George Salter Academy

George Salter Academy in West Bromwich, Sandwell, is a mixed comprehensive school for 11 to 16 year olds.

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Product Design & Engineering


product designThe Product Design department at George Salter Academy is a successful department which is forward thinking in its delivery of Product Design at Key Stage 3, 4 and 5 and Engineering at Key Stage 5. Product Design and Engineering are taught in 2  specialist rooms that have access to 30 bookable laptops, which have wireless connections to the school network and the internet, this gives more flexibility in teaching 3D modelling CAD software such as Autodesk.


Our aims are to provide opportunities for pupils where they can enjoy turning ideas into reality and  strive for successful outcomes. We aim to provide a learning environment where pupils can be creative and develop thinking skills, work independently and develop self esteem. It is our intension that pupils develop attitudes of curiosity, enquiry, initiative, ingenuity, resourcefulness as they experience a range of different material areas.

We have high expectations of all our students and lead by example. Our teachers Mr Taylor (Head of Department), Miss Bullock (Postholder-Product Design) and Mr Sanghera (Engineering) deliver Product Design and Engineering with a consistent and co-ordinated approach.

Study Support

The Product Design & Engineering Department offers a number of study support sessions for students across different year groups. Key Stage 4 and 5 students are well supported in preparation for their examinations with after school revision, twilight sessions, and holiday activities

Extra Curricular Opportunities

Extra curricular activitiesWe have a weekly Technology club that caters for Key Stage 3 pupils and a STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics) club for Key Stage 3, 4 and 5 pupils. We have run successful trips to RAF Cosford, Silverstone and CERN in Switzerland. There are further trips being planned which could see pupils travelling to exciting venues such as NASA in the USA.



Mr S. Taylor (Head of Department), email:

Key Stage 3 (Years 7 and 8)

Product Design is taught across all key stages. In Product Design and Engineering year 7Year 7, The students have 2 lessons of 50 minutes each week as a double lesson. Students are taught in mixed ability groups of around 25. The Key Stage is divided into modules and the students rotate to experience the different materials areas utilising the specialist staff’s experience and classroom resources. In Year 8, students have two lessons of Product Design a week and then pupils pick their option choices for Year 9.

Year 7

Projects include the Maze Game project, the Jewellery Box project, the Stationery Holder project


Year 8

Product Design and Engineering year 8Projects include the Sports Trophy project, the Balancing Toy project, the Mechanical Toy project and the Design Era Project.

Key Stage 4 (Years 9, 10 and 11)

Students can currently opt to study Resistant Materials, Graphic Products at GCSE. We deliver the courses via the AQA syllabus. Exam results have been very pleasing showing added value and are above national averages in all areas. The Department has now introduced the new Product Design course to Key Stage 3 and 4 as this keeps our students up-to-date with current design trends and helps prepare them for employment in the contemporary 21st Century design and make market.

Year 9

In Year 9, students start preparing the skills and units they need for GCSE Product Design so by the time they are in Years 10 and 11, they feel better prepared for the styles of exam questions and source analysis that are required at GCSE level.

Year 10 & 11

In Year 10 and 11 students start their GCSE Course. This is made up of a piece of design-and-make coursework (60%) and an exam (40%).


Exam results 2014 2015 2016
GCSE Product Design 76% A* - C 76% A* - C 58% A* - C;
100% A* - G
GCSE Resistant Materials n/a n/a 50% A* - C;
100% A* - G
Table of Product Design Key Stage 4/ GCSE exam results 2014-2016


In August 2014, the GSA Product Design & Engineering Department result of 76% students achieving A*-C in GCSE Resistant Materials was above the National Average of 61%


Post 16

student at computer for product designAt Post-16, students are now able to follow the AS and A-Level Product Design courses with commenced September 2013. The department has expanded by offering a BTEC Engineering course which is equivalent to AS and A level study.

Students continue to develop the skills of source analysis, debate and the ability to evaluate arguments.

Students have the opportunity to learn and develop their skills through many different mediums. As well as extended writing and source work, students become highly engaged through debates, the use of film and visits.

Design & Technology: Product Design

student working on product designThis course helps students to develop a broad view of design technology, developing skills in both creative designing of a product and following it through to the completion of the constructed product. It enables students to appreciate the complex relations between designs, materials, manufacture and marketing. Product Design provides students with the opportunity to be creative in thought and then develop the creative ideas into a finished product relating this to its place in the current markets.




Exam results 2014 2015 2016
AS 30% A-C;
76% A-E
60% A-C;
100% A-E
A2 - 44% A-C;
100% A -E
A2 n/a 80% A-C;
100% A-E
40% A-C;
100% A -E
Table of AS Product Design exam results 2014-2016


Click here for more information about the Post 16 Product Design course

BTEC Engineering

illustration for engineeringBTEC National Extended Certificate (equivalent to one A Level); BTEC National Diploma (equivalent to two A Levels)

These qualifications are designed to provide highly specialist, work-related qualifications in a range of vocational sectors. They give learners the knowledge, understanding and skills that they need to prepare for employment. Students will complete from 3 to 12 units depending on the level they have chosen. Each unit has a combination of theory and practical elements linked to a range of industrial partners such as Balfour Beatty and Jaguar Land Rover.


Exam results 2015 2016
Subsidary Diploma 53.3% Distinction*;
13.3% Distinction;
33.3% Merit
42% Distinction*, Distinction*;
26% Distinction*, Distinction;
21% Distinction, Distinction
Certificate 37.5% Distinction*;
18.75% Distinction;
43.75% Merit
80% Distinction*
Table of Engineering exam results 2015-2016


Click here for more information about the Post 16 Engineering course


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