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In Years 7 and 8, the students develop a series of design and making skills that give them a broad introduction to the techniques and concepts in design. These include electronics, wood-work, metal work and plastics. Furthermore, Computer Aided Design opportunities are given for the development of the portfolios and design briefs.

In Year 9, students have the opportunity to begin their Key Stage 4 courses. We currently offer Product Design as a GCSE subject.
Design Technology: Product Design - GCSE
This course offers students the opportunity to develop design skills as well as evaluating products currently available to the consumer.

All Design Technology is taught in a modern purpose built workshop.

There is an emphasis on designing and manufacturing with plastics, although some woods and metals will be used where appropriate. Students will also look into ways to present and package their final products.

Students will research marketing, consumer protection, product development and industrial processes and use this information to help them develop viable designs.

Aims of the Course
To enable students to combine their design and making skills with knowledge and understanding.
To encourage students to consider the implications of technology in the manufacture of a product.
To give students the opportunity to apply skills, knowledge and understanding from other subjects, where appropriate.
To provide students with opportunities to work independently.
To develop students graphical capability through activities which involve a range of themes, materials and processes.
To give students opportunities to develop practical skills
To give students confidence to design, make and modify products and systems for different purposes
To enable students to select and use materials effectively.
To develop students critical thinking and enable them to evaluate and identify the needs for design and technology.
To develop ICT skills and use Computer Aided Design/Computer Aided Manufacture during designing and making.
Practical problem solving processes on this course will encourage students' independent learning, creativity and innovation.

Course Structure and Content

Students will follow the design process and develop their research and analysis skills before moving on to designing, planning and manufacturing a product. The products must be tested by potential end-users before they are packaged ready for sale. Students will develop the knowledge and skills needed through a range of different projects before embarking on their major coursework project where they will demonstrate all of the processes they have studied.


There are two elements to the assessment:

Controlled Assessment Project (60% of marks) consisting of a 3-dimensional product and a concise design folder.

Written 2 hour Exam Paper (2 hours) (40% of marks).. This is a single tiered assessment covering grades A*-G.

Progression Routes

AS/A Level Product Design, Advertising, Printing and Publishing, Graphic Design and Illustration, Engineering, Furniture and Related Products, Film Effects, Model Making, Industrial Product Research.

Outside the Classroom

The department has entered external competitions with Toyota Solar Powered cars, the LEGO challenge, F1 in schools and the Aston Martin Car Design challenge. Our students frequently qualified for regional finals and become prizewinners.

F1 in Schools 2012

F1 in Schools Ltd is a not-for-profit company established, with committed partners, to provide an exciting yet challenging educational experience through the magnetic appeal of Formula One.
Alongside other technology competitions in school, we have been entering the F1 in Schools competition. We had one team reach the regional final at Loughborough University.

Silverstone British Grand Prix visit 2012

The Castle High School Design Technology department visited Silverstone British Grand Prix, based in Northamptonshire.

The students enjoyed the experience of attending the F1 practice and qualifying session.

This trip enabled students to develop an informed view about careers in engineering, Formula One, science, marketing and technology.

Toyota Technology Challenge 2012

The school was invited to take place in the Regional Finals of the Toyota Challenge in April 2012. The competition took place at Toyota Derbyshire. The school came 5th out of 75, a fantastic achievement in itself, but especially impressive as this was accomplished by a team of Yr 9 pupils, whereas other schools had teams of Yr 11 pupils. This success was a testament to the team's dedication. The team won £50 and their winning certificate is proudly on display at school.