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 2

  • Isometric projection
  • Crating method
  • Tone and rendering


Money Box

  • Exploring a problem
  • Product analysis
  • Target market profile/data analysis
  • Design brief and specification

Money Box

  • Polymers
  • CAD/CAM & 2D Design
  • Assembly
  • Test/evaluate


Environmental Challenge

  • Deforestation
  • Global warming
  • 6 R’s
  • Plastic oceans/Keyring 

Design Influences

  • Biomimicry
  • Famous designers
  • Fashion models


Systems and Control

  • Inputs/Processes/Outputs
  • Motion types and mechanisms
  • Microcontrollers
  • BBC microbit

Year 9 

Design Skills 3

Isometric projection recap


Drawing enhancement

Exploded drawings


Practical Skills 1: Ice Scraper

  • Marking out (Templates)
  • Cutting techniques
  • Polymers theory
  • Deforming and reforming
  • Papers and boards theory
  • Packaging


Practical Skills 1: Timber Box

  • Timbers theory
  • Marking out
  • Cutting techniques
  • Joining methods
  • Finishing techniques


Bridge Project

  • Exploring a context
  • Forces and stresses
  • Metals theory
  • Material properties
  • Team work practical



Flat Pack Lamp

  • IKEA case study
  • Design eras
  • Design ideas
  • 2D Design
  • Electronics theory
  • Soldering
  • Material management

Year 10 



  • New and emerging technologies
  • Industry and enterprise
  • People, culture and society
  • Energy generation and storage
  • Smart and modern materials
  • Systems approach to design
  • Mechanical devices
  • Materials overview:

Timbers/Polymers/Metals/ Papers and boards/ Textiles/Composites/Smart materials/Modern materials



  • Materials sources and origins
  • Types and properties
  • Conversion
  • Commercial processes
  • Ecological challenge/6 R’s


Practical Skills


Focus Topics: D&M PRINCIPLES


  • Primary and secondary research
  • Anthropometrics and ergonomics
  • Product analysis
  • Design brief and specification
  • Communicating design Ideas
  • The work of others
  • CAD
  • Modelling techniques
  • Working Drawings


Project: Given Context


  • Initial investigations
  • Design brief and specification
  • Design ideas
  • Design development (Fusion 360)
  • Material research/testing
  • Manufacturing specification
  • Working drawings

Focus Topics: D&M PRINCIPLES


  • Industrial processes
  • Material management
  • Finishing techniques


Project: Given Context


  • Realising design ideas
  • Making diary
  • Testing and evaluation


NEA Starts

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