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Design & Technology

Our Vision for Design and Technology


Our vision is for all pupils to be engaged and inspired by design and technology and to learn the skills to enable them to design, create and evaluate their own works of craft and design.


At Peterhouse we want our children to master the design and technology curriculum to such an extent that not only can they make full and effective use of design and technology in their everyday lives, they can pursue careers in this area.  We want our pupils to understand the role design and technology plays in their everyday lives and to demonstrate this through finding creative solutions to practical problems. We want our pupils to develop the confidence to take risks through drafting design concepts, modelling and testing, to become reflective learners who evaluate their work and the work of others.


Our design and technology curriculum has been designed to offer chances, widen horizons and break down barriers to learning. Our pupils are likely to have had limited access to design and technology and have a narrower understanding of the world. Therefore our curriculum aims to bring the subject alive in the classroom by using resources that are inspired by real life problems posed through other areas of learning, for example exploring wheels and axels before designing and creating a moving vehicle.


Our Aims for Design and Technology


The aims of Design and Technology are to enable pupils to:


  • Make their own design choices and decisions, so that their outcomes reflect individual learning and experiences
  • Engage in practical lessons that encourage experimental and exploratory learning.
  • Understand the importance of a clear design criteria to the likely success of a project
  • Evaluate and analyse designs and physical creations works using subject specific language
  • Meet the end of key stage expectations outlined in the National Curriculum for Design and Technology



How do we deliver Design and Technology


Expressive Art & Design in the EYFS is all about discussion and experimentation.

We believe that helping children to be creative is as much about encouraging attitudes of curiosity and questioning as about skills or techniques. 

Building on children’s interests can lead to them creating amazing inventions or making marks on paper that represent for them an experience or something they have seen. Encouraging children to choose and use materials and resources in an open-ended way helps them to make choices and to have confidence in their own ideas. Supporting them to explain their thought processes helps build their resilience to keep exploring and investigating “what happens if…”.


Years 1 - 6

At Peterhouse, we follow the Kapow Design and Technology scheme of work, which offers a clear programme of study and enables pupils to meet the National Curriculum end of key stage attainment targets. The scheme gives pupils the opportunity to make their own choices and decisions to create designs, so that their design and technology outcomes, whilst still being knowledge-rich, are unique to the pupil and personal.


The scheme of work incorporates four strands which are revisited in every unit:

  • Design
  • Make
  • Evaluate
  • Technical Knowledge

The fifth unit, Cooking and Nutrition is specific to the principles, skills and techniques in food design and technology, including where food comes from, diet and seasonality.


The first four strands are covered in every project.  Knowledge and skills are taught discretely to allow our learners opportunities to practise and develop their skills whilst solving real life problems. Learning follows a spiral curriculum and key skills are revisited again and again with increasing complexity as children progress through the school. This allows pupils to revise and build on their previous learning.



Curriculum Design in Design and Technology 

Design and Technology  in Early Years Foundation Stage

Foundation Stage children explore design and technology across within Expressive Art and Design and Understanding the World through a topic based approach. Some skills are taught directly, but children are also provided with daily opportunities to access creative and construction activities through play and exploration of a range of materials. The quality and variety of what children see, hear and participate in is crucial for developing their understanding, self-expression, vocabulary and ability to communicate their ideas clearly.


Design and Technology in Key stage 1 and 2

In Key Stages 1 and 2, all classes have a scheduled Design and technology lesson each week every other half term (alternated with Art and Design). In Key Stage 2, pupils are introduced to projects developing skills and knowledge with electrical systems and the digital world. Lessons are always practical in nature and encourage experimental and reflective learning, with Key Stages 1 & 2 pupils using sketchbooks to document their designs and evaluations, and Ipads to capture a record their final creations.


Our Intended Coverage

Our Curriculum Overview shows which of our units cover each of the National curriculum attainment targets as well as each of the strands.


Our Combined Long-term Plan for Art & DT shows how we alternate between the subjects each half-term.


Our Progression of Skills shows the skills that are taught within each year group and how these skills develop to ensure that attainment targets are securely met by the end of each key stage.


Assessment in Design and Technology

The curriculum is designed in such a way that children are actively involved in the evaluation, dialogue and decision making about the quality of their outcomes and the improvements they need to make. These discussions help children to talk about their own learning journey and have an understanding of how to improve. Observations of pupil progress within each lesson are used to plan subsequent teaching, including targeted support and opportunities for working at greater depth. Knowledge organisers are used in each unit to support assessment.


In Design and Technology, although skills are taught incrementally and revisited frequently, the nature of the subject means that knowledge cannot be taught in a linear or sequential manner if we are to value creativity and individuality in the process and outcome. Progress is demonstrated through the use of sketchbooks to record ideas, designs, amendments, evaluations and the development of technical skills. Each child is unique and each sketchbook is unique, as this enables learners to develop their independence and critical thinking skills.