Design & Technology

In the Early Years Foundation Stage, Design and Technology forms part of the learning children acquire under the Specific Area of ‘Understanding the world’.  This area includes learning about the following:

The world – children know about similarities and differences in relation to places, objects, materials and living things. They talk about the features of their own immediate environment and how environments might vary from one another.

Technology – children recognise that a range of technology is used in places such as homes and schools. They select and use technology for particular purposes.

Expressive arts and design also includes learning about Design and Technology and involves the following:

Exploring and using media and materials: children sing songs, make music and dance, and experiment with ways of changing them. They safely use and explore a variety of materials, tools and techniques, experimenting with colour, design, texture, form and function.

Being imaginative: children use what they have learnt about media and materials in original ways, thinking about uses and purposes. They represent their own ideas, thoughts and feelings through design and technology, art, music, dance, role-play and stories.

Here are some of the typical learning experiences your child will have:

Constructing: Learning to construct with a purpose in mind, some children use scissors, glue, string and a hole punch to make a bag to store travel brochures they collected during a field trip.

Structure and joins:  Following a visit to their local high street, some children make a church tower out of small wooden bricks.

Using a range of tools: Through this, your child will learn about planning and adapting initial ideas to make them better. For example, a child might choose to use scissors, a stapler, elastic bands and glue to join bits together to make a toy vehicle. But they might then modify their initial idea by using masking tape.

Cooking techniques: Some children take turns stirring the mixture for a cake and then watch with fascination as it rises while cooking. They will practise stirring, mixing, pouring and blending ingredients during cookery activities.

Exploration: Children will dismantle things and learn about how everyday objects work. For example, a child might dismantle a pepper grinder and discover how it is put together and the materials different parts are made of.

Discussion: Your child will be given opportunities to discuss reasons that make activities safe or unsafe, for example hygiene, electrical awareness, and appropriate use of senses when tasting different flavourings. They will also learn to record their experiences by, for example, drawing, writing and making a tape or model.

How to help at home

Encourage your child to try out these activities to improve their DT skills:

  • Get your child to sort objects by different criteria. You could do this by getting them to help to set the table or organise shopping items to be put away.
  • When talking to your child, look for opportunities to notice and discuss materials around them – utensils in the kitchen, tree barks on a walk, soft furnishings in the bedroom.
  • While speaking, use the language of designing and making, for example words such as ‘join’, ‘build’ and ‘shape’. And use evaluative and comparative language – ‘longer’, ‘shorter’, ‘lighter’, ‘heavier’ and ‘stronger’.
  • Encourage and support the use of a range of tools, such as scissors, hole punch, stapler, glue spreader, rolling pin, cutter and grater.

  • DT Summer 2023

    Reception

    Reception children have continued to work on designing and making projects during their independent learning time. This has included exploring the playdough and construction kits.

    A spanner

    Birthday cakes

    Year 1

    The children have made rock cakes and were able to weigh out and mix the ingredients together. They especially enjoyed tasting them and lots of the children thought they were yummy!

    Year 2

    In Design and Technology this term the children have designed and made puppets. They used their knowledge of minibeasts from their science learning, to create their own minibeast. They thought about which parts would be moving on their puppet and the equipment they would need to make it. After they had made it, they evaluated in and thought about what would improve it next time.

    The children also baked some blueberry muffins for the Toftwood Tate art exhibition. They enjoyed them with their adults during the art exhibition and both children and adults loved them!

  • DT Spring 2023

    DT Spring 2023

    Reception

    This term, the children in Reception have been enjoying their new book, ‘I am not a toilet roll.’ They have been using cardboard tubes to create a variety of things such as unicorns, ninjas and animals! They have focused on following the picture instructions in the book, snipping, folding and rolling paper to get the desired effect. They have also thought about what they will need for their project and have requested things such as pipe cleaners and foil. 

    Year 1

    In Year 1, the children found out about different climates and how houses are designed to survive floods in other areas of the world. The children then made their own flood-proof houses and tested them by flooding a tray with water. The children also discussed traveling around on the moon in a moon buggy. They looked at some photos of moon buggies and talked about what features a moon buggy would need such as wheels and a steering wheel.  The children then worked hard as they designed and made their own moon buggies and tested them in motion. The children also enjoyed learning about different fruits and vegetables. They made some fruit smoothies and loved getting to taste them.

    Year 2

    In Year 2 the children talked about different ways of travel. The children learnt about boats and designed their own. They thought about what materials would be best to use and how to ensure their boat would travel on water. The children chose their own materials to make their boats and tested them to see if their design and build had been successful. They then evaluated their boats and thought about what they would do differently next time. The children also made bruschetta and loved getting to taste and evaluate it!

  • DT Autumn 2022

    Reception

    The children in Reception were focusing on healthy eating and where fruit comes from. The children had a look at a variety of fruits and discussed which ones they enjoy to eat. They also learnt that fruit have vitamins in them to give us energy, help us grow and stay strong. The children then had the challenge to assemble their own fruit kebabs and try some fruits they never had tried before.

    Some of the children shared their thoughts:

    Riley-Rose – “I’ve never eaten blueberries before. It was very tasty.”

    Sydney – “I didn’t use to like pineapple. It tasted lovely, I would eat it again.”

    Harrison – “It was yummy!”

    Samara – “Pineapple makes my tongue all tingly.”

    Year 1

    This term, the children were tasked with designing a product which would allow them to carry belongings across ice such as was used by Robert Falcon Scott on his trip to Antarctica. The children were able to design their product and then make it using the materials that we have in school. They then tested their creations by placing some school equipment inside and pulling it along a table to represent the surface of the ice. The children then evaluated their products based on how well they were able to transport the belongings across the table.

    The children have also been able to make shortbread biscuits as part of our English topic. They weighed out ingredients and helped to mix the dough and shape them. They then decorated them into snowmen.

    Year 2

    In Design and Technology the children will design and make a lantern.  They design the lantern independently and think about the equipment and materials they would need. The children have also made castles as part of their topic. They used a variety of equipment and thought carefully about what they wanted to include in their designs and evaluated them after.  This is a really important part of the Design, Make and Evaluate process as it allows us to think about what worked really well and anything that could be improved next time.

    The children were also able to follow a recipe to make a treacle tart as part of their history day this term. They added and mixed ingredients as well as taste testing the result. They especially enjoyed this part!


Within our federation, we provide opportunities for each child to design, create and use their own ideas and experiences to further their learning in Design and Technology. Concepts of design form part of the Early Years Foundation Stage curriculum, and Design and Technology continues to be a foundation subject within the National Curriculum for Key Stage One and Two (Year 1 to Year 6).

As children progress through the federation, they develop increasing independence and broaden their thinking about the design processes, including creating and refining their own ideas. There is a particular focus on researching, planning, designing and evaluating their idea and product, with an opportunity to improve it based on their evaluation. These skills are transferable to other subjects.

Design and Technology is taught through cross-curricular links relating to the topics taught throughout the year. There is a clear focus on raising standards in Design & Technology skills in line with the new curriculum. Children are encouraged to work independently and can select a range of equipment and tools to use. They are supported to test their ideas and persevere when things become more challenging.

To enable a wide range of experiences in line with requirements, cooking facilities have been developed to ensure all children access high quality food technology facilities on a regular basis. The school provides a budget to give children a wide variety of culinary experiences and allow them to learn the principles of a healthy and varied diet.


  • DT Autumn Term 2022

    Year 3 Autumn 2, 2022

    As part of our Ancient Egyptian unit, the children translated their first names into hieroglyphs, made a cartouche design and then moulded their own cartouche from clay. They researched the colours that the Ancient Egyptians used and tried to replicate these when painting and glazing their own cartouches.

    At the end of the half term, the children made Egyptian bread to taste test at home. The recipe was adapted from one found on the tomb of Ramses III and involved creating a snail shape, boiling the dough – under adult supervision and then baking the bread.

    Year 4 Autumn 2, 2022

    This half term we have been busy working on our cake stands. This combined our Roman mosaics and our new DT skills. We used a skill called lamination to make our cake stands strong. The children had some fantastic designs and it was great to see the cake stands being put to use once the children had made their Roman honey cakes.

    Year 5 – Autumn 2, 2022

    In DT this half term, we have been focusing on designing and creating a Viking Longboat with a pneumatic system. This has been linked to our History topic of the Vikings, where the children have learnt lots about the designs of Longboats and why they were designed that way.

    First, the children completed a design brief, where they carefully considered what materials and tools they were going to use. The children used many skills such as: sawing, measuring, drilling and cutting using a wide range of equipment. After the structure of the Longboat was built, the children were able to decorate their boats. The children were so proud of their final products!

    Year 6 Autumn 2, 2022

    In DT, we created a maze, basing our ideas on Theseus and the Minotaur. We worked in groups and decided what materials we would use . We used balsa wood and cardboard to create the wall of the maze. We had to use accurate measuring skills and were able to apply our sawing skills to cut the wood to the correct length and used glue guns to fix them together. Some of us painted our mazes too.

  • Design and Technology Spring 2022

    D.T. Spring Term Year 3

    This term, Year 3 have designed, created and evaluated their own seed bags. They have created their own template and have used this to cut the fabric for their seed bags. They have chosen which stitch they would like to use in the creation of their seed bag – choosing either overcast or back stitch.

    The seed bag was then completed with a Velcro fastener to ensure the seeds did not fall out. The children worked hard to produce a workable seed bag. They have evaluated their seed bag, commenting on the areas they felt could be improved and those they were pleased with.

    Food Technology

    We have also completed a Food Technology project, working in small groups to create healthy flapjacks.

    The children focussed on the following skills:

    To read and follow a simple recipe.

    To follow basic food hygiene and safety rules.

    To know how to get ready for cooking (wash and dry hands, tied long hair back, clean surfaces).

    To know how to clean after cooking.

    Using weighing scales and with supervision using a knife for cutting

    To mix, stir and combine liquid and dry ingredients.

    To evaluate finished product and identify how to improve it.

    The children made healthy flapjacks, using dairy free spread, dates, pumpkin seeds, grated apple as well as lemon and maple syrup. They very carefully weighed the ingredients using the scales and spoons. Each child took their healthy snack home at the end of the day, to show their grown-ups and wrote their evaluation the following day. All the children enjoyed working on their Food Technology project and displayed fantastic team-work as they followed the recipe cards on their tables.

    DT Spring Term Year 4

    Year 4 have had a fabulous time cooking fish cakes; learning the D&T cooking skills of peeling and coating.

    We started by peeling and cutting potatoes into chunks, before boiling them and mashing them.

    We added this to tuna and grated lemon peel, finally flavouring it with parsley. We then scooped a handful of this mixture to press into a fish cake. We then practiced the skill of coating these fish cakes in to Rice Krispies to learn to how to create a coating.

    The fish cakes went in to the oven for 20 minutes and we were able to take them home to taste them. They were delicious!

    D.T. Spring Term Year 5

    Food Technology

    Year 5 have been cooking as part of their DT studies, learning to use a range of cooking tools safely and confidently. The children were regularly washing their hands as they shared utensils. The children discussed preparation techniques for different vegetables and learnt how to peel, chop, sieve and grate them, safely. They liked the colourful mixture of healthy ingredients.

    First they made a vegetarian Mayan style broth; they carefully selected the ingredients they would need-especially the sweetcorn. They enjoyed tasting this with a tortilla. They then evaluated them, thinking how they could amend them for another time.

    Next we made a vegetarian burger, carefully measuring out the ingredients and working with a different consistency. Once these were baked in the oven, the children enjoyed eating them in a bread roll, outside in the sunshine.

  • Design and Technology Autumn 2021

    Year 3 Design and Technology Autumn 2021

    In the Autumn term, Year 3 have used the following Design and Technology skills to cook Egyptian bread. They have demonstrated they are able to follow instructions in order, join and combine a range of ingredients whilst working safely and hygienically. During the Cooking session, the children worked in groups to measure and weigh food items.

    We have baked Egyptian-style flat bread to enable the children to understand one of the cultural differences using an everyday food. The children were very surprised at its size and taste compared to traditional British bread!

    After learning about the key processes of Ancient Egyptian life in History lessons, Year 3 learnt about key artefacts, including the cartouche that recorded a person’s name. As a class, we watched a tutorial on how to shape and mould separate pieces to layer the structure to ensure it looked authentic and how to join the pieces of clay effectively to ensure that, once dry, they would stay stuck together. We discussed and planned, as a class, the tools that may be most effective and useful for each stage of the product and how to be safe whilst using them in the classroom. We trialled and tested the proportions of clay that were needed for the base, the outer edge and the bar to ensure accurate assembling and the children assessed this as they went, remodelling where necessary. Once it was dry, we finished off the product by glazing it using paints to make it look more decorative to suit its purpose and seal the clay. The children chose colours that they thought the Egyptians would have had access to and used to show wealth.

    Year 4 Design and Technology Autumn 2021

    This term, Year 4 have been learning about the design and technology skill of lamination. We designed and made a cake stand in the Roman style, with a roman mosaic on the top. Children learned that if we layer materials (laminate), such as bendy cardboard or paper, it makes it sturdy and strong. They were able to discuss what was good about their products and what they could do to make them better.

    Year 5 Design and Technology Autumn 2021

    This term, year 5 have been busy making Viking longboats which include a pneumatic system.

    First we looked at the design, materials and build of the real longboats and concluded that the Vikings had incredible DT skills of their own.

    We carefully traced around a template of the hull, onto a cereal box, and cut it carefully using a craft knife and craft mat. We made accurate measurements of square doweling to find midway points to drill a hole, using a hand drill. We measured the round doweling to find 1/3 of the length to make the mast, which we then cut with a hacksaw. There was a lot of problem solving involved, where we had to sharpen the round doweling to fit snugly into the hole, before securing with a glue gun. As we used cereal boxes, we sometimes found the folds were weak spots in the hull, so we reinforced these areas with patches of card.

    We had to talk a lot about using the tools safely and so we used blu-tac to poke holes in the card safely for the shields to be attached with split pins.

    The boats also have to look good as a finished product, so we used a technique called decoupage, to strengthen and join the structure, and to make the boats look wooden.

    Sails were attached with glue guns and a pneumatic system attached to make the sail “blow“ in the wind.

    Time was also given to evaluate our finished products and think of alternate ways to make use of the pneumatic system i.e blowing a shield off the boat!

    Year 6 Design and Technology Autumn 2021

    This term Year 6 have enjoyed designing and creating their own Greek labyrinths to link to our history topic. Before we started thinking about our own designs, we enjoyed finding out about the history of mazes and labyrinths and exploring images of famous mazes around the world. We spent some time thinking about our designs to ensure that they were fit for purpose. We had to be very careful when measuring to ensure that our dimensions were accurate and precise – this involved some maths skills too. When marking out our mazes, different sketching techniques were used to show lighter and darker areas. We had to make sure that we had one entrance and one exit. The children enjoyed adding in extra paths that lead to nowhere!

    To create our labyrinth we used cardboard for the base and art straws to represent the walls of the maze. We had to cut the straws to size, measuring each wall accurately from our plans. The children used glue to secure their walls. Over time, we found that we needed to refine some of our designs and make improvements so that the product was fit for purpose. After the labyrinths were complete, the children evaluated their product to identify what went well and what could have been made even better. Creating the labyrinths definitely reinforced the importance of measuring carefully and precisely.

  • DT Autumn 2020

    Year 6 DT write up Autumn 2020

    This half term Year 6 have enjoyed designing and creating their own Greek labyrinths.

    The children studied the Ancient Greeks as part of their history learning. Before we started thinking about our own designs, we enjoyed finding out about the history of mazes and labyrinths and exploring images of famous mazes around the world. We spent some time thinking about our designs to ensure that they were fit for purpose. We had to be very careful when measuring to ensure that our dimensions were accurate and precise – this involved some maths skills too. When marking out our mazes, different sketching techniques were used to show lighter and darker areas. We had to make sure that we had one entrance and one exit. The children enjoyed adding in extra paths that led to nowhere!

    To create our labyrinth we used cardboard for the base and art straws to represent the walls of the maze. We had to cut the straws to size, measuring each wall accurately from our plans. The children used glue to secure their walls. Over time, we found that we needed to refine some of our designs and make improvements so that the product was fit for purpose. After the labyrinths were complete, the children evaluated their product to identify what went well and what could have been made even better. Creating the labyrinths definitely reinforced the importance of measuring carefully and precisely.

    Year 5 DT write up Autumn 2020

    This term, year 5 have been busy making Viking longboats which include a pneumatic system.

    First we looked at the design, materials and build of the real longboats and concluded that the Vikings had incredible DT skills of their own.

    We carefully traced around a template of the hull, onto a cereal box, and cut it carefully using a craft knife and craft mat. We made accurate measurements of square doweling to find midway points to drill a hole, using a hand drill. We measured the round doweling to find 1/3 of the length to make the mast, which we then cut with a hacksaw. There was a lot of problem solving involved, where we had to sharpen the round doweling to fit snugly into the hole, before securing with a glue gun. As we used cereal boxes, we sometimes found the folds were weak spots in the hull, so we reinforced these areas with patches of card.

    We had to talk a lot about using the tools safely and so we used blu-tac to poke holes in the card safely for the shields to be attached with split pins.

    The boats also have to look good as a finished product, so we used a technique called decoupage, to strengthen and join the structure, and to make the boats look wooden.

    Sails were attached with glue guns and a pneumatic system attached to make the sail “blow“ in the wind.

    Time was also given to evaluate our finished products and think of alternate ways to make use of the pneumatic system i.e blowing a shield off the boat!

    Year 4 DT Autumn 2020

    In the Autumn term, the children in Year 4 worked on a combined Art and D.T project. The task combined making a cake stand and decorating the top with a Roman mosaic. The children learned how to make the card stronger by folding and gluing together layers; a process called laminating. The more tricky part was constructing the legs and ensuring the cake stand was stable and level. At the end of the project, the children evaluated their cake stands by identifying what had worked well and the skills they could try to improve next time. The children really enjoyed the project and produced some amazing cake stands; it was fantastic to see some children had even baked some cakes and made use of their cake stand at home!

    Year 3 DT Autumn 2020

    This half term, the year 3 children learned about the fascinating Egyptian civilisation and some of the famous artefacts uncovered.

    During their Egyptian themed day, the children had the opportunity to investigate some of the artefacts and how they might have been made in ancient times. The children chose their own tools to carve varying lines and create different effects on scarab beetle amulets made out of soap. They also did this to engrave their names in hieroglyphs onto their own cartouche made from clay, after moulding, joining and smoothing their product. The children finished by glazing their dried cartouches with colours chosen to match their symbolic meaning.

  • D and T Autumn 2019

    Throughout the Autumn term, Year 3 have had several opportunities to cook things in order to practise the skills of following instructions, joining and combining a range of ingredients and working safely and hygienically. During each cooking opportunity, the children worked in groups to measure and weigh food items. Their first opportunity to combine ingredients required no baking – the children make a bruschetta snack as part of their cultural understanding day. They chopped and sliced basil leaves, tomatoes, onion, crushed garlic and poured balsamic vinegar and olive oil before spooning it onto slices of baguette. We discussed different components of a balanced diet and then revisited this as part of a STEM Day challenge; the children had to design, make and evaluate a street food based around a British-grown pepper. We stuffed the peppers with healthy options that would make us feel full. There were lots of fabulous alternative designs and we discussed how well they each contributed to a healthy and varied diet.

    Their latest cooking challenge was to bake Egyptian-style flat bread to understand a cultural difference in an everyday food and to see how it was cooked differently using oil. The children were very surprised at its size and taste compared to traditional British bread!

    After learning about the key processes of Ancient Egyptian life in History lessons, Year 3 learnt about key artefacts, including the cartouche that recorded a person’s name. As a class, we watched a tutorial on how to shape and mould separate pieces to layer the structure to ensure it looked authentic and how to join the pieces of clay effectively to ensure that, once dry, they would stay stuck together. We discussed and planned, as a class, the tools that may be most effective and useful for each stage of the product and how to be safe whilst using them in the classroom. We trialled and tested the proportions of clay that were needed for the base, the outer edge and the bar to ensure accurate assembling and the children assessed this as they went, remodelling where necessary. Once it was dry, we finished off the product by glazing it using paints to make it look more decorative to suit it’s purpose and seal the clay. The children chose colours that they thought the Egyptians would have had access to and use to show wealth.

    Year 4 D and T Autumn

    Year 4 have been learning about the design and technology skill of lamination. We designed and made a cake stand in the Roman style, with a roman mosaic on the top.

    Children learned that if we layer materials, it makes it sturdy and strong. They were able to discuss what was good about their products and what they could do to make them better.

    To finish off, we made some authentic honey cakes to adorn our cake stands. Well done to year four for putting in lots of effort for whisking their eggs in the Roman way!

    Year 5 D&T – Autumn 2019

    Moving Monsters and pneumatics has been our autumn term topic for D&T. We have looked at different objects that use pneumatics, how they work and how compressed air can be used to move things. We connected tubes to different kinds of pumps to see which were more effective and then began to think about how we could make a pneumatic ‘Moving Monster.’ We are now designing our monsters and will soon be connecting them to a pneumatic system to make them move.

    Year 6 D and T Autumn

    This term in Year 6 we have been learning about the Ancient Greeks. As part of this topic we have looked at Greek gods and architecture and then used this to plan and make our own version of the Parthenon. The audience for our models was to be another child to help them to understand more about Greek architecture.

    First, the children used their computing research skills to find out as much as they could about the architecture, structure and use of temples in order to use a range of information to inform their design. They then did some investigative work to find out: the strongest type of columns; how to create a net for a triangular pyramid (which would be used to make the roof) and making a base with steps which would support our temple.

    After discussing the children’s findings, it was then time to plan their temples using their DT skills; considering the culture and society of ancient Greece in their designs. We discussed the need for accurate measuring in order to ensure precision for their final model and the importance of making sure that their product was strong and “fit for purpose”.

    Once the model temples were completed, the children used their evaluative skills to:

    • Refine and further improve their product.
    • Identify how it could be improved it,
    • Asked if different resources would have improved their product.
    • Finally, they posed the question “does our product meet all the design criteria?”

    The children worked very hard and thoroughly enjoyed the activity, demonstrating great team work and communication too.


Summer Term 2019

Year 3

In the summer term, Year 3 built on the sewing skills learnt in the spring term by creating a net and using running, overcast and back stitch in the creation of a canvas “bag for life”. They had to consider their purpose and came up with a list of criteria the bag had to meet, and then thought about what the audience would want it to look like.

During their design phase, the children came up with alternative purposes for the bag including a boot bag, swimming kit bag, shopping bag and many more! Once the bags were complete, the children recorded what went well and what they might try next time to improve, although many altered their product this term based on evaluations made following the construction of their seed bags last term!

Year 4

This summer, Year 4 created an African Kente cloth by weaving pieces of brightly coloured paper and then drawing a symetric design on.  We used the enrichment week to work with parents to create our “cloth”.  Also during this week we created an African drum using paper and recycled goods.

Year 5

In the summer term, year 5 completed a textiles project with a ‘save the world’ theme. They designed and made a sea creature, learning how to apply running and blanket stitch. Finally, they evaluated their piece of work, thinking carefully about how they would improve next time.

Year 6

Year 6 designed and created their own cushions and small carry cases. We began by studying the history and function of cushions in order to design a product based on their functional and aesthetic features and the needs of the audience. After selecting some bright, patterned fabric of our choice, we joined two pieces of material together by using a variety of hidden and visible stitches. These included running stitch, backstitch, overstitch, zigzag stitch and blanket stitch. Once we had finished joining our fabrics, we decorated our products using appliqué and buttons.


Spring Term 2019

Year 3

In the spring term, we practised different styles of stitching and learnt about seam allowance. We tested different materials using weights to source the most durable fabric from our selection before designing, and then creating, a prototype of a small seed bag. Some children even managed to affix decorations out of felt.

During Science week we learnt how to make samosas and tracked the journey of the ingredients required, to combine our cooking learning with Science and Geography! Later in the term we then designed and created model-size Stone Age inspired houses. This activity highlighted how a design can be a working product and change as we experiment with different material types.

Year 4

In the Spring Term, we designed and constructed an educational game about the mountains of Europe – using our understanding of insulators and conductors.  We also produced a vegetarian lasagne, making our own pasta and cooking the very tasty filling, before layering it into a delicious meal, which we took home to enjoy with our families.

Year 5

In year 5, children have been working on their paper-mache skills. We have been creating 3D Mayan masks, using lots of layering and sticking techniques. We have decorated our masks to look scary or like animals. Lots of children have thoroughly enjoyed the opportunity to develop their ideas from design to reality and have evaluated the masks for authenticity.

 

Year 6

In Year 6, as well our cooking sessions in the autumn term, we also attended Neatherd High School this term to make some cheese scones. We really enjoyed working together and practicing our cooking skills. As part of British Science Week, we researched and sourced the ingredients to make bread rolls.