Liz Bull, Design and Technology with Engineering Subject Advisor
Many teachers worry whether they are covering everything needed for a successful outcome for unit R039 of the Cambridge National in Engineering Design (J822). After the first live series for this reformed qualification I thought it might be helpful to offer my top tips to help teachers with their summer submission.
Unit R039, Communicating designs, is made up of the following:
The specification has detailed assessment guidance for unit R039 tasks. This can be found on page 24 in the specification. This guidance outlines the key tasks that moderators will expect to see, linked to the marking criteria, and is a very useful place to start when planning the task content and delivery of the unit.
It’s important that your students arrange their work to flow, showing clear progression through the whole unit. Your students’ work needs to have clear labelling of each task and documents should not be submitted separately. We are looking for a short NEA-style presentation which shows from the beginning to the end.
Don’t forget to ask your students to number the pages as this will help when you mark the work and identify the evidence in the NEA. This will also help the final moderation process and will make sure nothing is missed.
You must complete the teacher observation record (TOR) for each student taking the qualification. This is linked to certain areas of unit R039 and is required to demonstrate the level of independence of your students.
In the case of R039, a TOR is required for Task 3. You should not complete them with generic statements but have a statement linked to the individual students. There is some excellent guidance on how to use these forms on page 13 of the set assignment.
The layout of each task indicates what must be completed by your students to achieve the marks. Under these sections, you will find advice for the students of what is expected in the content. Don’t forget to share the marking criteria with your students. If they are struggling with the terminology, each unit has a list of criteria words with detailed explanation which should help.
Page 5 of the unit R039 provides key information for teachers. This is helpful and you should read it in conjunction with the specification. It is important to note that you are not allowed to modify or change the assignment unless stipulated in the brief. Don’t forget that each assignment is only valid for the academic year it was written for. Always check you are using the correct version and that you have not been using our sample assessment for a live series.
The new set assignments are released on 1 June each year and you can start teaching this and working on the assignment immediately. For example, this year’s year 10 students can start working on the released R040 on 1 June 2023 for submission 15 May 2024. You don’t have to wait until September 2024 to teach this content.
For Task 2 – Manual production of freehand sketches: design development, the assessment guidance states that students are required to develop one design proposal further using rendering techniques to present in both 2D and 3D sketches. A page of these development designs, labelled and annotated, would be expected to be seen in the students’ NEA.
For Task 3 – Manual production of engineering drawings, students are expected to draw a 3rd angle orthographic drawing of their design idea. As this is a manual drawing, evidence of a drawing should be by hand or a 2D CAD drawing is expected. Students could always include extracted drawings for the CAD model later in the NEA for clarity.
Sign up for any training offered on our website and on Teach Cambridge. These courses are a chance to ask questions, gain insight into the course requirements and find out key information. Courses are delivered by the subject advisor, principal moderator or principal examiners, and many of them are free.
Don’t forget to check out the materials offered to support your teaching on Teach Cambridge. Cambridge National in Engineering Design (J822) has a range of candidate-style resources for each unit which will help you understand the task content and assessment criteria.
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Liz joined the Design and Technology and Engineering subject advisor team in April 2022. Before joining OCR, she was head of a large department at her local secondary school where she taught Design and Technology alongside Engineering qualifications.