Standards light up the curriculum


24 March 2004

What would it be like if light bulbs didn’t have sizes, railway lines were different widths, or credit cards weren’t the same shape?

A new, free education website on British Standards,[Decommisioned February 2016], answers questions like these and many more. Launched by the British Standards Institution (BSI), and supported by the National Standardization Strategic Framework (NSSF), the site is an online resource for students from the age of 7-19 and their teachers, to learn more about Standards and the impact they have on every day life and business.

Liz Williams, Education and Communications Executive, BSI British Standards, said, “Through standards, this website illustrates the link between curriculum subject areas and the real world of design and production of goods and services.”

Every year, BSI receives hundreds of enquiries about Standards from students and teachers across the UK relating to curriculum areas such as: GCSE and A-level Design & Technology, on Standards for the safety of products they are designing; or GCSE Engineering and GCSE Manufacturing, relating to how students can test products against their specifications and why this is important.

The website aims to answer these questions in a fun and interesting way, offering user-friendly navigation, teacher-tailored content with lesson plans and activities, tests and games for students aged 7-19. Further and higher education students are given guidance on researching standards for their course work and on the importance of British Standards to business including content related to Management Systems standards.

“Standards influence many aspects of our lives and it’s important that students, who may one day enter higher education and industry, understand this from an early age,” said Ms Williams.[Decommisioned February 2016] is a one-stop information and teaching portal for Standards. It offers a new resource for teaching and provides materials for Design and Technology, Engineering and Manufacturing, and references cross-curricular links.

What the teachers thought

In the development process, teachers were asked to anonymously review the website and comment on content, design and usability. These teachers all had experience of dealing with the relevant target age group.

7-11 age group
“Teachers like to be able to access everything they need to plan for and deliver appropriate lessons – this website will do that for the topics.”
In reference to the Bridge Builder game:
“A great way to get children thinking about Standards, bridge-building and key bridge vocabulary”
“I would encourage my pupils to attempt the game for reinforcement of learning – working in pairs would encourage dialogue regarding the building of the bridge.”

11-14 age group
“I would certainly steer my students to use this area to support the research work they have to produce. It is also a valuable area to support revision and reinforce their
knowledge and understanding.”
In reference to the Activities:
“The pages are relevant and easy to use for teachers to implement in their teaching. The notes print out clearly.”

14-19 age group
“This section appears to be well-developed and suitable for the age range.”
“This section has a good clear layout. Navigation is clear and straightforward.”


Notes to Editor:

•[Decommisioned February 2016] for teachers: the site provides a range of teachers’ notes, lesson plans, cross-curricular links, activity sheets and games relating to British
Standards for the age groups 7-11, 11-14, 14-19. It offers a clear and accessible approach to teaching students more about Standards

•[Decommisioned February 2016] for students: students from 7-19 can access information on Standards, play games to test their skill and understanding, and complete activities
relevant to their area of interest, age and education level

• Links to curriculum: teachers will find resources for:
- Design and Technology (7-11, 11-14 and 14-19 age groups)
- Engineering (GCSE – 14-16)
- Manufacturing (GCSE 14-16)
- Business Studies (14-19)
- Further and Higher Education – useful for research and has information on Quality, Environmental and Information Security Management Systems which support a broad range of subject areas
- Cross-curricular references, for teachers of 7-11 year olds, to Literacy, Numeracy, Geography, Science, Design and Technology, ICT, History and Art

• The website is approved by the National Grid for Learning (NGfL) and the Virtual Teacher Centre (VTC)

Lucy Fulton
Public Relations Officer
Tel: +44 (0) 20 8996 7248
Mob: +44 (0) 7717 451 990

NSSF (National Standardization Strategic Framework)
The NSSF was developed by the Department of Trade and Industry (DTI), British Standards Institution (BSI) and the Confederation of British Industry (CBI) to provide a platform for
increasing awareness use and understanding of standards and standardization in the UK. As part of the government’s commitment to technology and innovation, the DTI is funding a range of activities to provide a support structure to meet the standardization needs of business, government and society. For further information on the NSSF please visit: