Design and Technology
Purpose of study
Design and technology is an inspiring, rigorous and practical subject. Using creativity and imagination, pupils design and make products that solve real and relevant problems within a variety of contexts, considering their own and others’ needs, wants and values. They acquire a broad range of subject knowledge and draw on disciplines such as mathematics, science, engineering, computing and art. Pupils learn how to take risks, becoming resourceful, innovative, enterprising and capable citizens. Through the evaluation of past and present design and technology, they develop a critical understanding of its impact on daily life and the wider world. High-quality design and technology education makes an essential contribution to the creativity, culture, wealth and well-being of the nation.
The national curriculum for design and technology aims to ensure that all pupils:
- develop the creative, technical and practical expertise needed to perform everyday tasks confidently and to participate successfully in an increasingly technological world
- build and apply a repertoire of knowledge, understanding and skills in order to design and make high-quality prototypes and products for a wide range of users
- critique, evaluate and test their ideas and products and the work of others
- understand and apply the principles of nutrition and learn how to cook.
By the end of each key stage, pupils are expected to know, apply and understand the matters, skills and processes specified in the relevant programme of study.
Programme of Study: Key Stage 1
Children should have an opportunity to investigate different products/objects and talk about their similarities and differences. They should be able to suggest features which need to be included in their design. They should also spend time testing various materials and practising different techniques before making their product. They should be encouraged to refer back to their designs and evaluate what they have done.
Through a variety of creative and practical activities, pupils should be taught the knowledge, understanding and skills needed to engage in an iterative process of designing and making. They should work in a range of relevant contexts [for example, the home and school, gardens and playgrounds, the local community, industry and the wider environment].
When designing and making, pupils should be taught to:
- design purposeful, functional, appealing products for themselves and other users based on design criteria
- generate, develop, model and communicate their ideas through talking, drawing, templates, mock-ups and, where appropriate, information and communication technology
- select from and use a range of tools and equipment to perform practical tasks [for example, cutting, shaping, joining and finishing]
- select from and use a wide range of materials and components, including construction materials, textiles and ingredients, according to their characteristics
- explore and evaluate a range of existing products
- evaluate their ideas and products against design criteria
- build structures, exploring how they can be made stronger, stiffer and more stable
- explore and use mechanisms [for example, levers, sliders, wheels and axles], in their products.
Programme of Study: Key Stage 2
All units should provide children with the opportunity to explore and compare different products and how well the fit the purpose for which they were made. They should begin to draw up design criteria and refer to these criteria in their designs. They should experiment with a variety of materials, cutting, joining and finishing techniques. When making their products, they should be starting to select their own materials and equipment, considering which is the most appropriate and why. At the end of the design process, they should be given the opportunity to test and/or evaluate their product independently and with others.
Through a variety of creative and practical activities, pupils should be taught the knowledge, understanding and skills needed to engage in an iterative process of designing and making. They should work in a range of relevant contexts [for example, the home, school, leisure, culture, enterprise, industry and the wider environment].
When designing and making, pupils should be taught to:
- use research and develop design criteria to inform the design of innovative, functional, appealing products that are fit for purpose, aimed at particular individuals or groups
- generate, develop, model and communicate their ideas through discussion, annotated sketches, cross-sectional and exploded diagrams, prototypes, pattern pieces and computer-aided design
- select from and use a wider range of tools and equipment to perform practical tasks [for example, cutting, shaping, joining and finishing], accurately
- select from and use a wider range of materials and components, including construction materials, textiles and ingredients, according to their functional properties and aesthetic qualities
- investigate and analyse a range of existing products
- evaluate their ideas and products against their own design criteria and consider the views of others to improve their work
- understand how key events and individuals in design and technology have helped shape the world
- apply their understanding of how to strengthen, stiffen and reinforce more complex structures
- understand and use mechanical systems in their products [for example, gears, pulleys, cams, levers and linkages]
- understand and use electrical systems in their products [for example, series circuits incorporating switches, bulbs, buzzers and motors
- apply their understanding of computing to program, monitor and control their products.