At Khalsa Primary School we believe that Design and Technology plays a crucial role in the future of our society. Our rapidly changing future relies on new solutions to help people and then planet. With an ambitious and innovative curriculum, we aim to inspire our pupils to pursue STEAM education and careers that require both creativity and critical thinking. In our D&T lessons, we focus on working to solve relevant problems by tapping into our pupils’ natural curiosity and creativity, facilitating exploration and experimentation with targeted deeper questioning.

We put into practice the National Curriculum’s Purpose of Study:

Pupils 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.

There are three core activities children engage with in Design and Technology:

  • Learning which involves investigating and evaluating existing products
  • Real and relevant problem solving design briefs, in which children develop particular aspects of knowledge and skills related to one of the D&T strands
  • Designing and making activities in which children design and make ‘something’ for ‘somebody’ for ‘some purpose’

Strands of Design & Technology:

Cooking & Nutrition Construction Mechanisms Textiles

Prepare healthy and varied dishes. Become competent in a range of cooking techniques.



Use a variety of materials and tools to build structures, exploring how they can be made stronger, stiffer, more stable, more complex.


Use mechanical systems in their products, e.g. cams, gears, levers, linkages.

At KS2: Include

electrical systems in their products. Use computing to program, monitor and control their products.

Using fabric and sewing techniques to build structures, exploring how they can be made stronger, more aesthetically pleasing and more complex.


The National Curriculum for Design and Technology aims to ensure that all pupils:

  • develop 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.

Cooking and nutrition

Within Design and Technology, pupils also study cooking and nutrition. We are lucky to have an on-site Food Technology room, which is large enough to facilitate whole class cooking. Pupils experience a minimum of six explicitly taught cooking lessons throughout each year. As they grow through the school, they build their repitoire of recipes and related skills, as well as a knowledge of healthy eating and seasonal cooking. Pupils have opportunities to work both individually and collaboratively and as they move into upper KS2, they begin to show an understanding of affordability in the ingredients chosen.

The National Curriculum for cooking and nutrition states that pupils should be taught to:

Key stage 1

  • use the basic principles of a healthy and varied diet to prepare dishes
  • understand where food comes from

Key stage 2

  • understand and apply the principles of a healthy and varied diet
  • prepare and cook a variety of predominantly savoury dishes using a range of cooking techniques
  • understand seasonality, and know where and how a variety of ingredients are grown, reared, caught and processed

At Khalsa Primary School we have carefully sequenced the three strands of construction, mechanisms and textiles throughout each year group, to ensure pupils make excellent progress across all strands and begin to master skills as they revisit them each year. Cooking and nutrition is taught in practical sessions each half term, with a focus on pupils gaining practical skills and knowledge, rather than on design. Each year pupils learn and remember more, resulting in them being able to do more.

Pupils are taught specific technical language, which encourages richer reflections and discussion, where pupils become the experts in their field of study. 

We broaden pupils’ ideas of how Design and Technology is applicable in daily life. This is achieved through researching ground-breaking scientists and designers relevant to the strand pupils are studying. We contextualise the materials and techniques used by placing them in history and considering the impact it would have had on people at the time.

Pupils learn about Design and Technology beyond the classroom by participating in local initiatives, having skilled visitors for workshops, and experiencing school trips to high profile Art institutions. We aim for our pupils to experience at least two activities inspired by STEAM – external visits or workshops – by the time they graduate in Year 6.

We value Design and Technology and promote it at home through invitations to join in with holiday projects and term time competitions. Parents often support with cooking and nutrition – whether this is physically helping the pupils or by donating ingredients for the class to use. Our PTA work alongside Year 6 to create enterprising ideas for our Winter and Summer fetes – this allows pupils to showcase their technical skills of constructing, but also pushes them to budget and consider their customers.

Our subject leader is skilled and confident enough to lead quality and bespoke training sessions for all staff members. This enables teachers to have the knowledge and confidence when they model techniques to the pupils and encourages them to use technical language when describing processes and materials.

In Early Years we encourage the development of skills, knowledge and understanding that help Nursery & Reception children make sense of their world as an integral part of the school’s work. We relate the development of the children’s Knowledge and Understanding of the World to the objectives set out in the Early Learning Goals. These underpin the curriculum planning for children aged three to five. This learning forms the foundations for later work in Design and Technology. These early experiences include asking questions about how things work, investigating and using a variety of construction kits, materials, tools and products, developing making skills and handling appropriate tools and construction material safely and with increasing control.  


In Key Stages 1 and 2, pupils are assessed against the National Curriculum objectives. Teachers use these objectives to inform planning and give timely verbal feedback within practical lessons, to coach pupils according to each objective.

Teachers use progression documents to assess whether their learners are working within their age-related expectations for Design and Technology. As well as key skills and objectives relating to innovation and specific techniques, success is also measured largely by the effort and engagement level of each pupil. This ensures achievement for all pupils, no matter their starting point.

Pupils have numerous opportunities to share their work within the class and also across the school, for example in corridor displays. This helps to validate and celebrate their outcomes and showcase the hard work they have put into creating an innovative product. Sketchbooks are peer-assessed so that good practice can be promoted, praised and encouraged across the cohort. We use sketchbooks to assess in KS1, as well as in KS2.

Pupils self-assess their learning throughout the design journey in their sketchbooks. This takes the form of reflective annotations and comments. These annotations reflect the technical vocabulary and language used within each unit, which further supports the teachers’ judgements of how successful a pupil is within the subject.

Pupils’ understanding of existing products and designers/architects is measured through their research pages in their sketchbooks and pupil voice monitoring by the subject leader. Designers, engineers and scientists are referred to from previous learning in other subjects, such as science and history, to gain an understanding of how deep pupils’ knowledge acquisition is and to also encourage them to make links between related subjects.

Our success is also measured holistically, where conversations and aspirations echo a pupil’s love of STEAM learning. Many of our pupils aspire to study STEAM subjects at a higher level and even wish to pursue related enterprising careers in the future.

Pupils grow into confident, resourceful designers who are able to use their knowledge of materials to fulfil given design briefs. Speaking and listening opportunities are embedded within the cyclical evaluation element of each unit, which allows us to assess how engaged each pupil is with their learning.

Pupils’ progress in Design & Technology is reported to parents through the pupil annual report and consultation meetings throughout the year. 


“The goal of STEAM is to foster the true innovation that comes with combining the mind of a scientist or technologist with that of an artist or designer.” Rhode Island School of Design


Our planning cycle:

This forms the basis of unit plans and dictates the order in which lessons are taught.