“Enjoy failure and learn from it. You can never learn from success.”

Sir James Dyson


At English Martyrs, we encourage our children to explore and develop their imagination through this creative and practical subject. Pupils are given the opportunity to design and make products that solve real and relevant problems while considering the needs and wants of a range of users. Our curriculum allows them to develop their creative, technical and practical skills to complete everyday tasks with confidence. In this subject, we make cross-curricular links, particularly between maths, science, art and computing which helps to consolidate and apply their knowledge to solve real-life problems with new solutions. Our Design and Technology curriculum also teaches the principles of good nutrition as we understand that learning how to cook healthily and prepare food is a very important element of future well-being.


Our curriculum for Design and Technology aims to ensure that all pupils: 

  • develop creative, technical and practical skills and are equipped to participate successfully in an increasingly technological world  
  • build and apply a breadth and depth of knowledge in order to design and make high-quality products for a wide range of people  
  • 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.

Our design and technology curriculum is designed with four strands that run throughout. These are:

  • Design
  • Make
  • Evaluate
  • Technical knowledge

Units of lessons are sequential, allowing students to build their skills and knowledge, year after year.  Key parts of the National Curriculum are also woven throughout the units.  Key skills are revisited again and again with increasing complexity in a spiral curriculum model.  This allows pupils to revise and build upon their previous learning.  Six key areas are revisited each year, with Electrical systems and Digital world beginning in KS2. The six core areas are:

  • Cooking and Nutrition
  • Mechanical Systems
  • Structures
  • Textiles
  • Electrical Systems (KS2)
  • Digital World (KS2)

The progression of skills and knowledge is cyclical to increase children’s depth of learning through sequential learning. Upon returning to each key area, prior knowledge is utilised so pupils can build upon previous foundations, rather than starting again. Teachers adapt lessons to form cross-curricular links with the rest of the school’s curriculum when suitable.  Creativity and independence is always encouraged to support all children in making their own choices and decisions, so that design and technology outcomes, whilst still being knowledge-rich, are unique to the pupils.

Lessons are always practical in nature and encourage experimental and exploratory learning with pupils, using sketchbooks to document their ideas. Lessons are differentiated to accommodate all children and to promote enjoyment.


The Design and Technology curriculum should allow children to leave school equipped with a range of skills to enable them to succeed in their lives and be innovative and resourceful members of society. Children should:

  • Understand the functional and aesthetic properties of a range of materials and resources.
  • Understand how to use and combine tools to carry out different processes for shaping, decorating, and manufacturing products.
  • Build and apply a repertoire of skills, knowledge and understanding to produce high quality, innovative outcomes, including models, prototypes, CAD, and products to fulfil the needs of users.
  • Understand and apply the principles of healthy eating, diets, and recipes
  • Have an appreciation for key individuals, inventions, and events in history and of today that impact our world.
  • Recognise where our decisions can impact the wider world in terms of community, social and environmental issues.
  • Self-evaluate and reflect on learning at different stages and identify areas to improve.
  • Meet the end of key stage expectations outlined in the National curriculum for Design and technology.
  • Meet the end of key stage expectations outlined in the National curriculum for Computing. 

Progress in Design and Technology will be evidenced through sketchbook recordings, display work and through dialogue with the children themselves.

Updated: 22/12/2023 147 KB
Updated: 22/12/2023 110 KB