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Rationale and Progression

St Barnabas and St Paul’s Primary School Design and Technology Curriculum Rationale



The Design and Technology scheme of work aims to inspire pupils to be innovative and creative thinkers who have an appreciation for the product design cycle through ideation, creation, and evaluation. We want pupils to develop the confidence to take risks, through drafting design concepts, modelling, and testing and to be reflective learners who evaluate their work and the work of others. Through our scheme of work, we aim to build an awareness of the impact of design and technology on our lives and encourage pupils to become resourceful, enterprising citizens who will have the skills to contribute to future design advancements. Our Design and Technology scheme of work enables pupils to meet the end of key stage attainment targets in the National Curriculum and the aims also align with those in the National Curriculum. EYFS (Reception) units provide opportunities for pupils’ to work towards the Development matters statements and the Early Learning Goals.



The implementation of the curriculum relates to how the learning is going to be delivered across your school, taking the intent of the learning, and translating it into a progressive and effective curriculum. When using a scheme, such as Kapow Primary, the majority of this aspect is taken care of. The Design and Technology National Curriculum outlines the three main stages of the design process: design, make and evaluate. Each stage of the design process is underpinned by technical knowledge which encompasses the contextual, historical, and technical understanding required for each strand. Cooking and nutrition* has a separate section, with a focus on specific principles, skills and techniques in food, including where food comes from, diet and seasonality. The National Curriculum organises the Design and Technology attainment targets under four subheadings: Design, Make, Evaluate, and Technical knowledge. We have taken these subheadings to be our Kapow Primary strands:

● Design

● Make

● Evaluate

● Technical knowledge



This relates to how staff identify that the curriculum is having a positive impact on pupils’ learning, how to identify gaps in their learning and how to fill these. The impact of Kapow Primary’s scheme can be constantly monitored through both formative and summative assessment opportunities. Each lesson includes guidance to support teachers in assessing pupils against the learning objectives. Furthermore, each unit has a unit quiz and knowledge catcher which can be used at the start and/ or end of the unit. After the implementation of Kapow Primary Design and technology, pupils should leave school equipped with a range of skills to enable them to succeed in their secondary education and be innovative and resourceful members of society. The expected impact of following the Kapow Primary Design and technology scheme of work is that children will:

Understand the functional and aesthetic properties of a range of materials and resources.

Understand how to use and combine tools to carry out different processes for shaping, decorating, and manufacturing products.

Build and apply a repertoire of skills, knowledge and understanding to produce high quality, innovative outcomes, including models, prototypes, CAD, and products to fulfil the needs of users, clients, and scenarios.

Understand and apply the principles of healthy eating, diets, and recipes, including key processes, food groups and cooking equipment.

Have an appreciation for key individuals, inventions, and events in history and of today that impact our world.

  Recognise where our decisions can impact the wider world in terms of community, social and environmental issues.

Self-evaluate and reflect on learning at different stages and identify areas to improve.

Meet the end of key stage expectations outlined in the National curriculum for Design and technology.

  Meet the end of key stage expectations outlined in the National curriculum for Computing.


Reception Subject and Skills Content

In Reception, pupils will be exploring a variety of materials and be able use a variety of tools and techniques to make their creations. They will have the opportunity to be imaginative and think about materials in original ways, thinking about uses and purposes. Through continuous provision and expressive arts and design the children will be able to build and construct as well as develop fine motor skills to help add detail to their design.


Key Stage One Subject and Skills Content

In Key Stage One pupils will be taught through a variety of creative and practical activities, pupils should be taught the knowledge, understanding and skills needed to engage in an iterative process of designing and making. They should work in a range of relevant contexts. When designing and making, pupils will be taught to design, ensuring that their product is purposeful, functional, appealing products for themselves and other users based on design criteria. Pupils will then move on and taught to carefully select from and use a range of tools and equipment to perform practical tasks [for example, cutting, shaping, joining and finishing]. To make their planned designs the children will select from and use a wide range of materials and components, including construction materials, textiles and ingredients, according to their characteristics. Pupils are taught to evaluate by exploring and evaluating a range of existing products. This will then be used to evaluate their ideas and products against design criteria. Pupils will also be taught technical knowledge particularly building structures, exploring how they can be made stronger, stiffer and more stable. Finally, they will explore and use mechanisms [for example, levers, sliders, wheels and axles], in their products.

As part of their work with Cooking and nutrition (Food Technology) in Key stage 1, the pupils are taught the use of basic principles of a healthy and varied diet to prepare dishes and understand where food comes from.



Structures: Junk modelling

In this unit, pupils explore and learn about various types of permanent and temporary join. They are encouraged to tinker using a combination of materials and joining techniques in the junk modelling area.

Textiles: Bookmarks

Pupils develop and practise threading and weaving techniques using various materials and objects. They look at the history of the bookmark from Victorian times versus modern-day styles. The pupils apply their knowledge and skills to design and sew their own bookmarks.

Structures: Boats

In this unit, children explore what is meant by ‘waterproof’, ‘floating’ and ‘sinking’, then experiment and make predictions with various materials to carry out a series of tests. They learn about the different features of boats and ships before investigating their shape and structures to build their own.


Year 1

Structures: Constructing a windmill

In this unit, pupils will be able to follow a design criteria to meet the needs of a user. They will make a stable structure and functioning sails/blades that attach to the supporting structure.

Textiles: Puppets

This unit’s theme is based on the children choosing a storybook character to base their puppet designs on.

Cooking and nutrition: Fruit and vegetables

Pupils will prepare foods by cutting and juicing and selecting fruits and vegetables to create a smoothie to meet a design brief.

Mechanisms: Making a moving story book

The children learn about the direction of movements and explore the mechanisms required to make these work by creating examples of side-to-side sliders and up-and-down sliders from templates.


Year 2

Structures: Baby bear's chair

Pupils will explore the concept and features of structures and the stability of different shapes. They will understand that the shape of the structure affects its strength and to make a structure according to design criteria. They will produce a finished structure and evaluate its strength, stiffness and stability.

Mechanisms: Fairground wheel

In this unit, pupils will explore wheel mechanisms and design a Ferris wheel. They will select appropriate materials to build and test a moving wheel.

Mechanisms: Making a moving monster

Pupils look at objects and understand how they move and explore different design options to make a moving monster.

Design and technology Unit: Food: A balanced diet

Pupils recognise foods and their food groups.


Key Stage Two Subject and Skills Content

In Key Stage Two pupils will be taught through a variety of creative and practical activities, pupils should be taught the knowledge, understanding and skills needed to engage in an iterative process of designing and making. They should work in a range of relevant contexts. When designing and making, pupils will be taught to design using research and develop design criteria to inform the design of innovative, functional, appealing products that are fit for purpose, aimed at particular individuals or groups. This will include generating, developing, modelling and communicating their ideas through discussion, annotated sketches, cross-sectional and exploded diagrams, prototypes, pattern pieces and computer-aided design. Pupils will make by selecting from and use a wider range of tools and equipment to perform practical tasks [for example, cutting, shaping, joining and finishing], accurately. They will select from and use a wider range of materials and components, including construction materials, textiles and ingredients, according to their functional properties and aesthetic qualities. To evaluate, pupils will investigate and analyse a range of existing products. This will build on to them evaluating their ideas and products against their own design criteria and consider the views of others to improve their work. They will also understand how key events and individuals in design and technology have helped shape the world.

Pupils will be taught about technical knowledge and ways to apply their understanding of how to strengthen, stiffen and reinforce more complex structures. They will understand and use mechanical systems in their products. This will build on their understanding taught in science and use electrical systems in their products. Children will then be able apply their understanding of computing to program, monitor and control their products.

As part of their work with cooking and nutrition (Food Technology), pupils should be taught how to cook and apply the principles of nutrition and healthy eating. Instilling a love of cooking in pupils will also open a door to one of the great expressions of human creativity. Learning how to cook is a crucial life skill that enables pupils to feed themselves and others affordably and well, now and in later life. Pupils will be taught to understand and apply the principles of a healthy and varied diet as well as prepare and cook a variety of predominantly savoury dishes using a range of cooking techniques. Children will understand seasonality, and know where and how a variety of ingredients are grown, reared, caught and processed.


Year 3

Cooking and nutrition: Eating seasonally

In this unit, pupils will learn about seasonal foods and use their understanding to create a seasonal food tart.

Digital world: Electronic charm

Pupils will write a program to initiate a flashing LED panel after button press and/or automatically initiate using the Micro:bit light sensing, as part of an eCharm. They will also create and decorate a foam pouch for the eCharm, using a template.

Structures: Constructing a castle

Pupils will recognise how multiple shapes (2D and 3D) are combined to form a strong and stable structure and then design and construct a castle.

Textiles: Cross-stitch and appliqué

The children will learn how to sew cross-stitch and to appliqué. They will assemble fabric parts into a fabric product and then decorate the fabric using appliqué and cross-stitch.

Mechanical systems: Pneumatic toys

In this unit, pupils will understand how pneumatic systems work and design a toy that uses a pneumatic system. They will also create a pneumatic system and then test and finalise ideas against a design criteria.


Year 4

Structure: Pavilions

Children will learn to create a range of different shaped frame structures. They will  design a structure, build a frame structure and add cladding to a frame structure.

Mechanical systems: Making a slingshot car

In this unit, pupils will build a car chassis and design a shape that reduces air resistance. They will also make a model based on a chosen design.

Electrical systems: Torches

Pupils will learn about electrical items and how they work. They will analyse and evaluate electrical products. Pupils will design a product to fit a set of specific user needs.

Food: Adapting a recipe

Pupils will describe features of biscuits using taste, texture and appearance. They will follow a recipe with support using a budget to plan a recipe and adapt a recipe using additional ingredients.

Textiles: Fastenings

Pupils will identify the features, benefits and disadvantages of a range of fastening types. Pupils will also write a design criteria and design a sleeve that satisfies the criteria to assemble their case using any stitch they are comfortable with.


Year 5

Electrical systems: Doodlers

In this unit, pupils will understand how motors are used in electrical products. They will investigate an existing product to determine the factors that affect the product’s form and function and apply the findings from research to develop a unique product. Finally, they will develop a DIY kit for another individual to assemble their product.

Mechanical systems: Making a pop-up book

Pupils will follow their design brief to make a pop up book. They will use layers and spacers to cover the working of mechanisms and create a high-quality product suitable for a target user.

Cooking and nutrition: What could be healthier?

Pupils will understand where food comes from and what ‘healthy’ means. Pupils will adapt a traditional recipe and complete a food product.


Year 6

Textiles: Waistcoats

In this unit, pupils will design a waistcoat and mark and cut fabric according to their design to assemble and decorate a waistcoat.

Structure: Playgrounds

Pupils will design a playground with a variety of structures and then build a range of structures by improving and adding detail to them.

Digital world: Navigating the world

Pupils will write a design brief and criteria based on a client request. They will write a program to include multiple functions as part of a navigation device to develop a sustainable product concept. Pupils will develop 3D CAD skills to produce a virtual model and present a pitch to ‘sell’ the product to a specified client.

St Barnabas & St Paul’s Church of England Primary School

Oakenhurst Road, Blackburn, Lancashire, BB2 1SN

01254 698413