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St Thomas Aquinas

Year 6 Transition

Product Design

Head of Faculty - Mrs Maxine Tedcastle

Product Design

Design has a crucial influence on what we sit on, look at, enjoy and almost everything we buy. The look and feel of many of the everyday objects we use is often as important to us as functionality.  Three-dimensional design is about looking, learning, thinking and communicating ideas. It inspires creative thinkers, problem solvers and people who enjoy making.  




The main focus of this project is to introduce students to the workshop and the basic tools and processes used to make a wooden mobile phone holder. 2D design is introduced and students are able to see their ideas produced to a professional standard using ICT and the laser cutter. Students again follow the design process; ACCESSFM is used to analyse a product. Knowledge reinforced from Textiles lessons or vice versa depending on the rotation.


The main focus of this project is to introduce students to an electronic circuit.  The students use skills they have learnt in year 7 to make the wooden box. They also have an opportunity during this project to use 2D design again to further develop their understanding and skill with CAD.




Students will be working on a trial project where they will be introduced to a range of techniques and processes. They will gain an understanding of the assessment objectives and produce work in response.


Continuation of trial project – sketchbook/design sheet work which may conclude into a final outcome.

This work could be used in their final portfolio.


After gaining an understanding of the assessment objectives, students will apply their knowledge to unit 1 (their major project).



Student will continue with unit 1 – coursework. A focus will be placed on Assessment Objectives (AO) 1 and 2; “Artist/designer/design movement research” and “Exploration of materials”.


Students will continue to explore materials and experiment with a range of techniques and manufacturing processes. A focus will be placed on the development of ideas in response to the work of others (AO1).


The emphasis is on AO4 – final outcome. Students will be expected to further develop their preparatory work into a final 3-dimensional product, working in their chosen technique.



During the first half term, students will complete their major project both design folder & practical work towards unit 1.


Students will be given their exam paper after 1st Jan. They will then begin their preparatory work for the OCR controlled assessment – Unit 2.

The work should cover the four Assessment Objectives – collect, record, experiment, respond to artist/designer/design movement work and develop into a final outcome.


After Easter students will sit a 10-hour controlled exam over 2 full days. This is the final piece for the exam unit for unit 2.





Component 1 is a personal investigation unit. Students are encouraged to develop their own individual interests and style though their coursework. This is based on an idea, issue, concept or theme leading to a finished outcome or a series of related finished outcome. Practical elements should make connections with some aspect of contemporary or past practice of artist(s), designer(s), photographers or craftspeople and include written work of no less than 1000 and no more than 3000 words which supports the practical work. The Electronic portfolio is vital part of the coursework; a large percentage of the marks are awarded to the development of an idea. Students must explore a range of materials and overcome technical difficulties through research and experimentation. They must document relevant artists/designers and produce their own work in light of this research.


From the 1st February in year 13, students respond to a stimulus component 2 provided by OCR, to produce work which provides evidence of their ability to work independently within specified time constraints, developing a personal and meaningful response which addresses all the assessment objectives and leads to a finished outcome or a series of related finished outcomes.


Student will have 15 hours supervised time to complete their final outcome. This is usually over three consecutive days.


Assessment Details


Student’s work is assessed at the end of each subject topic. In years 7 and 8, we use these assessments to determine their attainment grade for the progress reviews (from A to E).


The exam and coursework will be marked using the following assessment objectives.

  • AO1: Develop ideas through investigations, demonstrating critical understanding of sources.
  • AO2: Refine work by exploring ideas, selecting and experimenting with appropriate media, materials, techniques and processes.
  • AO3: Record ideas, observations and insights relevant to intentions as work progresses.
  • AO4: Present a personal and meaningful response that realises intentions and demonstrates understanding of visual language.

All objectives carry an equal weighting of marks. The coursework is completed in December of year 11 and the exam by mid-May in year 11. Both components are marked and moderated by the OCR teachers once the exam is completed. After the marks have been submitted, a visiting external moderator visit the school to ensure standardisation of marks.

Internal assessment in the form of teacher feedback is given at intervals throughout the course.


Why Study Product Design

Three-dimensional design is the ideal opportunity to explore ideas and develop skills and is a great first step for those who wish to follow a course in art and design at further education. It’s balance of practical, academic and analytical skills are widely transferable and students intending to study courses unrelated to art and design find that it complements their other subject choices. A course in three-dimensional design will enable you to select appropriate materials, processes and learn how the outcome is constructed.