Porthcawl Comprehensive School / Ysgol Gyfun Porthcawl


Mrs V Hunt (Temporary) (Head of Department and Head of the Faculty of Technology & Art)

Key Stage 3

Year 7

Product design

Pupils are taught a number of skills that will enable them to design and make a simple product. They start by analysing existing products and developing their graphics skills. During the year they produce a wooden storage system.

Food module

Pupils look at Healthy Eating and develop their practical skills. They will make coleslaw, stir fry, crumble and a vegetable curry.


Pupils learn about the safe use of the sewing machine and irons.

They also use fabric decorating techniques e.g. hand embroidery. A soft toy is made from recycled fabrics.

Year 8

Pupils complete 5 modules throughout the year, 3 product design, 1 textiles & 1 food.

Module 1 to 3

Food Module – Based on an introduction to nutrition and The Eat Well Plate. They develop their practical skills and make Bolognese sauce, rock buns and low sugar fairy cakes. They then design and make a pasta dish.

Product Design – Pupils develop a range of skills that enable them to design and make products from wood, metal and plastic. They design and make a wooden grab and a metal key fob.

Module 4 to 5

Product Design – They design and make a clock based on a sport or sporting event.

Product Design – Pupils design and make a photo frame based on a sport or sporting event.

Ways in which parents can help

  1. To discuss existing products and their good or bad design features, especially cushions, pasta dishes, photo frames.
  2. Encourage children to eat healthily and be aware of more healthy foods and to cook with their children at home.
  3. Help them complete a mood board on Wales.

Year 9

Pupils complete 4 modules throughout the year, 2 product design, 1 textiles & 1 food.

Module 1 to 2

Product Design – Pupils build on a range of skills that enable them to design and make products. They design and make a press moulded 'pod' to hold small items of their choice.

Food – Pupils complete a Food module which covers food choices, looking at foods from different countries, religion and food related illnesses. They then complete a mini enterprise activity by designing and making cakes which they sell to raise money for charity.

Module 3 to 4

Product Design – Pupils design and make a photo frame based on a film and complete a systems project.

Textiles – Pupils design and make a bag based on the history of costume and products. They learn quilting and they use computer aided design and manufacture to print their fabric using sublimation printing.

Ways in which parents can help

  1. To discuss existing products and their good or bad design features, especially bags, cakes, storage pods.
  2. Help pupils complete their textiles mood board, what teenagers like now compared to what teenagers used to like years ago.
  3. To cook with their children at home.

Key Stage 4

Catering GCSE

This is an exciting practical course that will be of interest to all young people. Being able to cook is a life skill and this subject will teach you how to prepare and cook a range of exciting dishes from scratch. You will learn a range of cake, pastry and bread making skills along with a wide variety of meat and vegetarian starter and main courses as well as desserts.

GCSE Catering is a practical subject; each week you are expected to cook whilst wearing chef whites, giving you an insight into Catering College and beyond. You will be expected to conduct yourself in a professional and safe manner whilst observing the correct Health & Safety guidelines. You will develop into a professional and innovative young chef.

The course concentrates on food preparation and the service of food and includes topics such as the food and drink industry, job roles, nutrition and menu planning.


60% – Two practical tasks requiring pupils to demonstrate their ability to cook a number of dishes backed up with a written portfolio.

40% – 1¼ hours – externally set examination paper.

All candidates will sit their Level 2 CIEH Food Safety Certificate. This is the industry standard qualification required to work with food.

Pupils will have the opportunity to complete GCSE HOSPITALITY as well, making this course worth 2 GCSEs.

Design and Technolgy GCSE – Graphic Design, Resistant Materials, Technology/Product Design(with BTEC Engineering)

Each of these courses is about problem solving, designing, making and evaluating products. They require imagination and knowledge of materials, techniques and technologies. Each course is an extension of some aspects of work done in KS3 Design and Technology.

The problem solving skills gained through these courses would be valuable to all pupils since they are life skills. In addition any pupil intending going into the industrial world would find these skills valuable at any level. Many pupils not wishing to pursue higher education have obtained apprenticeships with these GCSEs.

There are many possible progressions from these courses e.g. 'AS' and 'A' level Design and Technology (Years 12/13) which is recognised as an entrance qualification to many courses at Colleges or Universities; GNVQ in Business Studies/ICT/Manufacturing or Engineering and then on to a Degree course in Graphic Design, Product Design or a branch of Manufacturing/Engineering.

Careers related to these courses include Graphic Design, Product Design, Manufacturing, Engineering, Retailing, Advertising and there are many other career opportunities that come under the broad heading of Design and Technology.

Subjects that have natural links with Design and Technology are Art, Business Studies, Geography, Information Technology and Physics.

Students taking Resistant Materials Technology or Product Design will have the opportunity to undertake the BTEC Engineering First Certificate in Engineering. This will be completed in Year 10 and is the equivalent of one GCSE. There is no examination in this course; assessment is based on modular units of work which are completed throughout the year. Students are able to re-submit work a number of times within this process.

Course Structure

  • Unit 1 – Workshop Health & Safety
  • Unit 2 – Computer Aided Design or constructing an electronic circuit

Design and Technology Core

  • Year 10 – Several small design and make tasks requiring articles of quality, theory, homeworks and learning new practical/graphic skills.
  • Year 11 – Coursework 60%: A design and make project, which will be carried out in school.
  • Year 12 – Examination 40%: 1 untiered paper.

GCSE Graphic Design

Using the design process, different forms of graphical communication techniques will be acquired, ranging from traditional sketching methods to formal drawing systems. The use of the latest Desktop Publishing and Computer Aided Design equipment will be a key element in project work, reflecting modern design methods.

The course will also promote curiosity, initiative and resourcefulness with the ability to select and use the appropriate graphical method of communicating an idea.

Communicating a design proposal may take the form of a 2-D or 3-D prototype design/model. The world of work offers many opportunities in graphic design, printing, publishing and packaging industries.

What is Graphic Design?

Suppose you want to announce or sell something, amuse or persuade someone, explain a complicated system or demonstrate a process – in other words, you have a message you want to communicate. You can use visual communication – poster, letter, logo, magazine, colour in album cover; even a computer printout. This is Graphic Design.

Possible careers

  • Architecture
  • Set/Stage Design
  • Graphic/3D Modeller
  • Computer Game Design
  • Interior Design
  • Animation
  • Web Designer
  • Landscape Designer


  • One examination making up 40% of the total mark which will test the student's general understanding and ability to apply knowledge throughout different activities and test a student's wider understanding and ability within the chosen focus area (duration-2hrs).
  • The coursework makes up the remaining 60% of the total mark. This involves designing and making one substantial project of approximately 30 hours' duration.

GCSE Resistant Materials Technology/Product Design with BTEC Engineering

The course is principally concerned with creative design concepts and problem-solving activities that will involve making and testing different design solutions to produce a successful end product. It will require the use of imagination and the understanding of a range of different materials. Students will develop knowledge of production design making products in large numbers which will include the use of industrial working methods and techniques.

Students will have the opportunity to develop their own theme for the major project in Year 11. This can be selected from a wide range interests and activities, giving the scope for students to be innovative.

Possible Careers

  • Architecture
  • Product Design
  • Graphic/3D Modeller
  • Computer Game Design
  • Interior Design
  • Jewellery Design
  • Animation


  • One examination making up 40% of the total mark which will test the student's general understanding of products and test a student's wider understanding and ability in developing useful products (duration – 2 hours). Pupils will gain experience of this format of examination at the end of Year 10 and also in their mock examinations in Year 11.
  • The coursework makes up the remaining 60% of the total mark. This involves designing and making one substantial project of approximately 30 hours' duration.

BTEC First Extended Certificate in Engineering Level 2 (Equivalent to 2 GSCE's)

BTEC First Certificate in Engineering Level 2

Course Structure

The BTEC course consists of 4 Units. There is no examination in this course; assessment is based on modular units of work which are completed throughout the course. Students are able to re-submit work a number of times within this process to improve the final grade.

Units 1 to 3 are mandatory and students are required to select one more from the Additional Units list shown below.

  • Unit 1 – Workshop Health and Safety
  • Unit 2 – Interpreting and Using Information
  • Unit 3 – Computer Aided Design

Additional Units

  • Unit 7 – Electronic Devices and Communications Applications
  • Unit 8 – Selecting Engineering Materials
  • Unit 18 – Engineering Marking Out
  • Unit 19 – Constructing an Electronic Circuit

Possible Careers

The BTEC courses provide an excellent introduction to many vocational opportunities and possible careers within the following areas

  • Maintenance
  • Manufacturing
  • Electronics
  • CAD including Architecture
  • Health & Safety
  • Multi-skilled Technician
  • Product Design
  • Graphic/3D modeller

F1 in Schools Challenge

As part of the course students will take part in the F1 in Schools Challenge, where students will design a small prototype car and test their model on a virtual wind tunnel and track. The CAD team will then enter the local event and compete against other schools – if successful; they will go on to the national final.

Home Economics GCSE – Child

Would you like a practical challenge? Do you enjoy working with children? Would you like to be kept up-to-date with child development issues? Are you ready for life away from school? If you answered "yes" to any of these questions then choose to study Home Economics-Child Development. In this course you will develop your knowledge and skills through studying a range of different topics. You will also have the opportunity to carry out a variety of practical investigations. The qualification can lead to further study at 'AS'/'A' Level and/or GNVQ/VCE in a variety of subjects and CACHE. There will also be career opportunities in nursery nursing, nursing, teaching and the caring professions.

You will study

  • Parenthood and Pregnancy
  • Physical Development
  • Nutrition and Health
  • Intellectual, Social and Emotional Development
  • The Family and Community

Course Structure

You will learn how to

  • Observe and interact with young children
  • Carry out individual, original research
  • Explore and investigate the needs of young children
  • Apply the skills learned in coursework to the examination paper


  • Practical work investigating the development of children
  • Use of surveys, questionnaires, the internet and ICT
  • Study of the topics listed above


  • Coursework – 60% of the total GCSE. You will produce one Individual Task which should take 21-22 hours to complete (30%) and three Resource Tasks which should take 6-7 hours each to complete (30%).
  • Examination – 40% of the total GCSE. You will sit a 1½ hour untiered examination at the end of Year 11. The paper will include short answer, data response, structured and free response questions.

Hospitality GCSE

This course is for young people who hope to work within the hospitality industry; for example owning or working in a hotel, restaurant or deli or a business that provides catering and event organisation. This vocational course will introduce you to the hospitality and catering industry whilst developing a range of theoretical and practical skills.

GCSE Hospitality is a practical subject; each week you are expected to cook whilst wearing chef whites, giving you an insight into college and beyond. You will be expected to conduct yourself in a professional and safe manner whilst observing the correct health and safety guidelines. You will develop into a professional and innovative young chef!

This course will develop skills such as teamwork, problem solving, independent thinking, organisation and time management. The course includes topics such as job roles, employment, planning for functions and events, menu planning, customer care and standards of service.


  • 60% – An event based task where pupils will plan and carry out a function such as a restaurant (serving a set menu or buffet) or fund raising event.
  • 40% – 1¼ hours externally set examination paper.

All candidates will sit their level 2 CIEH Food Safety Certificate. This is the industry standard qualification required to work with food.

Textiles Technology GCSE

Have you heard of these – Tommy Hilfiger, Calvin Klein, Versace, Realm, Quiksilver? They are all famous fashion companies. If you are into clothes and design, this is the course for you – boys, remember lots of very famous fashion designers are men.

The Textiles GCSE is a practical-based subject in which you will have the opportunity to design and make clothes, accessories or soft furnishings for the home. The course is closely linked to industrial practices and processes. Students will be using ICT, CAD (Computer Aided Design) and CAM (Computer Aided Manufacturing) throughout the course and will take into account different types of production.

Pupils will also complete a BTEC Level 2 Certificate in Art and Design, which is equivalent to a GCSE, making this course worth 2 GCSEs.


The course consists of two units:-

  • Cousework – A design folio and a textiles item. 60% of total marks. This is the major GCSE project.
  • Written Examination – 40% of total marks. There is one tier of entry.

The course leads to 'AS' and 'A2' Textiles Art and provides excellent links into careers in fashion, designing for the stage; textiles design, fashion journalism, graphic design, craft, fine art, media, film, photography, games design, architecture, retail, teaching etc. It also links into further and higher educational courses, e.g. Art Foundation, BA (Hons) Fashion, Textiles, Costume Design, Fashion Journalism.

Further information

This course aims to develop each student's enjoyment of textiles. It positively encourages them to be creative, develop ideas into an actual textile product and to be able to communicate their design ideas to others.

Key Stage 5

At Key Stage 5 the faculty offers a number of options including Art (see curriculum section – Art), Textile Design, Health and Social Care and Travel and tourism.

Art & Design (Textile Design)

The course is very creative, students experiment with a variety of techniques to embellish and colour fabric including: marbling, dying, heating, melting, transfer printing and using 3 dimensional mediums.

Pupils also investigate the work of other artists and designers. We invite textiles practitioners in to work with the pupils and arrange trips to exhibitions of textiles work. Pupils are encouraged to produce a number of outcomes including a maquette, distressed shirt, garment, workbooks, and preparatory boards showing design ideas. They must also complete an exam piece; a textile item plus sketchbook and display boards to fit an exam board set brief.

Pupils are encouraged to work independently and to produce an individual and personal response to the briefs set with the support of highly experienced staff.

The course offers pupils the scope to express themselves in individual and exciting ways to prepare them for work or further studies at University or Art College.

Assessment Procedure:

  • AS Art 1 Coursework Unit 40%
  • A Level Art 2 Coursework Unit 36%
  • A Level Art 3 Controlled Test 24%

Entry Requirements:

Minimum Grade C Textiles or Art GCSE.


Art Foundation Courses, many BA (Hons) Degrees for example in fashion, surface design, costume design, fashion journalism or interior. Leading to careers in fashion, interior, fashion marketing, journalism and many more. This course is accepted by colleges as an Art course.

Health and Social Care:

Do you have a caring nature and a natural instinct to help other people? If so, this Health and Social Care course is just up your street. Virtually everybody, at some stage in their life will need some sort of help and support. It may be a domestic crisis, a medical problem or an age-related issue; the reasons are many and varied. You will study the needs of such groups and how they can be met. You will do this in a practical and realistic way, gaining confidence by developing independent learning skills.

The AS Course:

Promoting Quality Care and Communication AS 40% / A level 20%

  • This unit introduces you to the factors that affect a person’s quality of life. You will study the care principles, skills and techniques required by both formal and informal carers to treat individuals well within a range of care settings. This will be assessed by one 1 ½ hour examination.

Promoting Good Health AS 60% A level 30%

  • In this internally assessed unit you will learn about the factors that influence an individual’s health and well being and how care workers and other agencies promote good health.

The A2 course:

Provision of Health, Social Care and Children’s Services A level 20%

  • In this unit you will need to study which are the main health, social care and children’s services and how they ensure they meet individual needs. You will investigate local and national services and how they are managed to ensure service users have a high quality of care. This will be externally assessed through a coursework assignment.

The Influences of Food and Fitness on Health and Well-being A level 30%

  • The aim of the unit is to increase your knowledge and understanding of a range of different aspects relating to the diet and fitness of individuals at different life stages. You will study nutrition, dietary and physical activity guidelines and how following these guidelines may prevent certain diseases. This unit is internally assessed.

Entry Requirements:

A minimum of 5 A* to C grades at GCSE.


A Level Health and Social Care students develop transferable key skills that employers are looking for they are suitable for a wide range of occupations e.g. social work, nursing, teaching, caring at all life stages and education. You might not be interested in a career in caring, but remember so many of us will become carers at family level that education in this area is invaluable.

Travel & Tourism:

This course aims to help students understand the different elements which make up the tourism industry: customers, stakeholders, technology, destinations and host communities. Students will learn about the wider ethical, social and cultural dimensions of tourism, and they will understand its impact on the environment and the importance of sustainable development.

AS Units

Unit1 - Introducing Travel and Tourism

This unit will provide candidates with an introduction to travel and tourism and the travel and tourism industry. Candidates will need to learn about the nature of travel and tourism and how the terms can be defined. Candidates will also need to learn about and understand the major developments in the industry since the mid-twentieth century, the sectors of the industry and their roles and their interdependence. Candidates will need to be able to interpret statistical information about the travel and tourism industry. Additionally, candidates will need to study appropriate case studies of tourism destinations and travel and tourism organisations.

Unit 2 - Investigating Tourism Destinations

Candidates will need to acquire knowledge of locational geography and be able to identify major tourist generating and receiving areas within the UK and Europe. The candidate will learn about the significance of physical and human geography characteristics that affect tourism, and that each destination has key features that appeal to different types of tourist. Candidates will need to learn about the advantages and disadvantages of different types of travel for different types of customer. The candidate will also be required to acquire research skills to develop their knowledge of tourist destinations and demonstrate their knowledge of tourist destinations and research skills by researching two destinations and providing information about the destinations for different types of customers.

Assessment Procedure:

60% of the assessment is internal coursework and 40% external exam.

Entry Requirements:

A grade C in GCSE English Language is desirable.

A2 Units

  • Unit 5 - Tourism Impacts and Tourism Developments
  • Unit 8 - Event Management in Travel and Tourism

3D Design

Level 3 BTEC Certificate Extended in 3D Design

Our 3D modelling design course covers a range of topics including product design, interior, architecture, furniture, packaging, and vehicle design. This course is equivalent to 1 A Level. This course will develop your specialist skills in product design. You will develop a personal response to ideas and look at the work of established designers, developing a sound understanding of the design process and how to respond to a brief. This will be achieved through research, drawing, designing and illustrating. Research of trends will also be covered, along with the development of techniques including manipulation of mixed media, and designing outcomes using CAD/CAM for production by a 3D printer and laser cutting in a range of materials. Are you creative and innovative? Do you enjoy the challenge of technical and practical problem solving? Do you want to learn vocational skills? Everything we encounter on a daily basis has undergone a complex design process prior to manufacture. Product Design explores the relationship between products and the people that use them. This three-dimensional design course will explore the relationship between engineering and design skills and lay the foundations for students intending to pursue a career in product design.

Design principles

  • Design visualisation • Materials technology
  • Ergonomics
  • Design history
  • Model making and prototyping

What will I learn?

  • IT, 2D & 3D industry standard computer software
  • (CAD) for 3D printing and laser cutting
  • Design drawing both free hand and technical
  • Invent and create products to sell products
  • Build a professional design portfolio over the course of two years

How will I be taught?

A range of activities that will give you an understanding of the subject and how this course can help you to develop your skills in all design related areas. Real working opportunities within live briefs, as well as give you the opportunities to develop your own product/business ideas.

Assessment Procedure

The course is a 100% coursework and regular assessments are carried out by your course team and by external examiners. Tutorials take place throughout the year.

Entry Requirements:

You will have achieved 5 or more GCSE grades at A* to C including either English or Maths. Pupils should have studied D&T or Engineering level 2.

On completion of this course you students may progress into higher education, to study a professional qualification in a design related subject.

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