Harlands Primary School

DESIGN AND Technology

Curriculum Statement

Choice and Creativity are two of our Golden Threads and critical thinking is one of our School Values - combined these underpin much of the Design and Technology curriculum.  Design and Technology can be found in many areas of Harlands life from specific Design and Technology lessons, tasks in the Mission I’Mpossibles and after school clubs such as Goblin car building.  We aspire for our children to be critical thinkers and problem solvers, and our Design and Technology curriculum is just one way in which we embed these skills and make them part of everyday learning at Harlands.


 Design and Technology is an inspiring, rigorous and practical subject.  Using creativity and imagination, children design and make products that solve real and relevant problems within a variety of contexts, considering their own and others’ needs, wants and values.  They acquire a broad range of subject knowledge and draw on disciplines such as mathematics, science, engineering, computing and art.  Children learn how to take risks, becoming resourceful, innovative, enterprising and capable citizens.  Through the evaluation of past and present design and technology, they develop a critical understanding of its impact on daily life and the wider world.  High-quality design and technology education makes an essential contribution to the creativity, culture, wealth and well-being of the nation.

At Harlands we aim to ensure that all children:

  • 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; and
  • understand and apply the principles of nutrition and learn how to cook.


The children at Harlands are given opportunities to develop their knowledge and skills as they progress through the school through a series of termly projects that build their expertise in a core range of areas, namely:

  • the design and evaluation cycle;
  • skills involved in cutting and joining resistive materials (including textiles);
  • how levers and linkages operate;
  • how to combine their understanding of science, maths and computer science into their design and making process; and
  • nutrition and the key methods of combining ingredients and cooking food.

Design and Technology is taught through a termly project that is linked to that term’s theme.  These projects include opportunity to consolidate previously learnt skills, as well as an opportunity to develop further.

The importance of Design and Technology is highlighted through the ways that we incorporate it and make links to other key areas of the curriculum such as:

  • Maths - such as when we measure materials before cutting as we make woodland animal puppets in Year 1;
  • Art - for example, when Year 2 design their circus vehicles and then test the efficiency of their wheels;
  • Science - such as when Year 4 design ‘lolly savers’ to keep their lollies solid for as long as possible, as we also learn about changes of state;
  • Computing - when we design phone stands using Computer Aided Design (CAD) and 3D printing in Year 5; and
  • through after-school clubs such as the Goblin car club, where Year 6 children work together to build, learn to drive and then develop the efficiency of the 24 volt, Greenpower Goblin cars.


While completing Design and Technology projects, the children at Harlands learn to plan, carry out, evaluate and review their work.  In keeping with the school’s aims to foster the children’s development as learners and citizens, we aim to teach them to do this with a resilient, positive growth mindset and an attitude where they seek help where they need it and help others where they can.

By the end of Key Stage 1, the children should:

  • design products that are both functional in terms of the aims of the project and appealing;
  • build objects from several items and begin to understand how best to join them and how to make them stronger and more stable;
  • use simple linkages and mechanical devices in their projects (such as levers, pulleys and axles);
  • evaluate their work in terms of its stated aim and start to understand how to critique work in order to further develop its design; and
  • understand where food comes from and what a healthy varied diet is.

By the end of Key Stage 2, the children should:

  • design their products carefully and explain these through a range of diagrams and CAD work;
  • consider using mechanical, computer-based and electrical systems in designs – where these are appropriate;
  • understand how the choice of materials (as well as how they are used and the shapes they are cut into) affects the stiffness and stability of structures of designs;
  • be able to evaluate the designs of their own and shop–bought products in order to plan, evaluate or develop their own work;
  • understand what a varied diet is and be able to plan and prepare several meals that are of predominately-savoury foods; and
  • understand the impact of food miles, and why it is essential to consider this while planning what to eat.


Updated April 2022