Topic outline

  • KS3 - Years 7, 8 & 9

    Why Study Design and Technology: Electronics?

    A video recorder that’s easy to programme or a calculator that fits into your pencil case…. good design makes things easier and more enjoyable to use. Electronics lessons give pupils the opportunity to investigate how well familiar products and devices work, and who they’re really aimed at. By answering questions such as ‘Is this the right tool for the job?’ they learn how to solve problems skillfully, creatively and with imagination.

    The course will help you understand about the design and manufacture of Electronic products, making you more able to appreciate what has gone on before a product reaches the customer. It will help you to be creative in your approach and you will use computers to help with your design ideas and in manufacturing your product. You will learn about a range of materials that react to light, heat and pressure, alongside the more traditional material study within a Resistant Material Course.

    Design & Technology: The National Curriculum


    • Look at products to see how they work, how they are used, whether they meet their users needs, whether they use materials efficiently, and what environmental impacts the products might have.
    • Practice practical skills and tasks, such as moulding and forming.
    • Design and create their own products. Before starting a project, pupils think carefully about what they have been asked to do, and how to meet the needs of the end user. Pupils learn to plan their projects responsibly, making their own decisions about how best to use time, money and resources, using computers at various stages in their work, and working in teams when the project is suitable. They also test components to see which is the best one to use.
    • Pupils are learning to design and make working products. Although these are one-off, they also learn about mass production techniques.

    You will learn:

    • How to write a Design Brief.
    • How to use the Internet to research.
    • How to write a Specification.
    • How to evaluate other peoples work.
    • How to select components to solve problems.
    • How to generate ideas to solve your Design Brief.
    • How to select materials and work with tools and equipment.
    • How to evaluate your own work and suggest improvements.

    You will

    Develop ICT skills by learning how to use a computer to design, test and manufacture PCB’s.

    • Develop your awareness of consumer requirements of a product.
    • Analyse products and the process used to manufacture them.
    • Work practically with discrete electronic components.
    • Learn how to work on your own and as part of a team.
    • Produce a working prototype.
    • Produce a portfolio of ideas.

    Examples of Project Work -

    • Cycle theft is increasing and a deterrent could be an advantage.
    • Door alarms using pressure pads.
    • Rain sensors.
    • Moisture Sensors to check the soil in House Plants.
    • Steady hand Games.
    • Vibration Alarms.
    • Fish-Bite Alarms.
    • Lots of students find a problem through their own or their family’s experience. The most successful projects come from real life problems experience by people you know.


    Practical Assessment:

    • A written portfolio of your developing designs ideas.
    • A notebook of information and working circuits produced on the computer.
    • A working prototype model.


    • End of module test. The test lasts One hour and asks questions on the circuit and the components you have used.
  • GCSE D&T Electronics & Control Systems

    Click the logo or link below if you would like to view the full course specification from the Exam Board website.

    Exam Board Qualification Specification
    OCR Exam Board - GCSE D&T Electronics & Control System (J301) GCSE D&T Electronics & Control Systems

    This GCSE is an innovative and imaginative qualification reflecting the contemporary use of materials and information technology.

    It will help you understand and appreciate the design of products and how they’re made. It will encourage you to recognise the contribution you can make to the environment in this area. What’s more, you’ll gain skills that will be useful in a wide range of jobs, in further study of Design and Technology and in life.  This course includes looking at sustainable design, innovations in design and how future designs will impact on the world in which we live.

    You’ll learn about using electronic components and materials to design and manufacture products. You’ll analyse products and the processes used to make them, and work practically with electronic components and computer simulation.  The course will help you improve your ICT skills as you use computers and software to help you come up with design ideas and create products. You’ll also develop your designing, sketching, making and modelling skills.

    A sound ability in Mathematics and Physics will enable you to cope well with this interesting and creative subject.


    The course contains both written external assessed exams and internal assessed written controlled assessments. For each unit you will receive a grade from A* to G and then an overall grade for the whole course, which will be from A* to G.

    Unit 1: Introduction to Design and Making

    • Developing research and investigation skills
    • Developing drawing skills
    • Modelling
    • Evaluation process

    Internally assessed Controlled assessment 20 hours 30% of final grade.

    Unit 2: Sustainable Design

    • Consideration of the society and the environment
    • The use of Renewable energy
    • The 6R: Recycle, Reuse, Rethink, Refuse, Repair and Reduce. The use of these in the design and manufacture of Electronic Products

    Externally assessed Written exam 1 hour 20% of final grade.

    Unit 3: Making quality products

    • Designing for a need
    • Working with tools and equipment
    • Evaluating the product

    Internally assessed Controlled assessment 20 hours 30% of final grade

    Unit 4: Technical Aspects of Designing and Making

    • Working with tools and materials
    • Selecting processes
    • Designing for success.

    Externally assessed Written exam 1 Hour 15 minutes 20% of final grade.