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Design Technology


At New Haw, our curriculum teaches children the creative, technical and practical expertise needed to perform everyday construction tasks confidently.  Using their imagination, they will learn the skills and knowledge required to design and make authentic products that solve real and relevant problems within a variety of contexts, consider their own and others’ needs, wants and values.  Learning about food, nutrition and cookery in each year group will empower pupils to make positive food choices that underpin a healthy lifestyle.

From starting with an initial idea, through to planning, making and the iterative cycle of evaluation and refinement, children will become proficient in all stages of technological development.  

Pupils will be encouraged to take risks, leading them to become innovative young people.  They will have opportunities to collaborate with others and share their thinking and, through the evaluation of design and technology, they will develop a critical understanding of its impact.  They will learn to take a resourceful approach, showing awareness of local, national and global environmental and social issues, where relevant.  

Our children are growing up in an increasingly complex and technical world and the Design and Technology curriculum will prepare them with the knowledge and skills necessary to understand it, and the passion to be a part of it.

Curriculum design

Curriculum Map

Unit Overview

Term 1

Term 2

Term 3

Year 3


Healthy smoothies

Hand puppets

Designing healthy cereal packaging

Year 4

Making healthy pizzas


Pop-up books

Year 5

Building bridges

Making bread

Designing an inclusive playground using CAD

Year 6

 Steady hand game & Junior Apprentice

Designing with microbit

Cooking a healthy meal



At New Haw, children study units in the design and technology curriculum in the key topic areas of textiles, mechanical systems, structures and electrical circuits.  They learn to control and monitor products through computer programming as well as how to use computer-aided-design packages.  In addition, children complete one food and nutrition unit each year.

Because pupils meet these key topic areas more than once during key stage 2, knowledge is revisited and built upon as the level of technical complexity increases (see progression document).  They learn an increasingly technical repertoire of subject-linked vocabulary.  Key skills are consolidated and extended.  In each year group, cross-curricular connections are regularly made with other subjects, such as science, geography, mathematics, PSHE and computing, deepening learning further.

Each unit is organised around a similar structure:

Product analysis: Children investigate and analyse existing products on the market, linked to those that they will eventually make in their topic area.  This will often involve analysing material choice, construction methods, functionality, aesthetic appeal and environmental viability.  They might look at the development of a product over time, such as cars in Year 3, or children’s games in Year 6.  They sometimes learn about ground-breaking inventors, designers, engineers, chefs and manufacturers, who have shown innovation and furthered progress in the field. 

The User: An individual is next identified as the user of a product and children gather information about their wants and needs. They learn how to devise and implement different methods for collecting this data, ranging from conducting surveys to holding interviews and making questionnaires.

Design and planning: Children then create their own design criteria, which states what their product has to do in order to be successful.  Within this, the user’s requirements ultimately guide their planning and construction.  ‘Focused practical tasks’ are sometimes given to teach explicit knowledge and skills that children will require to succeed when making.  During the iterative process of design and construction, children constantly review, reflect and evaluate strengths and areas for development.  Thought leads to action which leads to further thought, as children overcome design challenges and find new opportunities to fulfil their design criteria.  As children progress through key stage 2, they are taught to create more refined designs. 

In Year 5, pupils gain experience of using computer-aided design software, thus becoming increasingly adept at drawing accurately while considering scale. During the textile units, pattern pieces are created and in Years 5 and 6, prototypes are used to test and evaluate the form and function of their design ideas, before children create the final product.

Construction: As pupils progress further up the school, they independently use their acquired knowledge to select tools and equipment suitable for a task.  They demonstrate increasing accuracy when measuring, marking out, cutting, shaping, assembling, joining, combining and applying finishing techniques.  Through oral and written opportunities, they explain how their products work, using key subject terminology. They learn to articulate their choice of materials and components according to functional properties and aesthetic qualities.

Teaching rules of health and safety is integral to all practical tasks and children become increasingly confident at learning to assess and manage risk for themselves. 

Evaluation: At the end of a unit, children critically evaluate the success of their product against its design criteria.  They become increasingly proficient at understanding where improvements could be made, and importantly, how they could be made in future.