Design Technology

 Be creative       Be innovative       Be an entrepreneur


Design and Technology at St Mary’s Catholic Primary School 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 other’s needs, wants and values. They acquire a broad range of subject knowledge and draw on disciplines such as mathematics, science, engineering, computing and art. 



At St Mary’s, we value Design Technology as an important part of the children’s entitlement to a broad and balanced curriculum. 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. 

Our Design and Technology curriculum is built around the principles of evidence-led practice. This is to ensure that pupils are equipped to successfully think, work and communicate like a designer. It is unapologetically ambitious. Our curriculum focuses on excellence in this subject through a range of disciplines and by referencing outstanding and diverse practitioners in this field.



At St Mary’s Catholic Primary School, Design and Technology is taught across each year group in modules that enable pupils to develop in creativity, independence, judgment and self-reflection. Each module aims to activate and build upon prior learning, including EYFS, to ensure better cognition and retention.  

As a school, we look to master practical skills relating to Design and Technology which involves developing the skills needed to make high quality products. Through this a child will design, make, evaluate and improve their creations allowing children to develop an understanding of design thinking and seeing their designs as a process. We also want children to take inspiration from design throughout history. This will involve appreciating the design process that has influenced the products we use in everyday life. 

Our curriculum is organised into blocks, with each block covering a particular set of disciplines, including food and nutrition, mechanisms, structures, systems, electrical systems, understanding materials and textiles. Vertical progression in each discipline has been deliberately woven into the fabric of the curriculum so that pupils revisit key disciplines throughout their journey at increasing degrees of challenge and complexity. 


Central to the learning modules are activities designed to develop pupils’ oracy and vocabulary skills to enable them to use the language associated with design and technology meaningfully when talking about their work and the work of others.  All our modules have a sequenced overview outlining recommended number of sessions, key concepts, knowledge and vocabulary to be taught

Accompanying each module is a Knowledge Note which contains key vocabulary, information and concepts which all pupils are expected to understand and retain.  Knowledge notes are the elaboration and detail to help pupils acquire the content of each module.  They support vocabulary and concept acquisition through a well-structured sequence that is cumulative.  Each Knowledge Note contains key vocabulary and key facts for the module.

Early Years

During the Early Years Foundation Stage, the essential building blocks of children’s design and technology capability are established. There are many opportunities for carrying out D&T-related activities in all areas of learning in the EYFS. By the end of the EYFS, most children should be able to:  Construct with a purpose in mind, using a variety of resources  Use simple tools and techniques competently and appropriately  Build and construct with a wide range of objects, selecting appropriate resources and adapting their work when necessary  Select the tools and techniques they need to shape, assemble and join materials they are using.  The most relevant early years outcomes for DT are taken from the following areas of learning:  Physical Development  Understanding the World  Expressive Arts and Design. 



As part of the planning and preparation for the delivery of each block, teachers consider how activities or the delivery may need to be adapted or adjusted to ensure pupils with SEND are fully able to access the materials in the lesson and participate fully. Pupils with language and communication difficulties may need additional visual prompts to help them understand what is expected of them. Some tasks are broken down into smaller, more manageable chunks and individual task boards to demonstrate these. Some of our children have sensory sensitivities and so adjustments are made in order for them to access materials. Some children have fine motor difficulties and so reasonable adjustments are made for them to be able to access the task in a safe way. 



It is the responsibility of the Design & Technology subject leader to ensure the implementation of this curriculum, monitor standards, offer advice and support to staff, provide a model and promote excellence in children’s achievements. Senior Leaders regularly undertake Pupil Book Studies and book monitoring to evaluate the effectiveness of teaching and learning.  This includes sessions with small groups of pupils using questioning to check and ensure information and knowledge is acquired and understood with increasing confidence.  Feedback is given to teaching staff to inform future planning. Pupils also have regular opportunities to self-evaluate and peer-evaluate work.   Our curriculum is rooted in our St Mary’s values and character.Subject leaders regularly undertake pupil questionnaires to better understand the attitudes and views towards Design and Technology. This, in turn, will help teachers adapt planning and delivery to improve engagement and foster an enjoyment of the subject. We want our children to become discriminating and informed consumers and innovators.




We have easy access to our local area and this provides a rich learning resource for children. This is an excellent resource to use for example when studying structures. We regularly visit Orchard fields, the railway, River Derwent and Malton town centre to enrich our learning experience.  To further enrich our Design & Technology curriculum at St Mary’s, we offer a range of extracurricular activities. We hold an annual Bake Off competition run by our School Council and judged by local bakers and businesses.


We have a huge open field space with lots of trees on our school grounds, including Forest School. We will be using this space to create habitats for birds by building bird boxes through an after school club. Children will design bird boxes on a computer and then build the structure using pieces of wood. 

Classes work very closely and regularly ‘buddy up’ for activities. We will be buddying up in summer term to promote cooking and nutrition where children will create a recipe, prepare and cook their dish and eat it together in mixed age classes.  We also liaise with the National STEM centre in York considering its locality to us. They provide ongoing remote CPD, particularly with CAD and computer programming

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