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Abbey Primary School

A caring, sharing, achieving school, putting the child at the heart of everything we do.

Design and Technology

Design Technology Intent


“Design and Technology is a phenomenally important subject. Logical, creative and practical, it’s the only opportunity students have to apply what they learn in Maths and Science.”

Sir James Dyson


Within their design and technology learning, pupils at Abbey are inspired through exciting, practical projects that invite them to make a positive contribution to their community. They are supported to understand why and how everyday products have been designed and made. Pupils are encouraged to consider users and their needs, learn about materials and their suitability and ponder the aesthetics and appeal of their own work, as well as that of others.


In line with the National Curriculum, integral to each project, pupils undertake a cycle of evaluation, design and production with the intention of solving problems; taking into consideration their own needs and those of wider society to create new and improved solutions. Within sequences of lessons, they engage in a process which develops resourcefulness, alongside an innovative, enterprising approach. Pupils acquire a broad and deepening subject knowledge; drawing on the required disciplines of mathematics, science, art and computing. Teaching instills a critical understanding of the place of design technology within and beyond the children’s world.


The content of the National curriculum is progressively sequenced so that, over time, pupils know more, can do more and remember more. Design technology is taught as a unique discipline within projects that link to other areas of learning. For example, in Year 5, as part their history learning linked to coalmining, pupils understand, design and create a pulley system within a mineshaft. This is particularly significant within the context of Abbey Primary School where, from our upstairs classroom windows, we are lucky enough to be able to see Europe’s tallest headstocks, which were in use from 1922-2003 – a local site which is currently being re-developed.

Our design and technology curriculum comprises three interrelated strands of knowledge:


Procedural Knowledge: the skills of a designer, and stands that underpin design and technology, which are vertically integrated so that pupils revisit and deepen their knowledge and understanding year on year.


Substantive Knowledge: this is the subject/strand specific knowledge and vocabulary that is taught in each year group – the content that pupils will know and remember.


Disciplinary Knowledge: the process of enabling children to apply their substantive knowledge of the products and materials around them to make links between and across subject areas. E.g. recognising how, throughout history, the reliance on different materials and products has signified development. In this way, pupils are well placed to consider how adaptations can facilitate the improvement of products and the user’s experience.


Our Design Technology curriculum develops pupils who:


  • are inspired and engaged through practical lessons that provide opportunities to apply their mathematical, scientific and computing knowledge within high-quality, creative outcomes
  • recognise that real life problems can be solved by designing, making and adapting products, thus positively impacting their own lives and the wider world
  • feel confident and equipped with the knowledge, understanding and skills to design and make high quality products that consider the needs and wants of the end user, in a range of contexts
  • understand the importance of being constructively critical to evaluate and test products in line with a range of design criteria.
  • understand the importance of a healthy and nutritious diet and learn how to safely prepare and cook a range of dishes