exam Assessment Task.

Product Design

Product design combines making, modelling and visual communication, allowing you to work in one or a combination of materials while using a wide range of tools, machinery and technologies. The emphasis is on problem solving, invention and creativity and is for pupils who enjoy designing and making high quality products which are innovative and useful. This course enables a creative outlet to students who might be interested in pursuing careers in engineering, architecture and robotics while also providing a perfect place to learn skills and build a portfolio for those who are attracted to careers in design, digital and the creative industries.

Fashion & Textiles

Fashion and Textiles allows you to specialise in wearable constructed designs, stylish accessories, and innovative interior designs, whilst building upon your skills learnt at KS3. The course enables you to design and construct innovative products that reflect modern developments in the fashion industry. You will discover how fabrics can be formed, manipulated, and applied into exciting outcomes. How designers work in the real world, and how you can work to these industry standards. How CAD/CAM can be used to enhance your work and ensure a professional finish. Students are taught how to be masters in areas of design including pattern cutting, garment construction and visual communication. Working within this area provides creative practical problem-solving skills for life, in addition to becoming more aware of the global world of design and the role the fashion industry plays in it.

How will it be assessed?

The school has chosen the AQA Design and Technology specification. The course follows a 2-unit format where one unit will be a 2 hour written examination and one unit will be a 35 hour non-exam assessment, (supervised coursework project).

Written paper2 hours, 100 marks, 50% of the total marks.

One paper with 3 sections:

Section A: – Core technical principles (20 marks). A mixture of multiple choice and short answer questions assessing a breadth of technical knowledge and understanding

Section B:  – Specialist technical principles (30 marks). Several short answer questions (2-5 marks) and one extended response to assess a more in-depth knowledge of technical principles.

Section C:  – Designing and making principles (30 marks). A mixture of short answer and extended response questions including a 12 mark design question.

Non-exam assessment:  100 marks, 50% of total marks.

A single design and make activity based on a contextual challenge provided by AQA, consisting of the development of a working prototype and a portfolio of evidence. This will be started in June of year 10 and completed by the end of February in year 11. The design folder should consist of approximately of 20 pages of A3 paper or the ICT equivalent (e portfolio).

Brief summaries of the content of the two specialist areas are given below.

Further information:

For further information on the Design and Technology Specification: Click here