Design Technology - Year 10

Design Technology Overview

Term 1: Paper 1: Section A - Core Technical Principles

Students will begin theory work linked to the exam worth 20 marks of the written paper. Section A is a mixture of multiple choice and short answer questions assessing a range of technical knowledge and understanding.

The topics include:

- New and Emerging Technologies

- Energy Generation and Storage

- Developments in New Materials

- Mechanical Devices

- Materials and their Working Properties

  1. At the end of the term, a short assessment will take place on the theory work that has been studied to date to check knowledge retention.

The use of various control systems for operating machinery.

Crowd Funding

Raising funds for a project through lots of people contributing a small amount each to reach the required target.

Virtual Marketing

Using social networking sites and apps to advertise a product.

Fair Trade

A social movement to help produces in developing countries get better trading conditions for their product. E.G A fair wage for workers who pick coffee beans.


Relating to how comfortable something is to use. This can be an ergonomic work space or and ergonomic product.

Finite Resource

A resource that will eventually run out, for example, fossil fuels.

Market Pull

When the market place calls for a new product / new solution to a problem. This usually results in a new product being made.

Continuous Improvement

The process of continuing to improve or develop a product. This could be through materials, style or function.


Introducing contaminants into a natural environment, most commonly linked with car emissions but others include noise, heat or light.

Work Efficiency

A way of working that does not waste any time or resources.

Global Warming

A gradual increase in the overall temperature of the Earth's atmosphere as a result of greenhouse gasses.

Flexible Manufacturing Systems

A manufacturing technique that is able to react to changes. It is very adaptable.

Production Techniques

A method of manufacturing. Some include; Flexible manufacturing, Just in Time and lean manufacturing.

Planned Obsolescence

Designing a product with an inbuilt life span so that it eventually becomes obsolete and will need replacing.

Fossil Fuels

Finite resources that have been converted into Coal, Oil and Natural Gas.

Renewable Energy

Energy sources that should never run out. Some examples include Wind, Solar, Tidal, Hydro-Electric and Biomass energy.

Smart Materials

A materials that has properties can be changed and controlled by external stimuli such as temperature, moisture or stress. Some examples include Memory Alloys, Thermochromic Pigments and Photochromic Pigments.

Composite Materials

Materials that are produced by combining two or more different materials to create an enhanced material.

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  • Social
  • Cultural
Develop the individual:

Create a supportive community:

Term 2: Paper 1: Section B - Specialist Technical Principles

Students will continue theory work, moving onto section B, worth 30 marks on the GCSE written paper.

Section B focuses on Specialist Technical Principles and will be several short answer questions (2-5 marks) and one extended response to assess knowledge.

The topics include:

- Material and component selection

- Forces and stresses

- Ecological and social footprint

- Sources and Origins

- Using and working with materials

- Stock forms, types and sizes

- Scales of production

- Specialist techniques and processes

- Surface treatments and finishes

  1. At the end of the term, students will be assessed on section B of the GCSE exam paper.

How well a product works or carries out its intended function.


An inward force applied to an object causing it to become more compacted.


The process of stacking layers on top of each other to improve strength. This can be seen in a piece of Plywood or when laminating paper.


When forests are cut down in an unsustainable way, either for materials or to provide land.

The six R's

Reduce, Refuse, Reuse, Repair, Recycle, Rethink.

Product Life Cycle

The cycle of a product that begins with its development, all the way through to the products disposal.

Stock Forms

The 'standard' sizes you can expect to find in the shop. Some include A3, A4 and A5 paper, as well as 2x4 timber.


A one off production technique, often used to show how a finalised product will look.

Batch Production

A manufacturing technique where the product is created over multiple workstation, as often as required.

Mass Production

A manufacturing technique that produces large quantities of products, usually using an assembly line.

Continuous Production

A manufacturing technique that runs without interruption, usually 24/7/


Something that can be used to help repeat a process identically, over and over again.

Wastage Process

Includes; Die Cutting, Perforation, Turning, Sawing, Milling, Drilling, Cutting and Shearing.

Addition Process

Includes; Brazing, Welding, Lamination, Soldering, 3D Printing, Batik, Sewing, Bonding, Printing.

Deforming / Reforming Processes

Vacuum Forming, Creasing, Pressing, Drape Forming, Bending, Folding, Blow Moulding, Casting, Injection Moulding, Extrusion.

Powder Coating

A metal finishing technique that is used to protect metal.


The process of creating either raised or recessed images/ lettering on paper and other materials. Commonly used on birthday / celebration cards.


A wood finishing technique that protects the material by applying a mixed layer of oil and resin over the wooden surface.

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Develop the individual:

Create a supportive community:

Term 3: Paper 1: Section C - Designing and Making Principles

Students will be taught how to develop their prototypes and make them fit for their intended use.

Making up 50 marks on the written paper, students will need to demonstrate and apply knowledge and understanding of designing and making.

The topics include:

- Primary and Secondary Investigation

- Environmental, Social and economic challenges

- The work of others

- Design Strategies

- Communication of Design Ideas

- Prototype Development

- Selection of Materials and Components

- Tolerances

- Material Management

- Specialist Tools and Equipment

- Specialist Techniques and Processes

  1. This will make up 50% of the GCSE written paper.

    End of section assessments will be carried out to assess knowledge retention.

William Morris

A British designer who is associated with the Arts and Crafts Design Movement.


When forests are cut down in an unsustainable way, either for materials or to provide land.

Market Research

The process of collecting information about a needs and wants.

Primary Research

Some methods include questionnaires, surveys or interviews with individuals or small groups.

Secondary Research

This makes use of research already carried out by others.


A term given to the study of a products ease of use in its working environment. E.G how comfortable it is to use (finger grips on a handle).


The study of human sizes in relation to products. E.G Finding out how big the grip should be on a hand held product so it is comfortable for the majority of users.

Manufacturing Specification

The stages in which an item will be manufactured. The specification would usually include; materials, equipment and time.

Design Fixation

When a designer fixates on one design and does therefore not have a broad range of design ideas.

Drawing Techniques

Orthographic Projection, Exploded Diagram, Perspective, Isometric, Schematic Drawings.

Philippe Starck

A French designer known since the start of his career in the 1980s for his interior, product, industrial and architectural design, including furniture.

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Term 4: Practical in Practice

Students will be given a design and make task to practice what they have learnt about Sections A, B and C. It will be their opportunity to practice how constructing a portfolio should happen.

  1. Students will be given a practical brief to follow. Assessment will be on how well the student is able to answer that brief, as well as the quality of the finished product produced.
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Develop the individual:

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Term 5: Exam Techniques

As the majority of the course will be working through the NEA, students will be learning how to best present their work and answers for maximum marks. Studetns will go through breaking down exam style questions on a Product Design paper, as well improving existing skills such as drawing and rendering techniques.

  1. In Term 5 students will be given exam style question on the topic covered previously in the year. This will assess how well they are able to answer the question using the correct materials, techniques and vocabulary.
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Term 6: AQA Non-Exam Assessment: Section A - Identifying and Investigating Design Possibilities AQA Non-Exam Assessment: Section B - Producing a Design Brief and Specification

Identifying and Investigating Design Possibilities

AQA Non-Exam Assessment - Identifying and Investigating Design Possibilities

Students will be given their Non-Exam Assessment (NEA) contextual challenge which they will be focusing their portfolio on.

This will make up a further 100 marks of the total GCSE Product Design grade.

Combined with the AQA GCSE Written Exam Paper, a total of 200 marks will be available.

AQA Non-Exam Assessment - Producing a Design Brief and Specification

Based on the conclusions from the design work, students will produce a Design Brief and Specification which will need to be followed and reviewd throughout the NEA duration.

  1. Students will be expected to carry out investigative work through primary and secondary research methods to better identify design possibilities and investigate client needs and wants.

    As this is independent study, teacher input is regulated very strictly. Students have the option of submitting their investigation in at any time, but once this has happened, no more work can be carried out on it to get more marks.

    Alternatively as it is an iterative process, students can continue working on it throughout the year until final submission. It is marked out of 10.

    The Design Brief and Specification is assessed within the portflio and is marked out of 10.


A list of requirements that the design must follow / stick to.

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