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Design and Technology

           Mrs Oliver                            Mr P Hesketh

       DT Subject Lead                  Subject Governor

Intent - What do we want children to learn?

Birchwood’s Wheel of Wisdom (WOW) is a thematic curriculum, driven by key literary texts, that is highly motivating (promoting a passion for learning and incorporating pupil voice and collaboration), with a focus on contextualised learning through play and first hand experiences, creating time to work in depth rather than being driven by ‘coverage’, and enabling children to have respect for themselves and high self-esteem in order that they can self-reflect critically to improve the quality of their work. Children at Birchwood follow the statutory requirements of the National Curriculum which have then been sequenced in our bespoke Progression of Skills documentation and according to Birchwood’s WOW philosophy.

Quite simply, it is our intention that every pupil, irrelevant of needs, develops such a passion for Design and Technology that they are thinking of creative, imaginative ideas that they want to develop and make in school and at home. We want all our pupils to experience a wide and varied Design Technology Curriculum, which leaves them able to actively participate in the changing technological world, as users, consumers, service makers, designers, innovators or observers. We wish for every pupil to develop their decision-making confidence, take risks and increase their sense of personal worth through the production of quality outcomes.

Through Design and Technology we aim to support this philosophy by:

  • Teaching the skills of Design and Technology through Birchwood’s Wheel of Wisdom (WOW)
  • Encouraging and celebrating pupils’ sensory exploration and development.
  • Enabling practical learning experiences that make the learning accessible to all pupils.
  • Encouraging pupils to use knowledge and understanding from across the curriculum and apply them in practical activities.
  • Developing the skills to design and make real products that can be used allowing pupils a sense of real achievement.
  • Showing children how they can benefit from seeing their own progress and taking greater responsibility for their learning as they begin to evaluate the quality of their work.
  • Encouraging pupils’ personal involvement with practical tasks enabling them to improve their attention span, persistence and commitment.
  • Ensuring that the learning is matched to the differing needs of all the children as well as specific groups, such as SEND, pupil premium etc. Extra support and additional/ adapted resources to be provided to those children where it is required. 

At Birchwood we know that children learn best when the curriculum is well sequenced to enable revisiting of core knowledge, skills and understanding to deepen conceptual awareness before demanding application across the whole curriculum. Please see the Design and Technology Progression of Skills documents (held in school), which outline how the key skills are developed, revisited, assessed and built upon during Year 1 to Year 6. 


Implementation - How are we going to achieve our intent? 

At Birchwood we use a variety of teaching and learning styles in D&T lessons. We are using KAPOW to support the teaching and learning of D&T. Our principal aim is to develop the children’s knowledge, skills and understanding, and we do this through a mixture of whole class teaching and individual, pair or group activities. Teachers draw attention to good examples of work models for the other children, and we encourage the children to evaluate their own work as well as the work of other children. Design and technology is taught during the first week of each term across the whole school. The teachers refer to the D&T long term plan for their skill progression. The Design and Technology is linked to the classes WOW topic where appropriate. Each term the children will focus on developing all four areas of D&T (design, make, evaluate and technical knowledge) through cooking and nutrition, textiles, structures, electrical systems and mechanisms. Please see the Design and Technology Progression of Skills documents.

See Food For Life Policy for additional cooking and nutrition progression.

Design and Technology through Birchwood’s WOW curriculum offers opportunities to:

  • Value and assess their own and others achievements.
  • Stimulate creativity and imagination, exploring and experiencing different techniques, materials, processes and textures.
  • Make choices and be involved in sensory and communication activities within a practical learning experience.
  • To consider the needs and preferences of others, as well as themselves, so helping to develop their social awareness.
  • To focus on design problems that are meaningful to them.
  • Work on personally motivated design tasks where they take ownership of their work and of their own learning.
  • Carry out practical tasks in which they can make a contribution to the development of individual or group projects, rather than working to predetermined goals.
  • Work within a flexible range of contexts and topics that can be adopted to suit individual interests and motivations.
  • Use computing to realise, develop and enhance their work.
  • Work at their own pace and level, with appropriate staff support and intervention.
  • Respond to and communicate what else they see, feel and think on their own and working with others.
  • Promote recognition of responsibility and caring attitudes of others.
  • Collaborative group work in D&T promotes social interaction mirroring processes which exist in society outside school.


Impact - What will it look like when we have achieved our intent? 

There are literally hundreds of ways we can demonstrate the excellent impact our curriculum design has on our pupils. In a nutshell, here are some examples:

  • Children in KS1 learn about the Great Fire of London as part of their topic on Real Life Superheroes. They had a visit from a local Fire brigade. The firefighters showed the class how a fire fighter’s job has changed from what was available to put out fires in 1666. They then put out a small fire on the playground to show how a fire can spread along a street of houses (made from cereal boxes). In Design and Technology, the children then researched fire engines and investigated wheels, axles and chassis before designing and then building their own fire engine using recycled materials and wooden wheels and axles.  Then children evaluated their own fire engine and some of their peers highlighting the successes and any areas that should be developed next time they create and build a design from their plans.
  • Children in KS2 built a pig using only recycled materials such as plastic milk bottles, bottle tops and plastic tubs. The pig was entered into a Suffolk competition and was on display at the Suffolk Show.    
  • Year 1-6 completed a cookery and nutrition unit. Each class taste tested food such as Year 5 children taste tested different Bolognese sauce, Year 2 taste tested different healthy protein, dairy and vegetable options. Children then designed and then made healthy food. In Year 6 the class planned and cooked three course meals. There was some amazing dishes cooked such as stuffed pasta, salmon with peppercorn sauce and crumbles.


Castle Structures linked to the WOW topic of Royals                            Mechanical Moving Monsters  

Castle StructuresMechanical Moving Monsters  

Just a few of the amazing final pieces!!!

Click here for our Progression of Skills, Knowledge, Understanding and Vocabulary documents. These sequencing documents show how knowledge builds from EYFS year by year to the end of Y6 so that children know more and remember more.

Design and Technology Progression of skills documents