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Welcome to Chiltern Primary School

‘Making Learning Irresistible’

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Design Technology

Curriculum Leader: Grace Horne

Miss Horne is our DT Leader and is responsible for this curriculum area. This means ensuring we teach an ambitious curriculum, supporting our teachers to implement our curriculum through high-quality lessons and checking that lessons are helping our children to know more, remember more and do more.


Our vision for Design and Technology at Chiltern

Design and Technology helps to teach Maths and English and indeed other compulsory subjects on the curriculum in a fun manner and put these subjects into context making them easier to digest and more understandable to primary-age pupils. Design and Technology gives children the opportunity to develop skills, knowledge and understanding of designing and making functional products. It is vital to nurture creativity and innovation through design, and by exploring the designed and made world in which we all live and work. In Design and Technology, children acquire and apply knowledge and understanding of materials and components, mechanisms and control systems, structures, existing products, quality and health and safety. The skills learned in Design and Technology also help with learning across the curriculum. Their knowledge about the properties of materials helps in science and the practice of measuring accurately helps in maths. These skills help in Computing through the children’s use of computer control and, naturally, in art and design. Design and Technology education helps develop children’s skills and knowledge in design, materials, structures, mechanisms and electrical control. They are encouraged to be creative and innovative and are actively encouraged to think about important issues such as sustainability and enterprise.


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

  • 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'

Purpose of study

Design and technology is an inspiring, rigorous and practical subject. Using creativity and imagination, pupils design and make products that solve real and relevant problems within a variety of contexts, considering their own and others’ needs, wants and values. They acquire a broad range of subject knowledge and draw on disciplines such as mathematics, science, engineering, computing and art. Pupils learn how to take risks, becoming resourceful, innovative, enterprising and capable citizens. Through the evaluation of past and present design and technology, they develop a critical understanding of its impact on daily life and the wider world. High-quality design and technology education makes an essential contribution to the creativity, culture, wealth and well-being of the nation.



The national curriculum for design and technology aims to ensure that all pupils:

  • develop the creative, technical and practical expertise needed to perform everyday tasks confidently and to participate successfully in an increasingly technological world
  • build and apply a repertoire of knowledge, understanding and skills in order to design and make high-quality prototypes and products for a wide range of users
  • critique, evaluate and test their ideas and products and the work of others
  • understand and apply the principles of nutrition and learn how to cook.


We are setting out to help our pupils be ...

  • Safe - Learn to use tools safely for everyday life, including computers to design products. Children learn how to be healthy.

  • Creative - Children love to design and make their own creations.

  • Resilient - Children are resilient and enjoy creating even when things do not go right the first time.

  • Cultured - Children build a repertoire of knowledge, understanding and skills in order to design and make products for a wide range of users.



We will do this by ensuring ...

  • Children have a broad and balanced curriculum - Tool skills and nutrition are taught progressively.

  • Children have a broad and balanced curriculum - The process of designing, making and evaluating is embedded in the curriculum.

  • Giving children time - Children have time to explore materials and try out different ideas.

  • Children have a broad and balanced curriculum - There are planned, progressive and purposeful opportunities to design and make in the curriculum.



We will have made a difference when ...

  • Children apply what they know - Children can use tools practically and make informed, healthy choices in life. 

  • Children are inventors - Children can enjoy the process and create things successfully. 

  • Children can create purposefully - Children are reflective and consciously evaluate what they do to improve.

  • Children can show what they know - Children can make models with success and develop them to improve.

Our children will be taught to...

Year R

  • Name and explore a range of everyday products and begin to talk about how they are used. 

  • Follow rules and instructions to keep safe. 

  • Identify products that use electricity to make them work. 

  • Explore, build and play with a range of resources and construction kits with wheels and axles. 

  • Create collaboratively, share ideas and use a variety of resources to make products inspired by existing products, stories or their own ideas, interests or experiences.

  • Use digital devices to take digital images or recordings of their creations to share with others. 

  • Construct simple structures and models using a range of materials. 

  • Choose and explore appropriate tools for simple practical tasks. 

  • Adapt and refine their work as they are constructing and making. 

  • Recognise that it is possible to change and alter their designs and ideas as they are making them.

  • Select appropriate materials when constructing and making. 

  • Follow instructions, including simple recipes, that include measures and ingredients. 

  • Suggest healthy ingredients that can be used to make simple snacks. 

  • Begin to identify the origins of some foods.

Year 1

In the autumn term of Year 1, children begin to learn about structures in the project Shade and Shelter before designing and making a shelter. In the spring term project Taxi!, they learn the term ‘mechanism’ and assemble and test wheels and axles. In the summer term, children begin to learn about food sources in the project Chop, Slice and Mash and use simple preparation techniques to create a supermarket sandwich.

Year 2

In the autumn term of Year 2, children learn more about food in the project Remarkable Recipes, where they find out about food sources, follow recipes and learn simple cooking techniques. In the spring term project Beach Hut, children develop their knowledge of structures further, learning to cut, join and strengthen wood for the first time. In the summer term, children begin to develop their understanding of textiles in Cut, Stitch and Join. They learn to sew a simple running stitch, use pattern pieces and add simple embellishments. They also continue to learn about mechanisms in the project Push and Pull by using sliders, levers and linkages in products.


Year 3

In the autumn term of Year 3, children continue to learn about food, understanding the concept of a balanced diet and making healthy meals in the project Cook Well, Eatwell. In the spring term project Making it Move, children extend their understanding of mechanisms by exploring cams and using joining and finishing techniques to make automaton toys. In the summer term project Greenhouse, they continue to develop their knowledge of structures, using triangles and braces for strength. They design and build a greenhouse, using their understanding of opacity and transparency and the needs of plants from science learning to inform their design.

Year 4

In the autumn term of Year 4, children continue to develop their understanding of food in the project Fresh Food, Good Food. They learn about food safety and preservation technologies before designing and making packaging for a healthy snack. During the spring term project Functional and Fancy Fabrics, children continue to explore textiles, learning about the work of William Morris before designing, embellishing and finishing a fabric sample. In the summer term project Tomb Builders, they build on their knowledge of mechanisms, learning about six simple machines and using their knowledge to create a lifting or moving device prototype. They also explore and use electrical systems and IT monitoring and control in the science project Electrical Circuits and Conductors for the first time.


Year 5

In the autumn term of Year 5, children deepen their understanding of mechanisms by studying pneumatic systems in the project Moving Mechanisms. They learn about the forces at play and create a prototype for a functional, pneumatic machine. In the spring term project Eat the Seasons, children continue to explore food and nutrition, learning about seasonal foods and the benefits of eating seasonally. In the summer term, they learn more about structures in the project Architecture, studying the history of architecture and developing new ways to create structural strength and stability. They use computer-aided design and consolidate their making skills to produce scale models. They also explore the electrical conductivity of materials before making products incorporating circuits in the science project Properties and Changes of Materials.


Year 6

In the autumn term of Year 6, children learn about processed and whole foods in the project Food for Life, creating healthy menus from unprocessed foods. In the spring term project Engineer, children consolidate their knowledge of structures, joining and strengthening techniques and electrical systems by completing a bridge-building challenge. In the summer term project Make Do and Mend, they extend their knowledge of textiles by learning new stitches to join fabrics and using pattern pieces to create a range of products.


Units of Work


Year 1 Autumn

Shade and Shelter

This project teaches children about the purpose of shelters and their materials. They name and describe shelters and design and make shelter prototypes. Children then design and build a play den as a group and evaluate their completed product.


Year 1 Spring


This project teaches children about wheels, axles and chassis and how they work together to make a vehicle move.


Year 1 Summer

Chop, Slice and Mash

This project teaches children about sources of food and the preparatory skills of peeling, tearing, slicing, chopping, mashing and grating. They use this knowledge and techniques to design and make a supermarket sandwich according to specific design criteria.


Year 2 Autumn

Remarkable Recipes

This project teaches children about sources of food and tools used for food preparation. They also discover why some foods are cooked and learn to read a simple recipe. The children choose and make a new school meal that fulfils specific design criteria.


Year 2 Spring

Beach Hut

This project teaches children about making and strengthening structures, including different ways of joining materials.


Year 2 Summer

Cut, Stitch and Join

This project teaches children about fabric home products and the significant British brand Cath Kidston. They learn about sewing patterns and using a running stitch and embellishments before making a sewn bag tag.


Year 3 Autumn

Cook Well, Eatwell

This project teaches children about food groups and the Eatwell guide. They learn about methods of cooking and explore these by cooking potatoes and ratatouille. The children choose and make a taco filling according to specific design criteria.


Year 3 Spring

Making It Move

This project teaches children about cam mechanisms. They experiment with different shaped cams before designing, making and evaluating a child's automaton toy.


Year 3 Summer


This project teaches children about the purpose, structure and design features of greenhouses, and compares the work of two significant greenhouse designers. They learn techniques to strengthen structures and use tools safely. They use their learning to design and construct a mini greenhouse.


Year 4 Autumn

Fresh Food, Good Food

This project teaches children about food decay and preservation. They discover key inventions in food preservation and packaging, then make examples. The children prepare, package and evaluate a healthy snack.


Year 4 Spring

Functional and Fancy Fabrics

This project teaches children about home furnishings and the significant designer William Morris. They learn techniques for decorating fabric, including block printing, hemming and embroidery and use them to design and make a fabric sample.


Year 4 Summer

Tomb Builders

This project teaches children about simple machines, including wheels, axles, inclined planes, pulleys and levers, exploring how they helped ancient builders to lift and move heavy loads.


Year 5 Autumn

Moving Mechanisms

This project teaches children about pneumatic systems. They experiment with pneumatics before designing, making and evaluating a pneumatic machine that performs a useful function.


Year 5 Spring

Eat the Seasons

This project teaches children about the meaning and benefits of seasonal eating, including food preparation and cooking techniques.


Year 5 Summer


This project teaches children about how architectural style and technology has developed over time and then use this knowledge to design a building with specific features.


Year 6 Autumn

Food for Life

This project teaches children about processed food and healthy food choices. They make bread and pasta sauces and learn about the benefits of whole foods. They plan and make meals as part of a healthy daily menu, and evaluate their completed products.


Year 6 Spring


This project teaches children about remarkable engineers and significant bridges, learning to identify features, such as beams, arches and trusses. They complete a bridge-building engineering challenge to create a bridge prototype.


Year 6 Summer

Make Do and Mend

This project teaches children a range of simple sewing stitches, including ways of recycling and repurposing old clothes and materials.