Design & Technology Curriculum

"Design is not just what it looks like and feels like. Design is how it works." Steve Jobs.


Design and Technology is about how things work and are made. It makes a contribution to the well-being of our communities and our lives. The National Curriculum document explains ‘Using creativity and imagination, pupils design and make products that solve real and relevant problems within a variety of contexts, considering their own and others’ needs, wants and values. Pupils begin to learn how to take risks, develop their ability to be resourceful, innovative, enterprising and capable. High-quality design and technology education makes an essential contribution to the creativity, culture, wealth and well-being of the nation.’

At Writtle Infant School we value Design & Technology as an integral part of our broad and balanced curriculum. We believe that children are naturally curious when it comes to exploring the world around them. We know that by exploring how things work and are made through first-hand investigation and problem solving scenarios the learning will be meaningful and memorable. Therefore, we plan to give children the opportunity to develop skills, knowledge and understanding of designing and making products. We aim to nurture creativity and innovation through design and by expecting children to explore the designed world in which we live and work. We plan for development in the children's skills and knowledge in design, structures and mechanisms and use a range of materials including textiles and food. We provide exciting activities linked to our curriculum topics that encourage creativity and the opportunity to think like a designer by considering their needs and the needs of others.


In Reception, the ‘Development Matters’ areas of Physical Development, Expressive Arts and Design and Personal, Emotional and Social Development underpin our Design and Technology provision. A wide variety of DT skills are acquired through continuous and enhanced provision. Children are encouraged to be creative and innovative using a variety of construction resources and loose parts inside and out. We plan for provision that develops their joining skills and fine motor skills. They are encouraged to use these skills to solve problems. Challenges are planned for where skills can be taught then applied in meaningful, linked contexts through our Poetry Basket weekly themes. In Year 1, the children learn about becoming a designer and the process of design; through planning, making and evaluating. They refine their skills by practising skills learnt in Reception and learn new ones in order to solve problems. DT projects are linked to the ‘Take One Book’ themes and involve a problem to solve, giving meaningful purpose. In Year 2, the children will learn to develop the design process further building on what has come before. They will investigate products to plan a design, continue to make their products and adapt where necessary and then evaluate each outcome. Focus will be given in Year 2 in designing and making a product for particular ‘customers’ so that the purpose of design is clear, then evaluating whether it was fit for purpose. As the children move through school, they revisit concepts with increasing levels of depth. They are encouraged to use the library and technology to engage in topic research. This includes the expectation that the children will use key vocabulary in discussions as well as develop and refine practical skills.


In our school children will be encouraged to explore, to show their natural curiosity, and to use this to discover how things work and are made. We aim to foster confidence, creativity and enjoyment for Design and Technology in our pupils. They will build on knowledge, and taught practical skills through Reception and Key Stage 1, to solve problems. They will gain the confidence to take risks to enable them to design (orally and through drawn and written plans), make and evaluate (and adapt and improve at times too). Children will be confident in selecting and using a range of materials and they will be able to explain reasons for their choices. Children will know about the work of designers, describing the differences and similarities and make links to their locality and their own work. They will talk about eating healthily, hygiene and kitchen safety when working with food. They will use knives, peelers and graters safely to prepare food. At Writtle Infant School our children will enjoy working practically and have fun!
We encourage and weave our whole school HIPIP Values of Honesty, Independence, Perseverance, Inclusivity and politeness throughout our teaching. We believe that our carefully planned curriculum will help to inspire the future designers and innovators.