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Design & Technology

Design and Technology is taught either weekly or in blocks depending on the topic being covered. The topics are cross-curricular and have clear links to the creative curriculum. Skills are taught and refined explicitly. Many teachers choose to block the DT lessons so that the children can become immersed in the researching, designing and evaluating process. It allows for children to make clear connection between each process.

The children start school with different levels of prior knowledge and experiences. EYFS allows them to play and experiment with materials in a child led manner (junk modelling).

As a school, we endeavour to provide an education that inspires and is well rounded. The teaching of design and technology offers a diverse range of experiences and ensures that their education is well rounded.

The Journey

At Shepherd Primary, our interest in Design Technology begins in Early Years with both the Nursery and Reception classes. During child initiated learning, children have access to a permanent provision – ‘a design and make’ area where they have access to loose parts and materials. Adults will offer instruction, encouragement and teaching of appropriate junctions of children’s learning experience.


When the children move into Year 1, they start to create a gunpowder plot moving picture book using sliders. This fits in with their WHIZZ, POP, BANG! Creative curriculum topic as well as their History topic of The Gunpowder Plot and Guy Fawkes. The children then create a 3D junk model sculpture in the theme of a superhero. The children demonstrate a range of cutting and shaping techniques (such as tearing, cutting, folding and curling). Year 1 end the year making a Paddington Picnic where they cut, peel or grate ingredients safely and hygienically.


In Year 2, the children create frozen fruit snacks by cutting, peeling or grating ingredients safely and hygienically. They measure or weigh using measuring cups or electronic scales. They then move onto creating their own fire engines using levers, wheels and winding mechanisms. They will use materials to practise drilling and gluing materials to make and strengthen their products. They will end the year sewing animal puppets, which is linked to their Jungle Book topic, ensuring to join textiles using running stitch.


As the children move into Key Stage 2, Year 3 make Catalan Tomato Bread which links to their ‘Spain’ Creative Curriculum topic. The children will measure ingredients to the nearest gram accurately and follow a recipe to assemble and cook ingredients (controlling the temperature of the oven or hob.) In the Spring term, Year 3 create Bronze Age roundhouses, which link to their History topic of Stone Age to Iron Age.  In this project they also incorporate their forest school skills. They end the year creating their own magnetic board games applying their understanding of how to strengthen, stiffen and reinforce more complex structures. This final topic links with their science topic of Forces and Magnets.


In Year 4 children begin the year looking at their resistant materials topic of making their own Automata.  They will use scientific knowledge of the transference of forces to choose appropriate mechanisms for their product. Year 4 then move onto making European Couscous. The children will learn about seasonality and know where and how a variety of ingredients are grown, reared, caught and processed. Year 4 will end the year making their own musical instruments where they attempt to modify their instrument in order to change the pitch and/or volume.


In Year 5 the children will learn about creating picture frames, in which forest school skills will be incorporated. They move onto creating vegetable pies, building on their cooking skills from previous years. Year 5 then end the year creating Wind Turbines where they apply their understanding of how to strengthen, stiffen and reinforce more complex structures.


At the end of Key Stage 2, Year 6 create an Anderson Shelter model which is linked to their History topic of World War 2. The children develop a range of practical skills to create products (such as cutting and gluing.) The children move on to creating slippers, in which they learn to join textiles with a combination of stitching techniques (such as back stitch for seams and running stitch to attach decoration.) Year 6 end the year linking their Science topic of electricity to creating controllable vehicles.  They will create circuits using electronics kits that employ a number of components.

DT across the School