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St John's CofE Primary School

Nurturing potential within a Christian ethos

Design Technology



'In a very real way, designers create the human environment; they make the things we use, the places we live and work, our modes of communication and mobility. Simply put, design matters' - William McDonough, Architect, Designer and Author


Our Design Technology (DT) Curriculum is designed to nurture and inspire our pupils to become creative, resourceful and capable global citizens with practical skills and imaginative solutions to the problems they may face, enabling them to respond and enjoy expressing their ideas and imagination.  Through Design Technology, we want pupils to design and make products that solve real and practical problems and that meet the needs in the world around them.   We want pupils to develop a curiosity of how things work and are made.  Through Design Technology, pupils learn to become resilient, take risks and become innovative.  The design process is rooted in real life, relevant contexts to give meaning to learning.  We want our pupils to become aware of designers, the history of design and the impact they have had on the world around them.  We want our pupils' minds to be open to the possibilies and opportunities available to them through design. 




Design Technology is to be taught in all year groups through at least one topic per term.  Design Technology projects are often made cross curricular where possible - linking to other subjects taught in the curriculum, often science and mathematics.  In accordance with the National Curriculum, the teaching of DT follows the design, make and evaluate cycle. Each stage is rooted in technical knowledge.  The design process is rooted in real life, relevant contexts to give meaning to learning. While making, children are given choice and a range of tools to choose freely from. To evaluate, children should be able to evaluate their own products against a design criterion. Each of these steps is rooted in technical knowledge and vocabulary. There should be evidence in each of these stages.  The children design and create products that consider function and purpose and which are relevant to a range of sectors (for example, the home, school, leisure, culture, enterprise, industry and the wider environment).


When designing and making, the children are taught 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 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, as well as chopping and slicing) accurately.

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



• 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.

• understand and use electrical systems in their products.

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

• Understand some of the ways that food can be processed and the effect of different cooking practices


Key skills and key knowledge for DT have been mapped across the school to ensure progression between year groups. The context for the children’s work in DT is also well considered and children learn about real life structures and the purpose of specific examples, as well as developing their skills throughout the programme of study. Design and technology lessons may sometimes be taught as a block so that children’s learning is focused throughout each unit of work.




At St John’s, staff recognise that DT can be an area of enjoyment and opportunity for many children with SEND. This, in many cases, can have the effect of breaking down their barriers to learning.  Opportunities to experience the design process, learn new skills, using a range of creative techniques and materials, result in children building resilience as they try out their own designs.    Staff are aware that some children with SEND or those with a lower starting level of resilience may need to build up to some of the challenges that DT can present, working collaboratively with peers can help children to confront challenges and feel more confident as they explore their ideas and develop their creative thinking.  Planned opportunities for Design and Technology projects, present the perfect opportunity for many children with SEND to build resilience and positive skills for the future



  • Pupils will have clear enjoyment and confidence in design and technology that they will then apply to other areas of the curriculum.
  • Pupils will ultimately know more, remember more and understand more about Design Technology, demonstrating this knowledge when using tools or skills in other areas of the curriculum and in opportunities out of school.
  • Pupils will have a knowledge of some designers and technical mechanisms and structures.
  • As designers pupils will develop skills and attributes they can use beyond school and into adulthood.
  • Pupils will become more resilient as a result of making modifications to products that may not work the first time they are made.