Design and Technology is currently a foundation subject within the National Curriculum and is compulsory at Key Stages 1, 2 and 3.  The programmes of study fall into 24 schemes of work, to be used at schools’ discretion.

Primary curriculum

The primary curriculum enables children to gain knowledge/understanding of

  • materials and components
  • mechanisms and control systems
  • structures
  • existing products
  • quality
  • health and safety.

It enables them to 

  • develop designing skills
  • acquire practical skills, including working with materials components
  • apply scientific skills (e.g. predicting and fair testing)
  • apply mathematical skills (e.g measuring to appropriate number of decimal places)
  • apply information technology and art skills (e.g making things happen by the use of control, and developing finishing skills).

Secondary curriculum

A revised D&T secondary curriculum was introduced in September 2008 with new KS3 programmes of study, starting with Yr 7 pupils, with the following changes 

  • reduced prescription over subject content
  • flexibility for teachers to design schemes of work reflecting their school’s local needs and interests
  • additional time for pupils to study some areas in greater depth.

There are currently four components within the KS3 programmes of study

  • systems and control
  • resistant materials
  • food (previously referred to as 'food technology')
  • textiles.

Of these, the first two are currently compulsory, and pupils must also study at least one of either food or textiles.

We have decided not to go ahead with the previous Government's plans to make cooking compulsory at Key Stage 3 in 2011 because the Government does not want to pre-empt the outcome of the current review of the National Curriculum.