Curriculum Road Map: Engineering
Curriculum Statement: Engineering
At Key Stage 3 design and technology is taught with an engineering focus. Students will learn the principles of design and how they impact construction and assembly of products. Students learn the fundamentals of perspective, 2D and 3D design and the use of a range of materials. This is then built on to introduce a range of engineering mechanisms, the application of electronics and the use of machinery to form a final product.
At Key Stage 4 we following the Pearson BTEC Tech Award in Engineering, which is equivalent to 1 GCSE and grades from a Level 1 Pass to a Level 2 Distinction*. This provides students with the opportunity to investigate the different engineering sectors globally and evaluate how they work together to develop and produce some of the technologies that we use every day. They will examine the skills required for all levels of staff and the training and educational opportunities available for those looking at these job sectors. Following this, students will examine the distinct stages of engineering, from designing and meeting an engineering brief, to using a wide range of skills and equipment to produce their designs including CAD for 2D and 3D design.
At KS5 the Pearson BTEC Extended Diploma in Engineering is offered to students, allowing for in-depth study of engineering principles whilst experiences a wide range of specialism, such as manufacturing, electronics, the use of micro-controllers and the ability to develop their own unique engineering project. Students will develop deeper understanding of complex mathematical principles for engineering, allowing for greater analysis of problems and evaluation of solutions. Students will develop further skills in 2D and 3D design, using a range of applications to plan and manufacture their own designs.
Several key areas are revisited throughout the curriculum to embed skills and core understanding during Design Technology in Key Stage 3 to build on in Key Stage 4 Engineering. The key threads which underpin the course relate to the design process and engineering principles that are necessary to appreciate the complexities of engineering. The ability to communicate ideas through drawing are crucial, along with core knowledge of materials, basic engineering principles, CAD and the use of modern CAM in automated manufacturing processes. By revisiting subject units each year, learning can be reinforced from the previous year, knowledge, understanding, and skills checked, and then further enhanced and developed further through the three years of KS3. The units range in length from shorter theory units, to longer full design and manufacturing units, which each year aim to revisit and develop from the previous years learning, with added knowledge and skills development in preparation for KS4 and 5. Throughout all key stages, Do Now tasks are used as a method of recall for all lessons. This aims to revisit key understanding frequently and aim to embed understanding into the long term memory, as well as provide the opportunity to revisit and recall it.
At KS3 the course of study aims to develop an early understanding of basic skills and knowledge, which is further explored, and developed each year to greater detail, developing key foundation skills and knowledge in Design, Technology, and Engineering. Each unit is identified through numbering and letter formats, with specific descriptors, and objectives which help pupils understand the relevance and appropriateness in developing key skills and knowledge. As students' progress into their third year of key stage 3 they will have built upon prior learning to have a greater appreciation for the key threads such as design, use of materials and manufacturing processes to have a secure understanding of the skills across design, technology and engineering.
At KS4 students begin their studies in Engineering by examining the distinct roles within the engineering sector and the importance of working collaboratively to design and produce a product. Students are then introduced to using a design brief investigating sports’ car design, working through iterations of design and creating a final design solution. By making digital models using 2D and 3D design programmes and developing physical models, students can experiment with varied materials and techniques to produce their design. Once these foundations are built, students then investigate engineering principles in more detail. They will investigate the role of proprietary components and the materials used to produce it, testing performance, and suggesting potential design improvements. This component allows students to learn assembly and disassembly techniques, using a range of tools and equipment to carry this out safely. All these skills will then be assessed synoptically during our final component, understanding practical procedures and how to record, collect and interpret data in an engineering context. We then use a design brief to investigate solutions to the presented problem, building on knowledge of shape, structure, materials, and processes. The final product is then presented, along with data analysis, evaluation and justification for decisions made.
Many units are designed to embed core knowledge and skills in areas of Design and Engineering, which can then be applied with context to full design and development projects which explore the scope of the design process. By revisiting these themes and processes, the aim is to reinforce each year the key skills and knowledge needed to then be applied in the design process. During KS3, substantiate knowledge is taught and developed within certain units, to provide and underpinning framework, for work in the main design and make project, where disciplinary knowledge is taught and applied in a practical live project which aims to bring together some of the previously taught units both in that year and previously.
The content of the curriculum has been developed to provide key knowledge and skills which feed directly into, and are further enhanced, in the BTEC Engineering courses at KS4 and 5. The depth of knowledge and skills required at these stages provides a foundation framework for KS3 to prepare the pupils and provide a good foundation for future work. Knowledge is checked through continual formative assessment during lesson, and summative assessment at key points and at the end of the unit. Small Do Now tasks are used at the beginning of all lessons and aim to further assess knowledge gained as well are provide a recall opportunity for prior learning.
At KS3 units are undertaken in pre-formatted workbooks, which include assessment criteria, and feedback at key points. These can be either printed copies, or in some cases digitally formatted to enable the use of written and pictorial research work to be included. The workbooks provide a structured approach to learning, with gaps being identified, and clear feedback, marking and grading of work completed. During Year 9 this structure is less defined, allowing pupils to develop their own style of working, presentation, and content level, in preparation for KS4 and 5 where a more independent style of work is expected. AT KS4 and subsequently KS5, students work more independently to develop a portfolio to evidence their understanding. Assignments are completed digitally, allowing for students to work creatively and embed photographic and video evidence for their designs and processes.
All units at KS3 aim to develop an understanding of Design, Technology, and Engineering which then feeds into the BTEC Engineering course in KS4. In addition, small Do Now tasks at the beginning of the lessons, both during the related unit, and subsequently though the year, help to reinforce and embed previous learning.
While each unit involves unique threads of knowledge and skills, these are also interlinking within the Design and Technology discipline as a whole. The relevance to learning is embedded at each stage and within the lessons, to enable understanding of content and relevance within the discipline.
Evaluation of work during classes, helps to identity gaps and weaknesses, which can be further addressed and cross checked directly one-to-one, or more widely through group feedback, and additional tasks. Formative assessment is achieved throughout the course work primarily through question and answers, and challenging verbally through discussion within the units and the work being undertaken. Ongoing evaluation of the work undertaken ensures that misconceptions and weakness can be addressed to further develop each pupil's abilities. Following larger assessments such as mock exams, question level analysis is completed for each student to highlight areas of strength and weakness, and this is used to both inform planning on a class level as well as targeted intervention for the individual student.
Opportunities outside of the classroom are vital for understanding the scope and potential for design, technology and engineering and we reflect this in our connections with employers, universities and outside agencies. We have strong ties to the University of Bolton within the Mechanical Engineering department but also exploring further field in areas such as dental technology and motorsport. Bolton is also home to several engineering and manufacturing companies that can provide opportunities to understand the scaling of manufacturing and production.
Cross curricular links are vital in design and technology, and this maintained in subjects such as science, health and maths as all have applications across the engineering discipline. Trips to museums both locally and nationally provide the opportunities to share common themes as well as the significance of collaboration across specialisms, such as visits to MOSI and the Science Museum in London.
Several structures are used across all lessons to provide consistency in both delivery and opportunities. Do Now tasks are used to provide recall opportunities at the start of all lessons and address any misconceptions. Whole class feedback is also a useful tool employed throughout the year to ensure that progress is being made. The creative nature of Design, Technology and Engineering provides opportunity for challenge throughout the courses and students are supported to explore a range of design solutions that engage them but also challenge their understanding of fundamentals. By utilising staff across staff across the school, including maths and science, we can ensure that students are taught by subject/topic specialists who can challenge and support them at all times.
At KS3 formative assessment takes place at the end of each unit, with summative assessment throughout. Assessment is appropriate to the unit, such as a design assessment, a making assessment for example. At KS4 and KS5 we assess in line with the requirements of the BTEC course. Students complete practice assignments to develop skills in research, design and problem solving, as well as the literacy and numeracy skills needed to be able to fully explore a design brief. Students will then complete each BTEC assignment during a fixed time, and will have resubmission opportunities to improve their work. At KS4 Component 3 is assessed externally, so in preparation for this, students will be frequently assessed using exam style questions to develop exam skills, and will complete mock exams before final examination. KS5 has 3 externally assessed units which are also assessed frequently in the same manner to ensure that exam skills are developed as well as key content and understanding.
Progress is tracked across the Key Stage as both class assessment and BTEC assignment assessment, allowing for intervention to take place appropriately. Initial interventions are built into lessons, and further intervention is provided for students who require more support to make progress.
By creating unit work which is both interesting and challenging, linked to an understanding of its relevance in the bigger picture of the Design and Engineering subject, pupils are challenged to meet and exceed their expectations. Excelling pupils are further challenged through enhanced extension tasks which aim to stretch their abilities and knowledge further, while maintaining interest and motivation. Enrichment opportunities include the Green Power project looking at motorsport design, and continuing to build links with the University of Bolton’s Engineering department to provide out of the classroom experiences and activities. To support students not making progress interventions will be used to ensure that students gain the required skills and knowledge, as well as providing more 1:1 support.
Communication takes place in the department on a daily basis, but also has a weekly meeting within the Science and vocational group. Additional meets are arranged for cross department moderation and this allows for all specialisms and experience of BTEC assessment to be shared and quality assured. Training for staff on BTEC processes is ongoing following updates from Pearson.
Marking and feedback across the BTECs follows the Pearson requirements, ensuring that assessment and feedback takes place in a timely manner and that feedback is direct and allows for progress to be made. Independent learning takes place on Showbie and is monitored by the class teacher and BTEC Lead and is used for both classwork and homework.