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St Thomas' CE Primary Academy

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St Thomas' CE Primary Academy

Design Technology

'Technology makes possibilities. Design makes solutions.'


John Maeda




At St Thomas’ CE Primary Academy, we aim to inspire and enthuse children to be the future designers and creative problem solvers of our ever-changing world. We encourage children to be creative, take risks and develop their imaginations, whilst learning new skills and knowledge that can cross subject boundaries.  Children will have a deeper understanding of the way the world works through practical tasks, which centres around scientific and technical processes, the design of striking finished inventions and the use of a wider range of tools and materials. By providing children with the opportunities to focus on key significant architects, designers and story characters, children will be able to tell a narrative, embed technical vocabulary and make connections across the whole curriculum, in order to be the innovative and creative twenty-first century citizens.



The teaching and implementation of the Design and Technology Curriculum is tailored to meet the needs of all the children at St Thomas’ CE Primary school and follows the DATA scheme and units, which have been assigned to specific year groups. This spiral approach allows children to develop and build upon the skills and knowledge around a specific concept within the Design and Technology curriculum. This will ensure children make connections to previous projects, architects and designers whilst creating a project that will have a specific focus or aim.  All children at St Thomas’ CE Primary Academy will study the units of Structures, Mechanism, Food, Textiles and Electrical systems throughout their school journey, whilst focusing on the skills of research, design, plan, make and evaluate. All units have been carefully planned to fit in with each year group and their curriculum and allows opportunities to revisit previously taught skills and learning across other subjects. Some units have been planned alongside Science units which will provide opportunities for retrieval over both subjects. Children will be given opportunities to work practically, develop their resilience when working on an idea and also explore a wide range of tools and equipment which is specific to certain projects. Teachers will plan retrieval learning when exploring a specific unit using low questions, low stake quizzes and challenges. At the end of each unit, children will test their projects and be reflective designers, architects or inventors to help understand the importance of development, adapting and improving individual work.


Fundamental Skills and Knowledge within the EYFS

At St Thomas’ CE Primary Academy, children in the Early Years are giving the opportunities to investigate how things works through a range of practical activities such as junk modelling, use of construction play, model building both indoors and outdoors and exploring healthy foods.  They will work creatively, developing and refining their ideas, drawing upon knowledge links from previous experiences or other areas of learning. Throughout their time in Reception, pupils will work with a range of materials and tools whilst working collaboratively with their peers, expressing and communicating their design and the making processes used.  All of these skills will prepare them for learning journey throughout their time at St Thomas’, igniting curious, inventive and practical learners.


Key Stage 1 Design and Technology Concepts


The intended person or group that a product is being designed and made for, considering their needs, wants, values, interests and preferences.

Pupils should have a clear idea of who they are designing and making the product for.  The intended user could be themselves or others, an imaginary or story-based character, a client, a consumer or specific target group. This must be linked to the user’s needs, wants, values, interests or preferences.


The reason for which something is done or created or for which something exists.

Pupils should be able to communicate the purpose of the products they are designing and making. Each product they create should be designed to perform one or more defined tasks. Pupils’ products should be evaluated through use.

Key Stage 2 Design and Technology Concepts


The purpose that something is designed or expected to fulfil.

Pupils should design and make products that work/function effectively in order to fulfil users’ needs, wants and purposes.


A new method or product.

When designing and making, pupils need some scope to be original with their thinking. Projects that encourage innovation lead to a range of design ideas and products being developed and are characterised by engaging- open ended starting points for learning.


The quality of being authentic or original.

Pupils should design and make products that are believable, real and meaningful to themselves and others.


The quality of being worthy of attention or seen as important.

Pupils to explore significant inventors, designers or architects that have created products that have had an impact on the world. They will be able to talk about the changes that have been influenced by specific individuals and make links to their products, whilst using similar design features or improvements to their own products.


By following the year group progression grids and DATA projects on a page, teachers will plan and teach Design and Technology lessons through weekly or blocked lessons. Lessons will include high-quality resources, texts and research opportunities that include practical and through the use of texts and technology. The unit always begins with a ‘Big Question’ that is revisited and discussed through the term whilst broadening and widening vocabulary. Our teaching and learning approach allows all children to work practically and share ideas through discussion, planning, drawing and prototype production, which will develop children’s oracy, vocabulary and understanding of how the world works. The unit of food is taught within each year group to ensure all pupils have a strong understanding of the importance of having a healthy and varied diet. Through the promotion of eating healthily and using locally grown ingredients, children will be able to create a wide range of recipes that benefits their health and wellbeing but also explores cultural dishes and ingredients to broaden their tastes and understand individual need such as dietary requirements. Children throughout their school journey will explore both savoury and sweet dishes whilst using a range of techniques and equipment.


Here at St Thomas’, our children will have developed their character, confidence, curiosity and understanding of how the world works around them.  Through encouragement they will have built knowledge and skills to enable them to become experts within the Design and Technology field whilst developing and creating functional products. By giving all children the opportunity to work creatively and be critical problem solvers, children will build upon connections across the curriculum,  allowing children to see the future possibilities of working as an expert in engineering, designing and manufacturing, which will support them with building and developing a modern and every changing world.