Design and Technology

INTENT – to what do we aspire for our children?


Design and technology is an inspiring, rigorous and practical subject. 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. They acquire a broad range of subject knowledge and draw on disciplines such as mathematics, science, engineering, computing and art. Pupils learn how to take risks, becoming resourceful, innovative, enterprising and capable citizens. Through the evaluation of past and present design and technology, they develop a critical understanding of its impact on daily life and the wider world. High-quality design and technology education makes an essential contribution to the creativity, culture, wealth and well-being of the nation.

Source: National Curriculum (updated Jan 2021)


At St Werburgh’s Primary, we work together towards excellence, underpinned by the following values:



– In DT we work collaboratively by sharing ideas and working closely in groups or with partners

– We use empathy to design a brief for others to answer questions or offer solutions to problems

– We understand that design is important to improve the quality of life

– Make informed and respectful evaluations of our own and others’ products in order to change and advance their design

– We believe that we as designers can impact our community; class, local and global



– Children develop their design skills by being encouraged to develop their own ideas, make links between ideas and develop strategies to test their emerging understanding of the
design process.

– Through DT we want them to develop curiosity, passion and enjoyment.

– Place Design and Technology in context by learning about real life designers and innovators

– Learn subject specific vocabulary so students are able to discuss their work articulately

– Visits and visitors ensure that our pupils meet designers who are active in their fields. This means the children develop a perception of DT being a dynamic and creative subject where humanity’s understanding of the world is evolving all the time.



– At St Werburgh’s we want the children to be designers by questioning, observing, researching, designing and critically evaluating their own and other’s design to improve it

– We want children to take pride in their Design and Technology learning and presentation and to develop their own style of design

– Commitment is encouraged through the evaluation and redesign of prototypes following the CUSP structure of ‘Design, Make, Evaluate, Apply’


What drives our DT curriculum at St Werburgh’s Primary School?

A designer at St Werburgh’s Primary can find, research and design to answer practical questions and offer solutions to real life problems. They develop creative, technical and practical skills and knowledge in order to design and create. Children analyse, evaluate and adapt their work by creating prototypes. They learn to use tools effectively and safely to make increasingly complex designs as they progress through the School.

The national curriculum for Design and Technology aims to ensure that all pupils:

● Develop the creative, technical and practical expertise needed to perform everyday tasks confidently and to participate successfully in an increasingly technological world

● 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

● Critique, evaluate and test their ideas and products and the work of others

Understand and apply the principles of nutrition and learn cooking techniques



In Reception, the children have regular opportunities to be ‘engineers’ through designing and making using a range of materials and resources. They have access to staplers, tape, scissors and hole punches etc to be able to join in a range of ways, as well as have access to a variety of construction toys. Through our topic of ‘our community’ we look more closely at homes and buildings and the children are encouraged to design then make their own home through the use of their chosen resource.The skill of construction is also encouraged and supported when using larger scale blocks and open ended props and resources that can be transformed through play.


Key Concepts:

In addition to the core knowledge required to be successful within each discipline, the curriculum outlines key aspects of development in the Working as a Designer section. Each module will
focus on promoting different aspects of these competencies. This will support teachers in understanding pupils’ progress as designers more broadly, as well as how successfully they are acquiring the taught knowledge and skills



Long Term Sequence

The CUSP Design and Technology curriculum is organised into blocks with each block covering a particular set of disciplines, including food and nutrition, mechanisms, structures, systems, electrical systems, understanding materials and textiles. Vertical progression in each discipline has been deliberately woven into the fabric of the curriculum so that pupils revisit key disciplines throughout their Primary journey at increasing degrees of challenge and complexity



Knowledge Organisers

Knowledge organisers are used for each Block and referred to in all lessons.

● Gives students reference point to allow cumulative learning

● Highlights key vocabulary

● Reduces split attention effect

● Conveys the core knowledge in one place

● Shows students the real-life context of what they are leaning

● Used to support questioning and retrieval

Disciplinary Knowledge:

The Design and Technology curriculum is divided into 6 disciplines:

– Mechanism
– Structures
– Food and Nutrition
– Textiles
– Understanding Materials
– Electrical Systems

These have been mapped out across both key stages (see below)


We recognise the vital role that oracy plays in the lives and life chances of our children, therefore we plan explicit opportunities to develop their oracy skills as well as opportunities to learn through oracy across the curriculum.

We promote oracy in Design and Technology by explicitly teaching key vocabulary for each unit. This vocabulary covers both core concepts and skills to allow children to discuss their work with their peers. We use discussion guidelines in classes which allows the children to evaluate and analyse designs and discuss possible improvements with clarity.


IMPLEMENTATION – how will we deliver the curriculum?

Linking curriculum and pedagogy:

It is our intention that pupils gain more in depth knowledge as they progress through the curriculum, accumulating and building upon both skills and knowledge. Skills are revisited and further developed each year through explicit instruction and practise. Our curriculum follows the principles of instruction, is guided by understanding how the memory works and cognitive load theory.

Each block will introduce the students to a question. These are often phrased as a problem that needs to be solved. Children then learn, through input and research, technical vocabulary and background information about a given topic. They then design, prototype, create and evaluate products. Teachers use termly DT days so that students are engaged with the project focus of each block and have successful outcomes within a shorter space of time.


The CEEAAC approach is used in every lesson:



The curriculum at St Werburgh’s Primary is inherently designed to support pupils with SEND through universal quality first teaching. This includes:

• High expectations and aspirations for all learners

• A carefully structured and sequenced curriculum, specifically designed around how pupils learn

• Pre-planned and focused direct vocabulary instruction

• Modelling and demonstration

• Chunked instructions which are supported by visuals and gestures

• The use of multi-sensory approaches to enhance the curriculum

• Frequent formative assessment as teachers check for understanding

• Accurate and regular feedback

However, we recognise some children need provision ‘additional to’ quality first teaching in order to reach their potential. This includes:

• Carefully considered scaffolding

• Explicit instruction and modelling

• Structured challenge, without ceilings

• Alternative ways of recording

• Additional targeted adult support

In some instances, specialist adaptations are made to support the specific barriers of individual pupils.


Curriculum Enrichment:

● ‘Passport’ experiences including: cooking experiences, making musical instruments and performing with them, repurposing old materials.

● ‘Fantastic Finales’ to display work to parents and carers


Reading across the curriculum

As a school, we subscribe to Curriculum Visions to allow children access to high quality texts. These can be accessed both at school and at home. There are also subject specific books available in classrooms and on the library bus. Each block of the Design and Technology curriculum also has a ‘Links to Literature’ section with recommended reading for cross-curricular enrichment


IMPACT – how do we know our curriculum is effective?


Child’s Voice

– Uses design and technology specific vocabulary and terminology

– talk about design and technology specific concepts & knowledge

– talk about the ‘why’ behind the learning

– explain how learning builds on previous knowledge

– talk about their progress regardless of starting points


High quality outcomes: Children’s work …

– demonstrates pride and effort

– captures increasing understanding of art and design concepts and knowledge

– demonstrates a clear sequence of learning

– vocabulary used correctly where appropriate

– demonstrates that learners are thinking artistically



CUSP is designed and built on the premise that ‘learning equals a persistent change in the long term memory.’ Therefore, the assessment structures are designed to evaluate the effectiveness of the curriculum sometime after it has been taught.


Formative Assessment

Pupils will be assessed formatively as each lesson progresses. Pupils will be given tasks from which the teachers will draw conclusions. Adaptations will then be made as a result of that evidence.

Strategies that might be used are:

● Making explicit the learning intention and success criteria

● Eliciting evidence of pupils’ prior knowledge

● Feeding back at the point of learning

● Inclusive questioning i.e. cold call, mini whiteboards

● Retrieval practice i.e. cumulative quizzing


Summative Assessment

The curriculum is a progression model. Teachers will know whether students are making progress if they are learning more of the curriculum.

The CUSP curriculum is designed to ensure sequencing of core knowledge, vocabulary, substantive concepts and disciplinary knowledge. They will know more, and remember more with the taught curriculum content. Essentially they will be able to do more with this knowledge in carefully designed learning tasks.

This will be assessed using the Book Study approach- talking with pupils and looking at their books systematically to reveal:

● Content and knowledge

● Vocabulary

● How the pedagogy and taught curriculum helps/hinders their learning