Design and Technology

Curriculum Intent

At Trinity, we aim to inspire the next generation of designers, engineers, and innovators. We provide an engaging, hands-on design and technology curriculum that fosters practical skills and enhances creativity. In our engaging curriculum, the children learn about the designed and made world in order to best design and make functional products for particular purposes and specific users. Working collaboratively and independently, our curriculum fosters creative, innovative, and resilient problem-solvers, designers, and makers.

Sequencing and Progression

The five D&T units taught at Trinity are: structure, textiles, cooking, mechanisms, and electrical systems (KS2). These units are repeated throughout the year groups to  revise, consolidate, and build upon prior learning. At the beginning of each unit, the children are introduced to a focus designer, structure, or brand. The children then develop their practical skills and, with an understanding of aesthetic, social, and environmental issues, design and make a purposeful product. Evaluation is an integral part of the design process and, at the end of each unit, the children will evaluate their final product and think of ways in which it can be improved. 

What does D&T look like at Trinity?

In the Early Years, children learn about design and technology through play, which is structured around the current topics that they study. The children explore how they can use different materials and techniques to express their ideas and they develop their motor skills when designing and creating functional products. 

In years 1-6, children alternate between one hour of D&T and Art lessons each half term. At the beginning of each unit, children are introduced to a new relevant designer or brand through which they can view and appraise examples of designs and technology in the real world. Then, the children practise the key skills of that unit, allowing them to successfully follow a design brief and design, create and evaluate their final product. For example, Year 1 children make puppets to use in their oracy performance, Year 4 children create an electrical circuit as well as design and make torches for a shadow puppet show and Year 6 children make waistcoats for their end-of-year performance.

Early Years

In Nursery and Reception, children study design and technology to understand the world and express themselves in an imaginative way through  innovation and experimentation. In forest school, our children get creative with design and technology.  They use leaves, twigs, and branches to build forts and fairy houses, make bird feeders and design planters, learning to solve problems and create in nature. Children also use the Forest School to grow fruit and vegetables, which they then use in their cooking lessons. Cooking units are repeated frequently to foster a healthy and practical understanding of food and nutrition. In other units, children design, make, and evaluate in a creative environment with different materials in a process when they go from sketching ideas to making prototypes and evaluating their work. 

Years 1 and 2

Year 1 children explore design and technology by structuring windmills, making their own smoothie brands and recipes, and learning how to attach fabrics in different ways when making puppets, which they use in an oracy performance. 

Year 2 children construct a stable chair for Baby Bear, make a fairground wheel, and learn how to do a running stitch when making pouches. 

Years 3 and 4

Year 3 children construct castles out of paper and cardboard, developing their sewing skills by learning how to cross stitch when making a cushion, and learn about seasonal growing and how it impacts different recipes. 

Year 4 children make aesthetically pleasing pavilions, design a slingshot car, and make an electrical circuit to power their self-made torch.

Years 5 and 6

In Year 5, children make popup books, explore bolognese recipes, and build an electrical system to animate their Doodler, which they have designed and made.

In Year 6, children will construct prototypes of playgrounds, develop woodwork skills when creating an automata toy, and follow a pattern to create and then decorate a waistcoat.

Enrichment opportunities

Enrichment opportunities at Trinity are designed to broaden students' horizons and enhance their learning experiences beyond the core curriculum. During Careers Week, we have recently welcomed a chief, architect, costume designer, and potter, who each provided invaluable insights into their work and offered students a glimpse into a range of potential future careers.

Our extracurricular activities include a Cooking Club, Gardening Club, Art and D&T Club, and Computing Club in which the children learn how to use CAD. Each offers hands-on experiences that foster practical skills and creativity.

Every year, we invite children to participate in the Primary Engineer's Awards. In this competition, children have to identify a problem and design a creative solution to it. They also had to write a letter explaining why an engineer should choose to build their product and they were required to interview engineers to understand more about the problems they solve and the role they play in society. This year, we had 5 children receive a distinction and were shortlisted for the final!

Launch Days!

Each half term begins with Launch Days, where children are immersed in their new topic for that half term. These Launch Days often feature D&T activities; for example, in the "Toys over Time" topic in Year 1, children design their own toy, in Year 2 they bake bread to complement their study of the Great Fire of London, and in Year 3 they create Anglo-Saxon weaponry out of junk materials to enhance their history unit. 

Homework Projects

Over the holidays, children are encouraged to research their upcoming History or Geography topic and create Homework projects consisting of models and costumes. These projects are celebrated in assemblies and displayed throughout the school, ensuring that D&T maintains a high profile and integral role in our school community.