Engineering and Enterprise Specialisms



Engineering is more than just a subject, it is a strong feature of the whole Academy. All students study an Engineering course through all key stages with a greater focus on key stages 3 and 4. The excellent modern facilities and resources support the learning.

The Engineering Department supports a wide and expanding range of extracurricular activities accessible to all students. As well as the regular support given after school on curricular projects, the Engineering Department lead the way in involvement in STEM activities and making all sorts of opportunities available to our students. Students have the opportunity to get involved in the national Greenpower event where they get to drive our own two electrically powered cars around Croft racing circuit in a four hour race, aiming to qualify for the final at Goodwood.

Students participate in other national competitions including the VEX Robotics challenge, reaching the quarter final stage of the national finals at the Edexcel Arena in London in 2013, just missing out on a trip to California.

Students have recently begun work on the F1 in schools project, hoping to reach the national finals of that competition too. More locally, we have a close link with Newcastle University, where one of our top students spent a week with PhD students in the electronics department building a small satellite which was sent into space. We have a team of students working on a similar project as part of the National Science Festival.

Every year group of students has a weekly Technical Intelligence lecture, and many of these are based on engineering themes. Some lectures are led by our own staff, but many are led by visiting speakers from local companies and organisations. These lectures aim to expose our students to a wide range of engineering skills and careers and have included lectures about

  • renewable energy
  • mechanical engineering
  • marine engineering
  • electrical engineering
  • software engineering
  • genetic engineering
  • chemical engineering

Through these lectures, students learn that engineering is all around us, and that there is a huge range of opportunities available to them. We also look at technical aspects of medicine, camouflage and radar, aviation, construction and many other areas.

Bede Academy has an Engineering day when all Year 9 students are off timetable as the Academy plays host to a number of local companies and organisations that come in to talk to small groups of students about their own company or discipline. This day gives the students chance to meet with professional Engineers, find out what their careers are all about and maybe even gain a little hands on experience. In the future, all Year 9 students will have the opportunity to visit a local engineering company to see for themselves how these companies operate.


Enterprise involves: learning to take calculated risks, being innovative and creative; to be leaders and to show initiative; to be able to communicate and make presentations; to negotiate, yet work as a team, as well as being financially literate.  This is achieved by giving students a wide range of opportunities. All students have the opportunity to become involved in the year group’s Student Action Group. These groups get involved in a range of activities which may be improving our own school environment, may involve developing schemes to raise money for charities, or learning to run a small business in school.

Students become involved in a wide range of enterprising activities and competitions at all stages and ages throughout the Academy.

  • Year 10 students annually take part in the Coca Cola  Challenge, this year working as a group on a variety of tasks to create a campaign to raise awareness of the Special Olympics.
  • Year 12 Business students took on the Alnwick Garden Challenge, which involves finding enterprising ways to sell Christmas based products in the most innovative and profitable way possible.
  • The 6th Form Business students and friends took part in the Alan Shearer Foundation Challenge and raised £500 for the charity through various means including selling greetings card, organising a FIFA competition etc.
  • A new venture with the Newcastle United enterprise organisation has led to 34 of our Year 9 students completing the OCR Level 3 in Business and Enterprise.
  • A group of talented year 7 and 8 students went to St. James’ Park to take part in an enterprise day there completing the Newcastle United Foundation Enterprise Challenge.

Some of our most enterprising Year 9 students take part in the annual Emmanuel Schools Foundation Business Game, where selected students are off timetable for a whole week, putting together an ‘Apprentice’ style bid to run their own company, with Bede Academy winning the 1st prize of £1000 in 2 of the last 3 years. This year our students finished 2nd overall and won £500.

During Global Entrepreneurship Week, visiting local entrepreneurs deliver lectures to students, encouraging them to be enterprising, and showing how to have confidence and to set high goals and achieve them. Last year Bede Academy was awarded the Global Entrepreneurship Week UK High Impact Award. We have Enterprise Days, when students come off timetable for the day, and work in groups developing a business proposition, which might be opening a café, running a travel business or some other scenario.

Through the Academy’s lecture programme, students are also given a sound grounding in financial management, learning how to save, budget and generally manage their money