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Design Technology - Subject Leader: Mrs Candice Kilbane

At St Mark’s we want our children to experience the rewards of investigating how products are made, how they work, and give them the confidence to explore, deconstruct, design and make things for themselves and for others. Trial and error is a huge part of DT, and our children are supported to become curious and resilient learners who can solve problems to develop their ideas to their full potential. Understanding how food gets to our plates and being able to prepare food independently is a vital life skill that children will develop at our school.  

Just as the processes and outputs of DT are woven into every aspect of our lives, so our DT projects will draw on and deepen children’s understanding in other subjects across the curriculum, as concepts are brought to life through practical and meaningful challenges, developing designing, making and evaluating skills and technical knowledge as children progress through the school. Children will learn about the positive impacts of DT and see that they, too, can use their skills and knowledge throughout their lives to solve problems which help themselves and others.

The environmental impact of our actions is a crucial factor to consider in all aspects of life and DT allows us the opportunity to explore the themes of sustainability and waste in our choices of materials, the value of looking after the things we have and being able to reuse and repair them.

Curriculum Overview

Pupils  experience a sequenced and varied curriculum using a wide range of materials and processes, delivered through a combination of discrete and cross-curricular projects. All our DT projects follow the ‘explore, research, design, make, evaluate’ process and teach a structured programme of technical knowledge and skills as children progress through the school. Projects are meaningful to the children, offering them real-life challenges and problems to solve, both as individuals and as teams. Some of the projects will yield products that can be used in school, so that the children can see their designs in action beyond the completion of the project.

Explore- children will have access to a range of products linked to their project brief which allows for:

  • Deconstruction to investigate materials and techniques used in their production
  • Detailed examination of features
  • Questioning effectiveness
  • Discussing potential improvements
  • Establishing key vocabulary linked to a successful product

Research- children will carry out research for their project to deepen their understanding of how the following factors might influence and inform their design choices:

  • purpose
  • recipient
  • materials
  • processes 

Design- children will produce designs for their products and communicate their ideas to establish:

  • their chosen form and features
  • their chosen materials
  • the equipment they require
  • the technical skills they need to practise before completing the project- some of these may be previously taught, some may be completely new

During the ‘explore’, ‘research’ and ‘design’ stages, children will be supported in the acquisition and development of technical skills and knowledge, with opportunities to practise before they make their products.

Make- children make their products. During the making process, children will:

  • realise their planned design
  • develop their technical skills
  • have the opportunity to tweak and problem-solve as they work

Evaluate- after making their products, the children will discuss and communicate:

  • how well their product has fulfilled the project brief
  • the skills they used, how well the process went and how they solved any problems they encountered
  • any further improvements

Food and nutrition

Children  have opportunities throughout their time at Cold Ash St Mark’s to develop the skills of food preparation and an understanding of a healthy diet.

All planned projects focus on developing technical skills and knowledge in one of the following areas:

  • KS1- structures, mechanisms, textiles, food
  • KS2- structures, mechanical systems, electrical systems, computer aided design/control, textiles, food.

Progression of Skills

Our DT curriculum is planned and sequenced to show a clear progression of skills as children grow older. 


Assessment takes place after each unit of work. Teachers assess children's ability to explore, research, design, make and evaluate.


By the time children leave our school, they will have developed:

  • the ability to investigate
  • the confidence to deconstruct and ask questions to find out how things work
  • the ability to communicate their ideas
  • a bank of technical knowledge and skills
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