Design Technology

Intent – What is the purpose of our Design Technology curriculum?

At Tranmere Park Primary, we recognise that Design Technology is an integral part of everyday life and can enable learners to achieve a greater understanding of the world around them. We aim to embed key life skills such as: cooking and making alongside developing design skills, learning about electronics, computing, engineering, robotics, materials, food and textile technology.

It is a challenging, rigorous and practical subject that encourages children to think creatively to solve problems in various contexts both as individuals and as members of a team. We deliver a range of innovative and practical activities that encourage our pupils to express creativity and imagination to design and make products that solve real and relevant problems in aesthetically pleasing ways. These problems are presented through specific design-criteria that evoke the need for our pupils to consider both their own as well as others’ needs, wants and values. Opportunities to evaluate and reflect upon both their own work and that of the wider design technology community are also given to encourage and develop their critical thinking, resilience and bank of innovative ideas.

From EYFS to Year 6, we aim to take our pupils on a progressive journey, which will see them, overtime, acquire and develop a range of subject-specific skills that they will take into our three phased approach to the teaching of DT: designing, making and evaluating. We understand that this progressive and sequential approach is paramount to enable our pupils to build upon their skills at each key stage, seeing them leave us in Year 6 as confident, coherent pupils who possess a passion for DT and an enterprising mindset. As it is taught through topic, we try to, wherever suitable, link our Design Technology content to other subject areas such as Art, Science, History, Geography and Maths to ensure we encompass a holistic approach to its teaching.

Our Children will:

Our Teachers will:

  • • Be intrinsically motivated – they are eager to build on their existing skills and understanding.
  • • Be willing to practise skills across a range of different activities and situations: alone and in small groups to meet desired design outcomes.
  • • Ask inquisitive questions, pose ideas and eagerly tackle tricky problems throughout the designing, making and evaluating process.
  • • Be resilient to mistakes and persevere when faced with a challenge; they are unflinching when tackling problems faced in any step of their projects.
  • • Achieve standards in DT that surpass the national expectations at each key developmental phase.
  • • Possess highly positive attitudes towards Design Technology and will be aspirational in their personal goals.
  • • Provide a progressive and challenging curriculum which is sequenced to enable all children to develop the competence to excel within each area of design technology.
  • • Provide our children with a rich curriculum of carefully crafted lessons that ensures time for designing, making and evaluating.
  • • Provide opportunities for our children to develop ideas, test theories, think logically and structure their work systematically.
  • • Encourage our children to employ imagination and creativity in all stages of their projects.
  • • Ensure an equal variety of the design technology strands are taught – technical, textiles and cooking/nutrition.
  • • Encourage and promote opportunities for children to take their design technology skills into real life situations and contexts beyond the classroom.
  • • Create a safe and open environment where children feel confident to experiment, make mistakes and revise designs.


Implementation – How do we do it?

The Learning Journey

Through a variety of innovative and practical activities, we teach the subject-specific knowledge, understanding and skills required for pupils to engage in the process of designing, making and evaluating. Our pupils design and make products that consider purpose, function, suitability and appeal in relation to a variety of contexts. This process is enhanced by the teaching of design technology within topic, as it allows our pupils to place their learning into real life situations allowing for stronger and deeper connections with their objectives. One such example of this is during our year 5/6 Mayans topic, real temples will be studied before the design technology project begins.

When undertaking the design, make and evaluate model, our children are taught to:

•Use research and develop design criteria to inform the design of innovative, functional, appealing products that are fit for purpose, aimed at individuals or groups.
• Generate, develop, model and communicate their ideas through discussion, annotated sketches, cross-sectional diagrams, prototypes, pattern pieces and computer-aided design. Furthermore, they collect and use various sources of information to assist them in communicating ideas, costing products and thinking about sustainability and innovation.

• Select from and use a wider range of tools and equipment to perform practical tasks (for example, cutting, shaping, joining and finishing, as well as chopping and slicing) accurately. In doing so, they work form their own detailed plans, checking their product as it develops and then undertake any necessary modifications.
• Select from and use a wider range of materials, ingredients and components, including construction materials, textiles and ingredients, according to their functional properties, aesthetic qualities and, where appropriate, taste.

• Investigate and analyse a range of existing products with specific focus on suitability.
• Evaluate their ideas and products (clearly stating what went well and what could be improved) against their own design criteria and consider the views of others to improve their work.
• Understand how key events in design and technology have helped shape the world.

Technical knowledge:
• Apply their understanding of how to strengthen, stiffen and reinforce more complex structures.
• Understand and use mechanical systems in their products.
• Understand and use electrical systems in their products.
• Apply their understanding of computing to program, monitor and control their products.
• Understand some of the ways that food can be processed and the effect of different cooking practices (including baking and frying)
• Explore different textiles and textures, initially through play but latterly whilst choosing fabrics for a purpose based on aesthetics and function.
• Sew, cut and tack fabric with precise measurements to create 3D pieces.



• Short-term assessments aim to assess the children’s learning informally on a lesson-by-lesson basis and are key to our curriculum. Assessment will primarily involve the observation and recording of achievement in both theoretical and practical contexts which will inform the teacher assessment at the end of a unit of work. It will be continuous and part of the normal process of teaching. These could include observations – individually, in groups or whole class. The criteria for assessment will be related to the objective of the lesson which will relate to the National Curriculum requirements.
• Medium-term assessments are completed at the end of a half-term. After each unit, staff will assess children’s attainment in the key areas studied, using the Tranmere Park Foundation Stage Assessment documents.
• Long-term assessments assess our children against national expectations. These are also used to provide extra information about individual children’s attainment and progress so that the teacher can report to the next teacher and the child’s parent. These are entered OTrack at the end of each academic year and then analysed by the subject leader.


The Design Technology subject leader will use their expertise to support other teachers. Completing an annual deep dive into Design Technology, they will undertake: learning walks, pupil and teacher interviews and will scrutinise assessment data. Pupil interviews are a valuable way of giving pupils a voice around how the Design Technology curriculum is taught and to develop their understanding of how to improve. Additionally, regular staff consultations and questionnaires are used to identify any areas for development needed, especially with regards to new schemes of work. This information is used to develop the focus for future CPD in the subject. The monitoring cycle will evaluate current practice and the subject leader will be responsible for providing timely feedback, coaching and support.

Impact – What knowledge and skills are obtained?

At Tranmere Park, every pupil will:
• Be given equal opportunities to fulfil their potential – within Design Technology – regardless of ethnicity, culture, class, gender or special educational needs.
• Complete each key stage with a high proficiency in each aspect of Design Technology.
• Believe that they are good at Design Technology and will have the resilience required to take part in all elements of the Design Technology curriculum.
• Be exposed to meaningful, high-quality experiences and lessons that promote choice and independent thinking thus creating naturally motivated designers and problem solvers.
• Develop the creative, technical and practical expertise needed to perform everyday tasks confidently and to participate successfully in an increasingly technological world.
• Learn to take risks to become resilient, resourceful, enterprising and capable individuals.
• Build and apply a repertoire of knowledge, understanding and skills to design and make high-quality prototypes and products for a wide range of users and critique, evaluate and test their ideas and products and the work of others.
• Understand and apply the principles of nutrition and learn how to cook. Children will design and make a range of products. A good quality finish will be expected in all design and activities made appropriate to the age and ability of the child.

Further to the above, our Curriculum, at Tranmere Park, is designed to ensure that each and every child achieves or demonstrates the following:

The Team Tranmere Way
Be Yourself Be Your Best Be Team Tranmere
Our children will learn to like who they are; they respect themselves and live their lives in their own way, regardless of the opinions of others. Our children ‘give it everything they have got’ to achieve their full potential across the curriculum. Our children are a part of a community and have respect for the resources and people in it and that surround it.
Our Learning Values and Behaviours
Self-Manager Effective Participator Independent Enquirer Team Worker Resourceful Thinker Reflective Learner
Our children set their own goals and manage their own time, motivation and concentration. Our children participate in lessons and persuade and encourage others to do so. Our children set goals for their research with clear success criteria. Our children understand that we are stronger together and implement this. Our children are problem-solvers who can adapt to new or difficult situations. Our children critically analyse their work ensuring future improvements.