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National Curriculum

Design and technology, personal development and Every Child Matters

Personal development is a vital part of the key stage 3 curriculum and design and technology has a distinctive contribution to make in this area. The design and technology programme of study provides opportunities to plan sequences of work, learning outcomes and teaching approaches that support personal development through the five Every Child Matters outcomes.

Enjoy and achieve

Design and technology contributes to pupils’ enjoyment through the opportunities it gives them to actively develop products in response to other people’s needs or wants. Pupils are given the confidence to challenge assumptions as they research ideas and engage with the world beyond school in order to produce solutions that are relevant to real needs.

Design and technology develops a sense of achievement in pupils when their product takes shape and when they are able to create practical solutions, products and systems that improve the quality of life for one person or for many.

Be healthy

Pupils learn the principles of food hygiene and safety through the study of food technology. They also learn the hygienic procedures to follow when preparing, cooking and storing food. The study of food technology develops pupils’ understanding of the relationship between food, good health, growth and energy balance throughout life. Pupils develop the ability to make informed choices about food for healthy eating. They also develop the practical capability to prepare and cook a variety of dishes and meals to achieve a healthy diet.

The satisfaction that pupils gain from developing products in all material areas contributes towards their self-esteem and sense of wellbeing. When designing and making they learn that good design addresses ergonomic and health and safety issues in the home and the workplace. They also learn to engage with healthy and safety issues that relate to practical activities; for example the importance of dust extraction.

Stay safe

When planning, organising and carrying out practical activities, pupils are guided and advised in order to remain safe. They learn how to recognise risk, and to take responsibility for themselves and others as they use tools and equipment to develop products. As they choose which hand or machine tools and other equipment to use, pupils are advised to think clearly about what they should do to use these items safely.

Achieve economic wellbeing

Design and technology is about applying knowledge of materials and processes to the design of products, and generating practical solutions that are relevant and fit for purpose. It’s also about solving technical problems, responding creatively to briefs, and developing proposals in a range of material areas. The skills that pupils develop in these processes are highly valued by employers.

When pupils analyse products they learn about economic and industrial issues. This lays the foundation for becoming economically aware.

Make a positive contribution

Design and technology provides many opportunities for pupils to present their ideas about their own and other people’s products, and to engage in collaborative problem-solving activities. For example, pupils work as team members or leaders to analyse commercial products and solutions, and to make value judgements about them. Some of the products that pupils design and make will contribute positively to their home or school environment.

Quick links

How design and technology links to

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