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Design & Technology


Design technology prepares children to deal with the world's rapidly changing situations and enables children to use, develop and combine a wide range of essential life skills. It encourages children to become healthy, independent, creative problem solvers. This understanding allows them to reflect and evaluate present and past design and technology. Combined together, children become confident and informed consumers, potential innovators and rounded members of the public. 

At Old Clee Primary Academy, we aim to deliver an engaging, practical and imaginative Design and Technology curriculum which encompasses practical skills, understanding and a secure development of life skills.  With the skills taught and developed through our curriculum, we intend to encourage children to be creative thinkers with an ability to examine designs and refine these further. Through the study of Design and Technology children will learn to work collaboratively in a team and become articulate speakers who can communicate their ideas clearly. The curriculum will provide children with opportunities to think innovatively and inquisitively about Design Technology. Design Technology is delivered as a discrete subject which is spiralised across the year to embed essential skills through retrieval practice and application. Through our curriculum, cross curricular links will be identified and made meaningful in appropriate contexts for children to explore. Additionally, every other year, children will have the opportunity to take part in our whole school Enterprise event which enhances our Design and Technology curriculum, as children are encouraged to design purposeful products to be sold at a profit.  

Our emphasis on lateral thinking is underpinned by opportunities to follow a design, make, evaluate and improve system using their own initiative. Our Design Technology curriculum covers the skills outlined in the national curriculum through broad, challenging and purposeful units of work.  All Design and Technology projects will contribute children’s awareness of the wider curriculum and how skills are transferrable in their daily lives.



Design Technology lessons begin with a weekly review activity which embeds knowledge through retrieval practice. This activity might take the form of a quiz, vocabulary activity or practical task that promotes information recall. Additionally, each year group will research significant innovators providing them with a wider understanding of how Design and Technology can change the world in a range of contexts. Working environments will have quality working walls which enables children to consistently see progression steps, work independently and acquire technical vocabulary needed to articulate ideas clearly.

Knowledge of food and nutrition are underpinned throughout the whole school but this is further embedded through our Design and technology curriculum which provides children the opportunity to develop and understanding of where food comes from, the importance of a varied healthy diet and the skills to prepare and make meals for themselves or a specific purpose.               


Teaching of Design Technology in Early Years Foundation Stage

Children start to explore in Foundation Stage using their imagination through modelling materials to make different end products. Children have the chance to explore, taste and smell a variety of fruit and vegetables through stories and snack time. Ways of joining are discussed, developed and improved securing a solid foundation for the children to start Design and Technology work in Year 1.


Teaching of Design Technology in Key Stage One

In KS1 children are exposed to a wide collection of core areas within Design and Technology such as cooking and nutrition, construction, materials and more. Each project is presented in a meaningful context and is explored starting with inspirational designers, making designs and eventually making products.  Children are given design criteria to support the process of designing imaginative products with a purpose. Importance is placed on evaluation and what this involves as a designer which empowers children to innovate and share their skills or knowledge. Opportunities to remake, recover or redesign are constant due to the spiraliseation of lessons. Children are given the opportunity to develop practical skills individually or as part of a team.


  • Purposeful, working, appealing products for themselves and other users based on design criteria. 
  • Generate, develop, model and communicate their ideas through talking, drawing, templates, mock-ups and where appropriate use information and communication technology to create designs.   


  • Select from and use a range of tools and equipment to perform practical tasks.
  • Select from and use a wide range of materials and components, including construction materials, textiles and ingredients, according to their characteristics


  • Explore and evaluate a range of existing products 
  • Evaluate their ideas and products against design criteria


Technical Knowledge:

  • Build structures, exploring how they can be made stronger, stiffer and more stable
  • Explore and use mechanisms [for example, levers, sliders, wheels and axles], in their products.


Teaching of Design Technology in Key Stage Two 

Designs, ideas and products are refined at every stage of the design process. KS2 will have many opportunities to apply practical skills to produce products in a range of products in relevant context that will enable them to build on prior experiences from KS1. Children will research and generate their own design briefs, criteria and specifications based on users’ needs or the purpose of the product. Children will be able to articulate their choices using appropriate vocabulary for their year group as this is embedded in lessons and built upon through retrieval.


  • 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 range of tools and equipment to perform practical tasks.
  • Select from and use a wide range of materials and components, including construction materials, textiles and ingredients, according to their characteristics


  • 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.



It is our aspiration that through our Design and Technology curriculum children are able to enter the world with secure skills from cooking and nutrition, to computer coding, to being innovative and creative thinkers. Children will leave our school having experienced and acquired a range of technical knowledge of tools, materials, mechanical systems and recipes. Through regular opportunities to work as part of a team or individually children will be articulate communicators who will share their ideas clearly.  These skills are integral life skills that will provide a basis for further application the real world as part of a community.   

Half termly ‘Proof of Progress’ Pop Tasks have been created which require pupils to undertake an independent activity which assesses the combined retrieval of several previously taught practical skills or continuous concepts elements.