Year 4 Design and Technology

National Curriculum Expectations for the end of Key Stage 2:

When designing and making, children should be able to:


use research and develop design criteria to inform the design of innovative, functional, appealing products that are fit for purpose, aimed at particular individuals or groups

generate, develop, model and communicate their ideas through discussion, annotated sketches, cross-sectional and exploded diagrams, prototypes, pattern pieces and computer-aided design


select from and use a wider range of tools and equipment to perform practical tasks [for example, cutting, shaping, joining and finishing], accurately

select from and use a wider range of materials and components, including construction materials, textiles and ingredients, according to their functional properties and aesthetic qualities


investigate and analyse a range of existing products

evaluate their ideas and products against their own design criteria and consider the views of others to improve their work

understand how key events and individuals in design and technology have helped shape the world

Technical knowledge

apply their understanding of how to strengthen, stiffen and reinforce more complex structures

understand and use mechanical systems in their products [for example, gears, pulleys, cams, levers and linkages]

understand and use electrical systems in their products [for example, series circuits incorporating switches, bulbs, buzzers and motors]

apply their understanding of computing to program, monitor and control their products.

Cooking and nutrition

understand and apply the principles of a healthy and varied diet

prepare and cook a variety of predominantly savoury dishes using a range of cooking techniques

understand seasonality, and know where and how a variety of ingredients are grown, reared, caught and processed.


At Gayton, by the end of Year 3, the expectation is that children will be able to:

  • use research for design ideas
  • show design meets a range of requirements and is fit for purpose
  • begin to create own design criteria
  • have at least one idea about how to create product and suggest improvements for design.
  • produce a plan and explain it to others
  • say how realistic a plan is.
  • include an annotated sketch
  • make and explain design decisions considering availability of resources
  • explain how a product will work
  • make a prototype
  • measure carefully to avoid mistakes
  • attempt to make product strong
  • continue working on product even if original didn’t work
  • make a strong, stiff structure
  • select suitable tools and equipment, explain choices in relation to required techniques and use accurately
  • select appropriate materials, fit for purpose; explain choices
  • work through plan in order.
  • realise if product is going to be good quality
  • measure, mark out, cut and shape materials/components with some accuracy
  • assemble, join and combine materials and components with some accuracy
  • apply a range of finishing techniques with some accuracy
  • refer to design criteria while designing and making
  • use criteria to evaluate product
  • begin to explain how I could improve original design
  • evaluate existing products, considering: how well they’ve been made, materials, whether they work, how they have been made, fit for purpose
  • discuss by whom, when and where products were designed
  • research whether products can be recycled or reused
  • know about some inventors/designers/ engineers/chefs/manufacturers of ground-breaking products