D&T5 5-6






D&T5 5-6



















Year 5 to Year 6


Design and Technology studies from Year 5 to Year 6 continue to build upon their previous learning to design, produce and evaluate designed solutions of increasing complexity in the different contexts.

In Years 5 and 6 the curriculum focuses on students developing a sense of self and ownership of their ideas and thinking in relation to their peers, communities and as a consumer. Students explore creative and innovative ideas and alternatives and establish their own design skills. Students learn to harness their creative ideas and imaginative approaches to achieve designed products, services and environments through planning and awareness of the properties and characteristics 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.

By the end of Year 6 students must have had the opportunity to critically examine and develop technologies with increasing consideration of community and global impact. They should now be exploring unfamiliar ideas and contexts, creating solutions to problems that exist beyond their immediate needs and experiences, and balancing competing design considerations. They should be experienced in completing design challenges, going through the steps of design, produce and evaluate designed solutions in each of the four technologies contexts: Materials and technologies specialisations; Food and fibre production; Food technologies; and Engineering principles and systems. 

In Years 5 and 6 the curriculum focuses on students critically examining technologies, materials, systems, tools and equipment that are used regularly in the home and in local, national, regional or global communities, with consideration of society, ethics and social and environmental sustainability factors. Students consider why and for whom technologies were developed. 

Students should be engaged with ideas beyond the familiar, exploring how design and technologies and the people working in a range of technologies contexts contribute to daily life. They should seek to explore innovation and establish their own design capabilities. Students must be given new opportunities for clarifying their thinking, creativity, analysis, problem-solving and decision-making. 

Students should be able to work collaboratively with others to identify and sequence steps needed for a design task. They should negotiate and develop plans to complete design tasks, and follow plans to complete design tasks safely, making adjustments to plans when necessary. They should be exploring trends and data to imagine what the future will be like and suggest design decisions that contribute positively for people in the future. 

Using manual and digital technologies, students should be able to represent objects and ideas in a variety of forms such as thumbnail sketches, models, drawings, diagrams and storyboards to illustrate the development of designed solutions. They should use a range of techniques such as labelling and annotating sequenced sketches and diagrams to illustrate how products function; and recognise and use a range of drawing symbols in context to give meaning and direction. Finally, students should be able to identify, plan and maintain safety standards and practices when making designed solutions. 


Schools will generally allocate 30 hours of Design and Technology studies per year.

One approach would be to have two design challenges each year, each of 15 hours duration, covering two context per year. This would permit coverage of all four contexts over years 5 and 6.

In each design challenge, students should have opportunities to experience designing, producing and evaluating services and environments as well as products.  

From Years 5 to Year 6, students should complete design challenges in each of the four contexts of 

  • Materials and Technologies Specialisations;
  • Food and Fibre Production;
  • Food Technologies; and
  • Engineering Principles and Systems.

With an expected time allocation of 30 hours per year, it would be realistic to complete two design challenges each year and over the course of two years, address each of the contexts at least once.


Design Challenge Example

A design challenge in the context of Materials and Technologies Specialisations could involve:

Emergency Shelter  

Design, create and test an innovative shelter for use in natural disasters.

This could address:

Students developing a sense of self and ownership of their ideas and thinking in relation to their peers, communities and as a consumer. Students explore creative and innovative ideas and alternatives and establish their own design skills. Students learn to harness their creative ideas and imaginative approaches to achieve designed products, services and environments through planning and awareness of the properties and characteristics 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.

By the end of Year 6 students must have had the opportunity to critically examine and develop technologies with increasing consideration of community and global impact. They should now be exploring unfamiliar ideas and contexts, creating solutions to problems that exist beyond their immediate needs and experiences, and balancing competing design considerations. 

Design and Technologies knowledge and understanding 

Identify how designers and technologists address competing considerations and tradeoffs in the design of an emergency shelter.

  • evaluating the sustainable use of various materials, for example some materials can be recycled or re-used to reduce waste and costs; 
  • reflecting on the features of designed solutions that ensure safety and wellbeing of users, for example, considering the flammability of a shelter; 
  • considering the impact of their shelters in relation to sustainability and on local, regional and global communities, e.g. would the community appreciate the use of emergency shelters in their community; 
  • reflecting on their shelter solutions, taking into account aesthetics, function and sustainability, for example a shelter that provides protection and is appealing, portable and cheap to produce; 

Design and Technologies processes and production skills 

Critique, explore and investigate needs or opportunities for designing, and analyse and select appropriate materials, components, tools, equipment and processes to achieve intended designed solutions. 

  • deconstructing the components, structure and intentions of products, services or environments to identify the importance of complementary parts of working, everyday systems; 
  • exploring and testing a range of materials, components, tools and equipment to determine the appropriate resources needed to make products, services or environments, for example a moving vehicle;
  • exploring the steps involved in the process to satisfy the design brief, need or opportunity; 
  • independently and collaboratively identifying criteria for success, processes and planning, for example using visual representations such as a flowchart;
  • examining the environmental and social impacts of selecting particular materials, components, tools and equipment, for example exploring how to minimise material use and how to manage waste; and
  • investigating everyday, designed solutions to make suitable, quality decisions that meet the design brief, challenge or scenario. 

Generate, develop, evaluate, communicate and document design ideas and processes for a range of audiences, using some relevant technical terminology.

  • reflecting on prior knowledge, skills and research to generate a range of design ideas for products, services or environments; 
  • examining in detail the essential features of existing processes to inform project planning including safe and sustainable work practices that minimise damage to the environment; 
  • exploring alternative design ideas and considering implications for preferred futures to broaden the appeal and acceptance of the design idea; 
  • analysing and modifying design ideas to enhance and improve the sustainability of the product, service, environment or system; 
  • generating ideas considering the selection of materials and joining techniques that match the purpose of a product; and 
  • representing and communicating design ideas using drawing and modelling standards including the use of digital technologies, for example scale, symbols and codes in diagrams, pictorial maps, aerial views using web mapping service applications. 

Develop project plans, and manage production processes and procedures when safely using a variety of technologies, materials, systems, tools, equipment and techniques when producing and evaluating designed solutions for technologies contexts. 

  • outlining the planning and production steps required to produce a product, service or environment for a specific purpose using digital technologies; 
  • matching material and joining techniques to the design intention, for example accurately cutting and sewing the fabric pieces which form the designed patterns to produce a community banner;
  • working safely, responsibly and cooperatively to ensure safe work areas, including using safety equipment and safe work practices when making designed solutions, for example when producing a water-resistant sustainable outdoor shelter; 
  • reflecting on how well their designed solutions ensure safety and wellbeing of users and consumers and meet the needs of communities and different cultures; and 
  • considering criteria related to ethics, social values, environmental impact and the future use and application of the solution when evaluating the benefits and costs of production processes. 

Years 5 and 6 Achievement Standard 

By the end of Year 6 students should have identify how their shelter solutions may involve competing considerations and trade-offs when sustainability and ethics are considered. They should be able to explain how the properties and characteristics of their shelters influence design decisions for a range of technologies contexts - construction processes, testing processes, etc. They should be able to describe how design and technologies contribute to daily life, i.e. in comparison with their shelter solutions to those of their home and school. 

Students should identify key aspects of the design situation when considering the development of their shelters and establish criteria for the evaluation of their solutions. They should then communicate, evaluate and modify their design ideas using a variety of techniques such as diagrams and scale models. They should then select and use appropriate digital technologies to collaborate on, investigate, generate, communicate and document their design ideas and processes using technical terminology. Students should develop their project plans and production processes and procedures, select and use materials, components, tools, equipment and techniques correctly and safely to produce their solutions, and ensure that these meet an identified need. Finally they should evaluate thir shelter solutions against the criteria for success they decided upon at the outset. 


Note that while knowledge and understanding will generally not address all aspects, completing design challenges will usually involve all aspects of the Design and Technologies processes and production skills.

In this activity students would go through the design process by completing a design challenge that would involve students approaching the problem of creating an item of formal attire completely from plastic bags:

  1. Designing a solution by understanding what is required in their design brief, researching existing solutions and who designs these, creatively ideating as many possible new solutions as they can, researching and exploring the properties of different materials and their potential use in a shelter, and exploring different ways that cloths are made by joining materials together;

  2. Developing a solution by following their plan, learning the processes involved in working through a series of steps, using various tools such as scissors, sewing needles, tape, glue, staplers, etc; and

  3. Evaluating their solution by testing to see if it is durable, withstands various weather, is comfortable, is portable. Finally they should present their solutions and speak to how it meets their design brief and how they achieved this by working through the design process.




















































The following details those aspects of the Australian Curriculum addressed by the activity:

Year 5 to Year 6 Content Descriptions and Elaborations 

Design and Technologies knowledge and understanding 

Identify how designers and technologists address competing considerations and tradeoffs in the design of products, services, environments and systems.

  • evaluating the sustainable use of technologies, materials, systems, tools and equipment, for example materials can be recycled or re-used to reduce waste; systems may benefit some, but disadvantage others; 
  • considering the impact designed products, services or environments have in relation to sustainability and on local, regional and global communities; 
  • reflecting on the features of designed solutions that ensure safety and wellbeing of users, for example smoke alarms; 
  • reflecting on products, taking into account aesthetics, function and sustainability, for example a textile product that provides protection and is appealing; a motor that moves a vehicle and uses a sustainable power source; 
  • reflecting on a service to identify components that contribute to its success, for example, communication in the school or communication of a message to a wide audience; a system that manages an aspect of the environment; a campaign such as Clean Up Australia Day and how it varies in different communities; and 
  • identifying an environment to review how a range of functions can be met, for example a modification to a home to reduce environmental impact; restoring a natural environment and retaining access for the public. 

Identify and explain properties and characteristics of a range of technologies, materials, systems, tools and equipment and evaluate the impact of their use locally, regionally and globally.

  • investigating the properties of materials for the design and construction of a sustainable household item, for example a product for storing harvested water; 
  • evaluating the functional properties of a specific purpose household system, for example a security system; 
  • critically examining the materials and systems used in a public use system and how that system can affect the way people live, for example a community exercise environment or arts facility; 
  • evaluating the use of computer-aided manufacturing in terms of cost and impacts on local and regional designers, producers and enterprises; 
  • comparing the design and production of products, services and environments in Australia and a country in the Asia region; and
  • evaluating products, services and environments from a range of technologies contexts with consideration of ethics and sustainability.

Recognise that sustainable resource management is essential in food and fibre production. 

  • investigating and experimenting with different methods of preparing soil and their effect on soil quality and sustainability or pest and disease solutions, for example when designing a garden for a community group; 
  • identifying methods of applying, conserving and recycling nutrients in food and fibre production, for example low-input sustainable agriculture (LISA), in a range of environments including Australia and the countries of Asia, for example when designing a sustainable school vegetable garden; 
  • considering the relationship between plant and animal types and environmental suitability, for example when designing suitable environments for plants or animals;
  • sequencing the steps in converting an ‘on-farm’ food or fibre product into a product suitable for retail sale, that is, the ‘paddock to plate’ supply chain, for example when designing the production of preserved produce from a school vegetable garden for sale at a school fete; and 
  • exploring and comparing the efficiency of different irrigation methods in plant production systems and the impact that developments in ICT have had on improving their effectiveness, for example when designing a sustainable irrigation system which could be used in a garden. 

Explain how forces or electrical energy can be used to control movement, sound or light in a product or system and consider how material properties and construction processes influence the design and construction of structures. 

  • deconstructing a product or system to discover how movement, sound or light can be controlled, for example taking apart a torch or buzzer and exploring circuit design; 
  • conducting investigations to understand the properties of materials to solve problems requiring the control of movement, sound or light, for example directing light through a maze using mirrors; 
  • exploring how biomimicry can be used by engineers and designers, for example the ways plant and animal adaptations can be copied to solve human challenges; 
  • recognising the need to carefully plan and select components for a system to perform a specific task, for example when designing a pet animal enclosure; 
  • creating models to demonstrate how to control movement, sound or light in structures, for example to create the tallest freestanding interactive billboard from cartridge paper; 
  • evaluating a control system for an identified need or opportunity and user, for example a system for controlling water flow through an environment.

Investigate how food preparation techniques can be selected and used to design and produce nutritious food.

  • experimenting with combining ingredients and techniques to design and produce food products; 
  • examining the relationship between how food is processed, prepared and distributed and the impact on its nutrient value, for example when designing a food service system;
  • exploring food preparation techniques used in different cultures including those from the Asia region and the impact of these on nutrient retention, taste and palatability; 
  • describing safety considerations for food storage and preparation at home and school; 
  • considering environmental impacts alongside nutritional benefits when designing and preparing appealing and healthy meals for selected groups; and 
  • using work practices that demonstrate an understanding of nutrition, wellbeing, environmental considerations and food safety when designing and producing a food product.

Design and Technologies processes and production skills 

Critique, explore and investigate needs or opportunities for designing, and analyse and select appropriate materials, components, tools, equipment and processes to achieve intended designed solutions. 

  • deconstructing the components, structure and intentions of products, services or environments to identify the importance of complementary parts of working, everyday systems; 
  • exploring and testing a range of materials, components, tools and equipment to determine the appropriate resources needed to make products, services or environments, for example a moving vehicle;
  • exploring the steps involved in the process to satisfy the design brief, need or opportunity; 
  • independently and collaboratively identifying criteria for success, processes and planning, for example using visual representations such as a flowchart;
  • examining the environmental and social impacts of selecting particular materials, components, tools and equipment, for example exploring how to minimise material use and how to manage waste; and
  • investigating everyday, designed solutions to make suitable, quality decisions that meet the design brief, challenge or scenario. 

Generate, develop, evaluate, communicate and document design ideas and processes for a range of audiences, using some relevant technical terminology.

  • reflecting on prior knowledge, skills and research to generate a range of design ideas for products, services or environments; 
  • examining in detail the essential features of existing processes to inform project planning including safe and sustainable work practices that minimise damage to the environment; 
  • exploring alternative design ideas and considering implications for preferred futures to broaden the appeal and acceptance of the design idea; 
  • analysing and modifying design ideas to enhance and improve the sustainability of the product, service, environment or system; 
  • generating ideas considering the selection of materials and joining techniques that match the purpose of a product; and 
  • representing and communicating design ideas using drawing and modelling standards including the use of digital technologies, for example scale, symbols and codes in diagrams, pictorial maps, aerial views using web mapping service applications. 

Develop project plans, and manage production processes and procedures when safely using a variety of technologies, materials, systems, tools, equipment and techniques when producing and evaluating designed solutions for technologies contexts. 

  • outlining the planning and production steps required to produce a product, service or environment for a specific purpose using digital technologies; 
  • matching material and joining techniques to the design intention, for example accurately cutting and sewing the fabric pieces which form the designed patterns to produce a community banner;
  • working safely, responsibly and cooperatively to ensure safe work areas, including using safety equipment and safe work practices when making designed solutions, for example when producing a water-resistant, floating craft or a model of a sustainable outdoor shelter; 
  • reflecting on how well their designed solutions ensure safety and wellbeing of users and consumers and meet the needs of communities and different cultures; and 
  • considering criteria related to ethics, social values, environmental impact and the future use and application of the solution when evaluating the benefits and costs of production processes. 

Years 5 and 6 Achievement Standard 

By the end of Year 6 students identify how designed products, services and environments may involve competing considerations and trade-offs when sustainability and ethics are considered. They explain how the properties and characteristics of technologies, materials, and systems impact designed solutions and influence design decisions for a range of technologies contexts. They describe how design and technologies contribute to daily life. 

Students identify key aspects of a design situation when considering the development of products, services and environments and establish criteria for the evaluation of designed solutions. They communicate, evaluate and modify creative design ideas using a variety of techniques. They select and use appropriate digital technologies to collaborate on, investigate, generate, communicate and document design ideas and processes using technical terminology. Students develop project plans and production processes and procedures. They select and use materials, components, tools, equipment and techniques correctly and safely to produce designed solutions that meet an identified need. They evaluate the product, service or environment against criteria for success. 


Level 3 Activity elaboration

In completing this or other design chalenges, you will need to demonstrate the design process, taking a given problem through each of the stages of the process.

The design stage should show your identification and clarification of the problem, specifying any assumptions you have made with regards to the problem, and identifying what will determine a successful solutions (ensuring that these aspects can be tested).

The next step of the design stage is to research existing solutions to the problem, the different materials, tools, and systems related to the problem, to ideate as many different solutions as you can to solve the problem, create prototypes to compare possible solutions on a small scale, draw design plans and processes, and detail the reasoning behind your choice of which solution you will develop.

The development stage should detail your construction of a solution, the problems you encounter, and your solutions to these problems.

The testing and evaluation phase should determine how well your solution solves the problem you identified, with each factor measured in some way and based on this testing, an evaluation made to determine if the solution developed is the best possible or if other solutions should be explored from what has been learnt.

If necessary, the design cycle should be continued until the best possible solution has been derived (within constraints such as available time and resources).

This process should be fully documented (up to 400 words and 3 minutes of video) showing how you have demonstrated the design process. This process is much more important than the actual solution that is derived. 


You will be assessed on your interpretation of this design process (how well you implement what has been described to derive an effective solution); innovation in your research, planning and development of the design challenge; and articulation and presentation of your process and solution. 


Level 4 Activity elaboration 

As seen in the above example, a design challenge can address a wide range of the Knowledge and Understanding; and Processes and Production Skills to be developed from Year 5 to Year 6 While not all possible aspects must be addressed each year, sufficient aspects should be completed to ensure that all aspects are covered in the year grouping with some overlap to enable students multiple opportunities. In general, Processes and Production Skills will be addressed each year with Knowledge and Understanding varying depending upon the chosen context.
 
For a Year 3 to Year 4 unit outline, you should detail 15 hours of learning activities  over 18 weeks including at least one design challenge such as that described for the Emergency Shelter design challenge. Other activities can be included that usually complement the main design challenge, such as learning to sew, testing materials, etc. but do not constitute design challenges in themselves or only part of a challenge e.g. just a testing and evaluation of a particular solution.

The unit outline you develop should meet the requirements of the Australian Curriculum: Technologies and address one of the contexts: Materials and Technologies, Food and Fibre Production; Food Technologies; or Engineering Principles and Systems. You may include design challenges you explored for Level 3 tasks but you only need to describe how they would be taught.

Your unit should indicate 1. the learning activities students will undertake and the time to be spent on them (innovation), 2. the Knowledge and Understanding and Processes and Production Skills that the unit will develop in students (interpretation), and 3. how these will be assessed (analysis). 





Subpages (1): D&T5 5-6 Activities
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