Design Technology

Subject Leader: Mrs Sadler

Contact Email:

Our Design and Technology Curriculum Intent:

‘Design is not just what it looks like and feels like. Design is how it works.’

—   Steve Jobs 

At Pennoweth, we believe that Design Technology inspires children to learn to think creatively to solve problems. We encourage children to use their imagination to design and make products in response to real and relevant problems within a variety of contexts, taking into account their own and others’ needs and wants.

Our curriculum enables children to progressively develop knowledge, skills and vocabulary, which are transferable to other areas of the curriculum. Through a well-planned and well-resourced curriculum, we develop children’s creativity, and promote their interest, understanding, risk-taking and effective evaluating skills through all aspects of design.

Design Technology at Pennoweth is taught in blocks across a two-year cycle in years 2-6 in order that children achieve depth in their learning. Key knowledge, skills and associated vocabulary have been identified and these have been mapped across the school to ensure progression. At the start of each unit, teachers establish the starting point for each child and ensure that all lessons taught are relevant and developmental, and consideration is given to how greater depth will be reached within each lesson, as well as how learners will be supported in line with the school’s commitment to inclusion.

Cross curricular outcomes in Design Technology are specifically planned for, with appropriate links between the subject itself, and English, Mathematics, Science, Computing and Art lessons identified, planned for and utilised.


The culture of our DNA at Pennoweth also aids and supports the teaching and learning of Design Technology throughout the school.

Children are encouraged and taught to work methodically in Design Technology, using their imagination to design and construct their projects to solve real life and relevant problems. They are encouraged to experiment with a variety of resources and techniques to bring their creations to life; taking risks in their learning and sharing their concepts with the rest of the class, in a safe and trusted atmosphere where design improvements form an organic part of their learning. Discussion, investigation, evaluation and Teamwork are fundamental to Design Technology and through effective collaboration, sharing of ideas and support from their peers and adults around, the children feel loved. Designing and creating, with a specific purpose in mind, carries with it great responsibility, a transferable skill that the children can take into other areas of their learning at Pennoweth. Design Technology constantly challenges children’s learning and ensures that they have a platform for expressing their ideas from the beginning stages of research and design, through to the end build and evaluation. Finally, through the ever changing platform of Design Technology, our children become readyready for any eventuality that learning might present to them.

What will my child experience through Design Technology at Pennoweth?
Nursery and Reception:

In the Early Years, DT encourages children to develop as individuals and learners. If fosters a sense of independence and develops their confidence with making choices. It promotes transferable skills that the children can take into their independent learning.

Years 1-6:
Throughout the children’s time at Pennoweth, Design Technology is taught as part of a project-based approach. This approach aims to cover every aspect of the Design Technology National Curriculum. Children will encounter Design Technology through several immersive projects during each Key Stage.

What Design and Technology skills and knowledge will my child learn at Pennoweth?


Within the seven areas of the Nursery Curriculum at Pennoweth Primary School, Design Technology is taught within four of them: Personal, Social and Emotional development; Physical development, Understanding the World and Expressive Arts and Design. It is developed within small step increments with a fundamental aim of fostering independence in the children.


In Reception, Design Technology incorporates cooking, woodwork, and design. Within the Reception Curriculum, Design Technology is mainly taught within Physical Development and Expressive Arts and Design. It aims to link individually to each child’s specific interests. Design Technology promotes pro-active learning and develops the child’s ability to make choices.

Curriculum knowledge progression:

In Nursery and Reception, Design Technology supports children’s overall ability to work and make choices independently. Children learn how to understand and select appropriate tools from a range of scissors, papers, glues, and art materials. Their knowledge of Design Technology is developed by a weekly focus, such as junk modelling, and supported by conversations with adults as well as demonstrations of different techniques and resources. Design Technology is linked closely to communication and language. It fosters transferable skills which the children can take into their indoor and outdoor learning including in their den building and the mud kitchen.

Curriculum skills progression:

In Nursery and Reception, children are encouraged to build a wide range of skills through Design and Technology including:

  • Fine motor skills
  • Keeping themselves safe
  • Understanding of how different tools function
  • How to use different tools safely
  • Making appropriate choices

KS1 and KS2:

What sort of Design and Technology language will my child learn at Pennoweth?

DT vocabulary progression

What do Pennoweth’s children think about Design and Technology?

“I found out that triangles are a strong and sturdy shape. The frame is  a triangular based prism which gives it a strong base.”

Year 6

“I really enjoyed DT, the part where we worked as a team to plant the seeds. My structure needed to be tall because the saplings can grow tall.”

Year 5

“I liked making spinners in DT. It was hard at first but then they spun well. I had to think about the shape of the spinner. It was fun!”

Year 4

“I liked making my parachute and watching it float. My parachute stayed in the air the longest.”

Year 3

“I have loved learning about space buggies. I never knew that people used them on the moon. I liked learning about the chassis and axles and how wheels move.”

Year 2

“We learnt about buggies and they have axles to hold the wheels in place.”

Year 1

Useful Design Technology websites and links:
EYFS and KS1: