Authenticity control – research and preparation may be completed under limited supervision. However, all work, with the exception of research and preparation, should be completed by students under informal supervision. This means that the centre must ensure that plagiarism does not take place, that sources used by students are clearly recorded and that each students' preparation for the final production of the work is his/her own.
Feedback control – teachers may review students' work and may provide advice at a general level. Teachers, however, must not provide detailed and specific advice on how the draft may be improved to meet the assessment criteria. The nature of any guidance provided and the details of any feedback given must be clearly recorded. Students may be guided as to the approach they might adopt but the outcome must remain their own. Likewise, feedback may evaluate progress to date and propose suggested broad approaches for improvement but the detailed correction or annotation of work for feedback purposes is not allowed.
Time control – each student should produce a design folder (paper or electronic) and a completed outcome. It is expected that the total activity should take approximately 45 hours to complete, including preparation but not including additional time for the teaching and learning of the subject content. We are keen to encourage succinctness and a focussed approach to this task and for this reason it is expected that the design folder should consist of approximately 20 pages of A3 paper (or the A4 or electronic equivalent). Examinations Officers should contact AQA Candidate Services for advice on any students who may need special consideration and, therefore, may require additional time.
Collaboration control – the work of individual students may be informed by working with others, for example when undertaking research, but students must provide an individual response in the task outcome.
Resources – students' access to resources is likely to be determined by the availability in centres. Examinations Officers should contact AQA Candidate Services for advice on any students who may require the use of any special equipment.
Key Stage 3
In design and technology pupils combine practical and technological skills with creative thinking to design and make products and systems that meet human needs. They learn to use current technologies and consider the impact of future technological developments. They learn to think creatively and intervene to improve the quality of life, solving problems as individuals and members of a team. Projects focus on an introduction to tools and machines, graphics and drawing skills and the uses of key materials.
Through design and technology pupils develop confidence in using practical skills and become discriminating users of products. They apply their creative thinking and learn to innovate. Working in stimulating contexts that provide a range of opportunities and draw on the local ethos, community and wider world, pupils identify needs and opportunities. They respond with ideas, products and systems, challenging expectations where appropriate. They combine practical and intellectual skills with an understanding of aesthetic, technical, cultural, health, social, emotional, economic, industrial and environmental issues. As they do so, they evaluate present and past design and technology, and its uses and effects.
Key Stage 4 (Legacy only)
The introduction to GCSE Product Design has been created to encourage students to be able to design and make products with creativity and originality, using a range of materials and graphics techniques. Packaging, labelling and instructions are developed as part of the complete design proposal and advertising, points of sale, etc can be used to supplement the making experience and help create complete products which can be evaluated for their commercial viability.
Prior to completing GCSE coursework students complete projects which encourage pupils to design and make quality products, focusing on the need to consider sustainability and the environmental impact of their designs and meeting the needs of different social groups.
AQA GCSE Product Design coursework is worth 60% of the overall GCSE. Pupils are encouraged to create an individual and unique response to a given design task. Set by AQA, pupils are expected to research and develop a suitable working product.