D&T in primary schools develops young children’s skills and knowledge in design, structures, mechanisms, electrical control and a range of materials, including food. D&T encourages children's creativity and encourages them to think about important issues.


Design and Technology gives children the opportunity to develop skill, 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. This means the subject will   be compulsory and has statutory programmes of study in Key Stages 1 and 2. The Design and Technology Association has produced  a range of resources to support teachers implement the new D&T programmes of study includuing Projects on a Page, a scheme of work including 15 project planners.

Join online or download our new membership form below.

Convert your individual membership to a primary school membership

Primary school membership has been membership option of choice this year, growing by 238% in the 6 months to December 2014. It really does offer 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 individual primary members are generally 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

CPD for primary D&T subject leaders and classroom teachers

Primary Curriculum Training

We run an interactive, primary specific, full day training course providing subject leaders and classroom teachers with a range of practical strategies to support the introduction of the new curriculum in key stages 1 and 2. The course will begin in May/ june 2014, initially at 3 venues across the UK and will be entitled - Teaching National Curriculum D&T 2014 with Creativity and Confidence.

D&T Primary Summer School 2015

Book your place on the Primary Summer School on 10th July at Loughborough Design School. There are limited places on this years event so book early to secure your place.

Teaching Food Safely in Primary

Just launched is our new Teaching Food Safely in Primary School, a new primary food safety course developed to ensure the food we make, serve and sell as part of our food curriculum is safe to eat. Click to view the course. Contact us if you would like to be a host school.

What is Primary D&T

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.

We’ve found that skills learned in D&T 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 practical 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 D&T project.

Take a look at our checklist for maintaining integrity in D&T - 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.

D&T 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.

D&T brings learning to life. It is a motivating context for discovering literacy, mathematics, science, art, PSHE and ICT. Primary D&T 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, D&T teachers and subject leaders are important members of the educational system. A successful D&T 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 D&T 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 D&T 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 D&T teacher.

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

The Design Mark in primary schools

The Design Mark is the recognised quality standards framework developed jointly by the DCSF, The Design Council and the Design & Technology Association.

It is awarded to the primary, special and secondary schools that can clearly demonstrate excellence in their teaching of design.

Why the Design Mark?

The Design Mark rewards and inspires schools for the excellence of their design teaching. In high-level skills for Higher Value, the Design Skills Advisory Panel recognise the excellent basis of design education in UK schools through the National Curriculum subject of Design and Technology (D&T), and the popularity of D&T among pupils.

Furthermore, the Design Mark identifies and rewards primary and secondary schools that deliver high quality design education to their pupils. The Design Mark also promotes higher standards in the quality of design education and helps schools and pupils better understand the wider role of design in society and more. The Design Mark website is in the process of being amalgamated into this new site. Whilst this is happening the link to the current site is still active.

Using the Design Mark framework for self evaluation

This framework provides the quality ‘standard’ against which schools can evaluate their own design practice. The framework has been specifically designed to reflect the ways in which teachers of design account for its overall effectiveness within a whole school context.

Some schools may wish to use the Design Mark framework for self-evaluation purposes only and not apply for the quality mark.

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 D&T

Primary D&T 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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