Design and Technology

We are designers


At Walmley Infant School, we believe that our children should develop a love of learning and show care and respect for each other within the context of a happy, secure and challenging learning environment.

Design and Technology is an inspiring, creative subject. At Walmley Infant School, we encourage children to think and intervene creatively to solve problems, both as individuals and as a team. We encourage children to use their creativity and imagination to design and make products for a purpose, to solve real and relevant problems within a variety of contexts. Children are given opportunities to evaluate and reflect on their learning.  We aim to develop children’s imagination and creativity through fascinating, challenging projects ultimately preparing them to become the designers, engineers, and inventors of the future.


Our learning is structured, balanced and follows the National Curriculum (2014) for KS1 and  the statutory Early Years Foundation Stage and Development Matters framework (2021). It allows children to deepen their understanding through progressive learning where appropriate. Objectives are made clear to the children in order to inform them of the expectations and the reasons for engaging in their learning.

Through the learning of Design and Technology children are provided with exciting and stimulating lessons to develop the children’s knowledge, skills and understanding. The children may be taught as a whole class, in small groups or individually. They are encouraged to work collaboratively with partners and to respect the views of others. Cross-curricular links are embedded in planning, teaching and learning of D & T and strong learning links are made with other curriculum areas. Children are encouraged to learn through first-hand experiences. Opportunities are given for the children to further investigate D & T at home and we encourage children to bring in artefacts related to the area we are learning about. Opportunities are given for D & T to be displayed around school. Children have D & T experiences both indoors and outdoors and particularly in EYFS through role play in both child initiated and directed time.

Learning is supported through the use of Subject Knowledge Organisers. These subject knowledge organisers ensure that there is curriculum coverage and progression across the school. Half termly topics are planned and the Subject Knowledge Organisers assist teachers in mapping out the learning objectives, lessons and key vocabulary that provide learners to meet the expected outcome.

Early Years Foundation Stage

The following Early Learning Goals are particularly relevant to children’s learning in D & T in the early years:

Physical Development: Fine Motor Skills ELG

Children at the expected level of development will:

  • Hold a pencil effectively in preparation for fluent writing – using the tripod grip in almost all cases;
  • Use a range of small tools, including scissors, paint brushes and cutlery;
  • Begin to show accuracy and care when drawing.


Expressive Arts and Design: Creating with Materials ELG

Children at the expected level of development will:

  • Safely use and explore a variety of materials, tools and techniques, experimenting with colour, design, texture, form, and function;
  • Share their creations, explaining the process they have used;
  • Make use of props and materials when role playing characters in narratives and stories.

Key Stage 1

Purpose of Study

Design and Technology is a subject which allows children to have first-hand experience of the world around them and prepare pupils to participate in and explore their environment on their own or in groups. It is an important part of school life which is developed in collaboration with, and integrated into other areas, as well as having its own place in the curriculum.

‘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, science, 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’.

National Curriculum, DfE, (2014).

During Lessons – Meeting the Needs of all Learners

Throughout school there are children with extremes of skills and children who have had a wide variety of experiences before they come to school. Our school aims to provide the children with stimulating and challenging activities which cater for the wide range of abilities throughout our school:

  • Differentiation- learning may be differentiated by task, by outcome or by the amount and type of support the children receive. This should always be planned in order that all children will experience success. Children may be participating in a common task, carefully chosen to be manageable for all, with a variety of both special education needs and those who are more able and talented or be undertaking a common task, with a specific group of children being given guidance by the teacher whilst other groups work independently. Children with learning and/or physical difficulties will be enabled to take an active part in learning through practical activities and achieve the goals they have been set. Some children will require closer supervision and more adult support to allow them to progress whilst more able children will be extended through differentiated activities.
  • By being given enhancing and enriching activities, more able children will be able to deepen their knowledge and understanding appropriate to their needs.
  • Use of questioning throughout a lesson to assess and review learning in order to challenge and support to all learners. If necessary lessons will be adapted to meet all learners’ needs. E.g. if an activity is too easy/difficult adapt it for specific children there and then.
  • Valuing children’s own self and peer assessments in order to assist planning and future differentiation.
  • Judging learners’ understanding with accuracy and using this to inform future learning opportunities and planning: through the use of success criteria, self and peer assessment, questioning, prior knowledge assessments as well as subject specific assessment procedures.
  • Identifying where a learner is, and provide necessary stimulus to ensure that learners recognise and accept the next stage of learning.
  • Having high expectations and using personal and social targets (linked to the Behaviour Policy) to motivate all learners to achieve to their full potential.

The school recognises the advantages of the use of ICT in Design and Technology activities by all children, but especially children with special educational needs and those children regarded to be most able and talented (MAT).  Using ICT can:

  • address children’s individual needs.
  • increase access to the curriculum.
  • enhance language skills.
  • enhance problem-solving skills.

Subject content:

Through a variety of creative and practical activities, pupils should be taught the knowledge, understanding and skills needed to engage in a process of designing and making. They should work in a range of relevant contexts (e.g. the home, school, gardens and playgrounds, the local community, industry and the wider environment).

When designing and making, pupils should be taught to:


  • Design purposeful, functional, appealing products for themselves and other users based on design criteria.
  • Generate, model, develop and communicate their ideas through talking, drawing, templates, models and where appropriate, information and communication technology.


  • Select from and use a wide range of tools and equipment to perform practical tasks (e.g. cutting, shaping, joining and finishing).
  • Select from and use a wide range of materials and components, including construction materials, textiles and ingredients, according to their characteristics.


  • Explore and evaluate a range of existing products.
  • Evaluate their ideas and products against design criteria.

Technical knowledge

  • Build structures, exploring how they can be made stronger, stiffer and more stable.
  • Explore and use mechanisms (e.g. levers, sliders, wheels and axles) in their products.

Cooking and nutrition

As part of their work with food, pupils should 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.

Pupils should be taught to:

  • use the basic principles of a healthy and varied diet to prepare dishes.
  • understand where food comes from.


A variety of age-appropriate construction kits are stored in each classroom and shared between year groups. D & T materials and specific tools are kept safely in the area outside the Inclusion Leader’s room.

Disused, damaged and broken resources are to be removed from the premises when appropriate. Wherever possible resources are to be disposed of via recyclable methods.

Equality and Diversity – Inclusion

We have carefully considered and analysed the impact of this policy on equality and the possible implications for pupils with protected characteristics as part of our commitment to meet the Public Sector Equality Duty requirement to have due regard to the need to eliminate discrimination, advance equality of opportunity and foster good relations.

It is the responsibility of all staff to ensure that all children are treated equally, regardless of their background, gender, race or ability and have an equal entitlement to all activities and opportunities. We are an inclusive school and through teaching D & T, we provide learning opportunities for all pupils, respecting individual needs. We strive to meet the needs of all pupils including those with special educational needs, disabilities, more able and talented and those learning English as an additional language (See Equality and Diversity Policy).

All pupils, regardless of race, ability or gender, shall have the opportunity to develop capability in D & T. The school will promote equal opportunities for the fairness of distribution of D & T resources.  Positive images of D & T resources by a wide range of positive role models will be promoted.

Learning to live and work together, and respect each other is encouraged throughout the school.

Unicef Rights Respecting

In 2017 Walmley Infant School became a UN Rights Respecting School.

The Convention has 54 articles that cover all aspects of a child’s life and set out the civil, political, economic, social and cultural rights that all children everywhere are entitled to.

We aim to respect and promote the rights of children through the teaching of D & T.

The following articles from the UN Convention on the Rights of the Child are particularly relevant to the teaching of D & T:

  • Article 12: Every child has the right to express their own views.
  • Article 13: Every child must be free to express their thoughts and opinions and to access all kinds of information, as long as it is within the law.
  • Article 14: Every child has the right to think and believe what they choose and also to practice their religion as long as they are not stopping other people from enjoying their rights.
  • Article 17: Every child has the right to reliable information from a variety of sources, and governments should encourage the media to provide information that the children can understand. Governments must help protect children from materials that could harm them.
  • Article 23: A child with a disability has the right to play an active part in school
  • Article 28: Every child has the right to an education. Primary education must be free.
  • Article 29: Education must develop every child’s personality, talents and abilities to the full. It must encourage the child’s respect for human rights, as well as respect for their parents, their own and other cultures, and the environment.

British Values

Our Design and Technology curriculum provides a vehicle for further understanding of the fundamental British values:


In Design and Technology, we ensure that we are aware of and consider the views and values of others, particularly when working collaboratively. We may take votes and hold discussions when making decisions about our learning, and collaborative projects.

The rule of law

We understand the school rules and guidelines and recognise their importance in keeping ourselves and our peers safe. During projects and activities, we access our tools and materials making sure we are following school and class rules. We know and understand the consequences of not following our school rules. We aim to provide a calm creative environment for the children to express themselves.

Individual liberty

In Design and Technology, we are given the opportunity to express our individuality through our projects. We are given regular opportunities to make our own decisions and choices in our projects. Whilst making our own choices, we also know that there are boundaries, and we respect these.

Mutual respect

In the Design and Technology classroom we behave in a way that positively impacts the work and productivity of others. When giving feedback, we are constructive and respectful of others’ feelings and viewpoints. We work collaboratively on projects, having respect for our peers’ views and being receptive to the advice of others. We also use Design and Technology as a creative way to experience a variety of festivals and traditions.

Tolerance of those of different faiths and beliefs 

We understand people have different views and opinions and that that these make them who they are. We are tolerant to such views and opinions and apply these attitudes when working with those who have different faiths and beliefs. SMSC is intrinsically linked to the D&T curriculum. Through planning for Design and Technology, we aim to develop a positive attitude towards individuality and a respect for diverse cultures.

Health and Safety

Teaching Design and Technology is a challenging and an exciting experience, but always needs to be a carried out in a safe and secure environment. Frequent reminders need to be given to reinforce safe working procedures. Best practice comes from staff who are knowledgeable about relevant aspects of Health and Safety and who, as a result, feel confident in managing and maintaining a healthy and safe learning environment.

Staff should identify hazards and assess risks, and determine how best to minimise, remove, or control such risks within our school environment.

Learners will be taught how to anticipate risks to themselves and others, how to minimise them and to overcome them where unexpected incidents occur.

Spiritual, Moral, Social and Cultural Development (SMSC)

SMSC is intrinsically linked to the Design and Technology curriculum. Through planning for D & T, we aim to develop a positive attitude towards individuality and a respect for different cultures. Learning resources are carefully selected to support and develop awareness of different cultures and faiths. Moral and social responsibility is also promoted through teaching on health and safety.


The aims of the school in teaching D & T are to:

  • Develop the creative, technical and practical expertise needed to perform everyday tasks confidently and to participate successfully in an increasingly technological world.
  • Build and apply a repertoire of 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 own ideas and products and the work of others.
  • Develop the safe and effective use of a range of tools, materials and components.
  • Develop the ability to use time efficiently and work constructively and productively with others.
  • Develop an understanding of how things work and to draw, model and write about their ideas.
  • Understand and apply the principles of nutrition and learn how to cook.

Assessment, Recording and Reporting

All children will be actively involved in the learning and assessment processes:

  • In Reception, the Early Years Foundation stage document is used to as this contains the ELGs for the end of Reception. Staff will use the ELGs when reporting to parents at the end of the school year, and data is submitted. Both Nursery and Reception staff will refer to the Development Matters document to assist in observing and recording D&T achievements. Nursery staff are always aware of the ELGs for the end of reception.
  • Appropriate tasks will be undertaken by the pupils. Assessment in Key stage 1 will include teacher’s observations of ongoing skills in each programme of study, photographs will be taken to support assessment. Key Stage One pupils will be assessed against the expectations taken from the National Curriculum and attainment and progress will be tracked on Tapestry. There will be discussions with the children to ascertain which outcomes have been achieved. At the end of each year, the children will be assessed on whether they are emerging, achieving or exceeding in their development. Achievements and skills assessed against the D & T expectations taken from the National Curriculum will be reported to parents on the annual report.

Pupil Voice

At Walmley Infant School, we value the voice of each child. We give children opportunities to discuss their learning and express their thoughts and opinions. These discussions take place in small groups, both in EYFS and KS1. It is an opportunity for subject leaders to look through topic books and assess the quality of learning throughout Design and Technology.

Some examples of what children are saying:

Children in nursery:

“I made a car. It’s got wheels, 2 chairs and light.”

“It’s a robot. I got a box and some tubes. I cellotaped it all. It’s got hair.”

“A robot. It’s got 2 arms, 10 hair and 1 teeth fallen out. The toothfairy’s got it.”