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The teaching of design and technology at Greystones Primary School

In addition to reading the information that is detailed below, you may like to follow these links for more details about what is taught and expectations at Greystones (just click on the words):

1. DT across school

2. DT progression

Greystones Primary School - Design and Technology Curriculum Statement


At Greystones Primary School, our Design and Technology curriculum is about providing opportunities for children to develop their skills and creativity. By combining their design and making skills with knowledge and understanding they learn to create quality products. Design and Technology is often named as a favourite subject at Greystones as our children like making decisions for themselves and doing practical work. They love creating products they can see, touch – and even taste – for themselves and they feel proud to have done so. 

Design and Technology brings learning to life, it is a motivating context for discovering literacy, mathematics, science, art, PSHE and ICT. It also provides a firm basis for later learning in the subject and a platform for developing skills in literacy and numeracy. 

Design and Technology education involves two important elements - learning about the designed and made world and how things work and learning to design and make functional products for particular purposes and users. 

At Greystones, children will acquire and apply knowledge and understanding of materials and components, mechanisms and control systems, structures, existing products, quality and health and safety. 

Our children will develop skills through collaborative working and problem-solving, and knowledge in design, materials, structures, mechanisms and electrical control. Our children are encouraged to be creative and innovative and are actively encouraged to think about important issues such as sustainability through our Global Learning Goals and enterprise. Our annual/bi-annual enterprise weeks include lots of opportunites for developing Design and Technology skills and knowledge.  

There are three core activities children engage with in Design and Technology at our school: 

  • Activities which involve investigating and evaluating existing products 

  • Focused tasks in which children develop particular aspects of knowledge and skills 

  • Designing and making activities in which children design and make 'something' for 'somebody' for 'some purpose' 

These three activities are combined in sequence to create a Design and Technology project. The skills learned will also help with learning across the curriculum.  

Our Design and Technology curriculum covers the skills defined in the National Curriculum through The Design and Technology Associations ‘Projects on a Page’. Progression is planned in knowledge, skills and vocabulary so that pupils leaving in year six will be equipped with the tools needed to be successful in secondary school. Vocabulary is supported through the use of Communication in Print resources provided for each project to support all learners. 


One Design and Technology project is taught per term in each year group in Key Stage 1 and 2. The project is delivered either as a weekly subject or is blocked into Design and Technology full day sessions, often with parental support.  Design and Technology is generally taught in rotation half termly with art. The Design and Technology Association suggest a time allocation of between 8-12 hours for each project. Lessons are made up of investigative and evaluative activities, focused tasks and a design, make and evaluate assignment in each project. 


Each project address the six design and technology principles – user, purpose, functionality, design decisions, innovation and authenticity.  

User – children should have a clear idea of who they are designing and making products for, considering their needs, wants, interests or preferences. The user could be themselves, an imaginary character, another person, client, consumer or a specific target audience.  

Purpose – children should know what the products they design and make are for. Each product should perform a clearly defined task that can be evaluated in use.  

Functionality – children should design and make products that function in some way to be successful. Products often combine aesthetic qualities with functional characteristics. In D&T, it is insufficient for children to design and make products which are purely aesthetic.  

Design Decisions – when designing and making, children need opportunities to make informed decisions such as selecting materials, components and techniques and deciding what form the products will take, how they will work, what task they will perform and who they are for.  

Innovation – when designing and making, children need some scope to be original with their thinking. Projects that encourage innovation lead to a range of design ideas and products being developed, characterised by engaging, open-ended starting points for children's learning.  

Authenticity – children should design and make products that are believable, real and meaningful to themselves i.e. not replicas or reproductions or models which do not provide opportunities for children to make design decisions with clear users and purposes in mind.  

The procedure for each project planner is the same:  

Aspect of Design and Technology and Focus – this clearly states what aspect of Design and Technology is being covered and the focus for children’s learning according to their age.  

Key learning – this starts by stating what children should have previously learnt, then summarises the key learning within designing, making, evaluating and technical knowledge and understanding, including what is covered in the programmes of study. This may be adapted if prior learning has been missed or if more challenge is required to move children’s learning on.  

What could children design and make? This is where a range of products is recommended. 

Intended users – you select the intended user or users for the children’s products.  

Purpose of products – you select a purpose for the children’s products. 

Possible contexts – select the broader context or contexts that children will work in when carrying out the project.  

Project title – on the basis of all the above, a title for the project is decided upon including in general terms what children will design and make, who it will be for and what purpose it will fulfil.  

Investigate and Evaluative Activities, Focused Tasks and Design, Make and Evaluate Assignments –the main activities to suit what children will be designing and making.  

Related activities in other subjects are suggested. 

Possible resources –for the project. 

Key vocabulary – key technical vocabulary.  

Key competencies – select from those which children are likely to develop through the project.  

Health and safety – risk assessment and health and safety.  

Overall potential of project – here you rate the project prior to carrying it out to ensure that each of the Design and Technology essentials has been adequately addressed.  

Classroom Environments and Resourcing:  

Design and Technology resources are kept in the resources room next to the Inclusion office.  All resources are labelled and in boxes to provide easy access for teachers.  Resources are brought into classrooms  and classroom reorganised for practical Design and Technology lessons. Teachers are responsible for ordering consumables for their year group Design and Technology projects.  The Design and Technlogy Association suggest a minimum spend of £3.70 per pupil per year for all Design and Technology costs.  

Currently at least one Design and Technology food project is taught per year, including the cooking and nutrition requirements. At Greystones we do not have a dedicated space for the teaching of cooking and nutrition. The cooking and nutrition resources are kept in the labelled cupboards in the school staffroom. Currently we have access to four induction hobs but no oven facility except for the oven in the staffroom.  Again consumables for cooking projects are the reponsibility of the classteachers to orgainse and order.  



Design and Technology is assessed through teacher judgment using the assessment criteria for the end of year 2, 4 and 6.

This allows teachers to record children’s progress from Key Stage 1 through Early and Late Key Stage 2 in D&T. Teachers will need to judge if a child is emerging, expected or exceeding at the end of each year group for the children’s annual reports to parents. 

Design and Technology through the school is monitored by the subject co-ordinator and senior leadership team through book scrutinies and pupil interviews.   

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