Design Technology

Aims and purposes

Design and technology offers opportunities for students to:

· develop designing and making skills

· develop knowledge and understanding of the subject

· develop their capability to create high quality products through combining designing and making skills with knowledge and understanding

· nurture creativity and innovation through designing and making

· explore values about, and attitudes to the made world and how we live, work and interact within it

· develop an understanding of technological processes, products, and their manufacture, and their contribution to our society.

  • develop knowledge and understanding of materials and components; systems and control; and structures;

  • prepare for making a contribution to life and work in a technological society;

  • relate and apply knowledge and understanding from across the curriculum.


In design and technology, students acquire and apply knowledge and understanding of:

· materials and components

· mechanisms and control systems

· structures

· existing products

  • joining and combining processes and recognising new materials and processes, and identifying their potential uses;

  • new technologies and new technological applications,

  • health, hygiene and safety.


· develop designing skills, including generating and developing ideas, clarifying a task, creating design proposals, communicating ideas, planning and evaluating

· acquire and refine practical skills associated with making, including working with materials and components, tools and processes, e.g. planning, measuring and marking out, cutting and shaping, joining and combining, finishing, and evaluating

· apply scientific skills, e.g. predicting and fair testing

· apply mathematical skills, e.g. measuring to an appropriate accuracy, drawing and interpreting tables, graphs and charts

· apply ICT skills, e.g. making things happen by the use of control, handling information through the use of a database or spreadsheet

· apply art skills, e.g. investigate texture and colour or record visual information.

Language and communication


· develop language skills through questioning, describing and explaining, presenting their own ideas using different kinds of writing suitable for different audiences and through discussion, e.g. of their ideas, of existing products, and of their work and that of others

· use technological, scientific and mathematical language including appropriate technical vocabulary and drawing, e.g. diagrams and charts, to communicate ideas and findings

· develop drawing skills, e.g. sketching and formal drawing, and practice specific skills in relation to symbols and convention

· seek information and data, and determine what is valuable and what can be used in their work, e.g. research results, trend analysis

· read non-fiction texts and extract information e.g. from reference books and the internet

· use correct and precise language appropriate to the student’s stage of development

Values and attitudes


· work both independently and with others, listening to others’ ideas and treating these with respect

· can be creative, flexible and show perseverance

· critically evaluate existing products, their own work, and that od others

· develop a respect for the environment and for their own health and safety and that of others

· recognize the strength and limitations of a range of technologies and appreciate which are appropriate for particular situations

· develop their cultural awareness and understanding and appreciate the value of differences and similarities

· develop and understanding that all people are equal and that there need to be alternative solutions to meet the needs of individuals and groups of people

· find enjoyment, satisfaction and purpose through designing and making

· apply value judgements of an aesthetic, economic, environmental, moral, scientific and technical nature

Building on students earlier experiences

The curriculum aims to build on the earlier experiences that students may have had. These may include:

· asking questions about how things work, e.g. everyday objects

· talking about what they are doing and what they have discovered

· learning about a variety of customs and cultures

· responding to drawings and pictures and drawing their own

· investigating and using a variety of construction kits, materials, tools and products

· using a range of materials to express ideas

· exploring colour, shape, texture and form

· selecting their own resources

· developing making skills, e.g. cutting, folding, mixing, joining, and building for a variety of purposes

· handling appropriate tools and construction materials safely and with increasing control

Features of progression

Progression in design and technology can be characterised by:

  • an increase in knowledge, skills and understanding;

  • moving from familiar to unfamiliar concepts;

  • meeting needs which demand more complex or difficult solutions;

  • an increase in a child's own understanding of their learning.

At the early stages of developing capability, students should be able to:

  • generate and develop ideas through talking about what their design has to do, handling materials and, where appropriate, drawing;

  • increasingly take account of people's needs and wants;

  • reflect more on their ideas;

  • draw what they have made;

  • recognise and begin to select suitable tools and materials;

  • apply their previous knowledge and experience;

  • suggest achievable ways forward and begin to suggest improvements to their own models.

As students make progress, they should:

  • become more involved in finding out information useful to their designing and use their experience of products and applications as the stimulus for ideas;

  • use 2D and 3D models to try out and develop ideas as they become more reflective about their designs;

  • suggest an increasing number of achievable ways forward and develop simple plans which take into account the resources available;

  • start combining and shaping materials to create products which meet their intentions;

  • use tools safely and with increasing accuracy.

As students make further progress, they should:

  • use a variety of information sources for their research, and set criteria for their designs, which increasingly take account of the views and preferences of the intended user;

  • become more familiar with techniques, eg product analysis to generate ideas, and have a clearer sense of priorities in their design proposals;

  • use a range of modelling techniques and be able to justify the decisions they make;

  • plan and evaluate in a more considered manner, and show a greater awareness of constraints and the implications of their designs;

  • draw upon a greater range of techniques and skills to create quality products for identified purposes;

  • become increasingly competent at matching how they work to the materials and the task.

Health and safety

Teaching risk concepts to students will help them make their own decisions about risk so that they can:

  • recognise the existence of hazards, risks and uncertainty in a range of contexts;assess their own ability, and the ability of others, to deal with different situations;

  • assess the consequences when dealing with hazards presented to themselves and others;

  • seek advice from appropriate sources to minimise and manage risk;

  • understand that rules and regulations follow from risk assessment and help define individual and collective responsibility.