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Design and Technology

Design is not just what it looks like and feels like. Design is how it works." - Steve Jobs


The member of staff responsible for Design and Technology is Mrs Edmonds.


How Dovecotes Primary School’s Design and Technology Curriculum Promotes Our Core Values:


Be Creative - To demonstrate significant levels of originality using problem solving skills to innovate and make use of a variety of resources to make products that solve real and relevant problems.


Be Ambitious - To have the confidence to have-a-go and challenge ourselves to master all aspects of the design technology process. To have the ambition to explore the subject further in our future.


Be Honest - To offer honest evaluations and constructive ideas to improve our designs and the designs of others. To act as responsible designers and understand the importance of working ethically using finite materials carefully.


Be Kind - To work constructively and productively with others when designing and creating collaboratively.


Be Brave - To be bold enough to take creative risks to produce innovative ideas. To manage risks and handle tools, equipment and materials safely and hygienically.


Be Healthy - To understand the importance of a healthy diet and to be able to feed ourselves and others nutritionally in order to lead healthy lives.


Intent – What Do We Aspire For Our Children? 


At Dovecotes Primary School, we aim for pupils to gain an understanding of the design process involved when manufacturing products. We intend for pupils to acquire the skills and knowledge needed to design, make and develop functional, appealing products that are aimed at particular individuals or groups, and solve real and relevant problems. In order to achieve these goals, it is vital for our pupils to be able to master the use and application of a range of tools and equipment, such as needles and thread and mechanical components, safely.


Our Design and Technology Curriculum is designed so that pupils retain what they know and recall what they have learnt in subsequent year groups in order to become more knowledgeable and independent designers as they move through the key stages. 


By the end of Early Years, pupils will:

  • be able to explore and choose a range of materials to create and make things;

  • be able to investigate how things work;

  • draw, build and make things which fulfil a function.


By the end of Key Stage 1, pupils will:

  • learn the knowledge and skills needed to design and make products for a range of relevant contexts;

  • be able to design and test products that are purposeful and appealing;

  • select tools and materials which are most suitable to make their products from;

  • evaluate their products against existing products and design criteria;

  • develop the technical knowledge needed to build structures which are stronger and more stable and be able to use a range of mechanisms;

  • develop an understanding of where food comes from and how to use the basic principles of a healthy diet to make their own simple dishes.


By the end of Key Stage 2, pupils will:​

  • develop further knowledge and skills to enable them to design and make purposeful and quality products in different contexts;

  • be able to research how existing products work and use this to develop designs and products to meet a design brief;

  • be able to produce more detailed, annotated designs and to test and refine their ideas;

  • be able to select and use a wider range of tools and materials according to their function and properties;

  • develop the technical knowledge required to make their products work effectively;

  • be able to evaluate the effectiveness and quality of their products and use this to improve their work;

  • develop an understanding of a healthy and varied diet and be able to prepare and cook a range of dishes.


Implementation – How Will We Deliver The Curriculum? 


Knowledge at the Heart of the Curriculum - Understanding Different Types of Knowledge in Design Technology 


Substantive Knowledge 


Substantive knowledge is organised into four interrelated disciplines designing, making, evaluating and technical knowledge to ensure that pupils’ knowledge, skills and understanding are built upon as they progress through the school.


Declarative Knowledge


Declarative knowledge is the subject knowledge and explicit vocabulary used to learn about the content. It consists of facts, rules and principles and the relationships between them. It can be described as ‘knowing that.’


Procedural Knowledge


Procedural knowledge is knowledge of methods or processes that can be performed. “It can be described as knowing how". It is through procedural knowledge that children gradually become more expert by thinking like designers.


In the Early Years, Design Technology provision is planned through the Expressive Arts and Design strand of the Early Years framework. Children have the opportunity to support their child initiated play through continuous provision which gives children access to a variety of DT resources.




  • Construction kits: small and large, junk modelling, loose parts, deconstruction building, duplo, lego, wooden blocks, stickle bricks, straws and connectors etc.

  • Cutting and joining resources: scissors, hole punches, glue, sellotape, ribbon, wool, string etc.

  • Media: paper, card, bags, cardboard boxes etc.

  • Embellishments: sequins, glitter, buttons, threads, pom poms, wool, ribbon, stickers. 



  • Planks of wood, tyres, den building poles, crates, ropes, bricks.


Children in EYFS have opportunities to:

  • Explore the textures, movement, feel and look of different media and materials.

  • Respond to a range of media and materials developing an understanding that they manipulate and create effects with these.

  • Construct with a purpose in mind using a variety of resources.

  • Develop skills to use simple tools and techniques competently and appropriately .

  • Select appropriate resources for a product and adapt their work where necessary.


In Key Stage 1 and Key Stage 2, the Kapow scheme of work forms the core of our Design Technology curriculum. This scheme sequences learning so that content and concepts are built upon over time, with subject specific vocabulary progression threaded through. Lessons are taught through the principles of designing, making and evaluating related to the following areas: structural design, textiles, mechanical and electrical systems, cooking and nutrition. Through this process, pupils’ technical knowledge and vocabulary are developed. Pupils undertake 3/4 Design Technology topics per academic year. Where appropriate, links are made to our overarching Irresistible Learning topic. For example, in Year Y3/4, as part of the Egyptian topic, children design an Egyptian collar using textiles. Design Technology lessons are always planned in a block – which may be a full morning over consecutive weeks. This ensures that each topic can be delivered to a high standard and children can create products with a purpose. 

Dovecotes Whole School Design Technology Curriculum


EYFS teach through themes which are heavily led by the children’s interests. 


  • Cycle A

    • Mechanisms, Making a Moving Story Book

    • Mechanisms, Making a Moving Monster

    • Textiles, Puppets

    • Structures, Constructing a Windmill

    • Cooking and Nutrition, Fruit and Vegetables

    • Cooking and Nutrition, A Balanced Diet

  • Cycle B

    • Structures and Mechanisms, Fairground Wheel

    • Mechanisms, Wheels and Axles: Make a Moving Vehicle

    • Textiles, Pouches


  • Cycle A

    • Mechanical Systems, Pneumatic Toys

    • Electrical Systems, Torches

    • Structure, Pavillions

  • Cycle B

    • Cooking and Nutrition, Eating Seasonally

    • Cooking and Nutrition, Adapting a Recipe

    • Textiles, Cross-stitch and Applique


  • Cycle A

    • Textiles, Waistcoats

    • Cooking and Nutrition, What could be healthier?

    • Electrical Systems, Steady Hand Game

  • Cycle B

    • Structure, Bridges

    • Mechanical Systems, Automata Toys

    • Structure, Playgrounds

Impact - How Do We Know Our Art Curriculum Is Effective? 


Design and Technology at Dovecotes aims to introduce children to the world of engineering. By doing so, they may chose to become the engineers and designers of the future. Our Design and Technology curriculum ensures that children leave Dovecotes:

  • with the knowledge, understanding and skills in order to design and make high-quality prototypes and products for a wide range of users

  • able to demonstrate creative, technical and practical expertise needed to perform everyday tasks confidently and to participate successfully in an increasingly technological world.

  • able to critique, evaluate and test their ideas and products and the work of others.

  • able to understand and apply the principles of nutrition and learn how to cook.


Pupil Voice


We value listening to the voice of our children to assess the knowledge and progress they have made. Children confidently talk through the process of designing, making and evaluating to achieve objectives and design criteria. Pupil’s voice is an important part of assessing, allowing teachers to continually reflect upon and improve the Design and Technology curriculum.


High-Quality Outcomes


Design processes are documented in Design & Technology floorbooks. Each project ends with all children creating a functional and usable product; these products demonstrate the skills they have learnt. Throughout the school, it is clear to see the progression of skills through the quality of products each year group creates.


For further information about the Design Technology curriculum please contact Mrs. Edmonds our subject lead through the school email address.

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