Design and Technologies

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This rationale complements and extends the rationale for the Technologies learning area.
In an increasingly technological and complex world, it is important to develop knowledge and confidence to critically analyse and creatively respond to design challenges.



In addition to the overarching aims for the Australian Curriculum: Technologies, Design and Technologies more specifically aims to develop the knowledge, understanding and skills to ensure that, individually and collaboratively, students:

develop confidence as critical users of technologies and designers and producers of designed solutions



The Australian Curriculum: Design and Technologies (F–10) comprises two related strands:

Design and Technologies knowledge and understanding – the use, development and impact of technologies and design ideas across a range of technologies contexts


PDF documents

Resources and support materials for the Australian Curriculum: Technologies are available as PDF documents.
Design and Technologies: Sequence of content 
Technologies: Sequence of achievement


Years 3 and 4

Years 3 and 4 Band Description

Learning in Design and Technologies builds on concepts, skills and processes developed in earlier years, and teachers will revisit, strengthen and extend these as needed.

By the end of Year 4 students will have had the opportunity to create designed solutions at least once in the following technologies contexts: Engineering principles and systems; Food and fibre production and Food specialisations; and Materials and technologies specialisations. Students should have opportunities to experience designing and producing products, services and environments.

In Year 3 and 4 students develop a sense of self and ownership of their ideas and thinking about their peers and communities and as consumers. Students explore and learn to harness their creative, innovative and imaginative ideas and approaches to achieve designed products, services and environments. They do this through planning and awareness of the characteristics and properties of materials and the use of tools and equipment. They learn to reflect on their actions to refine their working and develop their decision-making skills. Students examine social and environmental sustainability implications of existing products and processes to raise awareness of their place in the world. They compare their predicted implications with real-world case studies including those from the Asia region, and recognise that designs and technologies can affect people and their environments. They become aware of the role of those working in design and technologies occupations and how they think about the way a product might change in the future.

Using a range of technologies including a variety of graphical representation techniques to communicate, students clarify and present ideas, for example by drawing annotated diagrams; modelling objects as three-dimensional images from different views by visualising rotating images and using materials. Students recognise techniques for documenting design and production ideas such as basic drawing symbols, and use simple flow diagrams.

Students become aware of the appropriate ways to manage their time and focus. With teacher guidance, they identify and list criteria for success including in relation to preferred futures and the major steps needed to complete a design task. They show an understanding of the importance of planning when designing solutions, in particular when collaborating. Students identify safety issues and learn to follow simple safety rules when producing designed solutions.

Years 3 and 4 Content Descriptions

Recognise the role of people in design and technologies occupations and explore factors, including sustainability that impact on the design of products, services and environments to meet community needs (ACTDEK010 - Scootle )
  • Sustainability
  • exploring, playing with and testing materials for their appropriateness, for example materials for a new sun-shade product
  • examining the suitability of a service or everyday system and proposing improvements, for example a water saving system for a bathroom at home
    • Sustainability
  • investigating materials, components, tools and equipment, including by using digital technologies, to discover their characteristics and properties, how they can be used more sustainably and their impact in the future
    • Sustainability
  • considering the impact of environments on users, for example a school vegetable garden, a protected outdoor play area
  • exploring and testing factors that impact on design decisions, for example considering the demographics of an area or the impact of natural disasters on design of constructed environments such as the structural design of buildings in Japan to withstand earthquakes
    • Asia and Australia’s Engagement with Asia
  • critiquing designed products, services and environments to establish the factors that influence the design and use of common technologies, for example the characteristics that contribute to energy-efficient cooking such as wok cooking; the suitability and sustainable use of particular timbers
    • Asia and Australia’s Engagement with Asia
    • Sustainability
Investigate how forces and the properties of materials affect the behaviour of a product or system (ACTDEK011 - Scootle )
  • examining models to identify how forces and materials are used in the design of a toy
  • exploring through play how movement can be initiated by combining materials and using forces, for example releasing a wound rubber band to propel a model boat
  • conducting investigations to understand the characteristics and properties of materials and forces that may affect the behaviour and performance of a product or system, for example woomera design
    • Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Histories and Cultures
  • deconstructing a product or system to identify how motion and forces affect behaviour, for example in a puppet such as a Japanese bunraku puppet or a model windmill with moving sails
    • Asia and Australia’s Engagement with Asia
  • identifying and exploring properties and construction relationships of an engineered product or system, for example a structure that floats; a bridge to carry a load
  • experimenting with available local materials, tools and equipment to solve problems requiring forces including identifying inputs (what goes in to the system), processes (what happens within the system) and outputs (what comes out of the system), for example designing and testing a container or parachute that will keep an egg intact when dropped from a height
Investigate food and fibre production and food technologies used in modern and traditional societies (ACTDEK012 - Scootle )
  • exploring tools, equipment and procedures to improve plant and animal production, for example when growing vegetables in the school garden and producing plant and animal environments such as a greenhouse, animal housing, safe bird shelters
  • identifying the areas in Australia and Asia where major food or fibre plants and animals are grown or bred, for example the wheat and sheep belts, areas where sugar cane or rice are grown, northern Australia’s beef industry, plantation and native forest areas
    • Asia and Australia’s Engagement with Asia
  • describing ideal conditions for successful plant and animal production including how climate and soils affect production and availability of foods, for example Aboriginal seasons and food availability
    • Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Histories and Cultures
  • recognising the benefits food technologies provide for health and food safety and ensuring that a wide variety of food is available and can be prepared for healthy eating
  • investigating the labels on food products to determine how the information provided contributes to healthy eating, for example ingredients and nutrition panels
Investigate the suitability of materials, systems, components, tools and equipment for a range of purposes (ACTDEK013 - Scootle )
  • conducting experiments and tests to understand the properties of materials, for example strength, durability, warmth, elasticity
  • investigating the mass production of products to ensure standardisation, for example students setting up a production line to produce a product for a school fete
  • investigating the suitability of technologies − materials, systems, components, tools and equipment − when designing and making a product, service or environment, for example a toy for a young child, a composting system for household waste management, raised garden beds for improved access, weaving nets, bags or baskets
    • Sustainability
  • comparing how different components interrelate and complement each other in a finished designed solution, for example investigating and playing with joining processes for a variety of materials in the production of common products
  • investigating local constructed environments to compare how buildings were constructed in the past and in the present and noting innovations
  • analysing products, services and constructed environments from a range of technologies contexts with consideration of possible innovative solutions and impacts on the local community and the sustainability of its environment
    • Sustainability
Critique needs or opportunities for designing and explore and test a variety of materials, components, tools and equipment and the techniques needed to produce designed solutions (ACTDEP014 - Scootle )
  • exploring the different uses of materials in a range of products, including those from Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander communities and countries of Asia
    • Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Histories and Cultures
    • Asia and Australia’s Engagement with Asia
  • critiquing and selecting appropriate joining techniques for materials to produce working models
  • exploring and testing a range of materials under different conditions for suitability including sustainability considerations and identifying appropriate tools, equipment and techniques
    • Sustainability
  • examining the structure and production of everyday products, services and environments to enhance their own design ideas
  • exploring the properties of materials to determine suitability, for example the absorbency of different fabrics or the strength of different resistant materials
Generate, develop, and communicate design ideas and decisions using appropriate technical terms and graphical representation techniques (ACTDEP015 - Scootle )
  • exploring ways of joining, connecting and assembling components that ensure success
  • generating a range of design ideas for intended products, services, environments
  • identifying the properties of materials needed for the designed solution
  • visualising and exploring innovative design ideas by producing thumbnail drawings, models and labelled drawings to explain features and modifications
  • planning, sharing and documenting creative ideas and processes using digital tools such as a class blog or collaborative document
Select and use materials, components, tools, equipment and techniques and use safe work practices to make designed solutions (ACTDEP016 - Scootle )
  • using appropriate technologies terms to confidently describe and share with others procedures and techniques for making, for example cutting and joining materials
  • exploring ways of joining, connecting and assembling components that ensure success, and the impact digital technologies have had on these processes
  • using tools and equipment accurately when measuring, marking and cutting; and explaining the importance of accuracy when designing and making, for example creating a template, measuring ingredients in a recipe, sowing seeds
  • selecting and using materials, components, tools, equipment and processes with consideration of the environmental impact at each stage of the production process
    • Sustainability
  • demonstrating safe, responsible and cooperative work practices when making designed solutions
Evaluate design ideas, processes and solutions based on criteria for success developed with guidance and including care for the environment (ACTDEP017 - Scootle )
  • Sustainability
  • negotiating criteria for success with class or group members
  • evaluating, revising and selecting design ideas, based on criteria for success and including consideration of ethics, social values and sustainability
    • Sustainability
  • evaluating the functional and aesthetic qualities of a designed solution
  • reflecting on the sustainability implications of selected designed solutions
    • Sustainability
  • comparing the amount of waste that would be produced from different design and development options and the potential for recycling waste
    • Sustainability
  • reflecting on designed solutions to critique and assess suitability, sustainability and enterprise opportunities and determine how well they meet success criteria
    • Sustainability
Plan a sequence of production steps when making designed solutions individually and collaboratively (ACTDEP018 - Scootle )
  • determining planning processes as a class, for example recording a procedure or creating time plans
  • managing time and resource allocation throughout production, for example materials, tools, equipment and people
  • identifying the steps in a mass production process
  • sequencing steps to collaboratively produce a designed solution

Years 3 and 4 Achievement Standards

By the end of Year 4, students describe how social, technical and sustainability factors influence the design of solutions to meet present and future needs. They describe features of technologies that influence design decisions and how a range of digital systems can be used.

Students outline and define needs, opportunities or problems. They collect, manipulate and interpret data from a range of sources to support decisions. Students generate and record design ideas for an audience using technical terms and graphical and non-graphical representation techniques including algorithms. They plan a sequence of steps (algorithms) to create solutions, including visual programs. Students plan and safely produce designed solutions for each of the prescribed technologies contexts. They use identified criteria for success, including sustainability considerations, to judge the suitability of their ideas, solutions and processes. Students use agreed protocols when collaborating, and creating and communicating ideas, information and solutions face-to-face and online.

By the end of Year 4, students explain how products, services and environments are designed to best meet needs of communities and their environments. They describe contributions of people in design and technologies occupations. Students describe how the features of technologies can be used to produce designed solutions for each of the prescribed technologies contexts.

Students create designed solutions for each of the prescribed technologies contexts. They explain needs or opportunities and evaluate ideas and designed solutions against identified criteria for success, including environmental sustainability considerations. They develop and expand design ideas and communicate these using models and drawings including annotations and symbols. Students plan and sequence major steps in design and production. They identify appropriate technologies and techniques and demonstrate safe work practices when producing designed solutions.

Years 3 and 4 Work Sample Portfolios