GCSE Key Resources: Control Systems Teacher Training PowerPoints

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D&T GCSE Resources
Control Systems Teacher Training PowerPoints
Enabling you to teach your students to build control technology into their designs

Ages 14-16
First published 2016

This resource is aimed at supporting teachers to develop their subject knowledge in the area of control systems, in readiness for delivering the GCSE in Design and Technology. It forms part of a set of CPD resources aimed at modernising your design and technology curriculum at a time when there is a clear need for modernisation in the subject to develop students’ skills and knowledge and to help furnish the needs of industry.

The resource is presented as a series of four PowerPoint presentations which introduce the topics of mechanical, electronic and programmable control systems. Each contains an introduction to relevant technical knowledge and suggested activities that can be completed by both teachers and students to develop their understanding. Links to further study and support are also provided.

The resource consists of:

  • Mechanical control PowerPoint (22 slides) dealing with subject knowledge plus three CPD Activities (3 slides).
  • Electronic control PowerPoint (18 slides) slides dealing with subject knowledge plus three CPD Activities (3 slides).
  • Programmable control PowerPoint (18 slides) dealing with subject knowledge plus three CPD Activities (3 slides).
  • Mechanical systems PowerPoint (34 slides) focusing on a highly technical approach to designing a two axis mechanical system plus associated features that should be considered in a project of this nature.

The activities for each presentation topic are divided into:

  • Getting started – knowledge of basic principles
  • Going further – competent level of understanding, ability to apply knowledge
  • Achieving mastery – high level of understanding, ability to apply knowledge in a creative and innovative way, analyse and evaluate

This allows teachers and students to assess their current level of knowledge and plan for further progression. Teachers may wish to change and adapt to suit their needs, the needs of colleagues or of students in their classes. Teachers may also wish to adapt this to support the assessment structure that is used in their school.
The resource could be used as part of a departmental training day based in developing knowledge for the new curriculum, or as a self-study tool. The slides could also be used to support students and their learning in lessons or at home.

GCSE D&T subject content covered
Technical principles:

  • how electronic systems provide functionality to products and processes, including sensors and control devices to respond to a variety of inputs, and devices to produce a range of outputs
  • the use of programmable components to embed functionality into products in order to enhance and customise their operation
  • the functions of mechanical devices, to produce different sorts of movement, changing the magnitude and direction of forces

Links to Maths and Science

  • Recognise and use expressions in decimal and standard form
  • Use ratios, fractions and percentages
  • Electronic Control Systems Theory PowerPoint – slides 11, 12, 13
  • Mechanical Control Systems PowerPoint – slides 6, 7, 9, 11, 12, 14, 15


  • Quantities, units and symbols
  • SI units (e.g. kg, g, mg; km, m, mm; kJ, J), prefixes and powers of ten for orders of magnitude (e.g. tera, giga, mega, kilo, centi, milli, micro and nano)
  • Electronic Control Systems Theory PowerPoint – slides 8, 9, 11, 12, 13, 16, 17, 18

This resource is one of a number supporting the GCSE in Design and Technology including:

  • Teacher guide: Preparing a Scheme of Work
  • Understanding and choosing materials
  • Systems and control
  • Teaching for the contextual challenge
  • New and emerging technologies
  • Generating design ideas.
  • Developing and communicating design ideas including CAD.
  • Iterative Design in Action



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