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Mowlem Primary

Design Technology

Design and Technology is an inspiring and practical subject. At Mowlem Primary School our vision is for children to develop the creative, technical and practical expertise needed to perform everyday tasks confidently and are taught to select and use appropriate tools safely and effectively to make a product. Design and Technology within the school encourages children to think creatively and imaginatively. Pupils are encouraged to design and make products both individually and as part of a team, that solve real and relevant problems, within a variety of contexts, considering their own and others’ needs, wants and values.

We aim to, wherever possible, link work to other disciplines such as mathematics, science, engineering, computing and art. The children are also given opportunities to reflect upon and evaluate past and present design technology, its uses and its effectiveness and are encouraged to become innovators and risk-takers.

In all areas of Design and Technology children are encouraged to consider the effectiveness of their designs and requirements of a product. Every child has the opportunity to learn and extend their understanding, experience and application in the use of technology in as wide a variety of situations as possible.

Essential characteristics of designers

  • Significant levels of originality and the willingness to take creative risks to produce innovative ideas and prototypes.
  • An excellent attitude to learning and independent working.
  • The ability to use time effectively and work constructively and productively with others.
  • The ability to carry out thorough research, show initiative and ask questions to develop an exceptionally detailed knowledge of users’ needs.
  • The ability to act as responsible designers and makers, working ethically, using finite materials carefully and working safely.
  • A thorough knowledge of which tools, equipment and materials to use to make their products.
  • The ability to apply mathematical knowledge.
  • The ability to manage risks exceptionally well to manufacture products safely and hygienically.
  • A passion for the subject and knowledge of up-to-date technological innovations in materials, products and systems.  


Design Technology Curriculum Overview 2023-2024

Design Technology Roadmap 


Design Technology in the Early Years Foundation Stage

In the Early Years Foundation Stage, design and technology forms part of the learning children acquire under the ‘Expressive Arts and Design' branch of the Foundation Stage curriculum. 

Children  learn through first-hand experiences. They are encouraged to explore, observe, solve problems, think critically, make decisions and to talk about why they have made their decisions. Here are some of the typical learning experiences that children have in the Early Years  which develop their early  Design and Technology skills - constructing, joining, using a range of tools, cooking, exploring and dismantling objects to see how they work, and of course, discussion. 

During the Early Years Foundation Stage, we help the development of children’s artistic and cultural awareness which supports their imagination and creativity. Pupils Explore a variety of media and materials within the provision through a combination of child initiated and adult directed activities. We believe it is important that children have regular opportunities to engage with the arts, enabling them to explore and play with a wide range of media and materials. The quality and variety of what children see, hear and participate in is crucial for developing their understanding, self-expression, vocabulary and ability to communicate through the arts. The frequency, repetition and depth of their experiences are fundamental to their progress in interpreting and appreciating what they hear, respond to and observe.

The document below outlines in more detail the specific Design Technology objectives within the Early Years curriculum, what it looks like in practice, and demonstrates the links between the Early Years and the Design Technology curriculum.  

Design Technology in the Early Years Foundation Stage 


Design Technology in Key Stage 1 and 2

The breadth of the Geography National Curriculum in Key Stage 1 and 2

Key Stage 1 Key Stage 2





Through a variety of creative and practical activities, we teach the knowledge, understanding and skills needed to engage in an iterative process of designing and making. The children work in a range of relevant contexts (for example home, school, leisure, culture, enterprise, industry and the wider environment).


When designing and making, the children are 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 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
  • understand and use electrical systems in their products • apply their understanding of computing to program, monitor and control their products

Key skills and key knowledge for Design and Technology have been mapped across the school to ensure progression between year groups. This also ensures that there is a context for the children’s work in Design and Technology; that they learn about real life structures and the purpose of specific examples, as well as developing their skills throughout the programme of study. Design and technology lessons are also taught as a block so that children’s learning is focused throughout each unit of work.


We ensure the children

  • 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 and 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. Children will design and make a range of products. A good quality finish will be expected in all design and activities made appropriate to the age and ability of the child


Children learn how to take risks, becoming resourceful, innovative, enterprising and capable citizens. Through the evaluation of past and present design and technology, they develop a critical understanding of its impact on daily life and the wider world. High-quality design and technology education makes an essential contribution to the creativity, culture, wealth and well-being of the nation.


 Learning Journeys

  • Learning Journeys detail the overall outcomes for each unit.
  • Learning Journeys detail the small steps that children will take to achieve the overall outcomes for each unit.
  • They show how the unit builds on prior learning
  • They show what children will learn in the future linked to what they are learning now.
  • Learning Journeys are available on the school website – on the year group page or on the subject page
  • They include key vocabulary for the unit
  • They include details of the key content to be covered
  • If you would like printed copies of any journeys please let us know. 

Year 1

Au: Structures - playgrounds

Sp: Mechanisms - making cards (festivals) 

Su: Food - vegetable salad 

Year 2

Au: Mechanisms - emergency vehicles 

Sp: Food - fruit/vegetable smoothies 

Su: Textiles - puppets 

Year 3

Au: Structures 

Sp: Pneumatics - moving toys 

Su: Textiles - purses/wallets 

Year 4

Au: Mechanical Systems - story books for younger children 

Sp: Food - salad snacks 

Su: Electrical systems - alarms 

Year 5

Au: Structures - bird hides 

Sp: Food -savoury biscuits, scones, muffins 

Su: Electrical systems - automatic lights

Year 6 

Au: Textiles - recycled denim bags 

Sp: Food - bread and pizza 

Su: Mechanical systems - fun fair rides