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Here are some common ways schools and colleges timetable Smart Product Design and Manufacture and 3D Printing into the curriculum


Academies Timetabling

Most Academies offer SPDM Level 2 as part of their KS4 and GCSE options. Academies offer between 2 to 3 hours of teaching contact per week for SPDM with most students completing the qualification in 2 years.


In some cases academies offer an intensive 1 year programme to give students an additional Level 2 qualification. For schools considering this option, we recommend you discuss this with us to ensure students have the necessary groundwork and time to complete the course successfully.

Academies can introduce the Level 1 SPDM programme in KS3 which would build a solid foundation of skills for progression to KS4. The Level 1 course is based around a series of mini-projects which can be timetabled into a carousel.


University Technical Colleges (UTCs) Timetabling

Many UTCs including UTC Reading run SPDM as a regular part of their Key Stage 4 GCSE and Technical Award options alongside Engineering or Computing. UCTs typically spend 3 hours or more a week dedicated to SPDM teaching.

Some UTCS including UTC Cambridge run extended enrichment programmes where students are set Challenge Projects. BCA’s 3D Printing Awards are used in these cases as an additional qualification to give students credit and recognition for their additional achievements.

UTCs have an unique opportunity to offer technically rigorous qualifications. BCA’s SPDM and 3D printing courses are a natural fit. 


Free Schools Timetabling

Free Schools often have greater flexibility in their curriculum offer and timetabling. This means Free Schools, such as Sir Thomas Fremantle School, can implement SPDM and 3D printing as a regular part of their timetable from Key Stage 3 right the way through to Key Stage 5.


Unlike UTCs or Academies, many Free Schools may not have dedicated D&T rooms or specialist teachers in SPDM skills. In those situations, BCA can provide a regular CPD programme for non-specialist teachers to ensure all the skills in SPDM are covered and there is consistency in teaching across the school. We can also recommend 3D printers and CAD software which are flexible to deploy in any classroom in order to fulfill the design and prototyping aspects of the course.


International Schools Timetabling

International schools following the UK curriculum can adopt SPDM into its timetable very readily. It can teach SPDM like any other qualification. BCA provide course content and teacher training.


Many international schools including GEMS Wellington College in Dubai run extensive after school clubs. 3D Printing is ideal in those situations and timetabled as a part of a broad after school enrichment offer. BCA can provide all the course resources and teacher training required.

Further Education Colleges (FEs) Timetabling

FEs offer SPDM and 3D Printing as a set of independent skills and projects over a term. FEs use BCA’s course VLE as a basis for self-directed learning for students. BCA’s microcontroller projects, part of SPDM, is popular withing Computing departments as a way to introduce abstract Computing concepts in tangible physical terms. While 3D printing is often used by FE Art and Design departments as a standalone technical module to introduce students to new digital design skills and career options.