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Product Design

Head of Department - Miss A Corry

Curriculum Ambition

Britain’s economic prospects are based on high value sectors such as engineering, advanced manufacturing, design and the creative industries.  They are areas where Britain is still highly competitive and Product Design plays a key role in providing the skills needed to maintain this level.  The subject inspires student to follow careers in these fields – the careers of the 21st Century.

In Product Design we encourage students to combine practical and technological skills with creative thinking to design and make real and useful products and systems that meet human needs.  They learn to use current technologies and consider the impact of future technological developments.  They are taught how to think creatively, and use their design thinking to improve quality of life.  Our students learn how to solve problems as individuals and as members of a team by working in stimulating contexts that provide a range of opportunities and draw on the local ethos, community and wider world.  They are given the skills to respond with ideas, products and systems, challenging expectations where appropriate by combining both practical and intellectual skills with an understanding of a variety of other external and emotional factors.

We aim to:

  • Foster an interest and enjoyment in the understanding and use of Product Design.
  • Stimulate each student’s curiosity about the world around her/him and about everyday objects, how they are made and function.
  • Encourage students to confront and discuss design and technological issues – both new and existing – as well as to consider ethical, moral and environmental aspects.
  • Equip students to be confident citizens in an increasingly technological world and look to the future with creativity and innovation.
  • Develop confidence in practical and problem-solving activities with real life contexts.
  • Develop an enterprising attitude and to take risks where appropriate.
  • See opportunities and make things happen.
  • Provide a sound basis for further technological study and entry to Design & Technology based professions.
  • Move towards a modern and comfortable environment for students to work in all workshops.
  • To ensure CAD/CAM facilities are available to all key stages, and widely used.

The Product Design department has undergone many changes recently. Key Stage 3 projects have been developed to engage students and also build the necessary skills needed for the new Edexcel Product Design GCSE and A level. We also use a 3D Printer and CAD/CAM Laser Cutter to enhance the students’ skills and raise the quality of products the students can manufacture.

We believe that this subject not only offers enjoyment and also helps our students to further skills which support them in all areas of their curriculum but also ready them for their further education and career opportunities.

Key Stage 3 (Years 7-9)

Students investigate problems, develop and model ideas and produce working products which can then be used at home. They will be introduced to and learn about the different materials available, use a wide range of tools and machinery and develop their creativity and imagination to be able to produce innovative solutions to the problems given. All Key Stage 3 years will have a focus on iterative design and solving problems through the development of ideas, to prepare them for the skills needed for the Product Design GCSE and A level.

Year 7

  • The Blockhead Project
  • Design Challenges (Modelling)

Year 8

  • Forming Plastics – Mini Project
  • The USB Lamp Project


Year 9

  • V&A Innovate National Competition – Renew
  • Pewter Casting
  • Architecture and Sustainability
  • Inclusive Design and Smart Materials
  • The Passive Amp Project
  • Biomimicry in Design


Students will learn to work independently and also in teams, they will develop design, practical and problem-solving skills and techniques, with an aim for their enquiring minds to question product design and the world around them.


At Key Stage 4 (Years 10-11)

The department offers Edexcel Product Design GCSE. This has a major focus on creative design development skills, producing an innovative solution to a chosen design problem. There will be one coursework unit, where Edexcel gives an option of 3 themes to choose from. We will start this course work in June of Year 10 so students can research over the summer break. There is also an examination at the end of Year 11. Each element is worth 50% of their final GCSE grade.

Throughout Year 10 a variety of ‘mini’ projects will be delivered, building the students skills, knowledge and understanding of the subject, in preparation for both their examination and course work. As well as this, theory lessons will be delivered twice a fortnight to ensure the students cover the required topics for the Year 11 exam.

Students will be required to sketch ideas by hand, develop ideas through modelling and experimentation as well as use computer programmes such as SketchUp to create their designs in 3D.

Key Stage 5 (Sixth Form)

The department offers A Level Edexcel Product Design. This will use all skills taught from the GCSE in Product Design. The focus of this qualification will be on problem-solving, design development skills and the production of prototypes and working products. There is one final examination. Both the coursework and examination are worth 50% of the final grade.

Students are required to use ICT at an advanced level, creating 3D designs, testing solutions and materials and also in the presentation of their coursework.

Many of our students go on to study design at University but they all benefit from the cross-curricular skills and techniques which they have accumulated within our subject area.


The Product Design Department

Head of Department

Miss A Corry

Teachers of Product Design

Miss A Mills

Mrs R Dempsey

Mrs V Cronshaw

Poynton High School & Performing Arts College

Yew Tree Lane, Poynton, Cheshire SK12 1PU

01625 871 811