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Design & Technology

“Design is a funny word. Some people think design means how it looks.
But of course, if you look deeper, it’s really how it works.”
Steve Jobs

“Technology makes possibilities. Design makes solutions.”
John Maeda




The National Curriculum in England 2014 states that: ‘Design and Technology is an inspiring, rigorous and practical subject.  The intent of the DT Curriculum at Glebe is to provide plenty of opportunities for the children to learn, apply and strengthen essential skills required in the designing, making and evaluating of an effective product for a given purpose. Using creativity and imagination, pupils design and make products that solve real and relevant problems within a variety of contexts, considering their own and others’ needs, wants and values’. Pupils learn how to take risks, becoming resourceful, innovative and enterprising.

It is also the intent of the DT Curriculum to ensure that the children are well-equipped with useful technical knowledge to support them in the design and making of their product. For example: Learning how to strengthen a structure to make it more stable, learning how to use mechanisms or electrical systems in their designs and learning how to use computer programming to control a product.

In addition, the school aims to develop the children’s use and understanding of technical vocabulary associated with this subject. This is so that the children can articulate the skills that they have applied, the equipment that they have used and describe the material/s and features of the product that they have made.



In Early Years, the children develop essential basic skills in design and technology which prepares them for their transition into Year 1. This is by the teacher creating many opportunities for the children to carry out D&T related activities across all areas of learning.

By the end of Early Years, it is expected that the children will be able to:

  • Construct with a purpose in mind.
  • Use simple tools and techniques competently and appropriately.
  • Build and construct with a wide range of objects, selecting appropriate resources and adapting their work when necessary.
  • Select the tools and techniques they need to shape, assemble and join materials they are using.


Researching and exploring: 

Pupils will carry out research regarding the product that they are going to make so that they can use this research to support the design of their product.

They will explore products linked to their project. Here are some of the ways they do this:

·         Researching the history of the product.

·         Researching key individuals and events.

  • Taking the product apart and looking at the material/s used to make it.
  • Looking at the different features of the product.
  • Establishing how the product is constructed.
  • Questioning how effective it is in its purpose.
  • Discussing what could be done to improve this product.
  • Producing a list of key vocabulary linked to this product.



The children will draw/sketch designs and annotate this with information about their design such as, what features they have included in their design.

During this lesson the children will also answer questions such as:

  • What materials will I need?
  • What tools will I need?
  • What technical skills will I need to practise before making the product? (Some of these may have been previously taught skills which need refreshing or be completely new)


Technical knowledge/ skill 

The children engage in a practical activity of practising technical knowledge or skill that they will be required to use when making their product. This may be a new skill or a skill previously practised but that required more practise.



The children make their product.



The children will not only evaluate the effectiveness of their product but also the skills that they applied. This will be recorded in their Art & DT book.

What do we do to make Design Technology special?

Our pupils and staff love Design Technology and we work hard to promote it at Glebe. Throughout the year, children have many opportunities to enhance their personal development through engaging in themed Design Technology projects linked to their topics. They are given support to be risk takers in a safe environment. Through the carefully planned development of skills throughout each key stage, the children learn to use tools and resources with safety, care and responsibility.

“Fundamentally, D.T. is fun and loved by all pupils; every lesson is met with enthusiasm and natural curiosity. It is an invaluable opportunity for all pupils to develop practical skills that prepare them for life. Our engaging D.T. curriculum exposes the pupils to a wealth of opportunities where they can develop a range of skills including, researching, exploring, investigating, testing, designing, drawing, making, creating, adapting and evaluating. These skills are at the core of the D.T. curriculum but can also be transferred and applied to other subjects, ensuring that children develop into resilient, thoughtful, creative individuals.” Year 1 teacher

How is my child assessed?
Children are assessed against their understanding of the competencies taught and skills gained. Children's vocabulary will be revisited and developed each year as they progress through the Design Technology curriculum.


Year 1 fruit salads

Pupils have loved designing and making fruit salads; developing their food preparation skills and their knowledge of healthy eating. 



Year 1 Rockets -

Through our topic of Space Vehicles, the pupils have engaged fully in researching the wonders of space travel; generating a plethora of questions and applying aspects of what they have learnt to their own designs and models.    

Year 2  Puppets –

In year 2, the children put their sewing skills in practice. They learnt how to thread a needle and used the running stitch to sew fabrics together.



Year 4 Stockings –

In year 4, children used a range of sewing techniques to make their own Christmas stocking. After designing and exploring a range of materials, they evaluated on their designs and created a final one. They tested out their stocking and evaluated their final product.


Year 4 bread –

Children started off researching about the history of bread during home learning. When they came back to school, they designed their own bread (creating many designs by exploring shapes and flavours). They planned the making process and identified ways to keep safe when cooking. After baking the bread, they tasted it and evaluated by discussing how they can make improvements and what went well.


Year 4 Anderson shelters -

Linked to our World War Two topic, the children developed designs for an Anderson shelter. They evaluated on all their designs and created a final one. They researched different materials and analysed how they can make the structure strong and stable. In pairs, they built their structure and then decorated it. The children discussed changes during the making process and then evaluated on how it went.

Glebe Winter Challenge 2020
A winter challenge was set to the children. They were required to design and make a winter or Christmas diorama at home. Children used recycled materials and a range of tools and equipment to make their models. Many added electrical components to make it more realistic and attractive. A winner was chosen from each year group (it was a very difficult decision).   Pictures of winning entries included in PowerPoint below.  As you can see…we have many designers and engineers in the making!


What is Design Technology?

“You design it and make it.’ Year 1

“It means what you’re making designs.” Year 2

“Design and make things.” Year 3

“I think Design Technology is where you make something and then you evaluate it.” Year 4

“When you design something then make it.” Year 5


What do you like best in Design Technology?



“Yes, I like designing things.’ Year 1

“Making new stuff out of paper and things.” Year 2

“Crafts and sticking.” Year 3

“I like working in a group and making different things.” Year 4

“I like the part when we design the project.” Year 5


What is your most memorable lesson?


“Making a fruit salad in year 1 was my favourite lesson because I made it with my friends.” Year 3

“When we made bread in year 4 because I don’t remember cooking in school before. It was really fun.” Year 4

“Making a rocket was fun because there were so many steps to do and we got to paint it.” Year 5


What is the most recent skill you have learnt?


“Making things to eat.” Year 1

“Drawing.” Year 2

“To help people and gluing.” Year 3

“I learnt different techniques to sew and I learnt how to make bread.” Year 4

“How to shape materials.” Year 5

How can I support my child at home?
- Use topic themes and home learning opportunities to investigate how materials are suitable for different purposes
- Encourage your child to be resourceful in their choice of methods and materials
- Encourage the use of recycled products to make Eco models
- Please speak to your child's teacher if you have any questions

Activities at home…
Junk modelling – create a model of an NHS emergency vehicle using recyclable materials.
Help an adult with some DIY around the house.
Design and make a bird house.
Make a card for a friend or family member including a lever.  – Follow instructions with useful diagrams to undertake engineering projects at home. There are challenges at the end of the tasks to develop your skills further, testing out your designs and models.

Have a go at some of these delicious recipes!

Useful websites:

What is D.T. and why is it important?


Learning about food and cooking:


Video clips and activities from the BBC, for KS1:


And for KS2:


For designing and building interesting projects at home, visit:‚Äč


For learning about D.T. moments in history, visit:


And if you want to make better use of that big box of Lego in the attic: