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Queen's Park Primary School

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Design and Technology

Subject Philosophy: Design and Technology


At Queen’s Park, Design and Technology (D&T) forms a key part of our curriculum. Learning is linked to the Humanities-driven programme, enriching and extending understanding of the topics explored. 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. We teach Design and Technology with passion and excellent subject knowledge. We facilitate engaging learning experiences for our children to ensure that new skills and knowledge are acquired and applied successfully. Our aim is to create pupils who learn how to take risks, becoming resourceful, innovative, enterprising and capable citizens.


We teach with:

  • A strong understanding of the Design and Technology curriculum expectations in term of both knowledge and skills.
  • An awareness of our pupil’s interests.
  • An awareness of what has been taught before and what will be taught in the future.


We teach to:

  • Encourage pupils to develop the creative, technical and practical expertise needed to perform everyday tasks confidently and to participate successfully in an increasingly technological world.
  • Enable students to 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.
  • Encourage students to critique, evaluate and test their ideas and products and the work of others.
  • Enable students to understand and apply the principles of nutrition and learn how to cook.
  • Encourage students to complete tasks independently and confidently.
  • Enhance learning and develop cultural capital through purposeful trips, activities and workshops.


Our Design and Technology curriculum supports and supplements the delivery of the National Curriculum. Our curriculum provides:

  • Bespoke, theme-based learning experiences linked to the Humanities curriculum;
  • Purposeful, well-planned projects that encourage independent thinking and creativity;
  • Broad and balanced coverage of a range of skills and knowledge;
  • Links to other disciplines such as mathematics, science, engineering, computing and art.


Curriculum Rationale

Design and Technology learning links closely to the Humanities curriculum and the topics explored (see above). Students develop knowledge and skills in designing, making, evaluating, technical knowledge and cooking and nutrition.

We encourage teachers to explore how key events and individuals in design and technology have helped shape the world throughout the school, but this does not become a statutory requirement until students are in KS2. It is important for pupils to develop a critical understanding of D&T’s impact on daily life and the wider world through the evaluation of past and present design and technology.


Key vocabulary, skills and knowledge to be taught are outlined in our curriculum maps, taken from the Projects on a Page planners. There is a clear progression of skills from the EYFS through to Upper Key Stage Two (UKS2), however, teachers are free to plan and adapt the projects for their individual class.


Our Design and Technology Curriculum

Our Design and Technology curriculum in Key Stage 1 and 2 is based on the Projects on a Page scheme of work, developed by the Design and Technology Association (DATA). It focuses on the six essentials of good practice in D&T:

  • User
  • Purpose
  • Functionality
  • Design decisions
  • Innovation
  • Authenticity


Building on these essentials, each project from the scheme includes three types of activity that link to the National Curriculum:

  1. Investigative and Evaluative Activities where children learn from a range of existing products and find out about D&T in the wider world.
  2. Focused Tasks where they are taught specific technical knowledge, designing skills and making skills.
  3. Design, Make and Evaluate Assignment where children create functional products with users and purposes in mind.


The projects are context-free and not prescriptive, enabling teachers to work with children to decide what products they will design and make, who their products will be for and what purposes they will perform. This also enables projects to be developed alongside the Humanities curriculum.


The following areas of learning are explored in each key stage:

Key Stage 1

Lower Key Stage 2

Upper Key Stage 2


  • Preparing fruit and vegetables


  • Healthy and varied diet


  • Celebrating culture and seasonality


  • Sliders and levers
  • Wheels and axles


  • Levers and linkages



  • Pulleys or gears



  • Freestanding structures


  • Shell structures



  • Frame structures



  • Templates and joining


  • 2D shape to 3D product


  • Combining different fabric shapes



Electrical systems

  • Simple circuits and switches

Electrical systems

  • More complex switches



Design and Technology in the Early Years

Design and Technology in the Early Years falls under the area of Expressive Arts and Design (EAD), one of the four specific areas of development. Selected areas of learning, including EAD, are flexible depending on individual and cohort funds of knowledge and interests, and these are frequently rooted in concepts based on children’s lived experiences.


The EAD Early Learning Goals focus on ‘exploring and using media and materials’ and ‘being imaginative’. Children are given the opportunity to independently explore and experiment with a range of media and tools through various techniques.


Students’ learning in D&T should include planned, purposeful play and child-initiated and adult-led activities. Elements of effective Design and Technology practice in the EYFS, as outlined by the DATA, include:

  • It is not always necessary or desirable for children’s investigation and evaluation of existing products to be followed by a design and make activity.
  • Children may explore techniques, such as joining materials in a range of ways, without immediately using this learning to create a product.
  • Children need to be given opportunities to make their own choices/decisions and to discuss the reasons for these.
  • Authentic activities should promote playing and exploring, active learning and creating and thinking critically.
  • Designing should not necessarily entail drawing, but it may be helpful for children to retrospectively draw what they have made.
  • Designing typically involves orally communicating what they are doing and have done, and physically arranging and re- arranging materials and components.
  • Designing is usually intuitive i.e. children design as they make.
  • Designing and making is fluid, without the artificial separation of each stage of the process.
  • Practical skills and techniques should be taught directly.
  • Children should be taught to follow procedures for safety and hygiene.
  • Children need frequent opportunities to develop practical skills and techniques with a range of materials.
  • Children need frequent opportunities to explore and use a range of construction kits.
  • Children need frequent opportunities to ask questions about familiar (and some less familiar) existing products.


Children need frequent opportunities to explore aspects of the designed and made world through the indoor and outdoor environment, and through role-play.


Design and Technology Principles

Each Design and Technology project in KS1 and KS2 is collated into a booklet. This enables the iterative processes to be mapped out in a clear sequence. Each step of the process is explored as detailed in the following principles:


Evaluating existing products – After deciding what product will be designed and made, students will have the opportunity to explore and analyse existing similar products. In KS2 this also includes investigating how key events and individuals in design and technology have helped shape the world.


Designing – Students will consider the six essentials of good practice in D&T as outlined in the curriculum. Purposeful, functional and appealing products are designed based on design criteria. In KS2, research will be undertaken to inform the criteria, based on the needs of the intended user.


Making – Students will learn how to safely use a wide range of tools and equipment to perform practical tasks, developing more accuracy with experience. They are encouraged to select from and use a range of materials and components, including construction materials, textiles and ingredients. Functional properties and aesthetic qualities are considered in KS2.


Evaluation- Students are encouraged to evaluate and analyse their own work against their design criteria and also consider the creative work of others throughout each project. There are opportunities for peer assessment. Students are supported to develop the language of Design and Technology to apply when evaluating and analysing. This may take the form of verbal discussion or, for older pupils, writing in their project booklet.


Feedback - We will provide both verbal and written feedback to our children (as per the marking policy) and ensure that this happens ‘live’ during lessons as much as possible.


Layered Provision - We will provide a range of activities linked to a Design and Technology project through a layered provision approach. This is in addition to whole class Design and Technology lessons. Layered provision has been used successfully in EYFS however children can often lose resilience and independence as they move to formal classroom teaching in Key Stage One and beyond. We continue this approach throughout the rest of the school to allow children to take charge of their own learning and interests.



Parents and Guardians

We aim to engage parents in our Design and Technology curriculum in a number of ways. We strongly believe that home support can contribute to high standards of attainment and progress. We engage parents in the following ways:

  • sharing curriculum maps at the beginning of every topic, outlining what the Design and Technology focus will be
  • holding termly exhibitions where children will share their learning with their parents
  • ‘stay and play’ sessions in EYFS
  • Homework Projects – see policy


Wider Community and Cultural Capital

Children at Queen’s Park regularly attend educational visits across London. Where possible, we encourage teachers to take their class on one educational visit per half term. Whilst this does not always have to be Design and Technology related, London has a lot to offer for this curriculum area and we have produced a document of recommended trips for each Design and Technology unit. As well as trips, the list also contains workshops and possible visitors to the school.


Projects are planned to give our children an understanding of their local community and the wider world whilst also developing their cultural capital. Teachers plan units of work which raise awareness of local and global issues and children are encouraged to create for real purposes.