Product Design

Intent Statement

Product Design (Resistant Materials) is vital for students to develop knowledge of how to be good consumers.  Throughout the three years; 7, 8 and 9 students learn how to analyse products and become aware of how products are made. Students becoming aware of the products life-cycle is critical in assisting them to become designers with ethical considerations.

Alongside the substantive knowledge that will help students become aware of these issues, there will also be a focus on the disciplinary knowledge of the design process and material properties.  Students will develop a deep understanding of how to analyse existing products, how to design effectively, how to use a range of tools and resources safely and accurately, and finally how to evaluate their product against the criteria that was set.

The curriculum is designed to ensure that students are either building schema in one subject or cementing it in other DT subjects or vice versa. To achieve this in Resistant Materials, the curriculum has been designed to work with the rotation system of ADT, meaning knowledge must be acquired by students in a way that it is either building new schema or cementing schema learnt from a prior topic. This has led to creating a curriculum layout that is both spiralled horizontally across the year but also vertically through the course of KS3.

Through year 7, 8 and 9 students advance their understanding working with a variety of materials; plastic, wood, metal.  Students work with a range of products to develop their ability to be accurate as well as to deepen their knowledge of how tools and resources can be used to make different products. Students will be able to appreciate Product Design further by the end of KS3, they will also have some key skills; such as knowing the disciplinary knowledge of the design process, they will appreciate the nature/use and lifecycle of different materials, as well as knowing how to use a myriad of tools safely and accurately.

Year 7

In year 7, students learn that it is okay to go wrong and that by doing this they are developing a deeper learning as well as becoming more resilient. In year 7 students incorporate mathematics into their Design Technology lessons and create nets for phone holders. Students find the precise nature of designing in CAD with measurements challenging; although this could be a year 8 or year 9 project the phone holder in year 7 is a great introduction to keen year 7 students.  This is at the start of students’ academic journey as they are very keen in comparison to the average year 8 student.  Year 8 students build of their existing knowledge from year 7 to make their clocks and develop their attention to detail by making a well finished product, and year 9 students work on enhancing their technical ability by working precisely with metal. Working with metal to a working drawing is a much more challenging process and requires more physical effort from the students.

Students look into existing mobile phone holders, mood boards, market research; students explore ‘what is a mood board/how created’ they work on collecting existing products and make a success criteria.  They then measure their own mobile phone and making models/prototypes of their end goal; 2D design – laser cutter and sample developing understanding of measurements; evaluate work done so far and revisit initial design (e.g. wrong colours); students explore what went well and how their designs could be improved, before redeveloping designs and eventually making their product out of plastic. Students learn through going wrong with the initial 2d design printed in card. Sustainability is explored; which is discussed with students and is why we waited to use plastic.

Year 8

Year 8 students work on making a clock; to complete this student’s start by examining previous students work alongside other clocks which have been made commercially. Students analyse using ACCESS FMM (aesthetics, cost, customer, environment, size, safety function, materials, and manufacture) building on students prior knowledge of analysing products enhances their schema, assisting in understanding the need for the product. Students write their own specification after completing primary research in the form of a questionnaire, followed by them deigning their own clock; all designs analysed against the students own specification points. When making the product students draw on their existing knowledge of 2d design to design their clock face, they combine homework –researching the design movement Art Deco and design their clock face. This provides learners with an opportunity to develop awareness of Design Eras as well as aiding in them developing skills in making, and matures existing scheme of materials.

Year 9

In year 9, the aim is that students develop an understanding of working drawings, by examining what a working drawing is; the information usually found on a working drawing and how this is followed to make a product. They then use the working drawing to make a bottle opener out of steel. This material is harder in its properties in comparison to plastic or wood and is therefore it is harder to use, the tools are different to those used in year 7 and 8 and students need to be more exact in their marking out and sawing which is why this follows year 7 and year 8. This project allows students to build on their existing knowledge of how to work within the workshop safely, but also shows them how they to work with less tolerances and to have a closer eye for detail. This is then shadowed by students making a wooden box with wood joints, this again builds on students’ prior knowledge but demands further accuracy in contrast to the work students have completed in year 7 and year 8.


High-Level Plan

Foundation CourseExtending Skills, knowledge, attitude and conceptsDeveloping skills and learning concepts
Base Components: Product Design
Component 1: Health and safety at work and in school
Component 2: Research and Refinement of design
Component 3: CAD/CAM & Prototypes
Component 4: Refine and Present
Component 5: Evaluation
Component 1: Health and Safety in work and at school
Component 2: Research and refinement of design
Component 3: CAD/CAM
Component 4: Refine and Present
Component 5: Evaluation
Component 1: Health and safety in work and at school
Component 2: How do we research and prep for a design project?
Component 3: Refining and presenting our work.
Component 4: How do we use branding to see our final product?
Component 5: Evaluation


Medium-Term Plans

MTP – Year 7

MTP – Year 8

MTP – Year 9

We recommend
Useful Information