Design & Technology

National Curriculum: Design and Technology Programmes of Study

The school are currently working on updating our Design Technology Curriculum, so we currently have summaries for only a small selection of our medium term plans, along with the updated plans for those units that have either been introduced or tweaked for delivery as from September 2020. The summer term plans for Years 5 and 6 were scheduled for introduction in the summer term 2020. Due to the coronavirus the term looks set to be heavily compromised, although both units would be great fun to try at home. The Year 5 unit (Bird Feeders and Butterfly Garden) builds upon the success of last year’s ‘build a bird-feeder’ competition’ and will incorporate some ideas driven by the school’s Eco Committee. FOSS have agreed some funding for us, and Burstons provided us with some plants to start our Butterfly Area off within our Environmental Area. The Year 6 unit on Savoury Dishes is part of our plan to improve the quality of cooking and nutrition education within our school. 

Mr Oswin has recently taken over as Design Technology Co-ordinator and  is working alongside Mr Bridle and staff colleagues to develop an innovative curriculum that fully captures and embeds the key learning  requirements of the national curriculum in Design Technology (including Cooking & Nutrition.) We want to create a curriculum that inspires our designers, chefs, carpenters, engineers, fashion designers and ecologists of the future. This is a work in progress and the full programme will be in place by September 2020.


Year 1 (Autumn Term) KITES

The children start out by flying a wide range of kites and setting up their own investigations to find which shapes fly best, whether the size of the kite makes a difference and which materials are best suited to kite flying. The children then go on to design and make their own kites, evaluating their effectiveness. The project links closely to their geography topic on weather and the children find out about the ideal weather conditions for kite flying!

Year 1 (Spring Term) – FOOD TECHNOLOGY (PIZZA)

As a starting point, the children sample different types of breads and evaluate them in terms of taste, texture and visual appearance. They find out about the breads that they have sampled and then look more carefully at pizzas! Having tried and compared various toppings, the children then move on to designing their own pizza, making their pizza and evaluating! Through this unit the children also look at marketing, thinking about packaging and advertising. They design and produce their own pizza box and set up a role play Pizza Restaurant in the classroom. Certainly a tasty project.


This unit gives the children the opportunity to investigate how different levers and mechanisms can be used to make moving pictures. How can they make a picture slide? Or pop up? Or turn? Their learning in Design Technology is applied to books and the children have great fun finding out how various levers and mechanisms actually work.

Year 2 (Autumn Term) – PUPPETS

Children enjoy the opportunity to support this project by bringing in their own puppets from home and planning puppet shows within the class! The projects starts by looking at how puppets are put together and thinking about the function of the various parts. The children then go on to making their own puppets out of fabric. They learn about a variety of sewing techniques and this is a great time to try out a little sewing at home. The children give careful consideration to ‘finishing’ techniques before evaluating their designs against the initial design criteria.


This Food and Nutrition unit looks at a variety of foods from all over the world. The children get the chance to sample foods, make some simple dishes and find out where their supermarket foods actually come from. The unit ties in with their geography unit on the continents and children also find out about a variety of cultures and festivals where food is a key factor.

Year 2 (Summer Term) – JUNK MECHANISMS

There are opportunities for the children to examine a wide range of toy mechanisms and vehicles, exploring how they are made and identifying the different parts. Having firstly made labelled drawings, they then look at ways of assembling wheels and axles. This supports the ultimate challenge of making their own 3D model. The children are encouraged to carefully consider their choices of materials and their selection of tools when planning their own junk vehicles.

Year 3 (Autumn Term) – MOVING MONSTERS

The children find out all about pneumatics through this exciting unit at the start of Year 3. After constructing simple pneumatic systems, the children then apply their knowledge by designing and creating a ‘moving monster’. The children use balloons and syringes to support their learning and find ways of using pneumatic systems to control their monsters! Why not look on the Internet and discuss some design ideas with your children at home. The class will be asked to bring in an assortment of junk modelling materials that can be used with a variety of tubing and syringes in order to create the most amazing moving models. Great fun! (And always very popular with the children!)

Year 3 (Spring Term) – MONEY CONTAINERS
After looking at a collection of money containers (eg wallets, purses and belt bags) the children consider effective ways of designing their own money containers, with a design specification for being strong, hard-wearing, flexible and of an appropriate size. The children explore different fabrics and fastenings, trialling a range of sewing techniques and finding out which ones produce the strongest seams. Great creativity is shown within this unit and the children are always very proud of their finished products.


This particular project starts off with a comparison and evaluation of various bread products (with due consideration to any children who may have relevant allergies.) The children then move on to a more in-depth study of sandwiches! They learn about food hygiene and the preparation of different ingredients. The children design and create their own sandwich snacks and the project culminates in a class picnic. A great opportunity to experiment at home with different combinations of fillings and encourage your children to try something new!

Year 4 (Autumn Term) – SPOOKY STORY BOOKS

After examining a number of pop up books and cards, the children create their own moving mechanisms to make things slide, revolve, pop up and pop out! They apply their learning to the challenge of producing their very own pop up spooky story book, linking this with their literacy work on spooky stories. From skeletons and vampires, to black cats and bats, this is a unit that really inspires a high level of imagination and creativity.


The study starts off with some market research… finding out about ‘favourite’ chocolates and the typical range of chocolates that can be found within a family box! The children then think about their own designs and consider slogans,advertising, packaging and of course, contents! Having designed their ideal box, the children then use chocolate moulds, flavourings and various centres to produce the final product. Due regard is given to any allergies, particularly nut allergies, when carrying out this highly creative and tasty challenge!


The children have great fun designing and making their own bird feeders and butterfly feeders, whilst developing our butterfly garden section of the school environmental area. They look at the impact of their designs in terms of the birds and butterflies that visit our environmental area over the course of the summer term. The unit links in to the local District in Bloom environmental competitions and supports the work of our school Eco Committee in helping to develop our outdoor environment and attract a variety of wildlife.

Year 5 (Autumn Term) – SEASONALITY

This Food and Nutrition unit looks at seasonal foods, with the children going on to cook seasonal soups, create seasonal smoothies and explore a wide variety of seasonal dishes. The children become involved in planting herbs and vegetables within our environmental area and growing a range of vegetables that they can actually use in their dishes. As well as inspiring their cooking talents, the unit promotes a real passion for gardening.

Year 5 (Spring Term)  – MOVING TOYS (CAMS)

The class find out about CAM mechanisms and have great fun constructing their own, building upon their knowledge of levers and mechanisms from Key Stage 1. Children learn about Jinks’ Cubes and are required to use a wide range of tools to construct their CAMS. The unit encourages creative and original ways to make their own CAM toys.

Year 5 (Summer Term) –  FASHION AND TEXTILES

The children build on their previous sewing and textile skills to create their own drawstring bag, as well as looking how patterns are used for the design of various fashion items. The unit teaches a wider range of technical skills to support the making of clothes and textiles, with the children also having the opportunity to experiment with tie-dye when designing and creating fashion products.

Year 6 (Autumn Term) – GO KARTS

This unit gives the children an opportunity to work within a small group on a major design technology project. The class look at various models and examples before designing and creating their own go-karts. Safety testing is a key element within this unit and the children are introduced to a wider range of tools and woodwork techniques in order to complete the project successfully.

Year 6 (Autumn Term)  – LIGHTING IT UP

The unit follows on from the Go-Kart unit and the class investigate how to apply their circuit skills in order to create traffic lights, or ‘start and stop lights’ for their go-karts. This builds upon knowledge that has been acquired through their earlier science units on electricity.

Year 6 (Spring Term) – LEGO MINDSTORMS

Computing and Design Technology skills combine as the children programme and control lego mindstorm ‘robots’ to perform an increasingly complex series of commands. The children are fascinated by the lego mindstorm technology and design their own courses and commands as an integral part of the project.

Year 6 (Summer Term) – SAVOURY DISHES

The class create a wide range of savoury dishes and, where possible, liaise with local secondary schools to make use of specialist food technology resources. The class experiment with a variety of dishes before setting up their own Savoury Master Chef competition. The unit was introduced during the lockdown in 2020 and the children engaged to such an extent that we went on to publish our own Savoury Dishes Cookbook.