In Year 9 students will experiment and build on their skills within Design. Mini projects are conducted throughout the year to stretch skills and allow for students to find their own style within a Design environment. Computer Aided Design software such as, Adobe Photoshop and Illustrator, 2D Design and Solidworks is introduced into student’s portfolio of skills which enables them to experiment with new techniques and opens the door to constructing their designs using manufacturing processes such as 3D printing and Laser cutting. Projects are also hosted by Big brand companies which gives the students an opportunity to develop ideas of logos or packaging for existing companies
Year 10 sees students preparing for their Controlled Assessment task. Students have the opportunity of a Mini project where they are able to combine all of their skills and apply them to a project that is a set brief or a free choice project, this will allow them to experience independent and creative thinking in a Design environment. Throughout the free choice project students are offered guideline design briefs or can create their own which allows them to stretch their creativity to Graphic advertisement, Web design and Computer games. The second half of Year 10 allows for students to start research into their Design brief for their GCSE Controlled Assessment portfolio, a collection of designs tasks are introduced to the students so they are able to select a brief that plays to their strengths within Graphic design.
Year 11 focusses on Controlled assessment portfolios being completed making room for Theory based practice to prepare for GCSE exams. The AQA exam board awards a GCSE in Graphic Products with 60% of the grade being coursework and 40% being awarded for the end of year exam. A final portfolio with content of research, planning, designing, development, manufacture and evaluation is structured around the mark scheme to enable for best possible results. Past students have designed and manufactured Pop up books, Board games, Chocolate display boxes, Music and Sports merchandise and Activity packs, all that have incorporated their computer and design skills to execute a Graphics based product. Graphic Design students are not only learning to manufacture and design products but are gaining skills that they may apply to other areas of study, their portfolio starts with researching the project to apply a better understanding of the task and an analysis of existing products to be able to critique products and identify issues that they can improve upon, students then move onto create a prototype of their designed product which gives them the opportunity to test and challenge their original design to be able to make improvements to produce a successful end product, through all areas students learn to work in a fast paced environment and to manage their time to meet tight deadlines.