Headteacher: Mr Inman

Product Design

Product Design is an exciting mixture of the entire design technology genre including graphics, resistant materials, electronics and food technology.

Pupils wil work with a variety of resistant materials such as wood, metals and plastics. They will learn all about the different materials and their applications. They produce design ideas making use of skills taught in the graphics lessons and produce projects that involve electronics and soldering skills. All pupils are expected to participate in every area of product design.

Most, if not all the projects we do in product design have a real outcome - a finished product that they can take home and keep. All our projects enable pupils of all abilities and educational needs to progress and excel and  any materials needed are provided, with the exception of certain specialist requirements in Key Stage 4 (year 11 individual projects).

In workshop situations all pupils are given the opportunity to use workshop and industry standard machines, they follow clear health and safety guidelines whilst doing so., thus introducing pupils into a regime that is followed by industry itself.

In this department we have:

  • 2 fully equipped workshops
  • 2 experienced teachers
  • 1 supporting technician
  • I.T. facilities in each room
  • a dedicated I.T. Suite using Windows and Apple Mac software
  • Cad Cam facilities including a laser cutter, a cnc router and Graphtec plotters (A3 and craft robo)

Key Stage 3

At key stage 3 pupils are involved in a carousel system, spending approximately 8 weeks in each subject genre. The focus in year 7 is 'safety and accuracy', introducing them to the workshop and how to behave and act responsibly in that environment. Pupils are shown how to oporate the pillar drill, disc sander and a range of the cnc machines, in particular the laser cutter.

One project is to produce a wooden puzzle, pupils are expected to use a mixture of traditional woodworking tools to make the base and then C.A.D. to design counters which are cut from acrylic on the laser cutter.

Pupils also make a 'steady hand game' in year 8 covering the electronics aspect of product design. They learn about battery connectors, resistors, thyristors, l.e.d's switches and circuits. The pupils construct a box using a flat pack method and apply decoration using a variety of graphic and resistant materials sources.

Pupils will also make 'an award' in year 8, learning about the different types of plastics, it's properties, sustainable uses and the different ways it can be shaped. Pupils copme up with a design solution to a situation that requires an award, then create making use of Techsoft 2d design and cut out the pieces on the laser cutter, then assemble.


Key Stage 3 Homework

Homework is set at 2-3 pieces per rotation. Homework is almost always set over a week. Facilities exist for pupils to complete homework in the department making use of our facilities.

Key Stage 3 Monitoring

All pupils are closely monitored on progress, each pupil has a target level identified in their folder, and tasks enabling them to achieve that target. Pupils that are not meeting targets or falling behind for any reason, will be invited to attend intervention sessions to catch up with work and receive one to one help.

Key Stage 4

Pupils follow the AQA Prduct Design Specification. Currently the specification is 60% coursework/practical, and 40% exam.Pupils produce a range of projects over years 9 and 10 covering a variety of skills and knowledge enabling them to carry out the final year project and exam in year 11. Coursework should be completed by March allowing for modifications before final entry in May. Once coursework is complete pupils embark on exam theory lessons. Pupils are also expected to complete end of year exams to help prepare them for the final exam paper. The exams they sit are past GCSE papers.

The course makes use of C.A.D. and C.A.M. facilities (computer aided design and computer aided manufacturing). Full training will be given on the use of all software.

Projects that pupils complete include designing and making a clock influenced by a famous landmark, structure, building or designer. Pupils research influences and produce design ideas, these are drawn in Techsoft 2d and can be manufactured using the pupils own choice of materials.

Key Stage 4 Homework

We expect pupils to attend intervention sessions after school on a rotation, this helps pupils on a one to one level and often is the perfect guidance to help pupils (in particular GCSE pupils) with guidance and direction with often difficult and challenging projects. Exam style questions will also be set on alternate weeks.

Key Stage 3 Monitoring

Pupils are given clear yearly targets to work to, they have an end of year target and an end of key stage target to work to. All projects have clear specific tasks for pupils to meet their targets and in year 11 pupils are assessed against AQA guidelines to ensure progress. If a pupil is not meeting targets then support measures will be put in place.


Buile Hill Academy

Eccles Old Road, Salford, M6 8RD

T 0161 736 1773

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© Buile Hill Academy 2019