Bridging the gap between aspiration and achievement

Attainment in Education

Expert Educational Resources to Improve Results in the STEM Subjects     

Resource Store

Getting Started with PIC Microcontrollers


Product Code: NCDT2

Applying computing principles and using electronics to embed intelligence into products, through the use of programmable components such as microcontrollers, is a key area of the new national curriculum document for D&T at Key Stage 3. 

This is a complete unit of work for teaching about PIC Microcontroller systems at Key Stage 3. It is part of a wider suite of resources designed to support teachers in delivering the new national curriculum programmes of study. The resource leads teachers and pupils through the full design and making process from selecting a design brief to designing a system, making, programming and testing the system and evaluating its success. It has been written by an experienced, award winning teacher of the subject and trialled successfully with pupils.

The project takes approximately 8-10 hours to complete depending on the ability of the learners and the extension or additional activities undertaken. Although this resource focuses on designing and manufacturing an electronic system to meet a design need, it can be easily expanded to include appropriate case design etc.

The resource makes use of the popular free Logicator for PICAXE software, but can be adapted for other platforms/software. All sample programs are also fully compatible with PICAXE Programming Editor Version 6.

This resource includes:

  • Comprehensive teachers' notes explaining how best to approach each section of the project and making direct links to coverage of the new D&T national curriculum.
  • Six sample design briefs for teachers/pupils to choose from.
  • Three units of work linked directly to the new national curriculum - designing a solution, making & testing the solution and evaluating the completed system.
  • Pupil guidebooks and supporting PowerPoints covering all three units of work within the project.
  • Sample programs written using Logicator for PICs software (these are also fully compatible with PICAXE Programming Editor Version 6)
  • Artwork for PCB manufacture.
  • Guidance on effective soldering and how to avoid common problems when working with electronics, systems and microcontrollers, such as the 'it doesn't work queue'.

New Curriculum Coverage

The resource covers the following statements and/or part statements from the new D&T programmes of study:


  • use research and exploration to identify and understand user needs
  • identify and solve their own design problems and understand how to reformulate problems given to them
  • develop and communicate design ideas using annotated sketches and computer-based tools


  • select from and use specialist tools, techniques, processes, equipment and machinery precisely
  • select from and use a wider, more complex range of components, taking into account their properties 


  • analyse the work of past and present professionals and others to develop and broaden their understanding
  • investigate new and emerging technologies
  • test, evaluate and refine their ideas and products 

Technical Knowledge

  • understand how more advanced electrical and electronic systems can be powered and used in their products, such as circuits with heat, light and sound as inputs and outputs
  • apply computing and use electronics to embed intelligence in products that respond to inputs such as sensors and control outputs, using programmable components such as microcontrollers 

Dispatch and Payment Details

This pack is provided as a set of PDF files and PowerPoint presentations and is dispatched via post on CDROM. You are free to print/make as many copies as you like within your school, and/or to upload to your school network/VTLE as long as it is password protected.

Postage and Packaging for this item is £4.95.

To purchase online please click add to cart and follow the on screen checkout instructions. If you wish to buy via cheque and/or purchase order please see instructions below.

Instructions for Schools wishing to pay via cheque and/or purchase order:

Please send a purchase order number and the product code(s) that you wish to order via email to sales@attainmentineducation.org, or post to Attainment in Education, 32 Crescent Road, Birkby, Huddersfield, West Yorkshire HD2 2TF. Please ensure that you also include a valid email and postal address for the confirmation and dispatch of your order.

Once your order is received we will dispatch your items via email attachment where size allows, or in the case of larger resource files via CD, DVD or USB memory stick to your school postal address. We will also send an invoice with payment instructions to your school finance department. We aim to dispatch all items within 24 hours (emailed items) or 72 hours (posted items). Payment should be made within 30 days of receipt of invoice.

Item Added.
Adding Item.