Systems and Control Late KS3 Y9 Mainly Designing - Activity Toy

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D&T Key Resources
Systems and Control Late KS3 –
Mainly Designing
Activity toy – 7 hours
First published 2015; updated 2016

Here students design a prototype electronic system that could be embedded in to a young child's activity toy that uses a number of inputs and outputs. The toy will need to match the age of the child and take into account the environment in which it is expected to function. The focus is to adapt a design problem to a particular use and create a specification based on the design brief that results in an appealing, functional and innovative product. Students must also present their ideas and refine their design ideas based on feedback.

Key Learning:

  • Generation and development of design ideas for a product – as part of a team
  • Creation of a design specification base upon a design brief
  • Explain their design solution using a verbal presentation illustrated with a presentation
  • Refine design ideas based upon testing and the views of others
  • Ability to convert a design specification into an innovative, functional, appealing product


  • Make use of circuit simulation software to model the proposed systems
  • Use 2D/3D software to create possible visualisations of the prototype
  • Test and evaluate their designs and produce a 'pitch' presentation to a toy manufacturer

NC 2014 Learning objectives

  • DA4 Develop design specifications that include a wider range of requirements such as environmental, aesthetic, cost, maintenance, quality and safety
  • DA6 Understand how to reformulate design problems given to them
  • DB5 Use specifications to inform the design of innovative, functional, appealing products that respond to needs in a variety of situations
  • DB12 Give oral and digital presentations and use computer-based tools
  • EA5 Test, evaluate and refine their ideas and products against a specification, taking into account the views of intended users and other interested groups

Free resource also available:  Learning Planner and Assessing Without Levels - Teachers' Guide 

D&T Key Resources

These Design and Technology Key Resources form part of a KS3 plan for D&T learning and a project bank from which you can choose to populate your school’s learning plan. Other resources in the plan cover curriculum areas of Textiles, Food and Product Design.

These resources have been developed to help teachers who are looking to move their schemes of work from craft-based focused projects, where the craft outcome is the critical factor, towards planning D&T learning units that focus on students’ learning in design and technology.

The resources are designed to enable you to either use the full KS3 learning programme or to plan your own using these available units from the bank. You can use these units with others from the ever growing bank available on the D&T Association website or you can design your own to fit your school’s requirements.

Each learning unit has been designed by starting with selected learning objectives from the 2014 National Curriculum. From here the units have been developed with tasks, activities and experiences which provide opportunities for students to learn and demonstrate what they have learnt. Furthermore assessment opportunities have been 'designed in' where teachers can assess whether students have learnt what the unit has set out to teach them. To make them easier to reference in medium and short term plans they have been coded DB1, MA2, MB7 etc. A full reference table of coded learning objectives is included in this pack.

Across all material components of D&T resources have been developed for Early, Mid, and Late Key Stage 3 and are of varying lengths, each with a different theme and approaching the activities from a different learning focus:

  • Mainly Designing               two to five hours
  • Mainly Making                   three to four hours
  • Design and Make              six to eight hours
  • Technology in Society      two hours


Each resource pack comprises:

  • Unit of work
  • PowerPoint presentations
  • Self assessment worksheets
  • Homework sheets
  • Support resources

Units can be purchased as individual items or as sets across early, mid or late KS3, or as a full set covering the whole of KS3.

Curriculum Credits cannot be used to purchase this item.


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