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SPDM Level 1 Technical Award Design and Technology

Length: 120 GLHs

Level: KS3, KS4

Prerequisite: None

Subjects: Design, Manufacture, CAD/CAM, Microcontrollers

Smart Product Design and Manufacture Technical Award

Level 1 Technical Award

With League Table Points

SPDM Level 1 Technical Award With Performance Points

Introduce your students to modern Smart technologies including 3D printing and microcontrollers. Smart Product Design and Manufacture (SPDM) Level 1 is a Design and Technology (D&T) Level 1 Technical Award.

SPDM Level 1 Design and Technology can be used in a number of ways in school:

  • Use SPDM Level 1 as a complete scheme of works for KS3 Design and Technology curriculum
  • Use SPDM Level 1 microcontroller projects to cover programing in KS3 Computing
  • Give SEN learners the opportunity to gain an accredited qualification

With BCA supporting resources, SPDM Level 1 can be taught by D&T, Computing, Art and Design and ICT teachers. It builds a strong foundation of skills for progression onto SPDM Level 2.

The QAN code for SPDM Level 1 Technical Award Design and Technology is 601/4557/2. The OFQUAL Accredited Awarding Organisation that worked with BCA to gain accreditation for our SPDM courses is The Learning Machine (TLM).

Level 1 SPDM Course Details:

  • Successful completion of the course is worth 15 credits
  • Assessment is via a combination of coursework and an exam. The coursework is pass or fail and worth 30 marks and the exam is worth a potential further 70 marks
  • The overall pass rates for the course are as follows
    50% = pass (20 marks needed from the exam)
    60% = merit
    70% = distinction
    80% = distinction*
  • The course can be delivered over 2 years with each unit taking one and a half terms, or over 3 years via a carousel timetable.

Level 1 SPDM Course Specification:

Unit 1: Product Design

Unit 1 takes learners, step by step, through basic skills including sketching, mindmaps, 2D and 3D CAD. Students learn and apply these skills via mini-projects provided by BCA. The mini-projects are designed to give learners the confidence to design and develop their own simple Smart product, with differentiated and extension tasks.

Unit 2: Product Manufacture

Product Manufacture teaches learners how to quickly turn an idea into a physical product using 3D printing or lasercutting. Once a learner gains a sense of achievement through seeing his or her design come to life, we then steadily introduce projects with more complexity and challenges ready for Level 2.
Unit 3: Smart Electronics

Level 1 Smart electronics covers microcontrollers, digital inputs and outputs. Students learn how to make basic circuits, buzzing sounds, animated displays. A ready made bank of code and supporting libraries are provided to give learners and teachers a head start in their learning.


Students take a short examination to gain Pass, Merit or Distinction grade.

SPDM Level 1 Technical Award Design and Technology

SPDM Benefits to Pupils

  • Introduction to real skills in the use of new and emerging technologies – helping increase student awareness of future careers in STEM
  • Learning, developing and applying STEM concepts in an engaging way – which means pupils learn aspects of maths, engineering and science organically
  • Experiencing each step of the journey from design concept to physical product
  • Build starter projects using Smart technologies with plenty of opportunities for differentiation and extension learning

SPDM Benefits to Teaching Staff

  • Meet national curriculum requirements for Design and Technology and Computing at KS3
  • Straightforward introduction to what is, for many, new subject material to teach
  • Vastly reduced lesson preparation: full, updated schemes of works available tried and tested by teachers.
  • Qualification solution for SEN learners
  • Build skills in KS3 with natural progression onto Level 2 courses
SPDM Level 1 Technical Award Design and Technology Resources
BCA course kits Arduino

What else is needed to deliver the course?

  • CAD software – a list of CAD software recommended for the course is available including free and paid for options
  • 3D printers and laser cutter  – you can purchase machines for the course via BCA or our trusted partners
  • Microntrollers – BCA provide a custom made microcontroller kit for to the course or you can source your own kit
  • Teacher training – training is available in specialist SPDM technologies such as CAD or microcontrollers

Try SPDM Level 1 Lesson For Free

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