Design and Technology

"Design is a funny word. Some people think design means how it looks. But of course, if you look deeper, it's really how it works."
Steve Jobs

"Technology makes possibilities. Design makes solutions."
John Maeda

Design and Technology is an inspiring and a practical subject which encourages children to learn to think and intervene creatively to solve problems individually and as members of a team. At Hadley Learning Community we are passionate about Design and Technology and the curriculum is designed to inspire our children to produce high quality pieces of end products that have a purpose.

Design and Technology activities will enable the children to use their creativity, imagination and social interaction skills to design and make their own products, understanding the processes from planning to making, evaluating and refinement.

During the teaching of Design and Technology, a wide range of new skills will be acquired and the knowledge of other subjects, such as Mathematics, Science, Engineering, ICT and Art, will be drawn upon and applied. Pupils learn how to take risks, becoming resourceful, innovative, enterprising and capable citizens.

Children will also develop the life skills and knowledge associated with healthy living, food nutrition and cookery.  As part of their work with food, pupils will be taught how to cook and apply the principles of nutrition and healthy eating. Instilling a love of cooking in pupils will also open a door to one of the great expressions of human creativity. Learning how to cook is a crucial life skill that enables pupils to feed themselves and others affordably and well, now and in later life.

Design and Technology is a crucial part of school life and learning and it is for this reason that as a school we are dedicated to the teaching and delivery of a high quality Design and Technology curriculum; through well planned and safe experiences. We work hard to ensure that children are taught explicitly how to use specific tools and follow safety protocols in and out of the classroom to develop practical skills for later in life.

When designing and making, the children are taught to:


  • use research and develop design criteria to inform the design of innovative, functional, appealing products that are fit for purpose, aimed at individuals or groups.
  • generate, develop, model and communicate their ideas through discussion, annotated sketches, cross-sectional diagrams, prototypes, pattern pieces and computer-aided design.


  • select from and use a wider range of tools and equipment to perform practical tasks (for example, cutting, shaping, joining and finishing) accurately
  • select from and use a wider range of materials and components, including construction materials, textiles and ingredients, according to their functional properties and aesthetic qualities


  • investigate and analyse a range of existing products
  • evaluate their ideas and products against their own design criteria and consider the views of others to improve their work
  • understand how key events and individuals in design and technology have helped shape the world

Technical knowledge

  • apply their understanding of how to strengthen, stiffen and reinforce more complex structures
  • understand and use mechanical systems in their products
  • understand and use electrical systems in their products
  • apply their understanding of computing to program, monitor and control their products

Key skills and key knowledge for Design and Technology have been mapped across the school to ensure progression between year groups. This also ensures that there is a context for the children’s work in Design and Technology; that they learn about real life structures and the purpose of specific examples, as well as developing their skills throughout the programme of study. Design and technology lessons are also taught as a block so that children’s learning is focused throughout each unit of work.

The skills for Design and Technology are taught discretely however the projects the children complete are linked to topics and other curriculum areas. We aim to do this in order to enhance our children’s learning further.

Through our curriculum offer, children gain key knowledge and skills in the three main areas of the Design and Technology curriculum:

  • Mechanisms
  • Textiles
  • Cooking and nutrition

Design and Technology is essentially a practical activity concerned with developing the children’s ability to investigate, analyse, design, make and evaluate as part of a whole process. At HLC we recognise that children are living in a highly developed technological world. Design and Technology provides the children with the opportunity to develop and use a range of skills that will prepare them for a constantly changing society, increasingly dependent on technology.

Children have experiences of all three strands in each year group right from the beginning of school, but the subject knowledge imparted becomes increasingly more detailed and skilful. As children move through school, they build on their learning from previous years, with more complex skills being taught and opportunity to revisit skills are given.