Design Technology

Policy on Design and Technology

1          Aims and objectives

1.1       Design and technology prepares children to take part in the development of tomorrow’s rapidly changing world. Creative thinking encourages children to make positive changes to their quality of life. The subject encourages children to become autonomous and creative problem-solvers, both as individuals and as part of a team. It enables them to identify needs and opportunities and to respond by developing ideas, and eventually making products and systems. Through the study of design and technology, they combine practical skills with an understanding of aesthetic, social and environmental issues, as well as of functions and industrial practices. This allows them to reflect on and evaluate present and past design and technology, its uses and its impacts. Design and technology helps all children to become discriminating and informed consumers and potential innovators.

1.2       Our objectives in the teaching of design and technology are:

2          Teaching and learning style

2.1       The school uses a variety of teaching and learning styles in design and technology lessons. The principal aim is to develop children’s knowledge, skills and understanding in design and technology. This is achieved by basing each ‘design and make task’ on the iterative design process. Teachers ensure that the children apply their knowledge and understanding when developing ideas, planning and making products, and continually evaluating them. We do this through a mixture of whole-class teaching and individual or group activities. Within lessons, we give children the opportunity both to work on their own and to collaborate with others, listening to other children’s ideas and treating these with respect. Children critically evaluate existing products, their own work and that of others. They have the opportunity to use a wide range of materials and resources, including ICT.

2.2       In all classes, there are children of differing ability. We recognise this fact and provide suitable learning opportunities for all children by matching the challenge of the task to the ability of the child. We achieve this through a range of strategies:

3          Design and technology curriculum planning

3.1       Design and technology is a foundation subject in the National Curriculum 2014. At West Park School we use a skills progression document and a cross-curricular approach as the basis for our curriculum planning in design and technology.

3.2       We carry out the curriculum planning in design and technology in three phases: long-term, medium-term and short-term. The long-term plan maps out the units covered in each term during the key stage.

3.3       Our medium-term plans have been developed using the programme of study from the National Curriculum for 2014 and give details of each unit of work for each term. They identify learning objectives and outcomes for each unit, and ensure an appropriate balance and distribution of work across each term.

3.4       Class teachers complete a unit plan for each design and technology task. These list the specific learning objectives and expected outcomes for each lesson, and detail how the lessons are to be taught. The class teacher keeps these individual plans, and the class teacher and subject leader often discuss them on an informal basis.

3.5       We plan the activities in design and technology so that they build on the prior learning of the children. We give children of all abilities the opportunity to develop their skills, knowledge and understanding, and we also build planned progression into the scheme of work, so that the children are increasingly challenged as they move through the school.

4          Early Years

4.1       We encourage the development of skills, knowledge and understanding that help EYFS children make sense of their world. We relate the development of the children’s understanding of the world to the objectives set out in the EYFS Development Matters document. These underpin the curriculum planning for our children aged three to five. This learning forms the foundations for later work in design and technology. These early experiences include asking questions about how things work, investigating and using a variety of construction kits, materials, tools and products, developing making skills and handling appropriate tools and construction material safely and with increasing control.

4.2       We provide a range of experiences that encourage exploration, observation, problem-solving, critical thinking and discussion. These activities, indoors and outdoors, attract the children’s interest and curiosity.

5          Contribution of design and technology to teaching in other curriculum areas

5.1       English

Design and technology contributes to the teaching of English in our school by providing valuable opportunities to reinforce what the children have been doing during their English lessons. Discussion and role-play are important means that we can employ for the children to develop an understanding of the fact that people have different views about design and technology. The evaluation of products requires children to articulate their ideas and to compare and contrast their views with those of other people. Through discussion, children learn to justify their own views and clarify their design ideas.

5.2       Mathematics

In design and technology, there are many opportunities for children to apply their mathematical skills through choosing and using appropriate ways of calculating measurements and distances. They learn how to check the results of calculations for reasonableness, and learn how to use an appropriate degree of accuracy for different contexts. Children learn to measure and use equipment correctly. They apply their knowledge of fractions and percentages to describe quantities and calculate proportions. The children will carry out investigations, and in doing so, they will learn to read and interpret scales, collect and present data, and draw their own conclusions. They will learn about size and shape, and make practical use of their mathematical knowledge, in order to be creative and practical in their designs and modelling.

5.3       Personal, social and health education (PSHE) and citizenship

Design and technology contributes to the teaching of personal, social and health education and citizenship. We encourage the children to develop a sense of responsibility in following safe procedures when making things. They also learn about health and healthy diets. Their work encourages them to be responsible and to set targets to meet deadlines, and they also learn, through their understanding of personal hygiene, how to prevent disease from spreading when working with food.

5.4       Spiritual, moral, social and cultural development

The teaching of design and technology offers opportunities to support the social development of our children through the way in which we expect them to work with each other in lessons. Our groupings allow children to work together, and give them the chance to discuss their ideas and feelings about their own work and the work of others. Through their collaborative and cooperative work across a range of activities and experiences in design and technology, the children develop respect for the abilities of other children, and a better understanding of themselves. They also develop a respect for the environment, for their own health and safety, and for that of others. They develop their cultural awareness and understanding, and they learn to appreciate the value of differences and similarities. A variety of experiences teaches them to appreciate that all people are equally important, and that the needs of individuals are not the same as the needs of groups.

6          Design and technology and Computing

6.1       Computing enhances the teaching of design and technology, wherever appropriate, in all key stages. Children use software to enhance their skills in designing and making things. Younger children are able to use simple desktop-publishing software to try out designs. Older children use ICT to collect information and to present their designs through a range of design and presentation software.

7          Design and technology and inclusion

7.1       At our school, we teach design and technology to all children, whatever their ability and individual needs. Design and technology implements the school curriculum policy of providing a broad and balanced education to all children. Through our design and technology teaching, we provide learning opportunities that enable all pupils to make good progress. We strive hard to meet the needs of those pupils with special educational needs, those with disabilities, those with special gifts and talents, and those learning English as an additional language, and we take all reasonable steps to achieve this

7.2       When progress falls significantly outside the expected range, the child may have special educational needs. Our assessment process looks at a range of factors – classroom organisation, teaching materials, teaching style, differentiation – so that we can take some additional or different action to enable the child to learn more effectively. Assessment against the Skills Curriculum allows us to consider each child’s attainment and progress against expected levels. This helps to ensure that our teaching is matched to the child’s needs.

7.3       Intervention will lead to the creation of a Support Plan for children with special educational needs. The plan may include, as appropriate, specific targets relating to design and technology.

7.4       We enable pupils to have access to the full range of activities involved in learning design and technology. Where children are to participate in activities outside the classroom, e.g.  in a museum or on a factory trip, we carry out a risk assessment prior to the activity, to ensure that the activity is safe and appropriate for all pupils.

8          Assessment for learning

8.1       Teachers assess children’s work in design and technology by making assessments as they observe them working during lessons. They record the progress that children make by assessing the children’s work against the skills objectives for their unit. At the end of a unit of work, teachers make a judgement against the National Curriculum requirements. Older children are encouraged to make judgements on ways in which their work can be improved. Teachers then use judgements to plan the future work of each child, and to make an annual assessment of progress for each child, as part of the annual report to parents. Each teacher passes this information on to the next teacher at the end of each year.

8.2       The subject leader keeps evidence of the children’s work in a portfolio. This demonstrates the expected level of achievement in design and technology in each year of the school.

9          Resources

9.1       Our school has a wide range of resources to support the teaching of design and technology across the school. Classrooms have a range of basic resources, with the more specialised equipment being kept in the design and technology store.

10        Health and safety

10.1     In this subject, the general teaching requirement for health and safety applies. We teach children how to follow proper procedures for food safety and hygiene. Teachers will always teach the safe use of tools and equipments and insist on good practise.

11        Monitoring and review

11.1     The coordination and planning of the design technology curriculum are the responsibility of the subject leader, who also:


11.2     This policy will be reviewed at least every two years.



Updated January 2017