Content structure

The Australian Curriculum: Technologies Foundation–Year 10 comprises two subjects:

  • Design and Technologies
  • Digital Technologies

The Australian Curriculum: Technologies is written on the basis that all students will study the two subjects from Foundation to the end of Year 8.

In Year 9 and 10, student access to technologies subjects will be determined by school authorities. These could include Design and Technologies and/or Digital Technologies as outlined in the Australian Curriculum: Technologies and/or subjects relating to specific technologies contexts, determined by state and territory school authorities or individual schools.

The curriculum for each of Design and Technologies and Digital Technologies describes the distinct knowledge, understanding and skills of the subject and, where appropriate, highlights their similarities and complementary learning. This approach allows students to develop a comprehensive understanding of traditional, contemporary and emerging technologies. It also provides the flexibility – especially in the primary years of schooling – for developing integrated teaching programs that focus on both Technologies subjects and other learning areas. Figure 1 shows the relationship between the overarching idea, key ideas and subjects of the Technologies learning area.

Figure 1: Relationship between key ideas and Technologies subjects

The curriculum for each Technologies subject is written in bands of year levels:

  • Foundation –Year 2
  • Years 3 and 4
  • Years 5 and 6
  • Years 7 and 8
  • Years 9 and 10.


Knowledge, understanding and skills in each subject are presented through two related strands:

  • Knowledge and understanding
  • Processes and production skills.

Table 1 outlines the focus of knowledge, understanding and skills across the Technologies learning area Foundation to Year 10.

Design and Technologies Digital Technologies
Knowledge and understanding Knowledge and understanding
Technologies and society
  • the use, development and impact of technologies in people’s lives
Technologies contexts
  • technologies and design across a range of technologies contexts
Digital systems
  • the components of digital systems: hardware, software and networks and their use
Representation of data
  • how data are represented and structured symbolically
Processes and production skills Processes and production skills
Creating designed solutions by:
  • investigating
  • generating
  • producing
  • evaluating
  • collaborating and managing
Collecting, managing and analysing data
Creating digital solutions by:
  • defining
  • designing
  • implementing
  • evaluating
  • collaborating and managing
Table 1: Design and Technologies and Digital Technologies content structure

Teachers can select technologies-specific content from the Knowledge and understanding strand and students can apply skills from the Processes and production skills strand to that content.

The common strand structure provides an opportunity to highlight similarities across the two subjects that will facilitate integrated approaches to teaching.

Key ideas in the Technologies curriculum

Overarching idea: Creating preferred futures

The Technologies curriculum provides students with opportunities to consider how solutions that are created now will be used in the future. Students will identify the possible benefits and risks of creating solutions. They will use critical and creative thinking to weigh up possible short and long term impacts.

As students progress through the Technologies curriculum, they will begin to identify possible and probable futures, and their preferences for the future. They develop solutions to meet needs considering impacts on liveability, economic prosperity and environmental sustainability. Students will learn to recognise that views about the priority of the benefits and risks will vary and that preferred futures are contested.


Project management

Students will develop skills to manage projects to successful completion through planning, organising and monitoring timelines, activities and the use of resources. This includes considering resources and constraints to develop resource, finance, work and time plans; assessing and managing risks; making decisions; controlling quality; evaluating processes and collaborating and communicating with others at different stages of the process.

Students are taught to plan for sustainable use of resources when managing projects and take into account ethical, health and safety considerations and personal and social beliefs and values.

Thinking in Technologies
Systems thinking

A system is an organised group of related objects or components that form a whole. Systems thinking is a holistic approach to the identification and solving of problems where the focal points are treated as components of a system, and their interactions and interrelationships are analysed individually to see how they influence the functioning of the entire system.

In Design and Technologies the success of designed solutions includes the generation of ideas and decisions made throughout design processes. It requires students to understand systems and work with complexity, uncertainty and risk. Students recognise the connectedness of and interactions between people, places and events in local and wider world contexts and consider the impact their designs and actions have in a connected world.

Participating in and shaping the future of information and digital systems is an integral part of learning in Digital Technologies. Understanding the complexity of systems and the interdependence of components is necessary to create timely solutions to technical, economic and social problems. Implementation of digital solutions often has consequences for the people who use and engage with the system, and may introduce unintended costs or benefits that impact the present or future society.

Design thinking

Design thinking involves the use of strategies for understanding design needs and opportunities, visualising and generating creative and innovative ideas, planning, and analysing and evaluating those ideas that best meet the criteria for success.

Design thinking underpins learning in Design and Technologies. Design processes require students to identify and investigate a need or opportunity; generate, plan and realise designed solutions; and evaluate products and processes. Consideration of economic, environmental and social impacts that result from designed solutions are core to design thinking, design processes and Design and Technologies.

When developing solutions in Digital Technologies, students explore, analyse and develop ideas based on data, inputs and human interactions. When students design a solution to a problem they consider how users will be presented with data, the degree of interaction with that data and the various types of computational processing. For example, designing a maze; writing precise and accurate sequences of instructions to move a robot through the maze or testing the program and modifying the solution.

Computational thinking

Computational thinking is a problem-solving method that is applied to create solutions that can be implemented using digital technologies. It involves integrating strategies, such as organising data logically, breaking down problems into parts, interpreting patterns and models and designing and implementing algorithms.

Computational thinking is used when specifying and implementing algorithmic solutions to problems in Digital Technologies. For a computer to be able to process data through a series of logical and ordered steps, students must be able to take an abstract idea and break it down into defined, simple tasks that produce an outcome. This may include analysing trends in data, responding to user input under certain preconditions or predicting the outcome of a simulation.

This type of thinking is used in Design and Technologies during different phases of a design process when computation is needed to quantify data and solve problems. Examples include when calculating costs, testing materials and components, comparing performance, or modelling trends.

Band descriptions

Band descriptions provide information about the learning contexts that apply to the content descriptions and achievement standards in each Technologies subject in each band. They also emphasise the interrelated nature of the two strands and the expectation that planning will involve integration of content from across the strands.

Content descriptions

Content descriptions at each band describe the knowledge, understanding and skills that teachers are expected to teach and students are expected to learn. A concept or skill introduced in one band may be revisited, strengthened and extended in later bands as needed. Content descriptions do not prescribe approaches to teaching.

Content descriptions in each subject across the bands focus on similar organising elements that present a developmental sequence of concepts, skills and processes.

Content elaborations

Content elaborations are provided for each content description in Foundation to Year 10 to illustrate content. They are intended to help teachers in developing a shared understanding of the content descriptions. They are not intended to be comprehensive content points that all students need to be taught nor do they encompass every aspect of a content description.

Achievement standards

Across Foundation to Year 10, achievement standards indicate the quality of learning that students should typically demonstrate by a particular point in their schooling. An achievement standard describes the quality of learning (the depth of conceptual understanding and the sophistication of skills) that would indicate the student is well-placed to commence the learning required at the next level of achievement.

The sequence of achievement standards in each Technologies subject describes progress in the subject, demonstrating a broad sequence of expected learning by the end of the band. This sequence provides teachers with a framework for development in each Technologies subject.

The achievement standards for Technologies reflect the distinctive practices of each subject along with aspects of learning that are common to the Technologies subjects. Subject-specific terms and organisation reflect the essential characteristics of learning in each subject.

The achievement standards also reflect differences in the nature and scope of the learning in each subject, as well as the relationship between the interrelated strands: Knowledge and understanding and Processes and production skills.

Achievement standards will be accompanied by portfolios of annotated student work samples that illustrate the expected learning and help teachers to make judgments about whether students have achieved the standard.


A glossary is provided to support a shared understanding of key terms used in the curriculum.

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