At St. Andrew’s, our Design and Technology curriculum is delivered through well planned and resourced projects. Using creativity and imagination, children design and make products for a specific user and purpose. The children receive a Design and Technology curriculum, which allows them to develop their curiosity and excitement, by being given practical opportunities for them to understand why and how products are created.
The children are taught to combine their designing and making skills with knowledge and understanding, to design and make a product.
Skills are taught progressively, to ensure that all children can learn and practice in order to develop as they move through the school.
Each unit builds on the prior learning and knowledge from the relevant unit (eg structures/mechanisms/textiles or cooking and nutrition) from the previous year.
Evaluation is an integral part of the design process and allows children to adapt and improve their product. This is a key skill which they need throughout their life. They will develop the ability to take risks, through researching, designing, creating and evaluating as well as having the ability to critically assess and reflect on their ideas and products. The units taught allow children to apply their knowledge and skills learned in other subjects, particularly Maths, Computing and Science.
Cultural Capital within our Design and Technology curriculum exposes the children to designers, creating intrigue and curiosity around design. It helps the children to develop a deeper understanding of the design process and what constitutes design. For example, in Year 5 children use their knowledge of bridges to reflect upon a famous design problem: the London Millennium Footbridge. They learn how it wobbled when it opened and deliberate about why and how they might fix it. In Year 6 when children are planning and designing playgrounds, they study documents from the development of the local park.
In EYFS, children use and explore a variety of materials and techniques. The children share their creations, explaining the process they have used. For example, in the Autumn Term they create split pin spiders alongside a week of work about well-known nursery rhymes.
Children from Year 1 upwards will be expected to complete three Design and Technology units a year. We use the ‘Kapow’ scheme of work to inform planning and support the development of the children’s skills.
Each lesson of a D&T unit will form part of the D&T cycle (Research, Design, Make and Evaluate). Units have been organised so that the D&T skills being taught are progressive and built upon throughout the school. The progression of these skills has also been mapped against the National Curriculum to ensure coverage. For example, in KS1 the National Curriculum states that ‘pupils should explore and evaluate a range of existing products.’ This is covered in 5 out of 6 of the units that are completed during KS1.
Mechanisms and Structures units are taught in all years. Textiles and Cooking and Nutrition are taught in alternate year groups and authentic and appropriate links have been made with History, Geography or Science units, where possible. For example, the Year 5 Structures unit: Bridges is planned alongside the geography unit Alpine Region. Teachers are encouraged to block lessons where appropriate.
Each unit has a Knowledge Organiser which includes skills, knowledge and vocabulary from both the previous and current year’s unit from the key area (structures / mechanisms / textiles / cooking and nutrition). Teachers use this to inform planning as well as referring to them throughout the teaching sequence.
The use of correct technical vocabulary is an important aspect of our Design and Technology curriculum. The children are introduced to a range of subject specific vocabulary throughout the units they learn about each year. As the children progress through KS1 and KS2, the vocabulary is built upon and extended. For some vocabulary, the same terminology is used but the definition becomes more advanced as they progress through the school.
a set of rules to help you with your ideas and test the success of them.
a set of rules to help designers focus their ideas and test the success of them.
the really important goals that must be achieved in order for a project to be successful.
Design and Technology is a popular and valued subject for pupils with special educational needs. Teachers skilfully adapt tasks where necessary and adults within the classroom are used to support these pupils, so that they can work as independently as possible.
Knowledge and understanding is drawn from across the curriculum and helps to develop numeracy, literacy and communication skills, that can be applied in practical ways. Many lessons involve visual demonstrations, video clips and modelling, which all support the scaffolding process for pupils with SEND, which can promote confidence in the subject.
Children at St Andrew’s have clear enjoyment and confidence in Design and Technology. which they can also apply to other areas of the curriculum. As designers, they will develop skills and attributes they can use beyond school and into adulthood.
We encourage children to have the courage to be creative and take risks. Through experimentation, trial and error and thoughtful evaluation, children understand the rewards that can result from resilience and determination.
Evidence of learning can be seen in children’s Design and Technology books, which will pass up through the school, providing a record of the children’s learning journey in KS1 and KS2. In the books, there will be evidence of planning and evaluating as well as photographic evidence of their finished product. A clear focus on vocabulary in each unit, can be seen in the written work produced by the children, as well as in their oral discussions and through pupil voice.
At St. Andrew’s, we value Design Technology, as part of our aim to ensure our pupils receive a broad and balanced curriculum. We use cross-curricular links to support Design Technology units and ensure the subject elements of Design, Make, Evaluate and Technical Knowledge are fully taught. In every unit, we try to design something, for somebody, for some purpose.
Each year group covers three topics a year.
Year Group Overview
Cooking and Nutrition: Wraps
Mechanisms: Wheels and axles
Mechanisms: Making a monster
Structures: Baby bear’s chair
Cooking and Nutrition: Eating seasonally
Mechanical Systems: Pneumatic toys
Structures: Constructing a castle/building
Mechanical Systems: Making a slingshot
Mechanical Systems: Pop-up book
Cooking and Nutrition: What could be healthier?
Mechanical Systems: Automata toys