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.

D&T 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 Association has produced a range of resources to support teachers implementing the D&T Programmes of Study including Projects on a Page, a scheme of work including 21 project planners.

Primary Planning Links has general planning guidance and links to resources associated with the Projects on a Page planners.

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

Primary School + Projects on a Page

Get more for less with our new package for primary schools and save 10%

This membership bundle is a one stop shop for primary schools. All the benefits of membership and the support from experts in Design & Technology AND the highly acclaimed Projects on a Page (POAP) scheme of 21 planners, helping you deliver all aspects of D&T to years 1 through to year 6.  Further information on this primary bundle.

Projects in a Pack

‘Projects in a pack’ is an easy-to-buy set of resources that have been chosen to complement the D&T Association’s popular ‘Projects in a page’ scheme of work, but is suitable even if this is not used. The three tiers (Gold, Silver and Bronze) provide different options depending on budgets, but all will provide schools with everything you need to implement D&T in your school. Prices of packs may change so please check with the suppliers before ordering. A PDF with details of what each pack contains can be found at the bottom of this page. 

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.

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 and INSET training for Design and Technology subject leaders and classroom teachers

We provide bespoke primary D&T INSET for your school or your whole MAT, anywhere in the UK. Do your teachers need a helping hand in the new academic year to ensure you are all able to deliver in accordance with the new Ofsted Famework?

We have expert trainers available to come to your school to teach your teaching staff either face to face or remotely.

We also offer a range of primary training sessions. Look out for the sessions in Training and Events by selecting Primary CPD Event from the drop-down menu.

Contact us if you would like to be a host school for CPD sessions across the country.

What is Primary Design and Technology?

Are you really teaching D&T? View this video, the first of a number for Primary members.

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.

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 D&T also help with learning across the curriculum. 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 through collaborative working and problem-solving, 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.

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 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 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 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. 

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 Self-Review Framework and Design and Technology Mark has been designed to address this need.

The Self-Review Framework (SRF) was launched in July 2016, and has been designed to help you undertake the process and develop the subject 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 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.

D&T in Early Years

The statutory framework for Early Years Foundation Stage (EYFS) was introduced in September 2012, and updated in 2021 and clearly identifies and strengthens the role of design and technology. A useful guide: 'Opportunities for Developing Design and Technology in the Early Years Foundation Stage Framework 2021' is available to download from the Association shop and is free to members. This has advice around effective D&T practice and has been produced to align with the non-statutory guidance from ‘Development Matters’ (2000) and the most recent statutory framework. The framework can be downloaded from the Department for Education website.  

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.

A useful skills and resources audit has kindly been shared with teachers by Joanne Debić - see below.

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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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