Design and Technology



 “Design is as much a matter of finding problems as it is solving them”. Bryan Lawson 


At Barnehurst, we believe that Design and Technology should be ‘inspiring, rigorous, informative and practical’. Our DT allows children to be creative problem solvers, critical thinkers and meticulous individuals. Children use their imagination and creativity to design and make a range of products within a variety of contexts and we provide children with a Design and Technology education that is relevant in our rapidly changing world. At Barnehurst, our children are problem solvers who can work creatively both independently and as part of a shared project. Our high-quality Design Technology lessons inspire children to think independently and innovatively, and develop creative, procedural and technical understanding. It allows children the opportunities to research, represent, explore, investigate, develop and finally, evaluate their work. At Barnehurst, our curriculum lets children discover and investigate real life designers, including fashion, architects, engineers and chefs, to enable them to create an array of functional textiles, structures, electrical mechanisms, wood work and food products with a real-life purpose. By exploring technologies past and present and applying knowledge learnt across other areas of the curriculum, children are able to consolidate practical and analytical skills, vocabulary and resilience in a purposeful way.




 At Barnehurst we believe that spiritual, moral, social and cultural education should be evident in everything we do. Giving children the opportunity to think creatively and solve problems lies at the center of Design and Technology. The creativity and innovation the children show will be inspirational to others whilst also increase each child’s self-confidence and belief in their own abilities. The children will be introduced to new technology and designs, leading to awe and wonder at the beauty of a final product.


During the planning and making process we encourage our pupils to consider the moral and ethical dilemmas raised. For example, the impact on the environment through the choices of materials are made or the opportunity to consider sustainable or environmentally acceptable materials. All of which links to the global goals the school's curriculum is based upon.


During DT there are many opportunities to promote social responsibilities. All the children have a collective responsibility to ensure they contribute to a safe working environment where the use of tools and equipment are involved. There is the opportunity to work collaboratively with a partner or take turns in a small group which requires effective social interaction and at times compromise. There is also the opportunity for peer evaluation and to act as a critical friend to give supportive comments to improve pupils learning outcomes. The children will also be given various dilemmas linked to DT, where they will need to create a product which will help to overcome a problem, encouraging the children to become problem solvers and understand the needs of the world. DT often originates from an idea or artefact and to develop a wider cultural awareness we explore our past heritage as well as investigate and use as our stimulus foods, textiles, pottery and sculptures from different cultures and periods of time from across the world.    






Subject Implementation





Design and Technology at Barnehurst is a practical, exciting subject that uses an array of skills from ingenuity and originality to resourcefulness and ambition. Children have the opportunity to take risks and be reflective with a focus on the learning journey and not the outcome. Through a variety of contexts, children design and make items that solve problems and create new possibilities.  



Our children design products with an intention and brief that is clear and allows for creativity, as well as implementing additional skills they have obtained in other subjects such  as  mathematics, English, science, geography, computing and our global citizenship.  Through well planned and resourced lessons, children are able to have those opportunities and experiences to enhance their learning. We have the facilities to provide high quality food technology lessons allowing for the knowledge and understanding of food, hygiene, diet and safety as a lifelong skill. 





Our Design and Technology curriculum is implemented through different projects over the children’s time at Barnehurst. This allows for them to build on their skills and as a result they become confident in designing, constructing, problem solving and evaluating. Children have the opportunity for challenge in specific tasks and are assessed in a varied and purposeful way. From continuous verbal discussions, drawings, writing and presentations to allow them to showcase their learning in an inventive way.


Here at Barnehurst, we pride ourselves on using schemas to ensure there is progression from Early Years up to Key stage 2. This very specific way of learning allows semantic and procedural knowledge to be obtained within context and in a way that is purposeful with the anticipation children will retain these experiences long term. To ensure that this long term learning is covered effectively, in Design Technology we use 6 phases that allow children to make connections to learning from a previous year group and then develop new skills through scaffolding and purposeful reinforcement.




Children have the ability to connect to prior learning, and given clear explanations to new concepts and ideas in a tangible way. These are then given context by providing examples. The children will then have the opportunity to attempt, with the support of an adult, and then apply what they have leant. Finally, children are given a challenge that allows them to think harder and look at something in a wider context.

Our children are exposed to vocabulary that is used across a number of subjects, and this is called tier 2 vocabulary. Tier 3 vocabulary is subject specific and words of a technical nature that are bespoke to a specific subject. In Design technology children are encouraged to use both tiers of language from Early Years to Key stage 2. This understanding and application





of vocabulary forms an integral part of Design Technology at Barnehurst

We pride ourselves on encouraging the children here at Barnehurst to realise their potential and the difference their ideas will make to the future of design and technology. Design Technology at Barnehurst can be broken down into specific areas with children acquiring skills that progress from Reception to Year 6 with a clear coverage of the National Curriculum Design and Technology objectives.


Structures and Architecture- Children will explore how structures are constructed for purpose, how they are used and what has influenced them from various periods of history or parts of the world.

Materials- Children begin by learning how to use tools provided in a safe way and then demonstrate different way of cutting and joining. They will measure and mark out using standard units of measure.

Textiles- Children will learn skills such as pattern making and sewing, and use a range of tools, equipment and materials.              

Cookery and Nutrition- Children have the opportunity to understand and apply working safely, hygienically and with a range of kitchen equipment and ingredients.

Mechanisms and Mechanical Systems- children look at how mechanisms work, including mechanical systems such as levers, wheels, gears and pulleys.

Electrical Systems and Programming- Children will begin by looking at electrical items and trying to diagnose faults and understand batteries, wires and bulbs. By KS2 they will be making electrical circuits and use electrical components as part of their inquiry-based learning.



In the EYFS pupils explore and use a variety of media and materials through a combination of child initiated and adult led focus activities. Continuous provision allows children  the  opportunity to revisit a project with a real purpose in mind. Providing carefully thought out enhancements allow for deliberate practice so children can refine their knowledge and skills as well as think deeper about problem solving on a practical level. This is evident from nursery to Reception.

They can learn to:

  • Use different media and materials to express their own ideas
  • Use what they have learnt about media and materials in original ways, thinking about form, function and purpose
  • Make plans and construct with a purpose in mind using a variety of resources
  • Develop skills to use simple tools and techniques appropriately, effectively and safely
  • Select appropriate resources for a product and adapt their work where necessary
  • Cook and prepare food adhering to good health and hygiene routine.

All these opportunities are in line with the revised Development Matters and in accordance with the Early Learning Goals.

Key Stage 1

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.

Our year 1 continuous provision lends itself beautifully to this idea of exploration and evaluation as the children have the opportunity to design, create and improve with a specific purpose in mind. These skills can be applied in a variety of contexts within the provision but extends to the outdoor environment, forest school and beyond.


When designing and making, pupils should be taught to:


  • design purposeful, functional, appealing products for themselves and other users based on design criteria. Children will generate, develop, model, and communicate their ideas through
  • talking, drawing, templates, mock-ups and, where appropriate, information and communication technology


  • select from and use a range of tools and equipment to perform practical tasks, (for example, cutting, shaping, joining, and finishing)
  • select from and use a wide range of materials and components, including construction materials, textiles, and ingredients, according to their characteristics  


  • explore and evaluate a range of existing products                                                              
  • evaluate their ideas and products against design criteria                                                                                                 

Technical knowledge

  • build structures, exploring how they can be made stronger, stiffer, and more stable
  • explore and use mechanisms, (for example levers, sliders, wheels and axles), in their products.


Key Stage 2

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, for example, the home, school, leisure, culture, enterprise, industry, and the wider environment. 


When designing and making, pupils should be 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 and exploded diagrams, prototypes, pattern pieces and computer-aided design 



•   select from and use a wider range of tools and equipment to perform practical tasks, such as cutting, shaping, joining, and finishing, accurately 

•   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 


•   investigate and analyse a range of existing products 

•   evaluate their ideas and products against their own design criteria and consider the views of others to improve their work 

•   understand how key events and individuals 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, (for example as gears, pulleys, cams, levers and linkages)

•   understand and use electrical systems in their products, (for example series circuits incorporating switches, bulbs, buzzers and motors) 

•   to apply their understanding of computing to programme, monitor and control their products.


Subject Impact

Our DT Curriculum is developing to provide well thought out lessons and topics that demonstrate progression. In addition, we measure the impact of our curriculum through the following methods: reflection on standards achieved against the planned outcomes; pupil discussions about their learning, which includes discussion of their thoughts, ideas, processing, and evaluations of work. As designers, children will develop skills and attributes they can use beyond school and into adulthood.