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National Curriculum

Design and technology key stage 1

Statutory content

This content relates to the 1999 programmes of study and attainment targets.

See related downloads and key actions

Teaching should ensure that 'knowledge and understanding' are applied when 'developing ideas', 'planning', 'making products' and 'evaluating' them.

Explanatory text

During key stage 1 pupils learn how to think imaginatively and talk about what they like and dislike when designing and making. They build on their early childhood experiences of investigating objects around them. They explore how familiar things work and talk about, draw and model their ideas. They learn how to design and make safely and could start to use ICT as part of their designing and making.


The general teaching requirement for health and safety applies in this subject.


Knowledge, skills and understanding

Developing, planning and communicating ideas

1. Pupils should be taught to:

  1. generate ideas by drawing on their own and other people's experiences
  2. develop ideas by shaping materials and putting together components
  3. talk about their ideas
  4. plan by suggesting what to do next as their ideas develop
  5. communicate their ideas using a variety of methods, including drawing and making models.

Working with tools, equipment, materials and components to make quality products

2. Pupils should be taught to:

  1. select tools, techniques and materials for making their product from a range suggested by the teacher
  2. explore the sensory qualities of materials
  3. measure, mark out, cut and shape a range of materials
  4. assemble, join and combine materials and components
  5. use simple finishing techniques to improve the appearance of their product, using a range of equipment
  6. follow safe procedures for food safety and hygiene.

Evaluating processes and products

3. Pupils should be taught to:

  1. talk about their ideas, saying what they like and dislike
  2. identify what they could have done differently or how they could improve their work in the future.

Knowledge and understanding of materials and components

4. Pupils should be taught:

  1. about the working characteristics of materials [for example, folding paper to make it stiffer, plaiting yarn to make it stronger]
  2. how mechanisms can be used in different ways [for example, wheels and axles, joints that allow movement].

Explanatory text

Note for1a, 1e

ICT opportunity

Pupils could use word-processing or desktop publishing (DTP) software and a printer to plan and display their ideas.

Note for 1c, 3a

Cross reference to English

En1 Speaking and listening: Speaking

1. To speak clearly, fluently and confidently to different people, pupils should be taught to:

a. speak with clear diction and appropriate intonation
b. choose words with precision
c. organise what they say
d. focus on the main point(s)
e. include relevant detail
f. take into account the needs of their listeners

En1 Speaking and listening: Group discussion and interaction

3. To join in as members of a group, pupils should be taught to:

a. take turns in speaking
b. relate their contributions to what has gone on before
c. take different views into account
d. extend their ideas in the light of discussion
e. give reasons for opinions and actions

Note for 2a

Cross reference to art and design

Investigating and making art, craft and design

2. Pupils should be taught to:

a. investigate the possibilities of a range of materials and processes
b. try out tools and techniques and apply these to materials and processes, including drawing

Cross reference to science

Sc3 Materials and their properties: Grouping materials

1. Pupils should be taught to:

a. use their senses to explore and recognise the similarities and differences between materials
c. recognise and name common types of material [for example, metal, plastic, wood, paper, rock] and recognise that some of them are found naturally
d. find out about the uses of a variety of materials [for example, glass, wood, wool] and how these are chosen for specific uses on the basis of their simple properties

Note for 2c

Cross reference to mathematics

Ma3 Shape, space and measures: Understanding measures

4. Pupils should be taught to:

a. estimate the size of objects and order them by direct comparison using appropriate language; put familiar events in chronological order; compare and measure objects using uniform non-standard units [for example, a straw, wooden cubes], then with a standard unit of length (cm, m), weight (kg), capacity (l) [for example, 'longer or shorter than a metre rule', 'three-and-a-bit litre jugs']; compare the durations of events using a standard unit of time
b. understand angle as a measure of turn using whole turns, half-turns and quarter-turns
c. estimate, measure and weigh objects; choose and use simple measuring instruments, reading and interpreting numbers, and scales to the nearest labelled division

Note for 2e

ICT opportunity

Pupils could use 'paint' software and a colour printer to produce a pattern for finishing a product.

Note for 4b

Cross reference to science

Sc4 Physical processes: Forces and motion

2. Pupils should be taught:

a. to find out about, and describe the movement of, familiar things [for example, cars going faster, slowing down, changing direction]

Breadth of study

5. During the key stage, pupils should be taught the Knowledge, skills and understanding through:

  1. investigating and evaluating a range of familiar products [for example, talking about how they work, and whether they do what they are supposed to do]
  2. focused practical tasks that develop a range of techniques, skills, processes and knowledge
  3. design and make assignments using a range of materials, including food, items that can be put together to make products, and textiles.

This content relates to the 1999 programmes of study and attainment targets.

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