Design Technology Policy



Design Technology Policy



An introduction to Design and Technology

Design and Technology is a subject in which pupils have the experience of evaluating, designing and making products of a high standard. Design and Technology encourages children to examine their environment, question the world and to think about how and why things work the way they do.

Design and Technology is concerned with the ability to operate effectively and creatively in a rapidly changing technological world. It is an exciting practical subject which allows children to make sense of appliances and processes in their environment.

Design and Technology lessons can extend and enhance children’s natural curiosity of how and why things work, by providing pupils with the opportunity to apply and develop their skills. Design and Technology presents children with a series of real-life scenarios, where children become autonomous, creative problem solvers. The children will combine practical exercises with more abstract concepts of design and making skills. They will develop their ability to evaluate past and present designs, the uses they have and the impact they have on the real world. Through Design and Technology, children become more focused on what makes a successful product and more imaginative in how a product could be made or improved.

Design and Technology should draw on the child’s knowledge and experience from other subject areas particularly English, Maths, Science, Art and Computing.

Design and Technology should always be a relevant, enjoyable and creative activity for all children. Staff have access to the Policy on the school’s server via the Teacher’s Drive. Parents requesting to see a copy of the policy can do so via the school website.


Purpose of study

Design and Technology (D&T) is a vital part of our curriculum as it helps to prepare children to deal with tomorrow’s rapidly changing world. D&T should provide children with a real-life context for learning whilst learning about past and present technology. At Parklands Primary, children receive a D&T curriculum which allows them to exercise their creativity through designing, making and evaluating. In the EYFS, this is delivered through planned opportunities in the continuous provision. In Key Stage 1, these skills are taught and developed through a theme based curriculum in order to prepare the children for cross curricular opportunities in Key Stage 2. The children are taught to combine these skills with knowledge and understanding in order to design and make a new product for a purpose. In these fun and engaging lessons, the children will develop their use of technical vocabulary and be inspired by engineers, designers, chefs and architects to enable them to create a range of mechanisms, textiles, electrical systems, structures and food products for a real life purpose. Correct equipment will be chosen and used accurately by the children and methods will be carefully selected to match the task and used effectively. The skills learned in D&T also help with learning across the curriculum. For example, scaling and measuring in mathematics as well as knowledge about properties of materials helps in science.

Aims and objectives

For Design and Technology we aim to:

·     Develop in children an understanding of the designing and making process, the need to evaluate existing ideas and products and an ability to work through the D&T process confidently.

·     Ensure that, by the end of key stage 2, children are able to work more independently, and with confidence on design and technology.

·     Ensure that children are able to identify opportunities for design and technology activities by observing more closely the objects around them.

·     Make children more aware of the ways in which everyday objects have been designed and made.

·     To enable children to become more confident and skilled in using the range of tools and materials available in the school.

The National Curriculum for Design and Technology aims to ensure that all pupils:

·     Develop the creative, technical and practical expertise needed to perform everyday tasks confidently and to participate successfully in an increasingly technological world.

·     Build and apply a repertoire of knowledge, understanding and skills in order to design and make high quality prototypes and products for a wide range of users.

·     Critique, evaluate and test their ideas and products and the work of others.

·     Understand and apply the principles of nutrition and learn how to cook.


Key Stage 1

Through a variety of creative and practical activities, pupils should be taught the knowledge, understanding and skills needed to engage in an iterative process of designing and making. They should work in a range of relevant contexts [for example, the home and school, gardens and playgrounds, the local community, industry and the wider environment]. When designing and making, pupils should be taught to:


·     Design purposeful, functional, appealing products for themselves and other users based on design criteria.

·     Generate, develop, model and communicate their ideas through talking, drawing, templates, mock-ups and, where appropriate, information and communication technology


·     Select from and use a range of tools and equipment to perform practical tasks [for example, cutting, shaping, joining and finishing]

·     Select from and use a wide range of materials and components, including construction materials, textiles and ingredients, according to their characteristics


·     Explore and evaluate a range of existing products

·     Evaluate their ideas and products against design criteria

Technical Knowledge

·     Build structures, exploring how they can be made stronger, stiffer and more stable

·     Explore and use mechanisms [for example, levers, sliders, wheels and axles] in their products

Key stage 2

Through a variety of creative and practical activities, pupils should be taught the knowledge, understanding and skills needed to engage in an iterative process of designing and making. They should work in a range of relevant contexts [for example, the home, school, leisure, culture, enterprise, industry and the wider environment].

When designing and making, pupils should be taught to:


·     Use research and develop design criteria to inform the design of innovative, functional, appealing products that are fit for purpose, aimed at particular individuals or groups

·     Generate, develop, model and communicate their ideas through discussion, annotated sketches, cross-sectional and exploded diagrams, prototypes, pattern pieces and computer-aided design


·     Select from and use a wider range of tools and equipment to perform practical tasks [for example, cutting, shaping, joining and finishing], accurately

·     Select from and use a wider range of materials and components, including construction materials, textiles and ingredients, according to their functional properties and aesthetic qualities


·     Investigate and analyse a range of existing products

·     Evaluate their ideas and products against their own design criteria and consider the views of others to improve their work

·     Understand how key events and individuals in design and technology have helped shape the world

Technical knowledge

·     Apply their understanding of how to strengthen, stiffen and reinforce more complex structures

·     Understand and use mechanical systems in their products [for example, gears, pulleys, cams, levers and linkages]

·     Understand and use electrical systems in their products [for example, series circuits incorporating switches, bulbs, buzzers and motors]

·     Apply their understanding of computing to program, monitor and control their products

Cooking and nutrition

As part of their work with food, pupils should be taught how to cook and apply the principles of nutrition and healthy eating. Instilling a love of cooking in pupils will also open a door to one of the great expressions of human creativity. Learning how to cook is a crucial life skill that enables pupils to feed themselves and others affordably and well, now and in later life.

Pupils should be taught to:

·     Understand and apply the principles of a healthy and varied diet

·     prepare and cook a variety of predominantly savoury dishes using a range of cooking techniques

·     Understand seasonality, and know where and how a variety of ingredients are grown, reared, caught and processed.


Teaching and Learning

Where possible, and where relevant, links should be made to other curriculum areas. Links should only be made, when the links will enrich the Design Technology Curriculum.

Design and Technology will be taught either in blocked weekly sessions or in a condensed time frame where appropriate; for example the topic of bread may be better suited to a condensed time frame whereas making pop up books would be better taught over a period of weeks. Individual class teachers will decide whether or not their topics will be taught over a period of weeks or whether to teach it in a condensed period. When evaluating their own work, children should refer to the design criteria established in the design brief as their basis for deciding on how effective their product is.

They will also be given opportunities to handle and use a wide range of materials, developing their knowledge and understanding of these through practical design and make activities. There will be more teacher direction in year 3, but this support will decrease as children move through key stage 2.

The work undertaken should be practical, enjoyable and relevant for all children. All children with special educational needs will be given the opportunity to undertake design and technology activities. All design and technology activities will ensure an equal interest and participation level for both boys and girls. While resources are stored in a central storage area, where possible, children should be presented with a choice of tools and resources so that they are best able to meet their designs effectively. (For appropriate use of resources please refer to the Health and Safety section of the policy.)


Equal Opportunities and Inclusion

All staff will be expected to give every pupil the chance to experience success in their learning regardless of ability, gender, race or cultural background. Teachers ensure that the curriculum is appropriate for the needs of the children.

The majority of learning in design and technology takes place through practical work with a result that pupils, for whom English is an additional language, will not be disadvantaged. The different beliefs and practices which the children have, will be taken into account when working with food, materials and design. Pupils with physical difficulties will be supported with certain practical tasks and have extra opportunities for practice.

Children have equal opportunities to develop their understanding and enjoyment of art regardless of race, gender and ability. Every effort will be made to ensure that activities are equally interesting to both boys and girls.


Assessment, Attainment and Progress

The Subject Coordinator’s plans should indicate the focus for each unit of work and assessment opportunities will be identified. The teacher will assess the child’s work on a continual basis in order to match their ability to the level of descriptions in the National Curriculum. These provide enough information to inform the next teacher of progress made, and to be of use in preparing the annual report to parents.

Before each unit, teachers establish the pupils’ level of knowledge, understanding and skills. These assessments are used to refine planning to make it suitably challenging.

Children are given verbal feedback throughout their unit of work. Comments are written on teacher plans which apply to the learning objective and planning is evaluated. Teachers then adjust plans to reinforce knowledge and understanding or further extend pupils knowledge. Photographic evidence or pieces of work are kept by each year group. These are used for future plans and to aid the pupils understanding.


Assessment, Recording and Reporting

Pupils will be provided with a project booklet for each unit of work they complete. This will allow the pupils to record their observations, designs, evaluations and much more in a coherent and organised manner The medium term curriculum plans will form in D&T an aspect of the record of D&T taught, with detailed teacher input to support staff as much as possible.

Coherence of assessment across the school is supported by discussion and consultation between staff. Gathering evidence of pupil attainment is an integral part of assessment, which is built into the schemes of work.

Teachers can obtain evidence by direct observation of children at work, questioning pupils or listening to their conversations, and by photographing and recording their finished products. The class teacher monitors progress in D&T by:


·     informal discussions with children;

·     assessing work and progress;

·     observing children.


Teachers analyse pupils’ progress at the end of each unit of work and formal assessments of pupils are made on Target Tracker.


Resources – Health and Safety

While individual class teachers must judge for themselves whether or not their class is able to use a particular resource the following guidance must be adhered to:

The class teacher will be responsible for the health and safety of themselves, LSAs, pupils and visitors within the class. Pupils should be made aware of hazards, risks and risk control and encouraged to:

·     collect, use and return tools and equipment safely

·     follow clear instructions

·     only move around the classroom when necessary

·     wear safety equipment whenever necessary


The following is accessible in school for lessons:


Once instruction has been given, children may be allowed to operate the cooker under close supervision.

Food Hygiene

Children should be made aware as early as possible of the need for hygienic food preparation. Teachers should train the children to prepare food hygienically and supervise preparation.


Pritt-Sticks: These may be used by children as soon as they are competent not to get any in their eyes, mouth etc.

PVA/Hobby glues:

As above, in addition to some training and then general supervision.

Glue Guns:

Only low temperature glue guns should be used. They should be used by the teacher only, until years 5 and 6, where they may be used by the child under close supervision of an adult.


While use of scissors is preferable, children may be required to use knives for their Design and Technology work. They should only be used by older children and can be used once they have learnt the rules, techniques and skills for cutting. They should be closely supervised while working with a knife.


Children should use water based paints only. These may be used under general supervision. Emulsions (house paints) should be used by adults only or with older pupils under supervision.


Sandpaper/Emery paper/Files: Sanding and filing may be carried out using these tools under general supervision as soon as the children’s motor skills are sufficient.

Saws – Hand

Hacksaws and Junior Hacksaws:

These are suitable for most jobs and may be used by the children providing they have undergone some training and have the appropriate motor skills.


Blunt ended scissors:

These may be used as soon as the children can actually handle them under general supervision.

Sharp ended scissors:

These may be used under general supervision once the children can be relied upon to use the correct techniques.

Left handed scissors/snips:

While most children are right handed left handed scissors and snips should be made available for left handed children.


Mini staplers may be used by children under general supervision. Heavy duty staplers may be used under close supervision until the children are competent. Electric staplers are never to be used in the classroom.

Staple guns are to be used only by trained adults.


This policy is monitored through:

·     Regular scrutiny of children’s work

·     Regular monitoring and evaluation of planning

·     Evaluation and analysis of assessment evidence

·     Lesson observations to monitor the quality of teaching and implementation of planning

·     Pupil interviews and questionnaires


This policy is reviewed by staff and governors every three years. Parents are most welcome to request copies of this document and comments are invited from anyone involved in the life of the school.