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Curriculum Road Map: Engineering
Curriculum Statement: Engineering


For pupils to develop the knowledge and skills in problem solving, understanding the wants and needs of others, the impact of design on everyday life through the understanding of the history of design so they become enthusiastic and creative designers and innovators. 


  • Develop design, make and evaluate skills through the design process 

  • Design and make through problem solving, analysing and evaluating 

  • To critique the work of others, evaluate key features and concepts, test designs and apply knowledge learnt to own designing. 



Throughout the different skill and knowledge areas of KS3, students will learn the process of how to design for different situations, to allow them by KS4 to have a clear understanding of the key concepts of design and the wider world 

  • Design through influence 

  • Design for a user 

  • Design for the wider world 

  • Design as a team 

  • Deconstruct, analysis and redesign existing real-world products 


At Key Stage 3, Design and Technology is taught through the focus of Design, Make and Evaluate with a variety of knowledge and skill approaches being experienced. Students will learn the principles of designer influence, designing for a user, wider world and as part of a team. Students will learn how to problem solve using a range of design strategies, processes and materials and will experience how to design a product, how to model and test to be able to construct a final product through the skills and knowledge of Graphics, Product Design, Engineering, Electronics, E Textiles and Robotics. 


At Key Stage 4 we are following the WJEC Level 2 Technical 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. The course involves following a given brief to manufacture an Engineered product, understanding of working drawings that are 2D and 3D, understanding CAD programmes to construct their own drawings and applying knowledge of skills and processes. Students are given opportunities throughout the course to work with employers in different engineering sectors to see how Engineering works in day-to-day life. 


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 specialisms, 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. The key threads which underpin the course relate to the key concepts of Design, Make and Evaluate. Developing student knowledge of problem solving and designing for a variety of users, through past and present designer influence. Skills in drawing, CAD and a variety of make processes are developed to ensure students are prepared for their chosen design route in the future. The ability to communicate ideas through drawing are crucial, along with core knowledge of materials, basic manufacturing principles, CAD and the use of modern CAM in automated manufacturing processes. Through KS3 knowledge, understanding, and skills are revisited in different subject specialisms, and then further enhanced and developed further through the three years of KS3. The projects studied cover a range of Design, Technology and Engineering specialisms such as Product Design, Graphics, Engineering, Electronics and E -Textiles. 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. 


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 project has a focus of Design, starting with using Designer Influence in Year 7 and progressing through KS3 with focuses on Designing for a user, the wider world, as a team and analysing and redesigning a product. Each of these focuses looks at problem solving through Design, Make and Evaluate to develop all the relevant 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 before deciding on their route at KS4. 


At KS4 students can opt between Engineering and 3D Design. Level 1 / 2 Engineering Award examines the distinct roles within the engineering sector and the importance of working collaboratively to design and produce a product. Students complete two controlled assessment units and one external exam. Unit 1 Manufacturing Engineering Products allows students to interpret working drawings based on a design brief given by the exam board to manufacture an engineered product. This allows students to understand the practical and theory processes of manufacturing. Unit 2 Designing Engineering Products allows students to study a product and create their own 2D and 3D working drawings. Unit 3 Solving Engineering Problems is an externally assessed exam covering a range of developments in engineering, looking at engineering achievements and environmental issues affect engineering applications. For GCSE 3D Design Student complete a range of projects to develop their skills in Year 10 before completing two component projects. Component 1 Portfolio includes a sustained project developed in response to a brief and a selection of work resulting from trials and experiments. Component 2 is an externally set assignment where students respond to a chosen starting point from a given brief by the exam board. 

Curriculum Rigour

Many projects are designed to embed core knowledge and skills in areas of Design, Technology 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 in courses and projects at KS4. The process of Design, Make and Evaluate, problem solving and the journey designing are embedded throughout to give students a secure knowledge of the key principles of Design, Technology and Engineering. 


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 and GCSE 3D Design at KS4. The depth of knowledge and skills required at these stages provides a foundation framework for KS3 to prepare the students 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 projects. 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 projects are undertaken in sketchbooks to allow for creativity, knowledge organisers and assessment are provided for students to check their own learning to develop the their own way of working which allows students 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 projects at KS3 aim to develop an understanding of Design, Technology, and Engineering which then feeds into the BTEC Engineering and GCSE 3D Design course in KS4. In addition, small Do Now tasks at the beginning of the lessons, both during the related project, and subsequently though the year, help to reinforce and embed previous learning.   

While each project involves unique threads of knowledge and skills, these are also interlinking within the Design and Technology discipline of Design, Make and Evaluate 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 projects 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.   

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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 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.

Curriculum Assessment

At KS3 formative assessment takes place at the end of each project, with summative assessment throughout. Assessment is appropriate to the project, such as a research assessment, design assessment, a making assessment for example. At KS4 and KS5 we assess in line with the requirements of the Level 1 / 2 Engineering and GCSE 3D Design specifications. 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 assignment during a fixed time. At KS4 Engineering Unit 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 Level 1 / 2 and GCSE 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 project work which is both interesting and challenging, linked to an understanding of its relevance in the bigger picture of the Design, Technology and Engineering subject, pupils are challenged to meet and exceed their expectations. Excelling students 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 F1 in schools 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 to ensure consistency and continued development. Additional meetings 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.  For the GCSE 3D Design close collaboration with other schools allows for shared experience and moderation. 


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. For GCSE, 3D Design marking and feedback follows the AQA exam board controlled assessment guidelines. Independent learning takes place on Showbie and is monitored by the class teacher and BTEC Lead and is used for both classwork and homework.

The UCS is an F1 in schools provider.  Find out more about F1 in schools below:

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