What is Design and Technology?

Design and Technology is about providing opportunities for our children to develop their capability, combining their designing and making skills with knowledge and understanding in order to create quality products.

Design and Technology is a unique subject which enables Maths, English and Science and other compulsory subjects on the curriculum, to be taught in a fun, exciting, engaging and creative way. These subjects are put into context, making them easier to digest and more understandable to younger primary age pupils.

‘We’re changing the world with technology’

Bill Gates

Our definition for KS2- Applying technical knowledge to design, make and evaluate products including food.

Our definition for Foundation and KS1-. Learning about how things work and designing and making our own models and food. 


We want our children to leave Bishop Alexander LEAD Academy being resilient, responsible, respectful, aspirational, caring and independent (our school values). We also want our children to ‘broaden their horizons’ and have knowledge of the world outside our school. We want to make a difference to the lives of our children and ensure that they have a life-long passion for learning. Design and Technology supports these aspirations for our children in many different ways.

Through our D&T curriculum we aim to broaden children’s knowledge, skills and understanding of how things work and how they can be made and to be excited and inquisitive about this.

By giving children the opportunity to use a variety of tools and materials we intend for them to be able to confidently and safely use equipment that will enable them to be creative with materials and food.

Design and Technology brings learning to life, encompassing maths, science, PSHE, art, English and computing. D&T is often a favourite subject for children as they are given the opportunity to plan, create, make their own decisions and create projects that they can see, touch and often taste. We want the children to show pride in their accomplishments. We want children to be creative thinkers and to be aspirational in their thinking and designing. We want to enable our children to apply their technical knowledge in order to carefully plan their own projects. They should then be confident to critically evaluate their own and others work.

Our Design and Technology curriculum looks to develop our children’s skills and knowledge in design, structures, mechanisms, electrical control and a range of materials, including food. Design and Technology encourages children’s creativity and encourages them to think about important issues.

We feel it is vital to nurture creativity and innovation through design, and by exploring the designed and made world in which we all live and work.

In the ever changing world we want to equip our children with the skills to confidently explore and use different and developing technology.

We want to raise the profile of career opportunities within the Design and Technology sectors and to highlight the importance that these roles have on the future of our planet. We want children to develop a good understanding of food and its nutritional value so that they are able to make and plan their own healthy food and meal choices now and in the future and have the skills and confidence to prepare and cook meals for themselves and others.

‘The best way to predict the future is to design it.’

Alan Kay

How do we teach Design and Technology?

Throughout the two year planning cycle, whole school D&T weeks have been planned that contribute to a whole school outcome at the end of the topic. As part of the series of D&T lessons children can work through the process of research, planning and design, skill development, creating and making and evaluating. In today’s society, it is important to develop enquiring minds and to develop the skill of investigating how things are made and how they work and to use these skills to be able to make informed planning choices. Children will be encouraged to ask their own questions and develop their own line of enquiry, investigation and plans. There will be time planned in to lessons for the children to research past, present and potential future technology that will aid them with their designs. D&T lessons will incorporate the teaching of discrete skills so that children are able to use a wide range of tools and equipment correctly, safely and confidently and to develop an understanding of which tools are fit for which purpose. Using our planning structure we will plan lesson sequences that incorporate a range of other subjects also.

The skills learned in D&T also help with learning across the curriculum. Knowledge about the properties of materials helps in science and the practice of measuring accurately helps in maths. These skills help in computing through the children’s use of computer control and, naturally, in art and design.

Design and Technology education helps develop children’s skills through collaborative working and problem-solving, and knowledge in design, materials, structures, mechanisms and electrical control. Children are given opportunities to work independently as well as part of a team. They are encouraged to be creative and innovative, and are actively encouraged to think about important issues such as sustainability and enterprise.

There are three core activities children engage with in Design and Technology:

  • Activities which involve investigating and evaluating existing products
  • Focused tasks in which children develop particular aspects of knowledge and skills
  • Designing and making activities in which children design and make ‘something’ for ‘somebody’ for ‘some purpose’

These three activities are combined in sequence to create a Design and Technology project (a final outcome) which often contributes to a whole school outcome.

The children will also be given opportunities to look at inspirational people within the D&T sector and research their contributions to past, present and future technological developments and design. In turn we aim to raise children’s aspirations and recognise that one person can make a significant difference to the world.

Links with local and further reaching businesses and companies are implemented so that children have access to the knowledge and expertise of people working within the sector. Children are then able to see D&T ‘in-action’ and real life examples.

Extra- Curricular Clubs, Educational Visits and STEM Days are also in place to support and enhance the teaching of the subject.

We conduct a pre-assessment before a topic to understand their knowledge and skills on a subject. To enhance our learning and to stimulate the imagination we try to relate this to the children’s own experiences and interests in our topics.

Find out more about Key Stage 1 and 2 National Curriculum Programmes of Study for Design and Technology:https://assets.publishing.service.gov.uk/government/uploads/system/uploads/attachment_data/file/239041/PRIMARY_national_curriculum_-_Design_and_technology.pdf