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Curriculum Ideas & School Examples

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KS3 DT : Key Concepts

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1. Key concepts

There are a number of key concepts that underpin the study of design and technology. Pupils need to understand these concepts in order to deepen and broaden their knowledge, skills and understanding.

1.1 Designing and making

  • Understanding that designing and making has aesthetic, environmental, technical, economic, ethical and social dimensions and impacts on the world.
  • Applying knowledge of materials and production processes to design products and produce practical solutions that are relevant and fit for purpose.
  • Understanding that products and systems have an impact on quality of life.
  • Exploring how products have been designed and made in the past, how they are currently designed and made, and how they may develop in the future.

1.2 Cultural understanding

  • Understanding how products evolve according to users’ and designers’ needs, beliefs, ethics and values and how they are influenced by local customs and traditions and available materials.
  • Exploring how products contribute to lifestyle and consumer choices.

1.3 Creativity

  • Making links between principles of good design, existing solutions and technological knowledge to develop innovative products and processes.
  • Reinterpreting and applying learning in new design contexts and communicating ideas in new or unexpected ways.
  • Exploring and experimenting with ideas, materials, technologies and techniques.

1.4 Critical evaluation

  • Analysing existing products and solutions to inform designing and making.
  • Evaluating the needs of users and the context in which products are used to inform designing and making.
  • Exploring the impact of ideas, design decisions and technological advances and how these provide opportunities for new design solutions.

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