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AQA Graphic Products GCSE or AQA Product Design?

Discussion in 'Design and technology' started by foxbat, Jan 22, 2008.

  1. foxbat

    foxbat New commenter

    I am at a stage where I can opt for a different exam board (currently OCR) and a different course, I have looked at spec on both the above but would like some advice from anyone who has taught either/both. I have only taught Graphic Products. ANy info gratefully received.
  2. foxbat

    foxbat New commenter

    I am at a stage where I can opt for a different exam board (currently OCR) and a different course, I have looked at spec on both the above but would like some advice from anyone who has taught either/both. I have only taught Graphic Products. ANy info gratefully received.
  3. Currently teach AQA Graphic Products and like the course. Know all the exam boards are furiously pushing the Product Design course but these forums often contain comments about the difficulty of knowing how to limit the breadth of teaching for the Product Design course. That's one of the reasons why I haven't considered it until now.
    Don't know if that helps.
  4. foxbat

    foxbat New commenter

    Thanks, I read those posts too. I suppose on product design as a teacher you have to teach a broader range of knowledge and skills.
  5. silaqui

    silaqui New commenter

    To me, Product Design seems like Graphics but with a wider range of materials that you can use. We are a 14-19 school and have enough trouble getting through just the stuff for Graphics (AQA, by the way) in the two years let alone everything else that you would need to cover for PD.

    I'd also imagine that it hard to timetable - we have all of our classes crammed full, so if I was teaching PD instead of Graphics we'd never be able to get into a workshop. Mind you I suppose it wouldn't matter if they did it instead of RM aswell.
  6. Hi, I teach AQA Graphic Products and agree with the previous posts. Product Design not only needs workshop time, but uses more costly materials than Graphics. The Specification for PD is vast, but not much detail, so students are jack of all trades(if you can afford it) and master of none.

    I'm using Photoshop with KS3&4 now, which has given GP the commercial edge over PD, at only £30-ish its worth it. Some students even download the free 30 day version to practice their skills at home!

  7. Started product design in sept. Member of staff responsible has put in an enormous amout of work, pupils are enjoying it and there is a degree of flexibility to maintain motivation. However no results yet whereas can safely say GP delivers to those who do the work.
  8. If you want help with the AQA Product design course which is a substantially smaller spec in terms of subject content than GP then send a couple of blank CDs to me at Dixons City Academy, Ripley Street Bradford BD5 7RR together with a SAE and a note mentioning this and I will send examples of approaches from lots of schools. You can then make your own mind up. Have developed a massive amount of resources which are available via Inset either through AQA or direct via Dixons. At the end of the day the coursework criteria is identical so you could do exactly the same as GP although we would not particularly reccommend that route. No rules on what materials you use, just has to be designed for a commercial need for manufacture in volume (weren't all specs meant to do that?) Lots of scope for team work between staff but it doesn't suit everyone.

    Fastest growing spec in the country but do be assured, regardless of MatB's comment, it is not AQA at any rate which is pushing this but Market Pull!
  9. Brian, have no beef with the Product Design course, am seriously considering changing myself.

    Comment comes from the fact that I was once told by an AQA bod that they intended the PD course to replace the GP course within 3 years. That didn't happen as the PD course was so unpopular to begin with.

    Have since learned not to listen too carefully to what am told at meetings as there is often a personal agenda at play.
  10. fao seabreeze
    I have sent for the information from Brian Russell but am also looking to link up with another school who are new to PD.
    Could you email me at

  11. We swapped over from GP to PD in 0607 with our year 10's, so this year will be our first exam entry. Hasn't gone as planned, but this is due to staff absence.

    We changed because the kids who were doing GP when I started thought it was boring and were not motivated at all, changed to PD so that they had more flexibility in material choice and guess what, about 50% of them chose the GP biased project. TYPICAL!!

    I must admit thought, the kids are more motivated than the previous years GP group. The PD exams looks better than the GP exams too, a lot more open, with questions that can be answered in different ways depending upon material areas studied. Definitely better if the kids have a bit of common sense (*admittedly most of ours don't!!)
  12. I swapped to PD 4 years ago and our results have steadily improved. This year I am expecting our best ever results! However you do need some multi talented, inspirational teachers to achieve this!!
  13. Help! I have taught Graphic products for 5 years and have been told it is going to be replaced with Product Design. Anybody got any fail safe ideas for Sept 08 as i am on maternity leave and will have little time to research fr this coming year.
  14. GP not being axed ......... yet. The AQA site still has up the spec for 2009.
  15. I am changing over to Product Design in KS4 from this September. I was partly pushed into it by my HOD to be honest. To be honest I got bored of teaching Graphic Products as I think it can be very limiting with the choice of materials available. There's only so much packaging / POS / board game combinations you can do !
    Am looking forward to Product Design as I can use metal (jewellery), wood (toys), a 3D designed and machined communication / future games device) and a t shirt design / marketing project all with some form of POS / Packaging.
    I sent for the Information from Brian Russell and it was fantastic.
    I would be happy to swap ideas with anyone, got a bit of experimenting to do once Year 11 have gone but am pretty certain of what am going to do.
  16. Idevi
    Offer still exists. I am running PD courses for AQA in Feb/March (contact AQA Harrogate office for further details). Although the emphasis with this training is mainly aimed at how to teach the subject content and prepare students for the written exam you will receive a DVD with everything I believe you need to teach the course - PowerPoints on every topic of spec, worksheets to test knowledge, games quizzes etc. to make revision fun as well as fifty or so marked projects.
    Since this post first started things have moved on a great deal with the new assessment criteria allowing you to access the top band of marks with a design journal which contains no drawings and no written text if presented as an e-submission - photostory of modelling and sampling annotated with sound files or video. Interesting to read some of these old posts just to see how far out of line some people's thinking is (was)
    Dixons Innovation Centre, Ripley Street, Bradford BD5 7RR

  17. My school changed over from GP to PD two years ago and have never looked back. The freedom on use of materials and a wide range of design briefs make it enjoyable. There is something for all kids to get their teeth into and enjoy. Our results were the best ever with the first cohort of PD kids (72% A-C). We have introduced 3D CAD at year 7 and follow this through alongside good old 2D Design V2.
    If I can help anyone with what I am doing just contact me through here, it's always good to share ideas.
  18. Hi tecteach,
    We have changed to aqa product design as a department this year from individual dt subject courses, I am concerned as I teach food, how will my pupils cope with RM, electronics and graphics part of the exams. Any ideas?
  19. Are you with AQA or OCR?

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