Using the Nuffield approach to teaching 'structures' at Key Stage 3

  • Jon Parker
  • David Barlex Brunel University


This article discusses the use of knowledge and understanding in designing, focusing on the area of structures and exploring the use of an INSET session to adapt a designing and making assignment (Capability Task) so that it requires the use of particular materials and an appreciation of their structural possibilities. The use of focused practical tasks (Resource Tasks) for learning both structural principles and design strategies is described. The results of the teachers' designing and making are presented and the use of outline sketches as starting points is discussed. Finally, teachers' comments are included.

Author Biographies

Jon Parker
Nuffield Area Field Officer and Senior Curriculum Adviser for Northamptonshire
David Barlex, Brunel University
Nuffield Project Director and Senior Lecturer
How to Cite
PARKER, Jon; BARLEX, David. Using the Nuffield approach to teaching 'structures' at Key Stage 3. Journal of Design & Technology Education, [S.l.], v. 3, n. 2, july 2009. ISSN 1360-1431. Available at: <>. Date accessed: 23 oct. 2021.
Curriculum Development - Secondary