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Northbourne ce
Primary School

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Design Technology

Design Technology


Design and Technology is an inspiring, rigorous and practical subject which has a vital role in contributing to a balanced curriculum and creating problem solver of the future. At Northbourne CE Primary School our intention is to provide children with real-life contexts for learning. As an inspiring and practical subject, we intend to prepare children to deal with an ever-changing technological world, encouraging them to become creative and resourceful problem solvers, working both independently and as members of a team. We teach them to be inspired by real world opportunities and relevant problems by identifying the needs and values of others and developing a range of ideas and solutions in a variety of contexts. We aim to, wherever possible, link work to other disciplines such as mathematics, science, computing, and art. By researching past and present technologies and applying knowledge learnt across other areas of the curriculum, children build their confidence, resilience, practical and analytical skills. They will learn to overcome challenges and improve designs and products, all the while finding motivation and meaning for their learning.

By the time children reach Year 6 they will be on the way to becoming risk takers and innovators and will have experienced using a range of tools, resources and materials to create effectively constructed and aesthetically pleasing results. This, along with a strong focus on the importance of evaluation, allows children to adapt and improve their work, providing them with not only a sense of achievement but a strong foundation for the next step of their learning and a key skill for life. Through our DT curriculum we aim to build an awareness of the impact of DT on our lives and encourage pupils to become resourceful, enterprising citizens who will have the skills to contribute to future design advancements.



To ensure high standards of teaching and learning in Design and Technology we implement a bespoke curriculum that is shaped by the requirements of the National Curriculum. Our curriculum is studied over a 2-year rolling cycle and focuses on 5 key areas: food and nutrition, textiles, structures, mechanisms and electrical circuits (KS2). Key skills and key knowledge for DT have been mapped across the school to ensure clear progression between year groups and allow children to learn and build on skills mastered in previous years. Teachers are given ownership and flexibility to plan for DT in a cross-curricular approach thereby enabling pupils to make meaningful connections in their learning. DT can often be taught as a block of lessons to allow the time needed for the children to be critical, inventive and reflective of their work. Each project from Year 1/2 to 5/6 addresses the principles of designing, making, and evaluating and incorporates relevant technical knowledge and vocabulary.



Rooted in real-life, relevant contexts, children design products with a purpose and an intended user of the products in mind. They use research and develop design criteria to inform the design of innovative, functional, appealing and fit-for-purpose products. Planning should be through appropriate formats ie. annotated sketches, patterns/templates, communicating ideas verbally and prototypes/’mock-ups’. In some cases, designs will be computer aided.



Whilst making, children will be given a wide range of tools, materials and components including textiles, construction equipment and ingredients. Time is taken to ensure that children have an appreciation of the potential risks of working with different tools and materials and are able to manage these risks successfully to create products in a safe, hygienic way. They build and apply a repertoire of knowledge, understanding and skills (ie. cutting, shaping, joining and finishing) in order to make high-quality prototypes and products for a range of users.



Children at Northbourne learn to critique, evaluate and test their ideas and products as well as the work of others. They investigate and analyse a range of existing products to understand how individuals and key events have shaped design and technology globally. In addition, they learn to evaluate their work against their own design criteria and consider the views of others in order to improve their work.


Wider Curriculum

As a school we promote Design and Technology in the wider environment through Forest School and outdoor learning. Activities are planned where possible to tie into the class’ current learning journey or to consolidate prior learning. The Forest School curriculum gives all children the opportunities to cut wood and shape it safely using a variety of tools. They will learn how to use a hand drill, a hacksaw, peelers, and loppers. We also have a gardening club where the children learn about where our food comes from by growing their own, and the importance of a balanced, healthy, and varied diet, and how to prepare this. We have an allotment plot at school and each class has the opportunity to take charge of their own patch, to grow and harvest food in order to set them up for a healthy future beyond the classroom.



Assessment of children’s learning in Design Technology takes the form of ongoing monitoring of children’s understanding, knowledge and skills using key questioning skills built into lessons by the class teacher. Child-led assessment such as success criteria and evaluation grids are also used to inform the differentiation, support and challenge required by the children. Summative assessment is conducted termly by class teachers across each year group and is aimed at targeting next steps in learning as well as informing the subject leader of progress and skills/knowledge still to be embedded.

Design and Technology is also monitored by the subject leader throughout the year in the form of collection of evidence (photos),  book monitoring, looking at outcomes measured against age-based progression and pupil interviews to discuss their learning. This evidence aids understanding and establishes the impact of the teaching taking place.

The impact of using the full range of tools and resources, will be seen across the school with an increase in the profile of Design and Technology. Children will have a clear enjoyment and confidence in DT that they will then be able to apply to other areas of the curriculum. Children will know more, remember more and understand more about DT. Children will retain prior-learning and explicitly make connections between what they have previously learned and what they are currently learning. It is our intention that the learning environment across the school will be more consistent with design and technology technical vocabulary displayed, spoken and used by all learners. Children will gain a firm foundation of knowledge and skills to see them equipped to take on further learning and life as a capable citizen in the wider world.


Northbourne CEP School is committed to safeguarding and promoting the welfare of children and young people and we expect all Governors, staff, volunteers, parents and carers to share this commitment.