Design Technology

At Allendale Primary School, we value Design and Technology as an important part of the children’s entitlement to an inclusive, broad and balanced curriculum. Through careful planning of our topics and our three year cycles, we aim to engage, inspire, develop and challenge the children in order to progress and develop their skills. Through a variety of creative and practical activities, pupils are taught the knowledge, understanding, skills and vocabulary needed to engage in an iterative process of designing, making and evaluating. We aim to help children to be innovative and creative thinkers who have the appreciation of the product design process and to use their creativity and imagination to design and make products that solve real and relevant problems within a variety of contexts, considering their own and others’ needs, wants and values. We want children to develop the confidence to take risks, through drafting design concepts, modelling and testing and to be reflective learners who evaluate their own and others’ work. We want our children to have an awareness of the impact that Design and Technology has on our lives and encourage children to become resourceful, enterprising citizens who will have the skills to contribute to future design advancements.
The teaching and implementation of the Design and Technology Curriculum at Allendale Primary School is based on the National Curriculum. The Design and Technology curriculum outlines the three main stages of the design process; design, make and evaluate. Each stage of the design process is underpinned by technical knowledge which encompasses the contextual, historical and technical understanding required for each strand. Cooking and nutrition has a separate section, with a focus on specific principles, skills and techniques in food, including where food comes from, diet and seasonality. As well as planning for cooking and nutrition lessons with our Design and Technology sessions, we also cover many of the objectives during our annual ‘health week’, our annual Harvest Festival preparations and during Science lessons throughout the year. Our Design and Technology curriculum is primarily linked to topics in both KS1 and KS2 and cross curricular links are made wherever possible.
Our Design and Technology Curriculum is high quality, inclusive, well thought out and is planned to demonstrate progression. Children with special educational needs have equal access to resources and materials. Activities are differentiated to ensure the needs of pupils are best met. Work produced by all pupils is valued and celebrated through display, assemblies and class activities. Children who show aptitude are identified, encouraged and given opportunity to flourish. We have a plentiful supply of resources and tools in an area that is easily accessed by all staff and an audit and supplies order is completed each year. The Design and Technology co-ordinator ensures that any specialist equipment is ordered ahead of specific projects being carried out to ensure that staff are not restricted in the implementation of their planned lessons.
Early Years Foundation Stage
During the EYFS pupils explore and use a variety of media and materials through a combination of child initiated and adult directed activities. They have the opportunities to:
  • explore collections of materials with similar and/or different properties and talk about these as well as any change they notice.
  • explore how things work.
  • explore different materials freely, to develop their ideas about how to use them and what to make. 
  • use their imagination as they consider what they can do with different materials.
  • develop their own ideas and then decide which materials to use to express them. 
  • join different materials and explore different textures. 
  • develop skills to use simple tools and techniques appropriately, effectively and safely.
  • make simple models which express their ideas. 
  • return to and build on their previous learning, refining ideas and developing their ability to represent them.
  • create collaboratively, sharing ideas, resources and skills.
  • cook and prepare food adhering to good health and hygiene routines.
Key Stage 1
When designing and making, pupils should be taught to:
  • design purposeful, functional, appealing products for themselves and other users based on design criteria.
generate, develop, model and communicate their ideas through talking, drawing, templates, mock-ups and, where appropriate, information and communication technology.   
  • select from and use a range of tools and equipment to perform practical tasks (for example, cutting, shaping, joining and finishing). 
  • select from and use a wide range of materials and components, including construction materials, textiles and ingredients, according to their characteristics.
  • explore and evaluate a range of existing products.
  • evaluate their ideas and products against design criteria
Technical knowledge:
  • build structures, exploring how they can be made stronger, stiffer and more stable.
  • explore and use mechanisms [for example, levers, sliders, wheels and axles], in their products.
Key Stage 2
When designing and making, pupils should be 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 and exploded 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), accurately.
  • select from and use a wider range of materials and components, including construction materials, textiles and ingredients, according to their functional properties and aesthetic qualities.
  • 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 (for example, gears, pulleys, cams, levers and linkages).
  • understand and use electrical systems in their products (for example, series circuits incorporating switches, bulbs, buzzers and motors).
  • apply their understanding of computing to program, monitor and control their products.
Children have clear enjoyment and confidence in Design and Technology that they will then apply to other areas of the curriculum. Through carefully planned and implemented learning activities the pupils develop the creative, technical and practical expertise needed to perform everyday tasks confidently and to participate successfully in an increasingly technological world. They gain a firm foundation of knowledge and skills to see them equipped to take on further learning as they progress into the upper years of school as well as developing skills and attributes they can use beyond their school years and into adulthood. All teachers observe the pupil’s ongoing progression during lesson time by asking questions, perusing their designs and opening up discussions about their products. Ongoing assessment takes place throughout the year and teachers use this information to inform future lessons; ensuring children are supported and challenged appropriately.
We also monitor achievement in the Design and Technology curriculum by;
  • collecting samples of children’s work from across the school in order to identify progression and expectations.
  • pupil voice and feedback.
  • Governor monitoring with curriculum coordinator.
  • tracking skills against pupil achievement.
  • photo evidence of pupil learning and participation.