Course Outline

With an intake from a diverse range of feeder schools, we implement our own foundation course in our entry year (the Shell). Typically, three projects will be tackled.

The first assignment is used as a vehicle to ensure pupils can use the workshop safely and confidently. The second challenge will have a focus on product design and is used to encourage students to explore their creativity in response to a design brief (e.g. atmospheric lighting). Finally, we tackle a project aimed to fuse creative activity with stronger technical constraints.

Through the breadth of this course we aim to provide a sound platform of experience across this discipline that will allow pupils to make informed choices in the Middle School curriculum.

In the Middle School the Department offers two GCSE courses under the Edexcel umbrella. The GCSE in Resistant Materials has a strong bias towards product design whereas the GCSE in Systems and Control caters for students wishing to bring an understanding of electronics into their design activity. Both courses share a similar structure and, whilst this is largely determined by the examining board, it allows us to develop a high degree of competence in the use of CAD software to develop, explore and model design ideas.

Project activity accounts for 60% of the assessment; this is tackled through a single assignment launched in the Summer Term of the Remove (Year 10). This project comprises a design folio and an artifact manufactured in our workshops.

The balance of the assessment is based on a single theory paper. This is wide ranging, covering knowledge of materials and manufacturing processes and the implications of CAD/CAM.

In the Sixth Form the Department offers Edexcel's A level course in Product Design. Students wishing to join the College in the Sixth Form may be reassured to know that a GCSE Design Technology course specialising in Graphics also provides a suitable foundation for this A level. Coursework accounts for 60% of the assessment with three structured assignments taking place in the Lower Sixth year; these are followed by a major project, working for an external client, which dominates the Upper Sixth year. Theory is assessed through two written papers taken in the summer of the Upper Sixth year.


The department is open during free time for student use. An open house approach is adopted with pupils tackling projects of their own volition as well as working on coursework assignments. In the Shell we offer a series of taster courses on Tuesday afternoons.

These optional activities are designed to take individuals into new areas and currently include designing and building FM radios, jewellery design using resins and funky furniture .