Design and Technology

"Design is a funny word. Some people think design means how it looks. But of course, if you look deeper, it's really how it works."

Steve Jobs


Design and Technology is an inspiring, rigorous and practical subject that encourages children to learn to think and intervene creatively to solve problems. At Gislingham, our principal aim is to develop children’s knowledge, skills and understanding in the subject. We encourage children to use their creativity and imagination, to design and make products that solve real and relevant problems within a variety of contexts, considering their own and others’ needs, wants and values. We aim to, wherever possible, link work to other disciplines such as mathematics, science, engineering, computing and art. The children are also given opportunities to reflect upon and evaluate past and present design technology, its uses and its effectiveness and are encouraged to become innovators and risk-takers.

We recognise the importance of Design technology for pupils of all abilities as a subject which helps prepare them for the rigours and demands of adult life. In Design Technology (DT) children are taught to develop their capability through designing and making a range of products and systems for specific purposes.


The national curriculum for design and technology aims for all pupils to: -

  • development the creative, technical and practical expertise needed to perform everyday tasks confidently and to participate successfully in an increasingly technological world

  • build and apply a repertoire of knowledge, understanding and skills in order to design and make high-quality prototypes and products for a wide range of users

  • critique, evaluate and test their ideas and products and the work of others

  • understand and apply the principles of nutrition and learn how to cook.

Through a variety of creative and practical activities, our pupils are taught the knowledge, understanding and skills needed to engage in an iterative process of designing and making. When designing and making, pupils are taught to design, make, evaluate and develop technical knowledge. Pupils are also taught about cooking and nutrition. As part of their work with food, pupils learn how to cook and apply the principles of nutrition and healthy eating. Learning how to cook is a crucial life skill that enables pupils to feed themselves and others affordably and well, now and in later life.

Teachers ensure that children apply their knowledge and understanding when developing ideas, during planning and making products and when evaluating them. This is done through a mixture of whole-class teaching and individual or group activities. Within lessons, children are given the opportunity both to work on their own and to collaborate with others, listening to other children’s ideas and treating these with respect. Children critically evaluate existing products, their own work and that of others, and have the opportunity to use a wide range of materials and resources. They are taught to recognise hazards and risks and the steps they need to take to ensure the health and safety of themselves and others when using tools, equipment and materials in practical activities.

Activities in Design and Technology are planned so that they build on prior learning. Children of all abilities are given the opportunity to develop their skills, knowledge and understanding, and we also build planned progression into the themes so that the children are increasingly challenged as they move through the school.

Design and Technology generally takes place during afternoon sessions, occasionally a block of days/ afternoons at the teachers’ discretion. We may use the local environment or a current theme or topic as the basis for the required skills which are taught as part of the flexible curriculum.

Key knowledge and skills for DT have been mapped across the school to ensure progression between year groups. This also ensures that there is a context for the children’s work in Design and Technology; that they learn about real life structures and the purpose of specific examples, as well as developing their skills throughout the programme of study.


Children learn how to take risks, becoming resourceful, innovative, enterprising and capable citizens. Through the evaluation of past and present design and technology, they develop a critical understanding of its impact on daily life and the wider world. High-quality design and technology education makes an essential contribution to the creativity, culture, wealth and well-being of the nation.

To find out more about our Design and Technology Curriculum, please click on the links below: