Product design ideas

Design and technology

Design and Technology is an inspiring, rigorous, and practical subject encouraging students to learn to think and intervene creatively to solve problems both as individuals and as members of a team. At Ashington Academy, we encourage students to use their creativity and imagination, to design and make products that solve real and relevant problems within a variety of contexts, considering their own and others’ needs, wants and values. Students acquire a broad range of subject knowledge and draw on disciplines such as mathematics, science, engineering, computing and art when designing and making. 

Through a variety of creative and practical activities, we teach the knowledge, understanding and skills needed to engage in an iterative process of designing and making. Students design and create products, carefully considering their function and purpose, that are relevant to a range of sectors (such as the home, school, leisure, society, enterprise, industry and the wider environment). 

When designing and making, the students are taught to: 

  • Develop the creative, technical and practical expertise needed to perform everyday tasks confidently and to participate successfully in an increasingly technological world.  

  • Build and apply a repertoire of knowledge, understanding and skills to design and make high-quality prototypes and products for a wide range of users.  

  • Critique, evaluate and test their ideas and products and the work of others.   

Students learn how to take risks, becoming resourceful, innovative, enterprising and capable citizens. Through the evaluation of past and present design and technology, they develop a critical understanding of its impact on daily life and the wider world. High-quality design and technology education makes an essential contribution to the creativity, culture, wealth and well-being of the nation. 

Curriculum information

Year group 




Year 7 

Design Skills 

  • Construction lines 

  • Grid method 

  • Colour, tone and texture 

  • Cabinet Oblique 

Clock Project 

  • Target market/User analysis 

  • Writing a Design Specification 

  • Design ideas 


Clock Project (cont) 

  • Timbers Theory 

  • Workshop skills 

  • CAD/CAM 

  • Evaluation vs Specification 

Darkness Project 

  • Explore a given context 

  • Circuits and Components 

  • Soldering skills 

  • Design ideas 

Darkness Project (cont) 

  • Workshop skills 

  • Vacuum forming 

  • Testing with User 

Graphic Skills 

  • Colour Theory 

  • Logo Theory/Design 

  • Product Analysis 

  • Packaging 

  • Nets 

Year 8 

Design Skills 

  • Isometric Projection 

  • Colour, tone and texture 

Design Inspiration 

  • The work of others 

  • Biomimicry 

Small Storage Project 

  • Explore a context 

  • Focused research 


Small Storage Project (cont) 

  • CAD/CAM 

  • Design ideas 

  • Polymers Theory 

  • Sustainability and the 6 R’s 

  • Assembly of parts 

  • Test and Evaluate 

Hand-held Gaming Project 

  • Inputs/Processes/Outputs 

  • BBC micro bit 

Hand-held Gaming Project 

  • Anthropometrics and Ergonomics 

  • Programming 

  • Modelling 

  • Types of motion 

  • Levers and linkages 

  • Pulleys, cranks, chains and sprockets 

Sustainable Textiles 

  • Famous fashion companies 

  • Social and cultural issues (Primark case study) 

  • Textiles Theory 

  • Modelling 

Year 9 

Design Skills 

  • Isometric projection 

  • Hatched line rendering 

  • Organic forms 

Bridge Project 

  • Exploring a context 

  • Forces and Stresses 

  • Properties and enhancing materials 

  • Structures 

  • Designer collaboration 

  • Modelling 


  • Materials Theory 

  • Lifecycle assessment 

Practical Skills  

  • Using hand tools 

  • Using workshop machinery 

  • Abrading techniques 

  • Wood joints 

  • Surface preparation and finishing 

  • Templates, jigs and formers 

  • Vacuum forming 

  • Line bending 


The Work of Others 

  • Famous Designers 

  • Design eras 

  • Companies 

Lamp Project 

  • Identify a problem and need 

  • User profile and interview 

  • Mood board 

  • Design Ideas 

  • Electronics 

  • CAD/CAM 

  • Workshop skills 

  • Test and evaluate with the user. 

Industrial Processes 

  • Working with timbers in industry 

  • Working with plastics in the industry 

  • Working with Metals in the industry 

CAD CAM Project 

  • Exploring a context 

  • Writing a big picture and statement of intent 

  • Independent research 



CAD CAM Project (cont) 

  • Fusion 360 

  • 2D Design 

  • Laser cutting 

  • 3D printing 

  • Assembly. 

Technical/Working Drawings 

  • Renderings 

  • Exploded Drawings 

  • Orthographic projection 

  • Dimensions 


Year 10 

Design Skills 

  • 1pt Perspective 

  • 2pt Perspective 

  • Organic forms 

Eco-homes Project 

  • Exploring a context 

  • Energy types and storage 

  • Global warming 

  • Sustainable materials 

  • Plastic oceans 

  • Biomimicry 

  • Eco house design and modelling 

New and emerging technologies 

  • Enterprise 

  • Market pull/Tech push 

  • Fashions and trends 

  • Automation, FMS, JIT 

  • Planned Obsolescence. 


New Materials 

  • Modern materials 

  • Smart materials 

  • Composites 

Mechanisms and Systems 

  • Motion 

  • Levers linkages, chains, sprockets, pulleys and cranks. 

  • Gear ratio 

  • Inputs, processes and outputs 

  • Programmable components 

Independent Design and Make Project 1 (Teacher Led) 

  • Investigating the design context 

  • Producing a design brief and specification 

  • Generating design ideas 


Independent Design and Make Project 1 (Teacher Led) 

  • Developing design ideas 

  • Making a prototype 

  • Analysing and evaluating 

Independent Design and Make Project 2 (NEA) 

  • Investigating the design context 

Year 11 

Independent Design and Make Project 2 (NEA) 

  • Investigating the design context 

  • Producing a design brief and specification 

  • Generating design ideas 

Independent Design and Make Project 2 (NEA) 

  • Developing design ideas 

  • Making a prototype 

  • Analysing and evaluating 




Design & Technology is about designing and making things that people want and that work well. Creating these things is hugely exciting: It is an inventive, fun activity.
Year 9 student
When you finish a project, you feel proud and confident in the new knowledge and skills you have acquired and can then apply them to other design and make activities
Year 8 student