Systems & Control (GCSE)

 Who is this course suitable for?

Systems and Control is a technical subject suitable for pupils who are competent in Maths and Science.  It is a practical based subject where students develop their knowledge and understanding of engineering principles through the design and manufacture of products.  The main body of the syllabus is concerned with electronics and offers students the opportunity to design and build their own printed circuit boards and incorporate them into products.

This course is suitable for pupils who are interested in an academic route into Engineering or Product Design.  Progression is available through A Level Design and Technology in the 6th form.

Systems and control is a full GCSE course, it is a one tier entry allowing all candidates to access the full range of grades available. Systems and Control enables students to design and make systems using a range of electronic and mechanical components.  This course is suitable for students who would enjoy working with a variety of CAD software packages such as electronic circuit simulation, PCB design and 3D modelling software.

                  cad software                

What will I study?

Systems and control is a full GCSE course, it is a one tier entry allowing all candidates to access the full range of grades available.

Students will learn about electronics:

  • Ohm’s Law.
  • The function of resistors and their colour code system.
  • Components as INPUT devices, such as switches and sensors.
  • Relays.
  • Process components such as transistors, comparators, 555 timers and logic gates.
  • Output Components such as LEDs, buzzers, loudspeakers, sirens, motors and solenoids.
  • Use Modern Electronic Materials and Components.
  • Developments in technology such as Quantum Tunnelling Composite (QTC), photovoltaic cells, electroluminescent wire, Nano Electronic Devices and Materials.
  • Computer Control and how to write programmes for PIC Microcontrollers.

electronics                                          ELECTRONICS2

Students will learn about Mechanisms

  • Pulley Systems.
  • Gear Systems.
  • Levers and Linkages.
  • Rack and Pinion.
  • Pawl and Ratchet.
  • Crank and Slider.
  • Cams and followers.


Students will learn about Commercial Practice:

  • Rapid prototyping.
  • The techniques used to manufacture electronic circuit boards in bulk.
  • The techniques used to design and produce PCB’s.
  • Automated component placing and surface mount technology.
  • Flow, reflow and wave soldering techniques.
  • The principles related to integrated circuit manufacture.

Students will learn about Commercial Production:

  • A typical manufacturing assembly line.
  • Microprocessor and PLC control used in such lines.
  • Quality control in commercial situations.

How will I be assessed?

This subject has two units of work.

Unit 1: Written examination (2hours).

This accounts for 40% of the GCSE marks awarded.

 Unit 2: Controlled Assessment Task (30 Hours).

This accounts for 60% of the GCSE marks awarded.  Students will complete a 30 hour design and make task by selecting one design brief from the 3 set by the examination board, the 2014 tasks are shown below:

 Brief 1:

ILLUMINATING SIGN A hotel requires a ‘Wet Floor’ warning sign to warn residents that a health and safety risk is present. Design and make a portable, freestanding warning device that illuminates to warn residents that an area of the floor is wet.

Brief 2:

SPORT AND FITNESS   Sport and fitness often require practise to improve a specific discipline or skill. Design and make a timing device to help users develop their skill or fitness levels to improve performance in their chosen sport or skill.

 Brief 3:

MONITORING, MEASURING OR MAINTAINING VARIABLES   Certain variables or conditions can be important in a variety of everyday situations. Identify a situation and design and make a product that uses a control system to monitor, measure or maintain varying or changing variables.

Who will be my Teacher?

Mr. Draper is the teacher for Systems and Control.  Mr Draper is the new Head of Design and Technology at the school.  His industrial background is Electrical and Electronic Engineering and he has 10 years experience teaching this subject.

Examples of project work


Programmable Pet Feeder

pet feeder

This is a pet feeder that can be programmed to spin around at different intervals to reveal food for a pet whilst the owner is away.

Football World Cup Money Box

money box

This is a money box for 20p pieces.  The coins drop through a maze and the LED’s indicate how much money has been saved.

Novelty Animated Desk Tidy

desk tidy

The lights flash in a programmed sequence and the wrestlers spin.

Steady Hand Game

Childrens Toy

This is a children’s steady hand game toy, if the wire is touched by the follower the lights flash in sequence and a musical tune is played via a small piezo transducer.


This is a flashing point of sale display for the NFL.  The LED’s flash in a sequence and the ball spins to attract attention.

P1010030 P1010031

These are two examples of self guiding children’s toys, they will navigate around obstacles while playing a tune and flashing lights.

P1010071 P1010073

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