40% non-exam assessment (NEA)
Engineering is an increasingly innovative and exciting area to work in and affects every aspect of modern life – from skyscrapers to smart phones, cars to carrier bags. GCSE Engineering introduces students to a host of new technologies, helping them to gain practical skills and understanding to inspire a lifelong interest in the world of engineering. It will particularly appeal to those who enjoy being creative, with an affinity for drawing, design, maths and problem-solving.
During the course students must demonstrate strong knowledge and understanding of mathematical and scientific principles, in relation to engineering. Science & maths are the theory, but Engineering is where the theory reaches a practical reality.
The subject content is split into six sections and in year 9 and 10 these are taught within a range of realistic vocational contexts. For example, learning about various materials and their various manufacturing processes will be taught through design and make projects. The six sections are as follows:
- Engineering materials
- Engineering manufacturing processes
- Testing and investigation
- The impact of modern technologies
- Practical engineering skills
In year 11 Students will undertake their Non-exam assessment (NEA), a single ‘design and make’ activity, which will arise from investigating a brief set by AQA. AQA release a new brief every year and the students are expected apply their knowledge of engineering. They will investigate a problem, use mathematical and scientific principles to create a range of designs, manufacture a prototype and then evaluate their chosen solution.
Years 7 & 8
During Years 7 & 8 Engineering is not taught explicitly on its own as there is an overlap of skills, knowledge and understanding which it shares with Design and Technology. Therefore, key elements of Engineering are delivered through our Design and Technology curriculum.
The Design and Technology curriculum during years 7 & 8 delivers the knowledge and skills relating to Engineering through both engaging and challenging project work, often embedding these skills into real life scenarios. Students become adept at using both 2D and 3D computer aided design (CAD) software and use this software to create products on our laser cutter and 3D printer. They experience working with a range of different materials and a range of engineering processes which are used to shape and manipulate these materials. There are also opportunities to work with electronic components, building simple circuits. Students are exposed to scientific and mathematical concepts, for example, mechanisms and forces, and calculating areas/volumes.
At the end of year 8, our knowledge rich curriculum provides our students with a wide range of skills and knowledge applicable to the study of Engineering if they wish to study it explicitly at GCSE.