Design & Technology

To design is much more than simply to assemble, to order or even to edit; it is to add value and meaning, to illuminate, to clarify, to modify, to dramatize, to persuade and perhaps to even amuse. To design is to transform prose into poetry”. (Paul Rand)

When I was at school, I loved Design & Technology. It allowed me to think, draw and annotate, measure, cut and assemble, finish and present a solution that I was proud of. It allowed me to be creative in a way that no other subject was able to do. To be presented with a problem or a question always provoked a response in me and a desire to provide a solution. 

This is how we want D&T to be here at Fairburn. To inspire and motivate our children. We want them to develop key knowledge and skills so they can function and live successfully in tomorrow’s rapidly changing world. 

(DT Co-ordinator)

We believe that the quote above makes D&T such a fundamental subject not only in its scope for creativity but in teaching children essential knowledge and skills they will need in their lives ahead.

Our DT consultant is called Paul Anderson who is working in partnership with us using his considerable wealth of experience across the sector. He is a registered Health & Safety consultant and a lead professional for the DT Association. Please see this link for further information. 

Paul Anderson

Our Design & Technology Curriculum

We want D & T to:

  • encourage children to become independent
  • be creative problem solvers and thinkers both as individuals and as part of a team
  • enable them to identify need and opportunities
  • respond by developing a range of ideas to make products and systems.

Through the study of D&T, children combine the learning of practical skills with an understanding of aesthetic, social and environmental issues as well as functions and industry. This allows them to reflect on and evaluate past and present technology- its uses and impacts. We also want all pupils to learn about some important figureheads as well as disciplinary knowledge both of which are incorporated into each topic. 

Y1 DT- making a purse in our planning in the moment provision.

So how do we teach DT?

Essentially it begins in Foundation Stage where all children work independently to pursue projects based on their own interests and are supported by staff to follow a Design-Make-Evaluate approach. 

PLease see this link to the Early Years Foundation Stage (EYFS) Framework which details the curriculum content that EYFS must cover. 

EYFS Framework

Within our provision for EYFS, we have a bespoke area for woodwork, a creative area, a cooking area, a sewing station and a junk modelling area. Children are naturally both creative and curious and we are keen to harness and develop their knowledge and understanding to its fullest potential. Staff guide children only when they ask for help and take an approach of exploration and questioning rather than leading a child down a certain line of enquiry. They let children experience failure so that problem solving skills are developed. 

Foundation Y1 DT

Teaching Y16

The excellence of our current work is secured through using the Design and Technology Association (DATA) scheme Projects on a Page. Children experience a variety of different progressive and linkable skills and techniques over the course of a their time, here at Fairburn. This ensures that children are constantly building upon previous learning and are able to expand their knowledge and understanding of problem solving, designing and constructing different products.

During 2023 – 24 we will continue working with Paul Anderson, our consultant, to further refine our plans and move away from Projects on a Page. We will be working termly with all staff to support them in providing high quality DT lessons through our topic based approach.

See the documents below detailing our current plan. 

See also the National Curriculum document.

Teaching and learning in Design and Technology (DT) at Fairburn CP School embraces the six essentials of good practice within the subject as defined by DATA. They are consistent with National Curriculum requirements and are applied whenever children are designing and making products. These are

User – children should have a clear idea of who they are designing and making products for, considering their needs, wants, interests or preferences. 

Purpose – children should know what the products they design and make are for. 

Functionality – children should design and make that function in some way to be successful.

Design Decisions – when designing and making, children need opportunities to make informed decisions such as selecting materials, components and techniques and deciding what form the products will take, how they will work, what task they will perform and who they are for.

Innovation – when designing and making, children need some scope to be original with their thinking.

Authenticity – children should design and make products that are believable, real and meaningful to themselves i.e. not replicas or reproductions or models which do not provide opportunities for children to make design decisions with clear users and purposes in mind.

Design and Technology is taught in all year groups through one topic per term. A focus on food is made once a year.

Children are given a variety of real life products to explore in great detail, expanding their knowledge of how they look and work, allowing children to evaluate products with respect to their user and purpose.

Here at Fairburn we believe that all children should be able to make a creative response to the design brief based on an increasingly sophisticated knowledge of the Design Make and Evaluative process. Our planning ensures that children have the key knowledge and subject specific vocabulary they need to acquire these skills. 

For each project, children follow the Design-Make- Evaluate sequence, allowing time to reflect upon their design and products and think of ways that they could be improved or adapted. Teachers identify knowledge gaps that need to be filled so that children so that all children can fully engage in the Design Make Evaluate process. 

Children are given a design brief to put the need for the product in context. Design briefs maybe linked to another area of the curriculum or stand alone. They draw upon the children’s designs and technical knowledge they have acquired through their learning. Imagination and enthusiasm is inspired by relevance and the child’s interests. 

Health & Safety is a fundamental priority. Safety is explained and modelled at the start of and throughout each product including food hygiene instructions. A comprehensive set of Risk Assessments are in place and regularly reviewed. 

Evaluation skills are taught to enable children to create high-quality and authentic products throughout school.


Wider Opportunities

Whilst using projects on a page enables real cross-curricular links to be made, we identify other opportunities/​celebrations to encourage learning, encompassing and embedding the skills our children are developing in their skills builder lessons. These are: speaking and listening; problem solving and creativity; leadership and teamwork; staying positive and aiming high.

These opportunities adapt and change from year to year but include

Year Six Parents Meal

End of year six preparing and cooking a cuisine of their choice as a thank you to their parents. It also acts as a project to showcase the culmination of their skills and learning. They create their own pop-up restaurant complete with menus, invitations and decorations. They also wait on tables, upscale recipes and shop online. Types of food cooked has included Swedish, Italian and French.

Pancake Day

Children in years 4,5 and 6 set up their own Pancake Café called Flippin’ Pancakes.’ 

Afternoon Tea Take-Out

Children adapted savoury and sweet scone recipes taking into consideration parental tastes. They also investigated the presentation of salad foods to include in take-out pizza box.

Marble Run Mania

This was a STEM day where children worked in teams to design and make the slowest marble run.

Additional information about our processes is available on request. 


What do the children think?

(still to add)