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Design and Technology

Design and Technology progression Reception to Year 6


At Tanworth, Design and Technology is about providing opportunities for children to use creativity and imagination to design and make products that solve real and relevant problems, considering their own and others' needs. Where possible, DT learning is linked to the current theme so that learning is in context.   We aim to provide opportunities for the children to learn, apply and strengthen essential skills required in the designing, making and evaluating of an effective product for a given purpose. 


It is also the intent of the DT Curriculum to ensure that the children are well-equipped with useful technical knowledge to support them in the design and making of their product. For example: Learning how to strengthen a structure to make it more stable, learning how to use mechanisms or electrical systems in their designs and learning how to use computer programming to control a product. Children should also develop skills alongside the design process related to  food technology, woodwork, sewing, moving mechanisms and more. Making mistakes is a huge part of Design and Technology and integral to learning.


In addition, the school aims to develop the children’s use and understanding of technical vocabulary associated with this subject. This is so that the children can articulate the skills that they have applied, the equipment that they have used and describe the material/s and features of the product that they have made.


Each year group takes part in one Design and Technology topic per term and one of these topics is food related. Food technology and cooking skills are also taught through cross curricular links. Cooking is enhanced further through  other special days and weeks i.e. Health Week, celebrations etc.



In Early Years, the children develop essential basic skills in design and technology which prepares them for their transition into Year 1. This is by the teacher creating many opportunities within the environment for the children to carry out D&T related activities across all areas of learning.


By the end of Early Years, it is expected that the children will be able to:

  • Construct with a purpose in mind.

  • 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 

  • Say what they like about their product and also suggest how to make it better


From Year 1 upwards, the children will engage in three DT units a year which will involve the children exploring, researching, designing, making, technical knowledge/skills and evaluating.




The children will explore products linked to their project. They will do this by:

  • Taking the product apart and looking at the material/s used to make it.

  • Looking at the different features of the product.

  • Establishing how the product is constructed.

  • Questioning how effective it is in its purpose.

  • Discussing what could be done to improve this product.

  • Producing a list of key vocabulary linked to this product.




The children will carry out research regarding the product that they are going to make so that they can use this research to support the design of their product.



The children engage in a practical activity of practising technical knowledge or skill that they will be required to use when making their product. This may be a new skill or a sill previously practised but that required more practise.



The children will draw/sketch their design and annotate this with information about their design such as, what features they have included in their design.

During this lesson the children will also answer questions such as:

  • What materials will I need?

  • What tools will I need?

  • What technical skills will I need to practise before making the product? (Some of these may  have been previously taught skills which need refreshing or be completely new)



The children make their product.



The children will not only evaluate the effectiveness of their product but also the skills that they applied. This will be recorded in their theme book.


The intended impact of the DT Curriculum is that the majority of children in each year group are working at or above the expected level for their age.


In addition, it is the intended impact that the children:

  • are inspired by the DT Curriculum and want to learn more.

  • show the progression in their skills, knowledge and understanding in the work in their books.

  • can discuss their learning and remember what they have learnt.

  • can identify some key designers and talk about the impact that their work has had on the world.

  • want to develop their learning further and have aspirations to have a career in designing products, construction, architecture etc.

DT Vocabulary Progression