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National Curriculum

Design and technology and the national curriculum aims

Design and technology has a distinctive contribution to make to the aims of the national curriculum. The design and technology programme of study provides opportunities to plan sequences of work, learning outcomes and teaching approaches that develop:

Successful learners

Design and technology contributes to pupils becoming successful learners by developing enquiring minds. Pupils are encouraged to try out alternatives and fresh approaches when engaging in assignments to design and make products. These assignments provide broad opportunities to enjoy applying knowledge to practical activities. Pupils are motivated to use learning from other subjects as they process information that will help with their designing.

As pupils respond creatively to design briefs they analyse and reflect critically on products and then put forward constructive explanations for improving their own work. When evaluating and modifying their proposals, learners invite feedback, consider different points of view and incorporate insights gained. Pupils understand how to learn from their mistakes as they reflect critically when modifying their proposals.

Design and technology encourages pupils to communicate and model original and innovative design ideas visually, orally and in writing, using ICT as appropriate. During focused tasks, and in particular when analysing products, pupils imagine new approaches to designing and making, learning independently and with others.

Confident individuals

Design and technology develops confident individuals who become increasingly independent and able to take the initiative as they plan and organise activities, and then shape, form, mix, assemble and finish materials, ingredients or components.

Design and technology enables pupils to try new things and to make the most of opportunities relating to the made world. Pupils can recognise their talent as they visualise alternative solutions when designing and making products and systems. Exploring their own and others’ ideas and values, pupils respond resourcefully as they anticipate and overcome difficulties when implementing their ideas. All this increases their confidence in their own abilities and opinions, enhances their feelings of self-worth and prepares them to live safe, healthy and fulfilling lives.

Responsible citizens

Design and technology supports pupils in becoming responsible citizens through the opportunities it offers to work cooperatively. During design and make projects pupils give and receive comprehensive feedback as they share possibilities, problems and challenges. When pupils develop a product, they are encouraged to act with integrity as they consider its impact on quality of life, and how it can make things better for other people.

Pupils are encouraged to understand ways of maintaining and improving the environment by assessing products in terms of sustainability. As their understanding of cultural and social issues relating to approaches to design grows, pupils recognise the values of different cultures and traditions and are encouraged to give due consideration to these during designing and making activities. Pupils’ growing appreciation of product-development processes equips them as consumers to make informed ethical judgements and independent economic decisions as they gain understanding of their responsibilities as citizens.

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