“Design Technology should be the subject where Mathematical brainboxes
and Science whizzkids turn their bright ideas into useful products”
What we teach
The Design and Technology curriculum at Mersey Park Primary School follows the requirements of the National Curriculum and the Statutory Framework for the Early Years Foundation Stage. It provides our pupils with the opportunity to tackle problems of a practical nature and develop a range of tool skills. The cross curricular nature of Design and Technology offers a setting for children to apply knowledge and skills linked to other subjects, including science and history. Skills are developed using materials, tools and mechanics, which are used to design and make structures, mechanisms, textiles and food products. Children work collaboratively – discussing their design ideas; working cooperatively to make their products; evaluating their own work and the products of others. We also encourage pupils to look to the wider world of product design, exploring the work of engineers, architects and other product designers through shared texts.
Curriculum progression is clearly set out in our Progression of Skills planning document, which follows the National Curriculum objectives. It has been carefully structured to allow frequent opportunities for children to practice and embed key skills and knowledge. From Foundation Stage onwards we plan opportunities for our children to explore materials, practice their construction and design skills and express themselves creatively. This is an experience we feel many of our children need when beginning their journey as designers and engineers at Mersey Park.
Much of our Design and Technology is taught in timetable blocks, which may be used as Entry Points to introduce a new topic or Exit Points to consolidate learning at the end of a topic. During Design and Technology days, children are fully immersed in the whole design process and get the opportunity to practice a range of skills and express their creative ideas in a supportive, safe environment.
We ensure that we meet the needs of all pupils, allowing them the opportunity to access the full and broad curriculum through carefully planned support and adaptation as required.
How we teach it
From Foundation Stage through to Year 6, pupils are given opportunities to explore the use of materials and tools; to design and make prototypes; to discuss how things work; and to apply their knowledge to how they could be improved. They are presented with design problems to solve, working as part of a team. Design and Technology is taught through areas of learning in accordance with EYFS documents and the National Curriculum for KS1 and KS2.
The areas of design and making covered by each year group are:
- Food Technology – emphasis is on healthy eating and a progression of skills using a variety of cooking techniques, including boiling, stir-frying, baking and grilling, and the safe use of kitchen equipment and appliances.
- Structures – emphasis is on using wooden Jinx frame constructions as a basis for products.
- Mechanisms – this element is incorporated into the products made during the structures topic and includes: levers/sliders, chassis/axles/wheels, pneumatics, electrical circuits, cams, gears and pulleys.
- Textiles– emphasis is on sewing skills, progressively taught across each key stage and including fastenings and other design elements to make a product appealing.
A strong focus for teaching is the use of correct technical vocabulary. Teachers carefully plan the language they use during their sessions and model, through discussion, specific technical vocabulary to help embed this language in the children’s long term memory. This is also reinforced through the use of videos created by school staff which introduce and revise basic skills. Teachers are provided with regular opportunities to develop their own subject knowledge through sharing good practice, peer observation and visiting experts. We also make use of our own, in school, experts to provide support and help to teach topics.
Final end of year assessments are made using criteria that have been developed in line with the National Curriculum, to identify the level at which the child is working. Children in Foundation Stage are assessed within Expressive Arts and Design and their progress is tracked termly. Age related expectation levels are reported to parents at the end of each year. The teaching of the use of tools, cooking equipment and sewing equipment is progressive, building year on year, to ensure that by the end of Key Stage 2, pupils have a full range of skills and know how to use equipment safely.
Design and Technology is monitored through a variety of strategies, including: planning and evaluation scrutiny, lesson observation and product scrutiny. Summative assessments take place throughout the year and teachers record the progress and attainment against the National Curriculum. Teachers use this information to inform future lessons; ensuring children are supported and challenged appropriately. This data is analysed regularly to inform and address any trends or gaps in attainment. Information is also gathered through pupil voice, which highlight both strengths and achievements and the knowledge and skills that require further work in order to be embedded.
Food Technology is incorporated into Healthy Eating Week and there are opportunities for children to sample their cooking and take it home. We also aim to use home grown produce from our school gardens and classrooms and send recipes home to encourage families to cook the dishes the children have made in school. The children will experience the whole design process from the issue, through planning, trial and error prototypes, finished products and evaluation to see if further improvements are necessary.
Click below to view our DT Curriculum for all year groups:
To view our Design overview for our Design Technology curriculum please follow the link for each year group: .
Year 1 Long Term Overview
Year 2 Long Term Overview
Year 3 Long Term Overview
Year 4 Long Term Overview
Year 5 Long Term Overview
Year 6 Long Term Overview
Click below to view the progression of skills across the year groups for Design Technology:
Design Technology Progression of Skills
Design Technology at Mersey Park
In Foundation 1 the children start to explore how to measure and combine food together to bake. They also begin to develop their fine motor skills, using their imagination to think what they can do with different materials. The children use blocks and other construction toys to make simple models and enclosures sometimes working collaboratively with their peers.
In Foundation 2 the children continue to develop the basic skills needed to join materials together. They use stories as a starting point, for example, ‘Pumpkin Soup’ making a quilt for duck using a variety of materials and joining techniques such as pipe cleaners, glue and tape to see what works well. They begin to evaluate their work and return to it to improve it. The children become increasingly skilled with block play, creating detailed structures with a purpose in mind. The children also chop seasonal vegetables including, carrots, parsnips, potatoes and leeks to make Autumnal vegetable soup.
The children develop their sewing skills as they make hand puppets as part of our Toys topic. They research, design, make and evaluate their puppets, gaining confidence with the use of a needle and thread to join the material together.
In Year 2 the children make potato salad using potatoes they planted in Year 1 and chives they planted in Year 2. They build on the skills learnt in Year 1 by researching the ingredients to include; slicing herbs and potatoes; combine flavours to make a tasty product and evaluate their potato salad.
In Year 3 the children learn about levers and linkages. They explore how different levers and linkages work then use these to design their own London landmark picture with moving parts. Once planned the children create their moving picture. Finally they evaluate their product to focus on what worked well and what could be improved next time.
In Year 4 the children practice using the DT equipment and make a box to house electrical equipment for a pressure pad alarm. They practise the skills of measuring, sawing and joining to create a structure suitable for their product.
In Year 5 the children consolidate their learning on healthy eating and nutrition. They begin their project by taking part in market research of popular types of tray-bakes. They then discuss and complete section one of their project booklet on where pasta and rice come from use and revise where potatoes come from which was taught in Year 4. In small, supervised groups, the children: wash, peel, slice, dice, fry, measure, boil, simmer, stir, bake and slow cook their scouse. Finally as a year group, they evaluate their meals for looks, smell, texture and taste and make notes.
In Year 6 the children build on the skills developed through school to plan, build and evaluate different products. In their cooking and nutrition unit they investigate the health benefits of different foods then create their own healthy main course. They continue to develop their use of knife skills cutting both vegetables and meat as well as cooking the foods themselves on the hob.
In Foundation 1 in Spring the model making gets bigger and better. They enjoy finding different ways to join materials together such as glue, tape and string. They continue to learn how to decorate their creations to good effect using tissue paper and paints. They build rockets to fly to the moon and use these to tell stories and sing songs.
In Foundation 2 they love watching videos of Chinese Lion and Dragon dances on the internet. They look carefully at them, then design and make their own lions and dragons. They enjoy using their cutting and joining skills to make fabulous Chinese lanterns and lucky envelopes. When the weather is cold outside they know their ears get cold in Foundation 2 so they become designers. They look at some earmuffs and design and make their own. They have to make sure they fit right over their ears!
In Year 1 the children plan to make their own sandwiches, choosing their own fillings and writing instructions on how to make them. They then make them for a teddy bear’s picnic. The children think about the health and safety of preparing food and their workspace, then spread butter with a knife and add their toppings on to the sandwich.
In Year 2 children learn how to evaluate products already available to find out how they work and choose the best parts to magpie. They then use a design, create and evaluate process to make their own moving fire engine. In doing this they experience how to use equipment safely while using the saws and the drills; how to create a frame that is secure and how to add reinforcement to strengthen it further. The children then get the opportunity to test their vehicle and evaluate which bits work well and how to improve their designs next time.
In Year 3 the children develop their ability to follow a recipe. They investigate traditional foods from the UK and choose to make one of them, this year they chose shortbread. The children write a recipe, weigh out all the ingredients and mix them together in the right way before putting them into the oven. The children are then able to try the shortbread once they are baked and evaluate them.
In Year 4 the children design and make their own Edward Tulane rabbit toy, after, researching how teddy bears are made, including deconstructing and shared reading about the history of the teddy. The children cut and sew their toy, after being given a step-by-step guide and safety talk. They sew on button eyes and a sew a nose and mouth; do a running stitch around the edge; stuff their toy; add a ribbon and glue on a bob tail. They then evaluate their product.
In Year 5 the children develop their knowledge of textiles to design and make a water bottle carrier. They plan their work in a booklet considering a design criteria, enhance their skills of cutting with precision to make each piece of the fabric needed and then carefully sew together the fabric. They are able to test their product out and then evaluate whether it is worked and what they will change next time.
In the Year 6 structures unit the children use their previous knowledge to ensure they plan and build a bridge that is stable. They are able to combine different techniques they have learnt for fixing the materials together. They design and make their own bridges. Then they create their own measurements for their bridge design. Using a jinx box and pulley design they create their own draw bridges.
In Foundation 1 the children find ways of joining wood together to make new friends for Stick Man.
In Foundation 2 the children make their own bags and rucksacks, cutting and joining carefully. They decide the best material would be plastic so the bag is waterproof as well. They check the bag is strong enough and make adaptations as necessary. After listening to the story of, ‘Jack and the Beanstalk’ the children decide to make a ladder to help the Giant get back to his castle in the clouds. They choose lolly-pop sticks or art straws to make their ladder joining it carefully with their choice of tape. The children make eye patches as they pretend to be Pirates.
In Year 1 the children design and make their own seaside picture using levers. They plan their own seaside design, work out which part is going to move and how to join these together and then make it.
In Year 2 the children design and make their own minibeast finger puppet after, researching other animal finger puppets and how they are made. They take part in shared reading about the history of finger puppets and how they are made. The children then draw the body shape onto felt, cut and sew their toy, after being given a step-by-step guide and safety talk. They add detail to the body such as wings, antenna and stripes. They then evaluate their product.
In Year 3 the children paper mache to create puppet heads using masking tape, PVA glue and newspapers. They use felt to design and sew their puppets together.
In Year 4 the children design and make their own Edward Tulane rabbit toy, after, researching how teddy bears are made, including deconstructing. The children cut and sew their toy, after being given a step-by-step guide and safety talk. They sew on button eyes and sew a nose and mouth; do a running stitch around the edge; stuff their toy; add a ribbon; glue on a bob tail. They then evaluate their product.
In Year 5 the children create their own cam toy design, after researching what a cam mechanism/ toy is and how it is constructed and shared reading about wooden structures and how to give them strength. The children then use tools to construct the wooden frame, after being given a step-by-step guide and safety talk. They make a simple cam mechanism to incorporate into the frame and personalise their box with a background scene and pop up character design.
In Year 6 the children design and make their own pencil case, after researching how different pencil cases are made, including deconstructing a pencil case and shared reading about the history of school stationery. The children then create their own pattern, cut and sew their case, after being given a step-by-step guide and safety talk. They revise using running and whip stitches and learn how to do a blanket stitch; add a fastening of their choice and add detail with embroidery/applique.
Extra Curricular Clubs
The Year 4’s thoroughly enjoy ‘Cooking Club’. They make chocolate brownies, chicken fajitas and shortbread biscuits in time for Christmas.
DESIGN AND TECHNOLOGY REPORT TO GOVERNORS