At William Reynolds Primary School, we recognise the importance of encouraging pupils to think and intervene creatively to solve problems around them. Children will develop technical understanding, skills, learn about design methods and investigate their environment and everyday materials.

Our four principle aims for Design Technology (DT) – from the National Curriculum in England - are for all pupils to:

  • develop the creative, technical and practical expertise needed to perform everyday
  • tasks confidently and to participate successfully in an increasingly technological world
  • build and apply a repertoire of knowledge, understanding and skills in order to design
  • and make high-quality prototypes and products for a wide range of users
  • critique, evaluate and test their ideas and products and the work of others
  • understand and apply the principles of nutrition and learn how to cook.

We are committed to encouraging children to foster an enjoyment, satisfaction and purpose in designing and making. It provides first-hand experiences for children to explore attitudes towards the world and how we live and work within it.

The core of our DT curriculum is the National Curriculum for England.

The curriculum has been specifically sequenced in a logical progression to ensure that new knowledge and skills build on what has been taught before: Early Years to Year 6. This enables our pupils to know more and remember more. End points and target points within objectives are identified for each year group through a whole school DT progression plan. To enable progress substantive knowledge is taught practically and theoretically in partnership through knowing how we design, the knowledge of innovative history and the application of science, maths, art and computing skills. Disciplinary knowledge is taught by giving children the opportunity to explore existing products evaluating these before following a design brief to design and make their own improved product.

All pupils in Key Stage 1 and 2 participate in three units of DT throughout the year that develop their skills in designing, making, evaluating and technical knowledge. All year groups undertake a cooking and nutrition unit to apply the principle of healthy eating and nutrition. In EYFS DT is embedded through continuous provision as well as taught lessons where pupils use and explore a variety of materials, tools and techniques, experimenting with form and function and joining techniques. All pupils are given the opportunity to share their creations, explaining the process they have used.

Every year group has a yearly Curriculum Map that outlines the key areas of DT which will be taught throughout the year. This ensures that an adequate amount of time and coverage is allocated to each key unit.

Detailed Medium Term planning supports teachers to plan a sequence of progressive lessons and over time, giving the children opportunities to master new substantive concepts. Within this document, key objectives and vocabulary are outlined as well as identified investigative and focussed tasks. Progression documents, used to support the Medium-term plan, ensure that staff are delivering a consistent and challenging curriculum. Sketch books are used within Key Stage 1 and 2 to record their evaluation of existing products, product design, product manufacturing and final evaluations.

Where possible, lessons are contextualised with history, geography or science to engage the children further with their learning. As a school, we understand the importance of high-quality teaching so there are opportunities to upskill and improve teacher’s subject knowledge through CPD sessions.

Within the lesson, teachers check pupils’ understanding effectively and address any misconceptions through regular feedback. The curriculum is designed and delivered in a way that allows pupils to know more and remember more. Key skills and knowledge are embedded in their long-term memory so they can apply their learning to a range of product designs.

The EYFS curriculum includes rich opportunities for pupils to express and develop their own creativity and imagination with materials and food. Within the Foundation Stage, pupils explore and play with a wide range of media and materials. They make use of props and materials through role play. They are then encouraged to share their creations, explaining the process they have used.

In Key Stage 1 and 2, through a variety of creative and practical activities, pupils are taught the knowledge, understanding and skills needed to engage in an iterative process of designing and making. They work in a range of relevant contexts to design, make and evaluate using their technical knowledge. As part of their work with food, pupils are taught how to cook. Through this, a love of cooking in instilled in pupils. Learning how to cook is a crucial life skill that enables pupils to feed themselves and others affordably and well, now and in later life.

From years 1 – 6 pupils are taught how key events and individuals, in design and technology, have helped shape the modern world and understand the value of design in society.

In Key Stage 2, pupils are encouraged to master design techniques through selecting appropriate tools and equipment, materials and components from a wider range offered.

The impact of our curriculum is that:

  • Pupils make progress in range of design processes and techniques through taking risks, becoming resourceful, innovative and enterprising.
  • Pupils know how design and technology has shaped the modern world, historically and culturally.
  • Pupils understand the value of DT and how it is used in everyday life.
  • Pupils are prepared for their next stage in DT education and beyond.
  • Pupils understand and can apply the principles of a healthy and varied diet.

Design Technology is a journey of exploration and discovery on the way producing to a finished product. Here are some of ours.