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Mesne Lea

Primary School

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Design and Technology

Miss Smith - Design Technology Lead



Our Design and Technology curriculum has been designed by exploring the expectations of the National Curriculum (design, make and evaluate) and applying this guidance to the context, barriers and needs of the school and its pupils. We use the Kapow Design and Technology scheme of work as the basis for our planning. Teachers are responsible to adapt these plans to meet the individual needs of pupils.


Our long-term plan maps out the themes covered in each term during the key stage and our medium-term plans give details of each unit of work for each term. These plans define what we will teach, and ensure an appropriate balance and distribution of work across each term, equipping pupils with the necessary knowledge, understanding and skills needed to engage in an iterative process of designing and making in a range of relevant contexts. Individual plans list the specific learning objectives and expected outcomes, and give details of how to teach the lessons and how success will be measured. Lessons are purposeful and have clear links with subjects across the wider curriculum.


The content of the Design and Technology curriculum at Mesne Lea exposes learners to five categorised areas: Structures, Mechanisms, Electrical Systems, Cooking and Nutrition and Textiles. The five categorised areas support pupils’ development and progress across this subject area as pupils learn through a variety of creative and practical activities and experiences.  There is a clear progression of skills throughout Design and Technology as our units of work are chosen carefully and purposefully so that they build on pupils’ prior learning. Teachers ensure that all abilities are given the opportunity to develop their skills, knowledge and understanding alongside an increasing challenge for pupils as they move up through the school.


To ensure that the teaching and learning of Design and Technology is consistent across school, all staff take part in CPD. The subject leader monitors evidence of teaching and learning through monitoring, observing and pupil voice. Design and Technology is showcased within school and encouraged through home learning activities set. Furthermore, wider opportunities such as STEAM Week, schools fayres and enterprise days focus largely around Design and Technology.




At mesne Lea, we expose pupils to a range of materials, encouraging pupils to build, create and explore. Allowing pupils in the foundation stage of their learning to make, change and design things for themselves enables pupils to gain knowledge and understanding of the world which they live in. Pupils in our EYFS setting learn through first hand experiences where they explore, observe, solve problems, think critically, make decisions and talk about why they have made their decisions.  These experiences and activities, indoors and outdoors, attract the pupils’ interest and curiosity. Learners investigate in a rich environment which values creativity, using a variety of construction kits, materials, tools and products, developing making skills and handling appropriate tools and construction material safely with increasing control. Pupils further experiment through design, with colour and materials, representing their own ideas, thoughts and feelings through Design and Technology.



Within Key Stage 1, we ensure that our expectations enable all pupils to establish and begin to develop the knowledge, understanding and skills to become a successful designer and creator.  Structures, Mechanisms, Cooking and Nutrition and Textiles act as focus topics throughout this key stage, allowing pupils to build upon their knowledge, understanding and skills as they move through school. Each focus topic is purposeful and engaging. There is a clear, structured application of skills throughout these topics as pupils’ progress though the processes of Design and Technology. Pupils investigate, design and make their end product. Pupils purposeful, functional, appealing products for themselves and other users based on design criteria, beginning to select from a range of tools and materials building a bank of technical knowledge. Teachers encourage pupils to evaluate throughout the whole process, although particularly within Key Stage 1 this is also a focus after they have made their product. Pupils are encouraged to think and discuss what went well, what they would change, how they would change this and why. Pupils think creatively and sensibly whilst referring to technological knowledge throughout. The key knowledge, understanding and skills that we aim every child to achieve by the end of Key Stage 1 are outlined within our progression of skills document.



Within Key Stage 2, pupils build upon their prior knowledge, understanding and skills taught previously. As opposed to four key elements, within Key Stage 2 our focus topics focus on the five key elements of Design and Technology:  Structures, mechanisms, Electrical Systems, Cooking and Nutrition and Textiles. In addition to our purposeful topics, these elements of Design and Technology allow pupils to research and develop design criteria to inform the design of innovative, functional and appealing products. These products are designed carefully and purposefully aimed at particular individuals or groups. Pupils generate, develop, model and communicate their ideas through discussion, and a range of design strategies so that in turn they can select and use a wider range of tools and equipment to perform practical tasks (for example, cutting, shaping, joining and finishing) accurately to meet their end product. Pupils use their evaluating skills to investigate, analyse and consistently review their ideas and products against their own design criteria, considering the views of others to improve their work. 


We aspire for pupils to take part in memorable and rich experiences, embedding skills for life ensuring that they know more and remember more, impacting on their long term memory thus preparing them for their next stage in education.