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Thomas Harding Junior School

Achievement Through Aspiration

Design and Technology

DT Vision.mp4

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DT Intent

In today’s continuously changing world, Design and Technology prepares pupils to think creatively encouraging pupils to make positive changes to their quality of life. Our curriculum, which is underpinned by the national curriculum, provides children with rich, broad and aspirational experiences, to motivate children to reach their full potential. We believe that high-quality DT lessons, set with a clear purpose and links across the curriculum, will inspire pupils to think independently, innovatively and develop creative, procedural and technical understanding. Our DT curriculum enables them to identify needs and opportunities and to respond by developing ideas and eventually making products and systems. The curriculum provides children with opportunities to research, represent their ideas, explore and investigate, develop their ideas, make a product/system and evaluate their work. 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. We want to encourage our pupils to become problem solvers who can work creatively on a project whether it be independently or collaboratively. With quality teaching and learning, children will achieve a greater level of life skills and understanding.


Our DT Units include the six essentials of good practice in DT:

  • User – pupils have a clear idea of who they are designing and making their products for.
  • Purpose – each product should perform a clearly defined task.
  • Functionality – pupils design and make products that function in some way to be successful.
  • Design Decisions – pupils are given the opportunities to make decisions about material selection, components and techniques.
  • Innovation - when designing and making, children are given some scope to be original with their thinking.
  • Authenticity - – children design and make products that are believable, real and meaningful to themselves.


The curriculum has been sequenced so that Mechanical Systems, Structures, Food, Textiles and Electrical Systems are taught at least once in LKS2 and then repeated in UKS2 building on prior learning, vocabulary and skills. Each year group will complete three of the five units, one of which will be food technology. The Programme of Study has four key strands: design, make, evaluate and apply technical knowledge. Our clear and progressive sequence of units develop learning and results in the acquisition of knowledge and skills. Children will know more, remember more and understand more.

DT brings learning to life. In DT, children are encouraged to think about important issues in our rapidly changing world, such as sustainability and enterprise. Furthermore, it is a motivating context for discovering literacy, mathematics, science, art, PSHE and ICT. By making links across the curriculum, children are able to apply their DT knowledge in other subjects embedding learning into the long-term memory. Through STEM based projects, children deepen their understanding of STEM subjects and children are exposed to the STEM world of work broadening the horizons of our children, to inspire them and help them set higher aspirations for themselves, tackling stereotypes.


DT Implementation

  • Implementation of DT curriculum with enjoyable opportunities for cross-curricular links via STEM and other subjects. The school takes appropriate opportunities to ensure that DT activities are related to real life experiences where children design, make and evaluate a purposeful product for a user. Children have the chance to work on local and national initiatives related to the development of their skills, knowledge and understanding of DT.
  • Lessons are current and respond to new developments in design and new technologies (e.g. 3D printing).
  • Develop and embed designing and making skills and technical knowledge and understanding to the best of each child’s ability using a range of tools, equipment, ingredients and components safely.
  • DT (STEM) learning evident in classrooms through vocabulary rich displays.

Focus on language and oracy –vocabulary displayed and modelled continuously. Links are made with class texts where relevant.

  • All lessons are placed in the context of the ‘Big Picture’ of both the current unit, but also the curriculum links (both backwards and forwards) that each lesson will build upon and towards.
  • Opportunities are planned carefully to develop children’s cultural capital through enrichment activities such as trips and school visitors.
  • Learning is memorable through use of memory hacks. Learning is recalled.
  • There is clear progression within topics throughout the school where knowledge and skills are built upon.
  • Misconceptions are addressed early through lessons and teacher feedback.
  • All pupils can access lesson and all pupils are challenged for their level of ability through appropriate scaffolding and extension challenges. This may be through: task, level of support, materials and tools and working partnerships.
  • Children are enabled to work with a range of products and in creative problem solving both as individuals and with others.
  • Develop critical awareness in children in terms of aesthetics, social and environmental issues, function and industrial practices.        
  • Investigate and evaluate a range of familiar products (and foods) including how they work and whether or not they are fit for purpose.
  • Focused practical tasks that develop a range of techniques, skills, processes and knowledge.
  • Designing and making activities where the children use a range of tools, equipment, materials and ingredients to make products that are fit for purpose.
  • Understand and apply the principles of nutrition and learn how to cook.
  • Throughout the school children will look at various examples and techniques used in multicultural DT.  This is essential to both attainment targets in DT and also to promote cultural diversity and discourage discrimination.
  • DT activities are included in homework.
  • DT is shared with parents/carers.
  • Themed weeks such as Enterprise week further enrich learning experiences and involve the community.



  • Children developing knowledge and skills across of a wide range of topics within DT.
  • Learning has transferred to long term memory.
  • Children are able to articulate their enjoyment of DT and the cross curricular links through STEM. Lessons/trips/opportunities are memorable and inspiring.
  • Increase in children’s risk taking and resilience through own problem-solving work.  
  • DT/STEM is monitored through planning scrutiny, book scrutiny, learning walks, pupil interviews.
  • Progression is tracked termly using Target Tracker – majority of children reaching age expected with many exceeding and working at a greater depth.
  • Children have a better understanding of design and technology in the wider world.
  • Children have high aspirations for the future with more choosing to follow a career in STEM.