Neville's Cross Primary School & Nursery

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Design & Technology

At Neville’s Cross, we recognise the importance of investigating, designing and making in the world around us. We will help our children appreciate that the process of evaluating and adapting is central to good product design. Design technology is a multi-disciplinary subject that applies and enhances skills from other subject areas, as well as developing its own skills, knowledge and attitudes. We will help our children develop practical making skills and technical knowledge and also use creative thinking and problem-solving skills to craft solutions and products.  

Our Design technology curriculum is designed with our key curriculum drivers in mind:  

Creativity – we aim to foster our children’s natural creativity. We hope they will become creative thinkers who can test out and use their practical knowledge and skills to make useful products. We hope to nurture enjoyment and satisfaction in the creative process and help our children realise that some inspiration comes quickly, some needs persistence and time. We seek to help our children realise that the creativity and innovation of other designers has shaped many everyday products and the world around them. 

Well-being – we aim to nurture our children in becoming more resilient in the face of problems, as well as build their understanding of safe practices when using tools and equipment. Design technology’s cycle of ‘investigate, design and make’ explicitly recognises that developing a product involves many cycles of oops a problem, evaluate, adapt, progress. By explicitly teaching about this process, we hope to support our children in approaching challenges with greater resilience.   

Our Communities – we aim to develop links with those who design and make within our school and local area. We seek to build awareness of the role of designers and inventors in shaping products and how this impacts our lives and the world around us. We hope to help our children become more informed discerning users of products, beginning to evaluate impacts on themselves and the wider community and world-wide.    

Design technology in the Early Years  

In the early years, design technology is mainly taught through play, with adults facilitating learning and progress through joining in play as well as adapting available resources. Explicit skills, knowledge and attitudes are thus nurtured in child led play, as well as taught through some adult led activities. The focus in EYFS is, firstly, about developing the practical skills to use certain materials, components and tools and, secondly, about encouraging enjoyment, creativity, problem solving and resilience when making things.   

In EYFS our early steps toward design technology include creating with wooden construction, construction kits, card, papers, crates, poles and sheeting, wood, fabric, card and papers, hole punches, pens and paint, scissors, hole punches, paper fasteners, tapes and glue.  

Design technology in Key Stage 1 and 2  

Design technology is planned to ensure children are able to progressively develop and deepen their knowledge and skills as they move through school. Design technology is taught in projects. These will follow a structure echoing the design, make, evaluate steps in the National Curriculum. Children will be presented with a problem to solve; this problem will identify a user and use. To solve the problem, the children will need to research, design and make something (a functional product). Children will develop their understanding of the iterative process of design. In other words, that design and making inevitably involves a repeated process of investigating, evaluation, testing out and adaptation, for a product to be made and function. This is true for the children’s own products and those of designers, crafters, industry and inventors.  

Each project focuses on building specific practical technical skills and areas of knowledge, as well as using specified materials. This will involve explicit teaching and learning of how to safely and effectively use certain tools, techniques, equipment and materials. These skills and aspects of knowledge will then be used by the children as they design, make and evaluate useful products.  

NX DT Long Term Plan overview

Key Stage 1

At KS1, projects focus on shell structures, slider and lever mechanisms, wheel and axle mechanisms, decorating fabric with stitches, safe tool use, hygienic preparation of fruit and vegetables. 

Lower Key Stage 2

At Lower KS2, projects focus on shell and frame structures, lever and linkage mechanical systems, wheel and axle mechanisms, 2D to 3D fabric using joining stitches, simple electrical circuits and systems, early computer control, safe tool use, hygienic preparation of simple healthy foods.

Upper Key Stage 2

At Upper KS2, projects focus on shell and frame structures, lever and linkage mechanical systems, mechanical systems using cams, fabric combining different simple shaped pieces, electrical circuits and systems, computer control, safe tool use, hygienic preparation of simple healthy meals influenced by culture and seasonality.