Design Technology

At Bridgelea we are designers and technologists! We want our children to love Design and Technology. We want to provide the children with the opportunities to develop and extend skills and an opportunity to express their individual interests, thoughts and ideas.  We want them to have no limits to what their ambitions are and grow up wanting to be architects, graphic designers, chefs or carpenters. The Design and Technology curriculum has been carefully crafted so that our children develop their design and technology capital. We want to engage, inspire and challenge pupils, equipping them with the knowledge and skills to experiment, invent and create their own designs. As pupils progress, they should be able to think critically and develop a more rigorous understanding of DT. Pupils need opportunities to learn about the designers, architects and engineers who have shaped our world. We want our children to remember their DT lessons in our school, to cherish these memories and embrace the DT opportunities they are presented with!

Our children will be taught Design and Technology in a way that ensures progression of skills, and follows a sequence to build on previous learning.Our children will gain experience and skills of a wide range of formal elements of deign and concepts of technology in a way that will enhance their learning opportunities, enabling them to use design and technology across a range of subjects to be creative and solve problems, ensuring they make progress. Examples include..


We want our children to make links between British Values, and how the pupils are taught about the moral choices facing designers & manufacturers when deciding on materials. We want pupils to consider sustainability and to understand and apply ways of conserving the Earth’s resources. There is a focus on recycling in food and how to manage portion sizes to minimise waste. This helps students to connect with the dilemmas of those who do not have an abundance of food. We want pupils to develop an awareness of health & safety for themselves and others when working practically. We want to teach our children the social skills around behaviour self-regulation to ensure collective responsibility for a safe and efficient working environment. We want our children to challenge each other’s behaviour and how it impacts on the collective expectations of the group. We want pupils to explore how products contribute to lifestyle and consumer choices and understand how products evolve according to users’ and designers’ needs, beliefs, ethics and values.  In food education, we want pupils to look at cultural influences on the food we cook and the diversity of the ingredients available for us to cook with. We also want them to learn about staple foods of other countries.


Curriculum Intent

The Design and Technology curriculum promotes curiosity and a love and thirst for learning. It is ambitious and empowers our children to become independent and resilient.

We want to equip them with not only the minimum statutory requirements of the Design and Technology National Curriculum but to prepare them for the opportunities, responsibilities and experiences of later life. For example, we have a developing outdoor space where the children frequently visit, cultivate and harvest what they grow every year.

We want our children to use the vibrancy of Manchester and the surrounding areas to learn from other cultures, respect diversity, co-operate with one another. We achieve this by providing a strong SMSC curriculum, with British Values and our core values placed at the heart of everything we do.

We enrich their time in our school with memorable, unforgettable experiences and provide opportunities that are normally out of reach – this piques their interests and passions.  We firmly believe that it is not just about what happens in the classroom, it is about the added value we offer to really inspire our children.


Curriculum Implementation

In the Spring term of 2019, a complete audit of the Design and Technology curriculum was conducted. On the back of the findings from this audit, the Design and Technology curriculum has been carefully built and the learning opportunities and assessment milestones for mileposts crafted to ensure progression and repetition in terms of embedding key learning, knowledge and skills. For example, the way DT is taught at our school has been revamped and now follows a consistent structure.

To facilitate coverage of both the statutory and wider curriculum, teachers create “a vehicle” to deliver the curriculum learning to children. The vehicle is a project that does not have its focus primarily on the subjects of the National Curriculum but is rooted in a real life experience that children engage with for up to a term. The key focus in all of these projects has been to deliver the wider aims of the “Rainbow Curriculum” whilst using the academic strands of the National Curriculum subjects to facilitate it.

During a vehicle our children will explore and practise the practical skills involved in the project and then design, make, evaluate and refine their final products. Pupils' work in DT is also presented differently to other subject areas as teachers use floor books and or displays around school instead of individual exercise books.

We empower our staff to organise their own milepost curriculums under the guidance of our subject leaders. Teachers are best placed to make these judgements. Staff develop termly vehicles, which identify when the different subjects and topics will be taught across the academic year.

We follow the Kapow scheme for DT which provides a balanced Design and Technology curriculum building on previous learning and provides both support and challenge for learners. All classes will not have a scheduled Design and Technology lesson each week but Design and Technology will be taught alongside other curriculum subjects as part of the class vehicle.

Children’s work and pictures of their work will be recorded in the classes vehicle book for reference and assessment.

We want to ensure that Design and Technology is embedded in our whole school curriculum and that opportunities for enhancing learning by using design and technology are always taken.

This helps to ensure that the children see the whole process from start to finish – from existing products through to their finished product. We believe that by crafting our curriculum this way, we improve the potential for our children to retain what they have been taught, to alter their long-term memory and thus improve the rates of progress they make.


How is the curriculum structured?

We’re going to take a journey through the five main areas of DT and look at what each one involves and how we can make them fun, engaging and impactful.


There are five areas within Design & Technology:

  1. Cooking and Nutrition
  2. Mechanisms
  3. Structure
  4. Textiles
  5. Electrical Systems


There are 4 areas of skills and knowledge

  1. Design
  2. Make
  3. Evaluate
  4. Technical knowledge 


Cooking & Nutrition


Like any DT project, in the design stages of cooking, the children will read or design a brief. They will need to consider who the target audience is, what their dish and packaging needs to include and how it will be prepared and made.


The skills they need to develop include chopping and preparing food hygienically, following a recipe and cooking ingredients in different ways.


Children need to know how to evaluate existing products to inform their design but also how to evaluate their own against their design criteria.

Technical Knowledge

As well as understanding flavour and texture, children must also develop their knowledge of seasonality, hygiene, origin of ingredients as well as the importance of a balanced diet.




Teach children to explore and develop their ideas in exploded diagrams, nets, prototypes and storyboards so they are able to explain how their product will work.


Provide children with the skills to accurately measure, cut and join materials for their product to be functional.


Children need to regularly test and evaluate their project to make sure that it works. If it doesn’t, they should refer to their designs and check the accuracy of the build.

Technical Knowledge

There is a lot of technical knowledge within mechanisms such as cams and motion for children to understand in order to apply this to their own designs.




Design should be informed by experiments and prototypes or pre-existing structures to ensure they are planning strong and stable structures.


Children should be taught how to cut, join and assemble accurately with a secure understanding of how to reinforce structures in order to be more creative with the final outcome.


By critically evaluating existing structures, children can learn how to build with greater complexity and reinforce structures of different shapes and materials.

Technical Knowledge

Pupils should build an understanding of how to achieve strength and stability in their structures and explore different materials and equipment.




Children must consider who the product is for and build a design criteria based on this with regards to factors such as size, material, appearance and intended use.


Teach children to master a variety of techniques for joining two pieces of material together such as stitching styles and fastening types for different purposes.


This involves both evaluating their own work and evaluating and learning from the work and feedback of others to help master techniques.

Technical Knowledge

Children should be taught a range of stitches and techniques as well as an understanding of why they might be used for different purposes.


Electrical Systems


Children should use their scientific knowledge of electricity to draw accurate circuit diagrams, alongside suitable ideas to house the components in order for their design to be fit for purpose.


Encourage pupils to consider and experiment with how technology and electricity can interact with other materials to breathe life into them. Help them to understand and apply electrical systems within products, such as the use of buzzers, motors and switches to create an operational electrical product.


Teach children to think critically about electrical products, understanding what makes them successful and how to develop their projects.

Technical Knowledge

Their scientific knowledge of electricity is important as well as their understanding of structures and mechanisms.


Curriculum Impact

Our children enjoy and value Design and Technology and know why they are doing things, not just how. Children will understand and appreciate the value of Design and Technology in the context of their personal wellbeing and the creative and cultural industries and their many career opportunities.

Progress in Design and Technology is demonstrated through regularly reviewing and scrutinising children’s work, in accordance with the school's assessment policy to ensure that progression of skills is taking place. Namely through:

  • Looking at pupils’ work, especially over time as they gain skills and knowledge

  • Observing how they perform in lesson or during a learning walk.

  • Talking to them about what they know.

The Design and Technology curriculum will contribute to children’s personal development in creativity, independence, judgement and self-reflection. This would be seen in them being able to talk confidently about their work, and sharing their work with others.

Progress will be shown through outcomes and through the important record of the process leading to them.


Cultural Capital & DT at Bridgelea

  • Children have access to key knowledge, language and meanings in order to understand and readily apply to their work in DT and across the wider curriculum.

  • Educational Visits will make links to DT and be made to develop the children’s learning experiences. Children will achieve age related expectations in DT.

  • Children will retain knowledge about their journey and the outcomes for each unit of work.

  • Children will understand what being an engineer, designer and architect means.

  • Children will learn British Values and PSHE and revisit the importance of our world and how it should be treated.

  • The creativity of our pupils needs channelling into a field where they learn to empathise with others and create solutions for others' problems, not just their own. They will benefit from taking a design brief and designing a product that meets the needs of others. Additionally, our pupils do not always have the ability to see a process through from start to finish. By learning design and technology, pupils will develop perseverance to design, make, test, evaluate and amend their creations, seeing the rewards of sticking at something for its entirety. With regards to food education, our pupils do not always have balanced meals at home and have experience of cooking their own food. By studying food education, pupils will learn what makes a balanced diet as well as how to cook staple meals for themselves.

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