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St Mary’s Catholic Primary School ‘Faith in Education’

Design Technology

Design and Technology at St Mary's                                                                                                                                               


At St Mary’s our Design and Technology curriculum aims to inspire pupils to be innovative and creative thinkers who have an appreciation for the product design cycle through ideation, creation, and evaluation. We want pupils to develop the confidence to take risks, through drafting design concepts, modelling, and testing and to be reflective learners who evaluate their work and the work of others. Through our progressive and sequential curriculum, we aim to build an awareness of the impact of design and technology on our lives and encourage pupils to become resourceful, enterprising citizens who will have the skills to contribute to future design advancements.




Our Design and Technology curriculum is delivered using the Kapow Primary scheme of work. Each unit of work focuses on 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. The strands that encompass this learning are Design, Make, Evaluate & Technical knowledge and these are explained further below.


Our Design and Technology curriculum has a clear progression of skills and knowledge within these strands and key areas across each year group. Every year group will focus on 3 main units each year from Year 1 to Year 6 and build on this learning as they move through school, with key areas revisited again and again with increasing complexity, allowing pupils to revisit and build on their previous learning. These 3 units are;


● Mechanisms/ Mechanical systems

● Structures

● Textiles


IN EYFS, the children will develop their skills in using a range of equipment safely and correctly and explore materials, textures and uses of these through exploration and creative independence. Their development of fine motor skills in cutting, drawing, manipulating, threading and joining will be carefully developed.

Lessons incorporate a range of teaching strategies from independent tasks, paired and group work including practical hands-on, computer-based and inventive tasks. This variety means that lessons are engaging and appeal to those with a variety of learning styles. Differentiated guidance is available for every lesson to ensure that lessons can be accessed by all pupils and opportunities to stretch pupils’ learning are available when required. Title pages for each unit support pupils in building a foundation of factual knowledge by encouraging recall of key facts and vocabulary.


Design & Technology lessons offer opportunities to discuss and make decisions. Children will work together on projects, thinking about the aesthetic, social, and environmental impact of their products as well as functionality. This will create cross curricular links that offer opportunities for discussion and debate. All Design & Technology is celebrated. Citizenship, acceptance, and the importance of being tolerant of other people’s views and ideas provides a safe and supportive environment in which pupils’ work is valued and appraised positively.


We strive to foster resilience in lessons, where children are innovators, inventors, and critical thinkers. We believe that our high-quality Design & Technology lessons will inspire children and motivate them to be independent whilst developing their creative, procedural, and technical understanding.


Strong subject knowledge is vital for staff to be able to deliver a highly effective and robust Design and technology curriculum. The Kapow website includes multiple teacher videos to develop subject knowledge and support ongoing CPD.


Substantive knowledge in Design and Technology is based on the knowledge of four key elements of the process of design (design, make, evaluate and technical knowledge). All of these elements will be taught from Reception to Year 6 and vocabulary is taught explicitly and will be deliberately practised and applied through the 4 key elements. These are:

Design - Knowing how to design a product that is purposeful, functional and appealing to a specific group.

Make - Knowing how to cut, join and finish a range of increasingly complex materials, ranging from paper to wood.

Evaluate - Knowing how to investigate, evaluate and analyse a range of existing products and their own designs based on a specific design criteria.

Technical knowledge - Knowing how to apply their knowledge of specific materials to meet the criteria listed above in the design, make and evaluate stages.


Disciplinary knowledge in Design and Technology is the process of enabling children to use their substantive knowledge of products and materials around them to make links between and across different areas of the curriculum. Knowledge in design and technology will equip the children with the opportunity to explain how and why products have changed over time and how they might be further improved in the future. They can use their knowledge and understanding to suggest how existing products may be improved with the advances in modern technology.



In each unit of work the children will complete a quiz at the beginning to assess their prior knowledge. This will be revisited at the end of the unit to measure progress. The children will also record their progress throughout the unit through their designs and evaluations as well as evidence of the completed project.




By the time our children leave St Mary’s they will:


  • understand the functional and aesthetic properties of a range of materials and resources.
  • understand how to use and combine tools to carry out different processes for shaping, decorating, and manufacturing products.
  • build and apply a repertoire of skills, knowledge and understanding to produce high quality, innovative outcomes, including models, prototypes and products to fulfil the needs of users, clients, and scenarios.
  • have an appreciation for key individuals, inventions, and events in history and of today that impact our world.
  • recognise where our decisions can impact the wider world in terms of community, social and environmental issues.
  • self-evaluate and reflect on learning at different stages and identify areas to improve.


They will move on to the next stage of their education with a range of skills and knowledge that will enable them to access the KS3 curriculum and experience success.