Bolton School Senior Girls

Product Design

Product Design covers the main material areas of timber and polymers.

Students learn a variety of different techniques that will help them develop design ideas. This starts with hand sketching in an informal style; moving on to the use of computer-based drawing and the latest 2 and 3-dimensional software. The department has several networked PCs, and also makes use of the ICT Department's suite of rooms and the students’ personal ipads. The 3D Computer Aided Design (CAD) programmes Google SketchUp and Autodesk Inventor are used by students with the latter linking to a 3-D printer. Techsoft 2D Design is also widely used by students and links to a laser cutter. These programmes are taught from Year 7 onwards; any item imaginable can be drawn on screen, rotated and viewed from all angles and then 'virtually' or practically manufactured from materials of the student's choice.

Students also have the chance to enhance their Product Design work by including some electronic components. To enable them to do this students from Year 7 onwards learn how to solder a variety of circuits including ones that involve LEDs (Light Emitting Diodes) and microchips.

The comprehensive facilities within the department allow students to create a great variety of products, including decorative boxes, jewellery, chairs, tables, amplifiers, toys and many more. Students can choose to follow a GCSE Design & Technology:specialist route timber & ploymers course from the beginning of Year 10 and later on a Product Design course at Advanced Level.

At GCSE and A Level, advanced manufacturing skills are taught and pupils have the opportunity to experiment with equipment such as a vacuum bag, a laser cutter and a 3D printer. Students who study Product Design at A level and who then wish to continue their passion for design at degree level, typically apply for courses such as Product Design, Industrial Design, Architecture and Engineering.

The Product Design department offer weekly clinics for examination students to carry out extra work and to consult with staff regarding their coursework. Y7,8 and 9 students are able to join Environment Club, a collaboration between Science, Textiles and Product Design, STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering and Maths) and Duke of Edinburgh skills workshop.  



Innovative and elegant GCSE, AS and A2 products designed by students.


Arkwright Scholarship

Success at GCSE and A Level has paved the way for girls at Bolton School to gain this prestigious award which supports students as they progress towards university and is worth £600. We enter girls for this national scholarship annually. Our latest Arkwright Scholars are Aaliyah Ascroft and Grace Palmer who are aiming to pursue careers in Engineering.

The scholarship application process, which attracts over 1000 applicants per year, requires the girls to pass an Aptitude Paper in order to demonstrate "flair and originality" in solving engineering design problems. Applicants also have to present a relevant project to a panel of interviewers. The final stage of the process takes place in a University setting where applicants take part in a team exercise. 

Having emerged triumphant from all these stages, Aaliyah and Grace were formally presented with their awards in October 2017 at ceremonies in London and Edinburgh. The award, which provides the girls with £300 a year during their A Level studies and links them to a sponsor (Aaliyah with BAE Systems and Grace with National Grid), will also allow them to carry the status of Arkwright Scholar with them to university. Many congratulations to the girls on this impressive achievement!

Resistant Materials Technology lesson