St Joseph's Catholic Primary Academy, Healds Road, Dewsbury, WF13 4HY

01924 462053

St Josephs Catholic Primary Academy

We are proud to work with all the Catholic schools across our two local authority areas, particularly as the Trust grows and benefits from the expertise and knowledge that other schools joining in the future will bring.

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Design and Technology

'Design creates culture. Culture shapes values. Values determine the future.' -

Robert L. Peters

Our Vision for Design Technology at St Joseph’s 

Design and Technology is an inspiring, rigorous and practical subject. It encourages children to learn to think and intervene creatively to solve problems both as individuals and as members of a team. At St Joseph’s, we encourage children to use their creativity and imagination, to design and make products that solve real and relevant problems within a variety of contexts, considering their own and others’ needs, wants and values. We aim to, wherever possible, link work to other disciplines such as mathematics, science, engineering, computing and art. Pupils will also be  given opportunities to reflect upon and evaluate past and present design technology, its uses and its effectiveness and are encouraged to become innovators and risk-takers. 

Curriculum Intent for Design Technology 

The teaching of Design Technology is inspired by the Twinkl and Plan Bee units. They have been carefully sequenced to build upon the knowledge and skills needed to be a designer. Where appropriate, links will be made to our Global Driver words for that half term as well as the school’s Catholic Virtues. The teaching of Design Technology takes place during termly DT weeks. Teachers use Twinkl and Plan Bee plans as a starting point and plan engaging and exciting lessons using the 6-part lesson model where appropriate. Pupils will look at analysing already made products before designing, creating and evaluating their own.

In EYFS, pupils will experience Design Technology through the ‘Expressive Arts and Design’ and 'Being Imaginative' strands. This involves guiding pupils to explore a variety of materials, tools and techniques, experimenting with colour, design, texture, form and function as well as encouraging  pupils to use what they have learnt about media and materials in original ways, thinking about uses and purposes. They will represent their own ideas, thoughts and feelings through their designing and creating. Throughout the year, pupils always have access to resources during provision which encourages them to be creative. The creative area has a range of different resources aimed to allow pupils to explore and use them in different ways. Within this area, adults teach junk modelling skills through discussions and group problem solving. They will encourage pupils to think about how they might join two things together, what they might need to hold something in place, for example. Adults use questioning, prompts, modelling and the providing of resources to support pupils in their junk modelling skills. Adults are encouraged to record these interactions when needed, but this is not always necessary. When recording does take place it is added to the child's individual learning journey.

In Key Stage One, pupils will be taught the knowledge, understanding and skills needed to engage in an iterative process of designing and making through a variety of creative and practical activities. They will work in a range of relevant contexts, for example, the home and school, gardens and playgrounds, the local community, industry and the wider environment where possible. 

In Key Stage Two,  pupils will be taught the knowledge, understanding and skills needed to engage in an iterative process of designing and making through a variety of creative and practical activities.  They will work in a range of relevant contexts, for example, the home, school, leisure, culture, enterprise, industry and the wider environment, where possible.

The long term planning for Design Technology can be found below:

Long Term plan for DT

The importance of a Healthy and Varied diet

From avoiding obesity to improving academic success and mindfulness, healthy eating habits can impact many parts of a child’s life. Teaching healthy eating habits and exposing pupils to a variety of flavours at a young age, can positively shape a child’s future, health and wellness. It can empower them to eat healthier and sets the stage for health and wellness far into adulthood. Our Design Technology curriculum allows for a cooking and nutrition topic each year to expose our children to a variety of meals, tastes and cooking techniques that will set them up for the future and understand the importance of a varied, balanced diet.


Curriculum Implementation for Design Technology 

The six-part lesson for Design Technology

Most DT lessons are delivered using the six-part lesson model. This includes:

Retrieval practice: Pupils will practice key knowledge from the previous unit of work. This is to help move this knowledge into the long term memory. It is also an assessment tool for teachers. This activity can be practical or written and can be completed independently, in pairs or in a group.

New learning: Pupils will be introduced to the Key Learning and knowledge for the lesson. They will also explore and practice tier 2 and tier 3 vocabulary that will be used throughout the lesson. Direct teaching of the new knowledge and skills will be introduced and modelled where appropriate.

Let’s explore: Pupils will have the chance to practise new skills, knowledge and vocabulary within a short task. This can be completed independently, in pairs or in a small group.

Develop learning: In this part of the lesson, the knowledge and/or skills will be developed further as well as preparing the pupils for their independent task.

Independent task: Pupils may work independently, in pairs or small groups to complete a task or tasks linked to the Key Learning. Activities may be scaffolded for different groups of learners.

Plenary: Pupils will have the chance to reflect on their learning that day and self assess using their KL sticker. Pupils’ work may be celebrated and a discussion question may be used. Reference to our Global Driver word for the half term may also be used (where appropriate).


‘It is important that we are exposing children to concepts (words) within subjects and studying them in more depth in order to strengthen their understanding of topics and allow them to build on knowledge acquired in previous year groups. The stronger a child’s understanding of a certain word is, the more likely they will be be able to attach new vocabulary and knowledge on top’ (Marcus Jones, Huntington Research School).

At St. Joseph’s, key vocabulary is introduced at the beginning of each lesson. This will include Tier 2 (vocabulary linked to the subject area) and Tier 3 (specific vocabulary for that lesson or unit) vocabulary. New words are discussed and potentially modelled within the lesson. There is an expectation that all pupils use the correct vocabulary within full sentences.

Vocabulary linked to the whole subject (tier 2 vocab)

Plan, change, design, adapt, materials, tools, manipulate, colour, texture, size, shape, 3D, 2D

The importance of Knowledge

‘Knowledge and the capacity it provides to apply skills and deepen understanding are essential ingredients of successful curriculum design.’ (Amanda Spielman)

Units/topics in Design Technology have been carefully sequenced to build upon prior knowledge as well as developing new knowledge in a succinct way. Teachers are familiar with where the units/topics fit in pupils’ educational journey at St Joseph’s and discuss with previous class teachers what has been taught. Teachers highlight key knowledge that they want pupils to learn on their planning and create knowledge organisers to support the development of this knowledge across the unit. Knowledge organisers include: previous knowledge needed; our Global driver work and impact statement; key knowledge for the topic; aspirations for the future; glossary and key diagrams or techniques needed for the topic. These are available in every DT  lesson for pupils to refer back to. 

Find the Knowledge progression grid for DT below:

Knowledge Progression Grid for DT

Assessment in Design Technology

Teachers use Assessment for Learning throughout their lessons through questioning and during the ‘Let’s explore’ part of the lesson. Teachers will formatively assess pupils against the Key Learning using pupils’ Key Learning stickers. If a pupil has met the Key Learning, the teacher will highlight the Key Learning with green. If a pupil is working towards the Key Learning, the teacher will highlight the Key Learning with orange and green. If a pupil needs further work against the Key Learning, the teacher will highlight the Key Learning orange and there will be evidence of an intervention before the next lesson. Teachers will also note on the Key Learning whether the pupil has had teacher/teaching assistant support to inform formative assessment.  At the end of the unit, teachers will make a judgement whether the pupil is working at, below or above the National Curriculum expectations for their year group and this will be logged throughout the year using Insite. Subject leaders will then analyse the data from these assessments to track the progress of pupils and spot any patterns between groups.

Curriculum Impact for Design Technology

We aspire that pupils will have gained knowledge and understanding of different skills and techniques required to problem-solve by designing and creating a variety of products using a safe approach. They will know how to create a number of different mechanisms to make products move, build strong structures to a design criteria, use a range of techniques to join and decorate textiles and be able to safely prepare healthy meals.They will have an understanding of the cross curricular elements within the subject and the importance of skills learnt in other areas of the curriculum and how they aid the design and make process, as well as how these techniques and skills will aid them in future life and learning.

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