D&T Key Resources Systems and Control KS3 resource pack

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D&T Key Resources
Systems and Control KS3 Resource pack
First published 2015; updated 2016

This pack contains twelve sets of resources covering systems and control teaching and learning at Early, Mid and Late KS3 (Years 7, 8 and 9). The resources are also available as individual units, sets for each year and as a full set covering the whole of KS3. They form part of a whole KS3 scheme covering Textiles, Food, Systems and Control and Product Design.

Includes Learning Planner and Assessing Without Levels - Teachers' Guide.

Early KS3 Mainly Designing: On the level – 5 hours
Designing a casing design for a digital product which uses a number of components, concentrating on its form and function. How would it be developed for different users and markets? The unit includes sections on communicating ideas, using ergonomic and anthropometric data when designing, use of CAD software to capture and make changes to a design and an awareness of modelling and production techniques.

Early KS3 – Mainly Making: Dusk – lights on – 5 hours
Designing with a transistor sensing circuit, which could be used in a variety of different settings. The circuit is made using a standard PCB, but one which allows for the learner to customise its operation to suit their particular requirements. Students consider a range of components and systems to design a system that will turn on a light (LED or bulb) when it gets dark.

Early KS3 – Design and Make: Touch torch – 12 hours
Design and make a product for the 21st Century, using LED(s) and with NO moving parts - touch operated. Students should disassemble and analyse a product to see what it is made of and how assembled, its form and function and whether parts can be recycled. They then design and make a torch using a circuit, having understanding of circuit diagrams, PCBs and the components. They must make the circuit, casing using CAD, and model it before evaluation.

Early KS3 – Technology in Society: Mobile phone – 2 hours
How a modern product has developed over time, what change has there been to their form and function during that time? What developments have taken place in electronics that have driven the development of the mobile phone?

Mid KS3 – Mainly Designing: Electronic musical toy – 7 hours
Casing design for a toy musical device, which uses a new music chip specifically designed for use in toys and related products. This can be used in a range of ways that allow a wide range of 'instruments' to be created, with suitable casings for the target market of young children. Students will need to investigate circuits and manufacturing methods, applying a design brief and specification, as well as using CAD to make 3D models of their designs and presenting their ideas.

Mid KS3 – Mainly Making: Moody lights – 8 hours
Students manufacture a mood light using an RGB LED or one or more Red, Green, Blue LEDs that will respond to the environment where it's located, using such sensors as heat, light, movement/ vibration. Following an introduction to ‘softwired’ microcontroller circuits and different the sensors and outputs, students go on to create a circuit diagram and programme from a range of options before planning the production and testing of the boards.

Mid KS3 – Design and Make: Smart board game – 12 hours
Design and manufacture a prototype interactive board game. The board has to be able to sense and respond to the player's pieces and then create random effects such as lighting and sound. The board may also include an embedded dice using an appropriate display system. Students will develop design strategies to develop ideas that meet a design brief, use CAD to develop as basic design and develop an appropriate program. They will need to be aware of costs and processes in manufacture, present their ideas and evaluate their proposed solution.

Mid KS3 – Technology in Society: Music players – 2 hours
During the last 40 years the way we store and listen to music has change beyond recognition, from vinyl to chip. What is the science behind how we stored music on vinyl discs, tape, compact discs, DVDs and chips?

Late KS3 Mainly Designing: Activity toy – 7 hours
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.

Late KS3 Mainly Making: Rescue me! – 7 hours
In this unit students are asked to manufacture a prototype rescue aid for walkers, climbers etc, using POV (Persistence of Vision) to display one or more messages, that would help rescuers locate them in case of an emergency. They should create a production schedule, select the appropriate materials and method for manufacture and use CAD/CAM in the development of the product.

Late KS3 Design and Make: Animatronic creature – 13 hours
Students will design and manufacture of a small scale prototype Animatronic prop for either a stage show or television programme. This unit of work is the culmination of the KS3 work in Systems & Control; it also draws upon the other areas of Design and Technology in a multimedia way to solve a design and make task. It requires students to create a control system, apply mechanisms to control movement and use CAD/CAM to make a working prototype.

Late KS3 – Technology in Society: Knight Rider - computerised cars – 3 hours
Exploring technology that a few years ago was only seen in movies or was considered science fiction. How close are some of these features nearing reality today and why? Focusing on computerised cars this helps students understand the role of electronics and new technologies in developing products that we use every day.

Each resource pack comprises:

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


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 Food, Textiles 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

Some of the activities in the units exceed these suggested timings; schools may want to select parts of the units to fit into their timetables.

 This item is not available to purchase using Curriculum Credits.

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