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Design and Technology

Design is a funny word. Some people think design means how it looks. But of course, if you look deeper, it’s really how it works.’ (Steve Jobs, October 2011)


At South Hill School, the teaching of ‘Design and Technology’ follows the National Curriculum. The purpose of D&T is for pupils to design a product for a particular purpose for a given reason. This is achieved through a variety of creative and practical projects such as: designing and making a home in Year 1 to making an Anderson Shelter in Year 6 using an electrical component.


Design and Technology, therefore, encourages individual thinking, researching, designing, making and evaluating, all in one subject! It is an inspirational, rigorous and practical subject encompassing elements of subject knowledge from other curriculum areas such as Mathematics, Science, Computing and Art.


In EYFS, pupils’ explore and use a variety of materials. Through construction, children can explore and build with Lego or wooden bricks alongside developing their fine motor skills with scissors, paper and other media.


In Key Stage 1, pupils develop an understanding of the design, making and evaluating process when creating their own products. Topics covered include cooking and nutrition, textiles, mechanisms, materials and construction.


In Key Stage 2, pupils further embed the design, make and evaluate cycle when creating their own products. Knowledge is built upon further through topics such as cooking and nutrition, textiles, electrical/mechanical components, stiff and flexible sheet materials and mouldable materials.


When researching, designing, making and evaluating, pupils are 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, (or 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

  • 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.

  • Use the basic principles of a healthy and varied diet to prepare dishes and understand where food comes from.

Examples of knowledge organisers

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