AQA Short Course (4575)

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Here is the AQA Exam Specification for GCSE Design and Technology Short Course (4575):
Design and Market Influences
Students will need to learn how to analyse products and processes and consider how design and technology affect:
  • The manufacturer
  • The user
  • The environment
  • The importance of health and safety issues
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Analysis of designs and products
Students should learn to use product analysis techniques to inform judgements about the design and manufacture of their own products, taking into consideration;
  • form
  • function
  • aesthetic appeal
  • shape
  • colour
  • materials/ingredient
  • sensory characteristics
  • component parts
  • finish
  • suitability for purpose
  • use data, e.g. ergonomic,
  • anthropometic, nutritional
Students should learn to:
  • make links between principals of good design, existing solutions and technological knowledge to develop innovative products and processes;
  • reinterpret and apply learning in new design contexts and communicate ideas in new or unexpected ways;
  • explore and experiment with ideas, use new/smart materials in conjunction with existing materials to produce exciting new products;
  • to consider and understand the application of new technologies and new production methods, which could provide opportunities to be creative
Checking of ideas and design proposals against criteria
Students should learn to understand that specification criteria informs decisions about the design of products.
Quality assurance of product(s) through testing and evaluation
Students should learn to devise and use tests to check the effectiveness of designs and use ongoing evaluation to make judgements and suggest improvements/modifications throughout designing and making.
Evaluation of own product
Students should learn to consider consumer/users views when refining product designs; ensure that own product(s) are of suitable quality for intended users.
Social, cultural, moral and environmental issues
Students should learn to:
  • recognise the effects of social and cultural influences on design and technology;
  • understand that differing circumstances can influence the requirements of designing for different users;
  • appreciate that needs vary according to age, gender, culture and that products must suit the needs of the user(s);
  • take into consideration the ethical and environmental issues relating to the design and manufacture of products i.e. fair trade, organic, product miles, carbon footprint, product disposal, 'the 6 R's' (re-use, recycle, repair, reduce, rethink and refuse);
  • have a knowledge and understanding of the main factors relating to recycling and/or reusing materials within the context of packaging;
  • know how to assess products in terms of sustainability;
  • be aware of our responsibilities as designers and makers when we use materials and ingredients.
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Packaging and Labelling
Students should learn to:
  • be aware of a variety of materials used to package products, reasons for their use and their impact on the environment;
  • understand the different basic functions of packaging i.e. protect, inform, contain, transport, preserve, safety, display and marketing;
  • use current labelling requirements to read, understand and use information found on products and apply these to their own products;
  • be able to identify common symbols to indicate hazards, storage and handling, maintenance and disposal;
  • understand how to dispose of packaging in a socially responsible way.
Identification and reduction of hazards or risks when designing or manufacturing products
Students should learn to:
  • Think safety
  • Design in safety
  • Make safety a priority
  • Carry out risk assessment during manufacturing;
  • Implement safety procedures to minimise risk when using, materials/ingredients, components, tools, equipment and processes;
  • Plan an efficient and safe working environment.
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Safety for the consumer
Students should learn to ensure that the end product is safe for the consumer in accordance with legislation, e.g. BSI and Food Safety Act.
Process and Manufacture
Students should be aware of and use as appropriate, a broad range of techniques including hand craft skills and CAD/CAM where appropriate. How to use processes correctly to ensure consistency and precision when making single and multiple products.
Materials and Components
Students should learn to:
  • have a working knowledge of at least one or more material(s);
  • understand the sources of materials and ingredients;
  • understand how materials/ingredients are processed so they are ready for use as prepared stock items/standard components;
  • understand the advantages and disadvantages of the use of standard components;
  • understand the properties/functions of materials;
  • identify why particular materials/ingredients have specific uses;
  • justify their choice of materials/ingredients based on their understanding of availability, function, etc;
  • have an awareness of development and uses of smart materials;
  • have an awareness of the development and possible applications of nanomaterial in the area of design and technology.

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Selection and usage of appropriate tools or equipment
For their chosen material(s) area students should know how to:
  • weigh/measure, cut, mix, shape, form, mould, combine/join, assemble, finish/decorate when making single or multiple products;
  • accurately use machine tools/equipment appropriate to the material and process to make quality, well finished products;
  • select and use the most appropriate technique(s) and process(es) to make their own product(s);
  • know how to plan and carry out a broad range of making activities with consideration to safety.
Systems and Control
Students should learn to:
  • explore/examine how quality control checks are used to produce consistent products;
  • examine how control checks can prevent problems in production;
  • apply understanding of quality control to their own
    making to ensure a consistent result.
Information and Communication Technology
Candidates should:
  • use ICT as appropriate to research, gather, sort and present relevant material for the planning of tasks and generation of solutions;
  • understand that software including CAD can be used to generate, develop, modify, enhance, model and communicate design ideas;
  • recognise the application and benefits of using CAD/CAM in the production of products.

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