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Our Design & Technology Curriculum

Curriculum Intent


Every child will use their imagination and creativity, combined with their initiative and the influence of their surrounding environment, to design and make a wide range of products within a whole host of contexts relating to cross-curricular learning, the wider school community and their local area.


Children will build and apply the knowledge and skills needed to design high quality products. They are given the opportunity to understand nutrition and learn how to cook. At Greswold we want children to develop their imagination, their critical thinking and their understanding of the world around them through their love of Design and Technology. We aim for our children to question and think innovatively about the world around them in order to design and develop their own products with a purpose in mind.


Click here to view the National Curriculum for Design & Curriculum.


Early Years 


Children use a variety of construction materials within their environment. They follow their interests and with support, plan, gather resources and then create their unique pieces on both a large and small scale. Children learn, through experimentation, how to manipulate a variety of joining equipment for example split pins, tape and glue. This also develops their fine motor skills and their ability to assess, evaluate and improve their own work and the work of others. Pupils are given the opportunity to use and develop skills of one-handed equipment such as saws, hammers and hand drills, under adult supervision and following the correct safety measures.


Year 1


Using the context of history and the year 1 theme of 'Castles and the British Monarchy', the pupils will explore and experiment with mechanisms, including pulleys, to imitate and design their own drawbridge entrances. 


The children will also explore different fairy tales and evaluate existing moving picture books, before they create their own moving pictures using levers and sliders.


Making links with our PSHE unit, ‘Healthy Me’, the children will taste and evaluate premade dips and dippers, before creating their own healthy and balanced products. They will evaluate their work by comparing it to other dips created by members of their class. 

Year 2


Children will make links to the story ‘Pumpkin Soup’ by Helen Cooper and their PSHE unit ‘Healthy Me’, gaining the exciting and purposeful opportunity to design, prepare, taste and evaluate their own vegetable soup. This gives them the chance to practise food preparation skills such as peeling and chopping as well as important life skills, such as teamwork.


The children investigate and create their own freestanding structure using different construction materials, exploring and evaluating how they can be made stronger and more stable.


They also learn simple sewing techniques in order to create a minibeast puppet, linking to their learning in Science. 


Finally, the children will develop their understanding of mechanisms further by experimenting with wheels and axles to design and make an effective moving vehicle with a purpose. 


Year 3


Pupils further their understanding of structures but on a life size scale they use the environment of our 'Forest School' area to explore and experiment with making shelters.  By constructing smaller scale prototypes first i the classroom, the children will work collaboratively to turn their designs into a purposeful and practical structure using natural materials. 


The children continue their experience of preparing food hygienically whilst broadening their understanding of balanced diets by choosing their own ingredients, peeling, cutting, safely grating and combining ingredients to make a delicious pasta salad. 


Pupils also use prior learning from year 1 to design and make a page from a moving picture book, this time incorporating levers and linkages to cater for a particular audience.  They experiment with and develop joining elements to create movements in different directions. 

Year 4


Children use the process of investigating, designing and evaluating three items across the course of the year. Children draw on their prior experience of textiles in year 2 to investigate a range of money containers in order to dsign and construct a product, starting with a prototype, which is strong enough to hold coins, practical and stylish. 


Year 4's Geography topic on the United States of America provides the perfect backdrop for children to be inspired by tall, sleek and strong architecture to develop and design their own skyscraper with the added challenge of installing a lighting system! The learning from their Science module on Electricity will no doubt come in handy! 


Finally, pneumatic and hydraulic systems are investigated and explored in a variety of context enabling the children to use the mechanisms to design a product which showcases their history topic of Greek mythology!  


Year 5


Constructing Victorian inspired moving toys is just one of the many challenges faced by year 5 pupils.  Using cam mechanisms, the children will research and investigate children's pastimes from the Victorian era, designing, developing and constructing a product which is appealing and authentic to that time. 


The PTA Christmas and Summer Fayres' provide the perfect platform for the children to use seasonal and nutritious ingredients to design, prepare and cook a tasty but healthy muffin to be sold at either event.  In preparation for this, the children will conduct market research, tasting products currently on the market and evaluating how they are packaged. They then use this to design their own muffin with appropriate packaging. 


Finally, adding an edge of competitiveness to the challenge of developing a controllable moving vehicle, the the children will need to bring their vast experience of D&T knowledge so far to be successful.  The children will test their vehicle and are given the opportunity to adapt their design to improve it.  As well as expanding on their prior knowledge of wheels, axles and pulleys, the children will be also have the opportunity of working with motors and electricity.   

Year 6


Children will use a range of skills, including: planning, designing, adapting, creating and analysing, in order to produce products of a high quality suited to a particular audience and purpose.  The purpose of entertaining younger children is one of the challenges faced by the pupils in showcasing their primary knowledge of D&T.  Structures, mechanisms and electricity will all be combined to initially research then devise, design, construct and test their products to match their intended success and design criteria.  However the real test will be younger Greswold pupils actually playing with their products! 

As part of their WW2 history project, children will work as a team, using a range of materials, to create replica Anderson shelters, drawing on the knowledge and experience they have of sitting in one on their educational visit to Weston Park. They consider both the interior and exterior of their structures, choosing the most suitable materials and layouts to reflect the era.


Finally, sourcing expertise from Jaguar Land Rover, the children will apply their understanding of computing to program, monitor and control products which have been constructed by themselves to start with.  Now that is a challenge but a very pertinent and functional one!