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Design and technology is concerned with the ability to turn ideas into reality. It involves the application of knowledge, skills and experience, using a distinctive creative process which results in practical outcomes. The outcomes of design and technology activity should be tangible and open to evaluation against a range of criteria. They should be effective, efficient and acceptable solutions which can be tested in use.

It is an activity which integrates thought and action through a process involving; the investigation of a need or exploration of opportunity; the development of ideas; planning for implementation and the making of a practical solution. Those engaged in design and technological activity will also be continually evaluating their work throughout. As a school subject it makes a unique contribution to the education of pupils and should therefore be an entitlement for all.

The process requires pupils to be taught a range of knowledge and skills distinctive to designing and making and apply knowledge and skills learnt from other subject areas. The development of effective communication ski11s - both verbally and through the use of a range of visual media - is an important part of the process as is the application of value judgments of a technical, scientific. economic, aesthetic and moral nature. As pupils progress they will acquire experience, develop confidence, and will be engaged in activities which become more complex and require greater skill and depth of knowledge for success.

As well as providing pupils with personal satisfaction through solving practical problems, design and technology also enhances the self-esteem of young people and helps develop an appreciation of the made world and the resources which sustain it. Additionally, pupils are required to develop an appreciation of quality, a sense of fine design, craft and technological applications and gain an awareness of the needs of society, business and industry.

NAAIDT believes that design and technology capability is best developed through being engaged in the purposeful practical activity of making things using a range of processes, equipment and materials. When engaged in design and technology activity, pupils should undertake work in contexts which are challenging, relevant and motivating. The emphasis on practical experience is central to design and technology and should enable pupils to play a full and active role in a technological society and influence the quality of their environment.