Pittington Primary School | Hallgarth Lane, Durham, County Durham DH6 1AF

0191 3720314

Pittington Primary School

Welcome to our school

Design and Technology Curriculum Intent

Our Design and Technology Lead is: Mr Moult

Our Design and Technology Link Governor is: Mr Wright

"Design and technology is an inspiring, rigorous and practical subject. Using creativity and imagination, pupils 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, DT, engineering, computing and art. Pupils 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."

The National Curriculum


At Pittington Primary it is our aim that all children transition to year seven with the skills, knowledge and understanding to become creative problem-solvers, both as individuals and within a team.  Our children will have opportunities to combine practical skills with an understanding of aesthetic, social and environmental issues, so preparing them to have a greater awareness of how everyday products are designed and made.  They will have the skills to be informed consumers and potential innovators within the areas where design and technology link with DT, engineering and maths.

Through a wide range of purposeful, planned and structured learning opportunities from the moment children enter our school, they will acquire specific skills and subject knowledge to gain an understanding of design processes and the manufacture of products encountered in every aspect of their daily life, the relevance of evaluation and the life skills associated with feeding themselves and others nutritionally & affordably so as to be healthy now and in later life.

Design and Technology (DT) in our school will harness the innate abilities that children have in the Early Years Foundation Stage to construct, promote the need to prepare and consume nutritional meals and ensure that our children will acquire technological knowledge, be able to retain what they know and recall what they’ve learnt in subsequent year groups becoming more knowledgeable and independent designers as they move through the key stages. 

Pittington Primary will ensure that appropriate resources and support are provided to allow all children to access and engage with learning this subject.  Communication and explanations of technological vocabulary, knowledge and understanding will be accepted in a range of formats such as pictorial, models or verbal as well as written explanations to ensure that children of all abilities can participate fully with this curriculum.  Enrichment opportunities within school will ensure all our children have experiences to make links between their learning and the world in which we live.  Opportunity to further enhance their experience of the design process will be promoted through homework and the sharing of information about regional exhibitions and events.  Learning opportunities will enable all children to work collaboratively, apply their reading, writing and speaking skills to design, make, evaluate and cook.  On their transition to Key Stage Three our children will have the resilience and confidence to both independently and in collaboration apply technical knowledge when following the design process.

Equality Statement

Pittington Primary School is committed to giving all of our pupils every equal opportunity in all aspects of school life. Our aim is to offer an inclusive curriculum that is relevant and adapted to the needs and abilities of all pupils. We ensure inclusive opportunities for raising self-esteem and celebrating success so that all learners can reach their true full potential.

At Pittington Primary School we are committed to ensuring equality of opportunity for all pupils, staff, parents and carers irrespective of race, religion, gender, disability, belief, sexual orientation, age or socio-economic background. We provide an environment which enables every pupil to feel safe, encourages good health and wellbeing, and promotes relationships that are trustful and respectful. We believe that every teacher is a teacher of all children including those with Special Educational Needs or Disabilities (SEND) and it is our duty to value each individual child to enable them to enjoy learning through an inclusive curriculum. It is our aim to continue to develop a culture of inclusion and diversity in which all those connected to the school feel proud of their identity, where all children have the ability to participate fully in school life, and where children are confident learners both for now and for their futures.

We tackle any type of discriminatory behaviour or prejudice through the positive promotion of equality, by challenging bullying and stereotypes and by creating an environment which champions respect for all. We provide all our pupils with the opportunity to succeed and to reach the highest level of personal achievement. We work in partnership with parents, carers, staff, governors and local services within our community to prepare children from Pittington Primary School for life in a diverse society. We believe that diversity is a strength, which should be reflected and celebrated by all who learn, teach and visit Pittington Primary School.

Fundamental British Values

British Values is defined by the Department for Education as:

  • Respect for democracy and support or participation in the democratic process
  • Respect for the basis on which the law is made and applies to England
  • Support for equality of opportunity for all
  • Support and respect for the liberties of all within the law
  • Respect for and tolerance of difference faiths and religious and other beliefs

At Pittington Primary School, we ensure that the fundamental British Values are introduced, discussed and permeate the ethos and work of the school. The curriculum provides a vehicle for furthering and deepening an understanding of these concepts.

We actively encourage the children at our school to be unique, creative, independent and open-minded individuals who respect themselves and others in our school, the local community and across the wider world.

Our aim is to nurture our children on their journey through primary school so that they can grow into caring, democratic, responsible and tolerant adults who can, and will make, a positive difference to society across Britain and the world.


At Pittington Primary School, DT is learnt each half term and given the time needed to ensure that a positive learning attitude is created and expectations reinforced, so that all children can achieve success in this subject.  The learning environment and teaching strategies help to keep all children engaged and inspire them to want to investigate the designs and innovations in the world around them, through group discussions, presentations, demonstrations, videos, practical explanations and making, as well as child-led instruction where this is possible and appropriate.  Learning activities focus on developing our children to enquire, observe, locate sources of information, review existing and plan new designs, select appropriate materials and use tools safely, measure, construct and evaluate products.  The classrooms display resources (either permanent or for specific lessons) which are used to foster a child’s innovative tendencies.  An overview of the associated learning opportunities in design and technology are displayed on the subject webpage within the school website.

DT is delivered by teachers who undergo CPD opportunities as a key part of the ongoing development to incorporate evidence based best practice for teaching this subject.

Curriculum planning for DT is in three phases: long, medium and short term.

Our Long-Term Plan identifies the breadth and depth of the activities delivered across the school to ensure coverage as set out in the Early Learning Goals (ELGs) which underpin the curriculum planning for children aged three to five and the National Curriculum to allow the children to experience a wide range of creative and practical activities. 

During the learning opportunities our children build from prior learning and consolidate their skills, knowledge and understanding of the iterative process of designing and making, including processes associated with cooking and nutrition.  They apply their learning to contexts that link with their out of school experiences and within school the link with regional, national and worldwide industry and enterprise.

The medium-term plan gives detail of each unit of work for each term.  They identify learning objectives and outcomes for each unit and ensure an appropriate balance and distribution of work across each term.  Enrichment opportunities enable the incorporation of links to other subjects.

The short-term plans are of discrete weekly DT lessons that ensure full coverage of the curriculum and where necessary, copies of these are stored centrally.  A cross-curricular approach with thematic links is only used when it reinforces the understanding of previously taught DT. 

We have planned the topics in DT so that they build on prior learning opportunities for children of all abilities to develop their skills and knowledge in each unit and we also build progression into the DT scheme of work, so that the children are increasingly challenged as they move up through the school. 

Vocabulary should be displayed on a working wall or display area and, in KS2, form part of a title page or concept map recorded in exercise books at the start of each unit of work. Teachers should further embed vocabulary using definitions, images and actions to teach, practise and aid recall from memory. 

  • spell vocabulary correctly, at an age appropriate level.
  • identify and dispel misconceptions
  • avoid confusion with homonyms that have a subject specific definition

A high proportion of learning DT incorporates our children engaging in practical activities which allows them to understand a design process, but will also be recorded in a range of appropriate formats that may include:

  • written accounts including: instructions, reports and explanations
  • illustrations
  • annotated diagrams
  • spreadsheets (data collection)
  • charts, graphs and tables
  • model making

 Early Years Foundation Stage (EYFS)

We recognise the importance of following the design process in the EYFS as a key area of learning. There are four strands under Physical Development (Moving and Handling), Physical Development (Health and Self-Care), Understanding the World (Technology) and Expressive Arts and Design (Being Imaginative)

In both the outdoor and indoor learning areas there are opportunities for both child-led and teacher directed exploratory play.  The children are encouraged to access time and space to observe, investigate and construct in both the outdoor and indoor learning areas.

Key Stage One (KS1)

Within KS1 children recognise the needs of the user and function of a product, develop their skills, knowledge and understanding through a range of designed products, where children work individually, in pairs or in groups.  We cover design aspects relating to tools, equipment structures, mechanisms, textiles and ingredients as prescribed within the National Curriculum for Design and Technology.

When children leave KS1 we expect them to be able to:

  • demonstrate skills to perform everyday tasks confidently
  • apply knowledge to design and make a product
  • evaluate their products
  • know how to cook using nutritious ingredients
  • retain and recall vocabulary related to the design process

Key Stage Two (KS2)

Within KS2 children continue to recognise the needs of the user and function of a product, develop their skills, knowledge and understanding through a range of designed products, where children work individually, in pairs or in groups.  We cover design aspects relating to illustration, prototypes, pattern pieces & computer-aided design, tools & equipment, functional properties & aesthetic qualities, historical events and significant design, strengthening, stiffening and reinforcing more complex structures, mechanical & electrical systems, computing to program, monitor & control products and healthy & nutritional eating as prescribed within the National Curriculum for Design and Technology.

When children leave KS2 we expect them to be able to:

  • know how to participate successfully in an increasingly technological world
  • use their 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
  • understand and apply the principles of nutrition and learn how to cook.
  • retain and recall vocabulary related to the design process

Organisation, Planning and Resources

Sufficient DT equipment is stored in the resource area and unsupervised access by children is not permitted.  The borrowing and return of resources is the responsibility of school staff.  Resources are checked annually by the subject leader and in the intervening periods any damaged or defective equipment is reported to them by staff so that replacements can be ordered.    Equipment which is of concern should be removed from the Resources Area immediately.  Our school library contains books to support individual research undertaken by children.

Health & Safety

The importance of safety in DT is emphasised routinely.  If an injury occurs then Pittington’s first aid policy will be followed, the incident will be written in the school accident book and parents/carers will be notified. In addition, the medium-term planning highlights where explicit teaching of safe practice is necessary.  Teaching staff carefully plan lessons to ensure any activities comply with all school Health and Safety procedures and will be provide a safe and secure environment for children to learn.   Teaching staff discuss with our children the hazard, risk and what can be done to minimise the risk to prevent harm to themselves or others, both during the lesson and elsewhere.

Children are informed of any risks before using tools and will be actively involved in the process of agreeing any precautions for the activity.  The purpose of the activity and all hazards and safety precautions are thoroughly outlined.  Children are encouraged to consider their own safety and the safety of others at all times.

Children are instructed to always wash hands carefully before starting and after completing food product related DT lessons, prior to which all ingredients are checked for allergens identified in pupil care plans.

To help clarify, children are explicitly taught about not tasting berries growing on shrubs, avoiding looking directly at the sun, preventing small magnets and batteries from being swallowed, household mains power, etc.

Any activities or trips which are considered a particular risk will need a Risk Assessment Form to be completed and discussion with the DT subject lead prior.   Certain practices and procedures using tools or subject specific equipment during lessons will require teacher focused supervision.  A small group of children will have the undivided attention by a supervising adult.  Non-teaching adults will be thoroughly briefed before the activity on the nature of the risk by the teacher in charge.

In addition to staff following the safe practice agreed by the school during the risk assessment process, the subject leader has a Food Safety certificate and discusses with colleagues to undertake a risk assessment during curriculum planning for the practical work being undertaken

If necessary the subject leader will consult the Be Safe 4th Edition: Health & Safety in School DT & Technology for Teachers of 3-12 Year Olds document.

Extra-Curricular Learning

A range of opportunities to engage our children with home life experiences are conveyed to parents and carers of all key stages.  In addition, school staff may offer after school activities led by themselves or outreach volunteers from local institutions or societies.  We aim to provide a range of opportunities for all key stages and recognise the value this has in promoting their understanding of DT within their everyday lives or discover aspects of DT that appeal to their personal areas of interest.


Assessment in DT is an ongoing process.  Teachers will make informal judgements about a child’s progress and attainment from observation, listening, discussion and marking. On completion of a piece of work, the teacher uses their assessment to plan for future learning.  Written or verbal feedback is given to the child to help guide their progress. Older children are encouraged to make judgements about how they can improve their own work. 

At the end of each content, teachers will decide on a child’s level of attainment noting which children are:

  • working above age-related expectations
  • working at age-related expectations
  • working towards age-related expectations

These judgements will be made in line with the 2019 assessment sheets and a portfolio of exemplification being compiled during 2020. The DT subject leader currently uses the school website to demonstrate age related expectations in DT for each age group in the school.

Teachers report to parents/carers the assessment of attainment in the end of year reports.  This information is then passed on to the cohort’s next teacher.

SIMS data will be used by the subject leader to identify children that demonstrate more academic aptitude than expected for their age and there will be a concerted effort to ensure that they have access to extra-curricular activities and trips to extend their learning opportunities. 

Role of the Subject Leader

The role of the Subject Leader is to provide leadership and direction for their subject area and ensure that it is managed and organised to meet the aims and objectives of the National Curriculum as well as those of the school. The Subject Leader, in conjunction with the Senior Leadership Team, has the responsibility for securing high standards of teaching and learning in their subject area as well as playing a major role in the development of school policy and practice. Throughout their monitoring activities, the Subject Leader ensures that practices improve the quality of education provided, meet the needs of all children, raise standards of achievement across the school as well as raising the aspirations of all children. The Subject Leader should liaise with the SENCO to ensure that children with special educational needs are able to fulfil their full potential within the curriculum.

The Subject Leader plays a key role in supporting and motivating teachers, and other staff, across the school. Subject Leaders assist the Senior Leadership Team to evaluate the effectiveness of teaching and learning to inform future priorities and targets for the subject area. The Subject Leader should lead by example, by setting high standards in their own teaching.

Subject Leaders are allocated time to monitor their subject areas. These times include staff meeting time, twilight CPD sessions and non-contact time within the school day. Monitoring activities include:

  • Observing lessons
  • Work samples
  • Talking to staff
  • Talking to pupils
  • Monitoring planning
  • Analysing data
  • Monitoring displays – this includes wall displays, Learning Journeys
  • Auditing resources
  • Questionnaire
  • External review from an eternal professional

The Subject Leader identifies needs in their own subject area and recognises that these must be considered in relation to the overall needs of the school. The Subject Leader must understand how their subject area contributes to whole school priorities and to the overall education and achievements of all pupils. There are opportunities throughout the year for Subject Leaders to discuss the strengths and weaknesses within their subject areas to a governor who is specially linked to the subject area as well as meeting with the Curriculum Committee.

Staff Development

Opportunities for the development of all staff will be provided in order to enhance the quality of DT within the school.  The needs of the teaching staff will be identified through the monitoring and evaluation of the subject which is undertaken by the DT subject leader and will be done in conjunction with the whole school development plan.  The DT lead will ensure that any development opportunities undertaken by staff are disseminated throughout the school where necessary to further enhance the quality of this subject and therefore directly impact on the positive outcomes for our children.  Teaching staff will be encouraged to ask for support with their planning, teaching and assessment when deemed necessary.


At Pittington Primary we have a successful design and technology curriculum where children have access to a range of activities and have positive, successful experiences will empower children to investigate and consider how to improve current designs of products with which they interact.

Children learn the possibilities for careers in design and cooking, as a result of our community links and involvement of out-reach role models, STEM ambassadors and those parents/carers with professions in areas of design and technology.  Our children act as though they are designers, inventors and chefs, enjoy the subject and this results in motivated learners with understanding of form and function.  Children will be prepared for the next step in their life journey and in a position to participate fully in the design and making of functional products or culinary dishes, both formally in education and beyond.

If you would like more information about our Design and Technology Curriculum please contact Miss Wigham, Headteacher by clicking here