Barnett Wood Infant School

Design Technology

Design and technology is an inspiring, rigorous and practical subject. Our teaching and learning will ensure that all pupils at Barnett Wood:

  • 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, instilling a love of cooking.

We follow the National Curriculum and Early Years Framework and aim to teach the progression of skills through dedicated units of work each embedding the understanding that skills can be transferable to other areas of the curriculum.  Design & Technology offers opportunities for children to design purposeful, functional, appealing products for themselves and other users based on design criteria, generating and developing their ideas through talking, drawing, templates, mock ups and where appropriate information and communication technology.  Children will have opportunities to select from and use a range of tools and equipment, materials and components, including construction materials, textiles and ingredients, increasing their technical knowledge through building structures and exploring how they can be made stronger, stiffer and more stable.

They will explore and evaluate a range of existing products, evaluate their own ideas and products against design criteria and know how to improve their own designs or products.

Through specific themes children at Barnett Wood will explore and use mechanisms (e.g levers, sliders, wheels and axles) in their products

They will gain a good understanding of where food comes from and use basic principles of a healthy and varied diet to prepare dishes.


Design and Technology is taught explicitly following the Progression of Knowledge and Skills document to ensure the specific skills are taught but sometimes these may coincide with year group themes being explored. There are strong links to other subjects, particularly English, Maths, Science and Computing and children will have opportunities to practise and enhance their skills in these areas through DT. We are always investigating links with the local community and from time to time may take the opportunity to invite parents, grandparents, Governors or members of the community in to talk about their role within the Design & Technology industry in order to enlighten and enthuse the children at Barnett Wood, bringing stimulus to the pupils’ subject experience.

Children have the use of Interactive whiteboards, digital cameras, laptops and Learnpads to access and present information as well as recording photographic images and video.

Through creative and practical activities Design and Technology at Barnett Wood Infant School aims to ensure that all pupils are taught the knowledge, understanding and skills needed to engage in an iterative process of designing, making and evaluating.

The subject content is broken into four main areas

  1. Design
  2. Make
  3. Evaluate
  4. Technical knowledge

We follow a Progression of Skills and Knowledge document to ensure progression across all areas. DT is taught as part of a unit of work equating to 6 lessons once a week over a half term. The units of work cover food and nutrition, structures, mechanisms and textiles.


Children will be taught how to prepare foods and apply the principles of nutrition and healthy eating, instilling a love of cooking. DT is planned and sequenced so that new knowledge and skills build on what has been taught before and towards clearly defined objectives. We have a dedicated lockable trolley with drawers for all key tools and equipment specific to DT which can be wheeled from the Art/DT area to the classroom easily. Clean recycled materials are also used where possible for modelling opportunities and children are encouraged not to be wasteful with resources. Cooking resources are stored in the kitchen cupboards in The Beehive and we always ensure safety procedures are followed, including the safe storage of sharp knives out of reach of the children and risk assessments carried out where necessary when using ovens and other kitchen appliances. Staff always ensure escape routes are never compromised. A list of cooking guidelines are kept with the equipment and ideas books are also available on the Art/DT shelf in the staffroom. All resources are regularly checked and replenished by the subject leader.


We plan in two phases, medium and short term. The medium term plans identify the learning objectives and outcomes for each unit of work and ensure an appropriate balance and distribution of learning across the term. Our short term plans give more detail.


We ensure children of all abilities have the opportunity to develop their skills, knowledge and understanding through planned progression as they move through the school.

Children will have the opportunity to apply and demonstrate their subject skills and knowledge. Each year, at Christmas we have a DT morning where the whole school designs and makes Christmas decorations, one of which must be made using recycled materials. Parents are encouraged to join in supporting the children in creating their projects. We also have an annual Celebratory Parents Evening in the Summer term where the children showcase their skills in Art and DT inviting their family and friends to come and see their projects. This has included junk model transport, castles with working drawbridges and Tuk-tuk made using jinx modelling, wheels and pulleys in the past.

The Design and technology curriculum is delivered to all children regardless of their culture, religion, gender and ability.  Children from different cultural backgrounds are encouraged to value and share their heritage.  All children including those with special educational needs are given support where necessary and all children are given suitable challenges and extension work to further develop their skills and knowledge, developing a deeper understanding.


Through informal discussions between staff, Subject Leader observations and folder scans, progression in DT is monitored and evaluated for quality assurance and development.


We champion DT at Barnett Wood Infant school through our whole school celebrations of the skills being developed during Art/DT day at the end of the Autumn term and Celebratory Parents Evening at the end of the Summer term. When children leave us they will have experienced sewing different stitches and joining fabrics. They will learn about food preparation, cooking and nutrition. Children will be able to demonstrate techniques such as cutting, peeling and grating safely. They will learn to use hand tools safely and effectively. Children will design and make products as well as evaluating their own and existing products against specific design criteria e.g produce a moving toy with a fixed or free wheel/axel. Through discussions in groups children will talk about their enjoyment and engagement alongside achievements in DT.


The DT Co-ordinator will keep staff informed and up to date with the new documents, monitor policy and schemes of work, support staff planning in DT activities where necessary and manage the DT resources.