Design and Technology in primary schools develops children’s skills and knowledge in design, structures, mechanisms, electrical control and a range of materials, including food. It encourages children's creativity and encourages them to think about important issues.


Design and Technology helps you to teach Maths and English and indeed other compulsory subjects on the curriculum in a fun manner and put these subjects into context making them easier to digest and more understandable to younger primary age pupils.

Design and Technology gives children the opportunity to develop skills, knowledge and understanding of designing and making functional products. We feel it is vital to nurture creativity and innovation through design, and by exploring the designed and made world in which we all live and work.

All maintained primary schools in England are required to follow the National Curriculum, which includes Design and Technology as a compulsory subject at Key Stages 1 and 2, with statutory Programmes of Study. The Design and Technology Association has produced a range of resources to support teachers implement the Design and Technology Programmes of Study including Projects on a Page, a scheme of work including 21 project planners.

Join online help raise the profile and reputation of your subject.

Convert your membership to a primary school membership

Primary school membership offers your school tremendous value, member support and really invaluable engagement for your whole team.

We have found that schools are often willing to pay for primary school membership for their whole school staff, out of school budgets and so many individual primary members are converting to cover their whole school. This enables schools to budget for resources, events and CPD provided by the Association and all take advantage of member discounted rates. We are happy to help you with the conversion from individual to primary school membership. Just give us a call on 01789 470007 or email

Primary CPD for Design and Technology subject leaders and classroom teachers

We offer a range of primary training sessions. Look out for dates of the sessions below releasing soon in venues nationwide or go to Training and Events and select Primary CPD Event from the drop-down menu.

Primary CPD for 2017

  • Primary Summer School
  • Getting to grips with primary programming and control at KS2
  • Let’s learn how to teach practical skills and techniques now!
  • Using children’s enthusiasm for Design and Technology to improve English, maths and science (summer school pilot and delivered in Autumn Term)
  • How to be a brilliant Primary Leader
  • Teaching National Curriculum Design and Technology with Creativity and Confidence
  • Projects on a Page in Action

Contact us if you would like to be a host school.

What is Primary Design and Technology?

Design and Technology education involves two important elements - learning about the designed and made world and how things work, and learning to design and make functional products for particular purposes and users.

In Design and Technology, children acquire and apply knowledge and understanding of materials and components, mechanisms and control systems, structures, existing products, quality and health and safety.

The skills learned in Design and Technology also help with learning across the curriculum. Their knowledge about the properties of materials helps in science and the practice of measuring accurately helps in maths. These skills help in IT through the children’s use of computer control and, naturally, in art and design.

Design and Technology education helps develop children’s skills and knowledge in design, materials, structures, mechanisms and electrical control. They are encouraged to be creative and innovative, and are actively encouraged to think about important issues such as sustainability and enterprise.

There are three core activities children engage with in Design and Technology:

  • Activities which involve investigating and evaluating existing products
  • Focused tasks in which children develop particular aspects of knowledge and skills
  • Designing and making activities in which children design and make 'something' for 'somebody' for 'some purpose'

These three activities are combined in sequence to create a Design and Technology project.

Take a look at our checklist for maintaining integrity in Design and Technology - you may find it useful.

Why is primary D&T important?

Design and Technology is about providing opportunities for children to develop their capability. By combining their design and making skills with knowledge and understanding they learn to create quality products.

Design and Technology is often one of a child’s favourite subjects. Children like making decisions for themselves and doing practical work. They love creating products they can see, touch – and even taste – for themselves. They feel proud to have done so.

Design and Technology brings learning to life. It is a motivating context for discovering literacy, mathematics, science, art, PSHE and ICT. Primary Design and Technology also provides a firm basis for later learning in the subject and a platform for developing skills in literacy and numeracy.

How we can help at a primary level

At Primary level, Design and Technology teachers and subject leaders are important members of the educational system. A successful Design and Technology subject leader learns and develops a wide range of skills and personal qualities in addition to those of a standard teacher.

The role of the subject leader is as complex as it is rewarding. It involves working closely with others to provide a coherent curriculum for pupils, making a case for educational time, resources, CPD, extra-curricular activities, etc. A subject leader is expected to lead with vision. To manage, to make the right decisions and be an excellent teacher.

The Design and Technology Association offers services to help make the professional life of primary school teachers easier and more effective. We listen carefully to our members and can respond with a broad range of resources, services, membership options, events, publications and other benefits tailored to individual needs – all at affordable prices.

Becoming a primary Design and Technology teacher

Whether you are a working teacher or a consultant. Whether you are a university, school-based training institution or local authority, we have services designed to make your professional life easier and more effective. By listening carefully to our members we respond with the most effective and efficient services, events and publications – all at affordable prices.

If you have a passion for design and technology and want to inspire the next generation with your skills, now is the time to train to be a Design and Technology teacher.

Please note that training to teach in Scotland, Wales, Northern Ireland and Southern Ireland varies slightly from training to teach in England.

Why the Self-Review Framework?

All schools are required to complete an annual self-review. This generally requires primary and secondary Design and Technology Subject Leaders to provide information to their Senior Management Team. The process of collecting this information can be demanding and may not be well supported by resources that support the process adequately. Our new Self-Review Framework and Design and Technology Mark has been designed to address this need.

The Design and Technology Association Self-Review Framework (SRF) was launched in July 2016, and has been designed to help you undertake the process and develop Design and Technology in your school. It is available free to Department members and Primary School members for the first 12 months.

The Design and Technology Mark in primary schools

The Design and Technology Mark is the recognised quality standards framework which is part of the new Self-Review Framework which may be worked towards and is awarded to the primary, special and secondary schools that can clearly demonstrate excellence in their teaching of design.

If you would like to apply, or wish to find out more about any of the areas mentioned here, please email with your full contact details.

Working together for primary Design and Technology

Primary Design and Technology is a perfect example of head and hands working together. For children, having to think about specific purposes and users for their products is much more demanding than simply following instructions to make something. Children have to think, decide and plan, as well as go and create. Which makes the results as rewarding for you as they are for them.

Join Now

Design and Technology (D&T) is the inspiring, rigorous and practical subject which prepares all young people to live and work in the designed and made world.

We are focused on giving you the tools, knowledge and information you need to become more effective, more experienced and more efficient. Giving you access to expert opinions. And creating a place where you can air your views, ask your questions and so help make a difference to your life and those of your pupils. We want to hear from you. We want to know how we can help. And we want you to join us.

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