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Design Engineering


Design Engineering is one of three qualifications that form part of our STEAM Faculty, which also includes Computer Science and Food & Nutrition. 

Our Design Engineering GCSE is based on the OCR Design & Technology qualification. Our students:

  • Build on learning from our Year 7-9 STEAM programme, and apply Science, Maths and Computing

  • Learn about fundamental engineering principles through practical projects, including structures and mechanisms

  • Learn the design process of design, build and test through projects including:

    • robotics

    • electronics and soldering

    • prototyping with card, timber, plastics and metal

    • exploring creative uses for 3D printing. 

  • In year 2, take part in a product design coursework which represents 50% of the course marks. In this coursework students investigate a context, identify problems to solve, and then create a unique, innovative solution and physical product

  • Work in teams on sustainable design challenges based on the UN’s sustainable development goals

  • Develop freehand sketching and technical drawing skills including isometric and orthographic projection

  • Become skilled, thoughtful designers by applying their understanding of creative problem solving, materials and manufacture, the circular economy, ergonomics and aesthetics and by studying the work of other designers and engineers

  • Learn computer-aided design skills for working in 2D and 3D using industry standard software including Fusion 360 and the Adobe Design Suite

  • Program microcontrollers using the Arduino IDE in order to embed electronics in their project work

  • Master the use of our laser cutter, 3D printers, CNC router, electronics kits and the hand tools needed for model making and prototyping

  • Benefit from our links with STEM Learning, Bristol University and local industry.


  • Each year, some students are entered for a prestigious Arkwright scholarship

  • Students are taken to STEM careers conferences when they take place in Bristol

  • Opportunities are shared with the students from Bristol University, the EDT and local industry as they arise each academic year

  • Our GCSE students are encouraged to use our maker space at lunchtimes and after school to develop their skills and knowledge in even greater depth.

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