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St Mary's Catholic Primary School

St Mary's Catholic
Primary School

Design Technology

DT Curriculum

“Design is not just what it looks like and feels like. Design is how it works.”

Steve Jobs


At St Mary’s, we aim to provide a DT curriculum that fully explores this practical subject.  We encourage children to use their creativity and imagination, to design and make products that solve real and relevant problems within a variety of contexts, considering their own and others’ needs, wants and values. We encourage developing DT skills by working both as members of a team and as individuals. We aim to, wherever possible, link work to other disciplines such as mathematics, science, computing and art. The children are also given opportunities to reflect upon and evaluate past and present design technology, its uses and its effectiveness.   Our students are encouraged to see that DT skills are useful life skills, e.g. cooking, construction, circuits.


The DT curriculum is clear, comprehensive scheme of work in line with the National Curriculum.

Children cover a range of topics in: textiles, food and nutrition, mechanisms, structures, understanding materials and systems (electrical systems).

Each project will follow the ‘working as a designer’ template, whereby children will design, make, evaluate and apply skills.

Pupils will be taught a range of skills, always ensuring that pupils are aware of health and safety issues related to the tasks undertaken.

Clear and appropriate cross curricular links will underpin learning and life skills. Pupils will be enabled to apply skills in hands-on situations with a purposeful context.

In DT, pupils may be asked to solve problems and develop their learning independently. This allows the pupils to have ownership over their learning in DT.

Pupils will have opportunities to work in pairs and groups, learning to support and help one another towards a challenging yet rewarding goal.


Pupils will ultimately know more, remember more and understand more about DT, demonstrating this knowledge when using tools or skills in other areas of the curriculum.

Pupils will have clear enjoyment and confidence in DT that they will then apply to areas of the curriculum.

The large majority of pupils will achieve age related expectations in DT.

As designers’ pupils will develop skills and attributes they can use beyond.


This is what we do:

DT is taught in every half term from Year 1 – 6, in blocks of three week units. Children study a variety of disciplines: textiles, food and nutrition, mechanisms, structures, understanding materials and systems (electrical systems). In EYFS, child cover similar disciplines at an age-appropriate level. In every unit, children will design, make, evaluate and apply skills.

This is what you might typically see:

Children using ambitious vocabulary and making links between aspects of their learning. A range of modelled, guided and independent practice. Children using knowledge notes to support their learning.

What a DT lesson looks like in our school:

Each lesson begins by connecting to previous learning. The knowledge note for the unit is introduced in the first lesson and the question for the unit is explored. Children then experience a range of activities in order to answer the question, over the course of the 3 week unit. Lessons will include demonstration, guided learning and independent learning. Children are encouraged to refer to knowledge notes throughout their lessons.

Every lesson must include:

A unit question to guide the learning, modelled, guided and independent practice.

This is how we know how well our pupils are doing:

Children will be able to use a rich, ambitious vocabulary to discuss their learning. At the end of every unit, children will have made something that will demonstrate the extent to which they have answered the unit question and applied the relevant skills. Children will make links between different areas of their learning.

This is how we support pupils:

Adjustments will be made for children needing extra support. This may be in the form of adapted resources, small group adult support or additional scaffolding.