Design and Technology

"The satisfaction? The joy? That comes from solving problems and making things." - Hank Green

What does DT look like at Cubitt Town Primary School? 


The DT curriculum at Cubitt Town Primary School aims to develop the active interest and enthusiasm of all groups of pupils. It provides opportunities for discovery and challenge and for pupils to take greater responsibility (commitment) for their learning. We want our children to understand how and why the things that surround us have been made and to learn the skills to make them themselves.

The intent of our DT curriculum is to deliver a curriculum which is accessible to all and that will maximise the outcomes for every child so that they know more, remember more and understand more ensuring they are fully prepared for KS3.  

Our DT curriculum intentions are:  

  • A DT curriculum which develops learning and results in the acquisition of substantive knowledge (of products and materials around them) and disciplinary knowledge (research, planning, skills with tools and evaluation to create a desired product) 
  • To create purposeful and experiential learning as much as possible so the children can truly experience the act of creation and develop their practical skills with a given purpose or outcome.
  • Where possible and relevant, links will be made between DT and other curricular areas of study, key events nationally and locally, our individual student needs and prepare our students for KS3.
  • A scheme of work which provides appropriate subject knowledge, skills and understanding as set out in the EYFS and National Curriculum science Programmes of study.  
  • To fulfil the duties of the National Curriculum whereby schools must provide a balanced and broadly-based curriculum which promotes the spiritual, moral, cultural, mental and physical development of pupils and prepares them for the opportunities and responsibilities and experiences for later life. 

Our curriculum has been built to include our key curriculum drivers: 

The children are encouraged to develop our school values (the 6Cs) when studying science, with a specific focus on curiosity as we strive to engage the children with their learning through exciting and thought provoking projects. We understand that children learn in a variety of ways, and as such we focus on providing the opportunity to produce a high quality product that is fit for purpose. Through our topic based projects students will experience the full range of DT skills.  We recognise that communication and collaboration are key to lifelong learning, developing understanding and engaging others. Through the research and planning process children learn to debate, discuss and communicate their thoughts about key concepts, designs and skills.

In our curriculum we have also considered the journey of a child through the school, so that our curriculum is progressive, building on prior learning, and regularly revisiting taught concepts. Each year group has a DT programme which has been designed specifically to match the needs of our school, ensuring all children meet the full programme of study outlined in the National Curriculum.


How is the curriculum for DT organised? 

To ensure coverage, depth and balance in the science curriculum, the subject leader has used the National curriculum and the Focus Education document ‘Weaving knowledge, skills and understanding into the National Curriculum’.  Also discussions with staff and SLT have all contributed into the organisation of our curriculum.

Long term plan  

A curriculum plan from EYFS to year 6 to ensure coverage and progression is achieved ensuring students are fully prepared for KS3. The long-term plan also details the substantive and disciplinary knowledge to be taught for each topic, with a key inquiry question which the topic is based around. Both substantive and disciplinary concepts are taught using a spiral curriculum, so they are constantly revisited, and extended, throughout KS1 and KS2. 3 DT projects need to be completed over the course of the year for each year group with other projects to be undertaken as it relates to potential (topical) learning possibilities. Specific skills are revisited biannually to ensure coverage and the possibility for growth.

Medium term plan

Details the substantive knowledge and sequence of lessons for each topic.

Progression document  

This details the progression of skills and knowledge we expect the children to make through their time at Cubitt Town. The progression document details progression from EYFS all the way through to Year 6. We focus on: 

  • Developing, planning and communicating ideas, 
  • Working with tools, equipment, materials and components to make quality products
  • Cooking and Nutrition
  • Evaluating processes and products


The MTP features vocabulary relating to specific topics alongside general DT keywords. 


We work hard to ensure our students learning is enhanced at every turn, examples include:

  • workshops from outside specialists
  • hand on learning opportunities as often as possible
  • vocational workshops with year 6
  • science fairs in collaboration with Tallow Chandlers
  • consistent speaking and listening opportunities

How do we teach DT? 

We teach science in a variety of ways as outlined below:

  • Research - We aim to look at the history of the product we are making alongside people of note who have made examples of our product for us to understand the process. From this we create a design brief for the product.
  • Planning - We undertake a complete planning process which takes into consideration scale, materials, tools, methods and desired outcomes. 
  • Practical projects - We aim to first learn and then apply each skill needed to complete our product, taking time to evaluate and problem solve as we work. The correct and accurate use of a range of tools is essential to undertake the practical element of the project.
  • Evaluation - No product is complete without an evaluation of our success. We refer back to our design brief and both assess individually and with our peers. From our evaluation we celebrate elements we are proud of and look to how we could make further improvements.
  • Technology - The use of ICT is included wherever possible; be it the use of digital recording methods, CAD or oracy based evaluation recording.
  • Reading is the core of the curriculum at Cubitt Town and is used in our research stage of our planning to make sure we are as well informed for our task as possible.

Approaches to teaching 

A wide variety of teaching approaches are used in DT lessons to ensure children make good progress, and all learning styles are catered for. Class teachers ensure there is a good balance of whole class, group work and individual learning in DT lessons. We also aim to incorporate links to our Oracy curriculum with presentations by teachers, visitors and children; discussions and debates and challenges. We use Oracy in DT to support children to constantly review their understanding, considering changing viewpoints and justifying opinions and ideas


Our curriculum is organised so children in reception meet the aims of EYFS framework. The early learning goals are taken from Understanding our world and are as follows:

  • Developing, planning and communicating ideas
  • Working with tools, equipment, materials and components to make quality products
  • Cooking and Nutrition
  • Evaluating processes and products

How do we support our SEND learners? 

We believe that all learners should primarily access the high quality teaching first and be immersed in class discussions during DT lessons. Therefore, SEND learners access the same learning as all other children but will be given further support, adapted outcomes and a tailored approach to suit each individual’s needs. Strategies used to support our SEND learners include: 

  • A pre-teach of topic specific vocabulary or skills as an additional task
  • A reader to support when required 
  • Print outs of work/presentations to scaffold with independent tasks 
  • More time allocated to process information or instructions broken down into manageable chunks
  • IT based support – listening to podcasts, reading of texts, videos

This is monitored by our Head of inclusion Angie Drew.


We assess children’s work in science by making informal judgements as we observe them during lessons, AfL questioning, by utilising key learning recall questions at the start of each lesson and with the use of ‘quick quizzes’ for assessment of topic substantive knowledge. An assessment is recorded in the pupils’ end of year report. A final product evaluation relating to the design brief also enables both self and peer assessment.

All our staff, senior leaders and governors are involved in measuring the impact of our DT curriculum in differing ways. This is planned through the School Development Plan, using our annual monitoring cycle and termly development plan to map out monitoring and review over the year. 

Oliver Hart is our DT Subject Leader. There is a clear monitoring cycle in place which evaluates science teaching and learning, outcomes, pupil and parent voice. These outcomes feed into action planning to continually evaluate and improve our teaching and learning in history. 

Monitoring and evaluation could include: 

  • A review floor books (Book Creator) 
  • Lesson observations  
  • Evaluation of the impact of staff professional development  
  • A review of medium-term planning  
  • Talking to pupils about learning in DT
  • Team teaching
  • Governor review trails to evaluate the impact of the curriculum - this could be reviewing the website or the curriculum offer, talking to staff and pupils.

Links to support our DT teaching and learning