Home Page

Design & Technology


Intent for Design Technology:

The National Curriculum in England 2014 states that: ‘Design and Technology is an inspiring, rigorous and practical subject.  Using creativity and imagination, pupils design and make products that solve real and relevant problems within a variety of contexts, considering their own and others’ needs, wants and values’.


At Oakfield Primary School, one of our key curriculum drivers is for pupils to ‘use creativity’. We want to encourage divergent thinking, allowing pupils time to be creative, explore their ideas and plan their own, exciting ways of solving real-life problems.  We nurture pupils as they take risks, learn new skills and aspire to one-day take up careers in S.T.E.M. (science, technology, engineering and mathematics).  Pupils learn how the design of everything around us, impacts all our lives, every day. Through Design Technology, children will practise and make use of computing skills, science knowledge, artistic talents, explore cuisines from other countries they have studied in geography and consider historical problems, such as famous bridge designs. Pupils learn how to take risks, becoming resourceful, innovative and enterprising.


Younger children begin by using basic tools, joining materials in different ways and hygienically creating healthy snacks.  As they move through the school, they begin to model and develop their own designs, use pneumatics and integrated circuits and finally make reasoned selections of materials and techniques when building products.

A key aspect of nm all D.T. lessons, is reflecting on how pupils’ current project or activity relates to the: D.T. Triangle

When engineers realised that a vacuum cleaner loses suction the moment the dust bag begins to fill, they redesigned the vacuum cleaner to use a bag less cyclone.  James Dyson famously went through the D.T. triangle 5,000 times, improving his prototypes with each evaluation and redesign, until he was finally satisfied he was ready to produce the finished product!  Whilst pupils here at Oakfield will not be expected to rebuild that many iterations, we teach them that finding improvement does not mean failure and never-giving-up leads to success.


Each year group will plan two Design Technology projects which will aim for pupils to develop a progression of skills in mechanisms, structures, textiles, control mechanisms and control electrical as they move through the school.  Pupils will also have opportunities to cook a variety of dishes and apply the principles of nutrition and healthy eating.


Design Technology projects include the key elements:

Design / Make / Evaluate building up technical knowledge


Our ‘Progression of knowledge and skills in Design Technology’ document outlines what pupils will be taught in each year group.


In Year 1 pupils learn about mechanisms – using tools safely to make a moving picture using levers or sliders or to create a wind-up mechanism.

Pupils design and make puppets by investigating ways of joining two pieces of fabric using basic sewing techniques and adding features to bring characters to life.


In Year 2 pupils investigate simple structures. They assemble, join and combine materials and components to create a simple structure.

Pupils learn about healthy eating by investigating and tasting different fruits and vegetables before creating their own healthy snack or drink.


In Year 3 pupils begin to learn about control mechanisms through exploring and constructing a simple pneumatic system and using it to make a model with moving parts.

Pupils build on their textile skills from Year 1 to design and make a bag inspired by a multi-cultural theme using simple decorative techniques.


In Year 4 pupils develop their work on structures by investigating and then using their knowledge of how different types of sounds are made to design and make a musical instrument.

Pupils explore how to make simple circuits and different switches using their knowledge to design and make torches or to light up a picture.


In Year 5 pupils continue to learn about control mechanisms from their work in Year 3 by using cams. Through investigating moving toys they learn about a cam mechanism then use their knowledge of cams and movement to design and make a toy incorporating a cam.


In Year 6 pupils investigate structures further to identify which parts support and strengthen them. They join and combine materials and components to create a structure or bridge. Finally, they use simple tests to evaluate the function and strength of the structure.

Pupils build on their knowledge of control electrical from Year 4 by selecting appropriate tools, materials, components, techniques to design and make a moon buggy or vehicle incorporating switches and motors.


Cooking and Nutrition is taught throughout Key Stage 2. Pupils have the opportunity to:

  • design and make their own healthy sandwich;
  • produce a multi-cultural dish;
  • learn how to eat on budget using only World War II rations;
  • be enterprising by designing and making their own biscuits, taking into account flavour, colour, shape and toppings.


Within lessons teachers model relevant key vocabulary and encourage pupils to use it.


Through our ‘Mighty Oaks’ project we promote outdoor learning opportunities. Pupils enjoy building dens and beach shelters, making a functional shaduf and cooking outdoors on the firepit to name a few activities.


Useful websites:

What is D.T. and why is it important?

Learning about food and cooking:

Video clips and activities from the BBC, for KS1:

And for KS2:

For designing and building interesting projects at home, visit:

For learning about D.T. moments in history, visit:

And if you want to make better use of that big box of Lego in the attic:


Local places of interest: (A great day out for all ages) (Milling and bread making, growing foods and craft activities) (Fun way to learn about pulleys and levers, control mechanisms and other real-life STEM applications)