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Scheme of Work : Scheme of Work

A proposal for a scheme of work for ECT in Key Stage 3 and Key Stage 4

Electronics and communications technology (ECT) impinges on many aspects of our lives and is a crucial tool in industry. The applications of ECT are many and varied but all involve the control and communication of data in electronic form. These applications include mobile phones, smartcard credit cards, computer networking systems, microwave ovens, motor car management systems and the control of your working environment.

case study imageAlthough there is a wide range of materials to support the teaching and learning in ECT, less than 20% of schools are offering students opportunities to study the electronics and control systems courses to GCSE and beyond.

The scheme of work developed for this website is aimed at providing stimulating contexts and activities to teachers which will interest, captivate, motivate and educate a significantly larger number of young people in electronics and communications technology. This should encourage not only more young people to consider working in this vital and dynamic sector of industry but also give every pupil some understanding of the technological infrastructure which is a key element of a modern society.

example from the flight simulator case studyWhere possible there are links within the scheme of work to the wider curriculum and to extra-curricular activities such as sustainability, citizenship, involvement in the local community and industrial links.

The development of key skills of numeracy, communication and the use of ICT are at large within this scheme of work. The other key skills of working with others, problem solving and developing independent learning are part and parcel of designing and making.


Rationale for the scheme of work

The principles that have been followed in developing this scheme of work are:

  • issues related to progression, breadth and balance of study and access to the curriculum will be considered as integral to the planning process
  • the main concepts, underpinning knowledge base, and skills that are to be covered, will be clearly identified at each key stage
  • real, relevant and interesting contexts for ECT activities will be identified to ensure pupil interest, motivation and access and involvement with the tasks
  • each activity will be established around a set of clear aims, teaching objectives and learning outcomes
  • the time allocation and general organisation will be as close as can be to what is typical in schools
  • at key stage 3, three substantial activities (one in each year) with time allocations similar to those of the activities suggested by QCA in their KS3 Optional Scheme of Work, were deemed to be sufficient to cover the skills, knowledge and understanding
  • in key stage 4 activities will be developed to cover both GCSE Systems and Control and GCSE Electronic Products and four substantial activities, were deemed to be sufficient to cover the skills, knowledge and understanding and where appropriate similar contexts were used to develop activities for GCSE routes
  • activities will also be developed where a modest amount of electronics could be included (by a textiles, graphics, resistant materials or food teacher) to illustrate how electronics can add interest and value to products
  • a balance between ‘take home’ projects and projects where the product stayed in school will be established
  • some shorter activities will be included, especially where plans for extended projects left gaps in knowledge, skills and understanding
  • an opportunity to design with electronics

A layered approach

The scheme of work has been developed at a number of ‘layers’. These layers differ in the degree of planning detail.  The materials have been written to be used by a broad cross-section of staff within the design and technology department and to be used in a variety of ways.

Diagram illustrating the different layers

A head of departmentAs a head of department:

  • starting points for discussions at a department meeting about products and processes
  • stimulus material for product analysis or evaluation
  • background information on products and processes
  • starting points for pupil projects.



An ECT teacherAs a teacher of ECT (electronics and/or control):

  • stimulus material for product analysis or evaluation
  • background information on products and processes
  • starting points for pupil projects.




A member of the D&T DepartmentAs a member of the D&T department in another material area:

  • background information on some products and processes
  • starting points for pupil projects
  • ideas for where electronics can enhance and add interest to existing projects.



However, you may want to just dip into the materials at a particular ‘layer’ to help with your planning and to give you ideas for development. There are 3 layers available on the site and they correspond to:

Layer 1 The first layer suggests key concepts, knowledge areas and skills that are important at Key Stage 3 and Key Stage 4. Any scheme of work that motivates and engages pupils, enables them to achieve success and covers these areas is a good scheme!
Layer 2
This layer offers suggestions on how, at each key stage, this material could be subdivided into units and suggests learning objectives for each unit. Some teachers may find that this level gives them enough ideas to devise their own teaching approaches that will allow the objectives to be met.
Layer 3 This layer includes, for each unit, a possible project outline that would meet the objectives. This layer provides enough information to get a less expert teacher going, but allows a considerable degree of flexibility in approach. This layer also gives a possible teaching sequence for each unit to support the complete beginner together with suggestions for pupil support materials.


These are the details: