Product Design

All students study Product Design in Year 7, 8 and 9 and then it is an optional subject at GCSE. It involves students in identifying and solving real problems and appreciating the made world around them. It combines designing and practical skills with knowledge and understanding in order to design and make quality products. Students develop their graphical skills as well as working with computer aided design software and a range of materials including woods, metals and plastics.

Students need to…

  • be analytical and be able to evaluate products and identify how to improve
  • be imaginative, creative and demonstrate innovative thinking to produce suitable designs
  • be confident with their drawing ability
  • be able to work independently to produce the highest quality product possible


Y7 Over 3 terms, students will take part in Product Design and Food Technology

Product Design Year 7 Year 8 Year 9
Term 1 Recycled candle holder and promotional item (Acrylic keyring) Gumball machine  


Flashy mirrors

Term 2 Mobile phone holder with CAD, card modelling and recycling products
Term 3 Renewable energy


Food Technology Year 7 Year 8 Year 9
Practical 1 Fruity Flapjacks Cookies Chocolate log
Practical 2 Breakfast Muffins Carrot cake Vegetable Curry
Practical 3 Pitta Pockets French Bread Pizza Toast Cous Cous Salad
Practical 4 Fruit Crumble Pasties Quiche
Practical 5 Cheesy pasta bake Jam Tarts Chelsea Buns
Practical 6 Scones BLT’s Cheese and onion pie
Practical 7 Stir fry Fruit muffins Cake decoration



Technical principles pupils will experience and build knowledge on for their GCSE

Students will receive regular testing in preparation for Mocks.

Students will complete a range of mini projects that include tangrams puzzle, acrylic keyring, vacuum forming and moulding, pewter casting, wood working joints and exploring the work of designers within industry.

Students will develop understanding and skills with:

  • Saw accurately by selecting the correct tools and equipment.
  • Create quality edges by selecting the correct tools and equipment.
  • Recap health and safety rules in the workshop.
  • Describe the meanings of different health and safety signs.
  • Explain theory related to paper, card and board e.g. different types and their uses, how it is harvested and manufactured.
  • Recognise and explain the meaning of key symbols.
  • Explain the 6 reasons for packaging.
  • Develop isometric drawing skills.
  • Be able to produce an isometric drawing from an orthographic one provided
  • develop orthographic drawing skills.
  • Be able to produce an orthographic drawing from an isometric one provided.
  • Name and recognise the differences between different drawing styles and explain when each one is appropriate.
  • Research the range of work that the two designers the exam board select have produced, identify the features that their work contain, describe the innovations/new ideas that they have introduced and the influence that they have had on the world of design and technology.
  • Produce detailed piece of writing for both of the designers for all 4 categories.
  • Work in pairs to research and select an area / target market to design a gadget for.
  • Develop a range of design ideas appropriate for the target market.
  • Explain how their design idea is appropriate.
  • Develop intermediate/genius 3D CAD skills using 123D Design app and on Mac.
  • Render their designs using 3D CAD.
  • Complete practical activities to explain the differences of woods, metals, plastics.
  • Describe the differences between hardwoods, softwoods and manufactured boards and be able to give examples of each category and why they are appropriate for their use.
  • Describe the differences between ferrous, non-ferrous metals and alloys and be able to give examples of each category and why they are appropriate for their use.
  • Describe the differences between thermoplastics and thermosetting plastics and be able to give examples of each category and why they are appropriate for their use.
  • Explain what smart materials are and what products they are used in.
Year 11 Controlled Assessment

Students will complete the following pages:

Analysis of the Task, Design Specification, Generating Ideas, develop form/ function, develop materials/ components, develop making, develop size, develop finish / quality, presentation drawing, technical drawing

Controlled Assessment 

Students will complete the following pages and the practical categories:

Range of Processes, Quality of Making, Dimensional Accuracy, Quality of Finish, Working Independently, Function, Planning the Make, Evaluation, Suggesting Improvements

Exam Revision 

Students will be able to answer questions on the following topics:

Product Analysis, Sustainability / Legislation, Designers, The Design Process, Commercial Manufacturing Processes, Materials and Components, Tools, Equipment and Making, ICT, CAD and CAM, Systems and Processes


Links to useful Resources/ Exam Specifications/ Apps

The Product Design section of Firefly has a wealth of resources to support students at all stages of their course.

Students will study WJEC GCSE Product Design and more information about course content can be found here:

123D Design by Autodesk is a free computer aided design app for the iPad where students can make their own products, parts, or creations.


The app D&T by J Pimmer is invaluable for GCSE revision; either 69p for Product Design or £1.99 for all D&T topics will be useful.


Study guides for GCSE Product Design can be bought from many retailers (we recommend Essentials by Letts and Lonsdale).

Particularly helpful websites include: – select different topics for a wide range of video clips showing Product Design in action – covers many topics – covers revision activities and quizzes

Controlled Assessment Catch Up / Get Ahead Clinics are held weekly with lunchtime sessions also available.

Year 11 students should look on their section of Firefly for the exact dates and times.


All art students are invited to attend :

  • Before school (After 8am)
  • Break Time
  • Lunch Time
  • After school until 5pm Mon, Tues, Thurs, Friday