St Joseph's School - A Catholic Voluntary Academy

Design and Technology (D&T)


Our school definition of Design and Technology

D&T - The study, design, development and evaluation of products.

Intent Statement - Design and Technology 

Design and Technology at St Joseph’s instils qualities such as curiosity, enquiry and determination. Pupils are inspired, engaged and excited through carrying out a range of effective research and design tasks prior to production of products. Students thrive in learning how to work both independently and collaboratively to gain an in-depth understanding of the creative and problem-solving process. The sense of achievement after creating a tangible product fills our pupils with pride and boosts self-esteem.

At St Joseph’s, we are designers and technologists. We want our children to love Design and Technology. We want them to have no limits to what their ambitions are and to grow up wanting to be architects, graphic designers, chefs or carpenters. Design and Technology is dynamic and multidimensional. It is our intention that our D&T curriculum will provide opportunities to solve real and relevant problems, allowing our pupils to develop essential everyday skills and unlock their potential to be the designers and innovators of tomorrow. The D&T curriculum encourages our children to learn, think and intervene creatively to solve problems both as an individual and as part of a team. Design and Technology will allow all St Joseph’s pupils to put their learning from other areas of the curriculum into practice and will work to enhance and deepen their understanding of those areas, including Maths, Computing, Science, and Art. Our D&T units are themed around our Commando Joe topics. The coverage of the National Curriculum has been closely tracked to ensure progress and this can be seen on the progression document below. To ensure each year group have a progression in skills, we use the Rainbow Continuum of skills.

In order to promote the combination of the areas above, we also hold whole school STEM themed days alongside our regular D&T lessons. Please see our curriculum portfolio for further information. St Joseph’s pupils will learn about cooking, food and nutrition, ensuring that they acquire the fundamental life skills in order to be able to feed themselves healthily and independently. We consider where food comes from, therefore making connections with their geographical and scientific knowledge. We want to equip them with not only the minimum statutory requirements of the Design and Technology National Curriculum but to prepare them for the opportunities, responsibilities and experiences of later life.

Design and Technology Implementation

At St Joseph’s, D&T is taught in every year group, ensuring all children access all areas of the Design and Technology Curriculum.

  • Our DT units are carefully planned from our Commando Joe curriculum and therefore have relevant cross-curricular links to our termly topics
  • To promote the love of D&T within our school community, we hold yearly themed days for the whole school to take part in. Our most recent themed day was based around bridge building
  • Through the use of a termly assessment tracker and data analysis, we ensure that children who are achieving well, as well as those who are in need of additional support, are identified, and additional provision and strategies are planned in and discussed with class teachers.
  • Years One to Six will have D&T based homework task each half term, as part of our topic homework (based on our Commando Joe topics)
  • D&T knowledge is consolidated through practise / going deeper tasks
  • To support teaching, staff access the rainbow continuum which details the progression in skills across D&T from Year One to Year Six.
  • Pupils record their D&T work in their topic portfolios 

Children will follow the 6 principles of D&T:

  • USER – to have a clear idea of who they are designing/making the product for.
  • PURPOSE – to be able to communicate the purpose of the product they are designing/making
  • FUNCTIONALITY – to design a product that works and functions effectively to fulfil the user’s needs
  • DESIGN DECISIONS – to make own design opportunities, explore their own decisions and choices
  • INNOVATION – opportunities to be original with their thinking, develop and explore their own ideas incorporating the essential skills involved in the process
  • AUTHENTICITY – to make products that are believable, real, and meaningful to themselves and others, not just replicating ideas.
  • Teaching of D&T will also follow the cycle of research, develop own ideas, make a final products and evaluate
  • Beginning with the purpose of a product for a user, the children are encouraged to use the exploration of existing products to gain first-hand experience of existing approaches. We aim to promote creative problem solvers, both as individuals and part of a team and pupils develop their understanding of the ways in which people in the past and present have used design to meet their needs.
  • Children design and make quality products using a range of tools, materials, and components, make connections with their learning across the curriculum including in maths, computing, science, and art and reflect on and evaluate techniques using subject-specific vocabulary.
  • Teachers follow a clear progression of skills which ensure all pupils are challenged in -line with their year group expectations and given the opportunity to build on their prior knowledge.
  • Effective CPD and standardisation opportunities are available to staff to ensure high levels of confidence and knowledge are maintained.
  • To support teaching, staff access a range of resources
  • Our Foundation Subject Assessment Tracker allows us to use data to inform future practice



Through Expressive Arts children are encouraged to construct and create purposefully, selecting tools and techniques needed to shape, assemble and join materials they are using. Children learn through first-hand experiences which involve putting their ideas into practice to develop an awareness and understanding of the possibilities and limitations of different materials. Practitioners encourage children to explore, observe, solve problems, think critically, make decisions and talk about why they have made their decisions as they design and create. Children’s natural creativity is fostered and opportunities for investigation, designing and making are offered daily within our provision, which enables children to learn a great deal about their world.


Impact Statement - Design and Technology 

The impact of our Design and Technology curriculum is in the development of our pupils being able to approach problems creatively and in a range of ways, applying their knowledge from across the curriculum areas independently. By providing a range of contexts and the necessary skills, we endeavour to support pupils in their future educational journey and in the understanding of the ever-developing world around them. The skills and attributes they develop will benefit them beyond school and into adulthood: the ability to use time efficiently, work with others productively, show initiative, independence, resilience and manage risks effectively will ensure well-rounded citizens who will make a difference in the wider world. We expect the children to know more, remember more and understand more about Design and Technology as they progress through school.

Please see the Subject Progression Document for DT below...