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The Oaks Primary School

From Little Acorns Grow Mighty Oaks

Design and Technology

Design and Technology Rationale


In Early Years, children will be encouraged to explore and try out different materials, tools and processes of making and be given opportunities to ask questions, predict results and reflect on their learning.  They will be engaged through purposeful opportunities to design and make creations safely, and will include contexts, such as: the home, school, gardens, playgrounds and local community.


In Key Stage One, children are provided with exciting opportunities to design and create purposefully.  They are taught to develop a range of skills, such as cutting, shaping and joining and will explore a variety of materials and components, including construction materials, textiles and ingredients.  The children will be taught to design and build simple mechanisms, such as: levers, sliders, dials, wheels and axels, using a variety of materials and joining strategies.  Children are given opportunities to explore and evaluate a range of existing products and are given clear design briefs from which to design their products and evaluate their work against the design criteria.  They will also learn about where food comes from, the principles of nutrition and healthy eating, preparing dishes to eat.


In Lower Key Stage Two, children are given design briefs that give purpose, audience and meaning to their work.  They will work with multiple disciplines including textiles, construction (strengthening, supporting and stiffening) and cookery (including the seasonality of vegetables and knowing where and how a variety of ingredients are grown, reared, caught and processed).  Children will explore and evaluate existing products to inspire their own designs, and following the completion of products, they will be taught to evaluate their work against their design brief and consider aspects that could be improved.  Throughout the phase, children will be encouraged to improve on knowledge, skills and techniques they were taught in Key Stage One and begin to understand the links between other subjects and Design & Technology.


In Upper Key Stage Two, children will be taught to incorporate all of their previous learning into purposeful and complex projects, which are linked to other aspects of their studies.  Children will revisit their learning on electricity in Year 4 and begin to integrate electrical circuits into their designs, using series circuits, switches, bulbs, buzzers and motors.  They will also further develop their knowledge of mechanisms by considering how pulleys, gears, cams, levers and linkages can be used to create a product.  Children will continue to develop their knowledge and understanding of seasonality and a healthy and varied diet, and will use a variety of cooking techniques to prepare and cook predominantly savoury dishes.  Following work in computing, the children will begin to construct and build products that can be programmed.  Throughout the phase, children will be taught to explore existing products, as well as design, make and evaluate their own products against the design criteria.

Design and Technology Overview Y1 - Y6