St Francis Church of England Aided Primary School and Nursery

Living our High Five Values as we learn and grow together in our Christian School.

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Design Technology


At St. Francis, Design and Technology curriculum is meticulously crafted to align with the unique developmental needs of our children. The Cornerstones Curriculum for DT is thoughtfully sequenced to form a cohesive and progressive subject scheme, fostering the growth of essential skills in designing, planning, making, and evaluating.

Our curriculum goes beyond the confines of Design and Technology by weaving meaningful links with other areas of learning. For instance, the cooking and nutrition project, "Eat the Seasons," is seamlessly integrated with the geography project, "Sow, Grow and Farm." This interdisciplinary approach enriches the learning experience, making it more relevant and engaging for our students.

The structure of our projects follows a carefully designed progression, introducing key concepts and allowing children to build knowledge and skills over time. As they advance through school, they explore a comprehensive range of equipment and techniques, including building, cutting, joining, finishing, and cooking. This gradual development ensures a solid foundation and mastery of skills.

In the Develop stage of each project, focused and practical tasks are incorporated to empower children with the necessary knowledge and skills for independent completion of their Innovate tasks. This hands-on approach not only reinforces theoretical learning but also cultivates a sense of self-reliance and creativity.

Throughout Key Stages 1 and 2, our students navigate the design process, where they design, make, test, and evaluate their creations against specific criteria, ensuring a perfect fit for their intended purpose. Emphasising hygiene and safety practices, we instil responsible and considerate approaches to work, preparing our children for a future where both creativity and responsibility are paramount.


Our curriculum design emphasises well-sequenced projects, each delving into critical aspects of Design and Technology, including structures, mechanisms, cooking and nutrition, or textiles. These projects are meticulously crafted to ensure a progressive and comprehensive development of skills throughout a student's academic journey.

Key Stage 1

In the autumn term of Year 1, children begin to learn about structures in the project Shade and Shelter before designing and making a shelter. In the spring term project Taxi!, they learn the term ‘mechanism’ and assemble and test wheels and axles. In the summer term, children begin to learn about food sources in the project Chop, Slice and Mash and use simple preparation techniques to create a supermarket sandwich. In the autumn term of Year 2, children learn more about food in the project Remarkable Recipes, where they find out about food sources, follow recipes and learn simple cooking techniques. In the spring term project Beach Hut, children develop their knowledge of structures further, learning to cut, join and strengthen wood for the first time. In the summer term, children begin to develop their understanding of textiles in Cut, Stitch and Join. They learn to sew a simple running stitch, use pattern pieces and add simple embellishments. They also continue to learn about mechanisms in the project Push and Pull by using sliders, levers and linkages in products.

Lower Key Stage 2

In the autumn term of Year 3, children continue to learn about food, understanding the concept of a balanced diet and making healthy meals in the project Cook Well, Eatwell. In the spring term project Making it Move, children extend their understanding of mechanisms by exploring cams and using joining and finishing techniques to make automaton toys. In the summer term project Greenhouse, they continue to develop their knowledge of structures, using triangles and braces for strength. They design and build a greenhouse, using their understanding of opacity and transparency and the needs of plants from science learning to inform their design.

In the autumn term of Year 4, children continue to develop their understanding of food in the project Fresh Food, Good Food. They learn about food safety and preservation technologies before designing and making packaging for a healthy snack. During the spring term project Functional and Fancy Fabrics, children continue to explore textiles, learning about the work of William Morris before designing, embellishing and finishing a fabric sample. In the summer term project Tomb Builders, they build on their knowledge of mechanisms, learning about six simple machines and using their knowledge to create a lifting or moving device prototype. They also explore and use electrical systems and IT monitoring and control in the science project Electrical Circuits and Conductors for the first time.

Upper Key Stage 2

In the autumn term of Year 5, children deepen their understanding of mechanisms by studying pneumatic systems in the project Moving Mechanisms. They learn about the forces at play and create a prototype for a functional, pneumatic machine. In the spring term project Eat the Seasons, children continue to explore food and nutrition, learning about seasonal foods and the benefits of eating seasonally. In the summer term, they learn more about structures in the project Architecture, studying the history of architecture and developing new ways to create structural strength and stability. They use computer-aided design and consolidate their making skills to produce scale models. They also explore the electrical conductivity of materials before making products incorporating circuits in the science project Properties and Changes of Materials. In the autumn term of Year 6, children learn about processed and whole foods in the project Food for Life, creating healthy menus from unprocessed foods. In the spring term project

Engineer, children consolidate their knowledge of structures, joining and strengthening techniques and electrical systems by completing a bridge-building challenge. In the summer term project Make Do and Mend, they extend their knowledge of textiles by learning new stitches to join fabrics and using pattern pieces to create a range of products. Throughout the design and technology scheme, there is complete coverage of all national curriculum programmes of study. Curriculum PRO allows you to interrogate the sequencing of curriculum aspects and concepts, vocabulary and connectivity of the design and technology scheme with other curriculum subjects.


The impact of our Design and Technology curriculum is comprehensive, fostering the holistic development of our students. It cultivates creative thinkers, technically adept designers, and proficient problem solvers. Beyond crafting tangible products, the curriculum emphasises critical evaluation and continuous improvement of their work. By the culmination of each key stage, students showcase a profound understanding of intricate concepts, spanning structures, mechanisms, and electronic systems. They apply this knowledge to design innovative, functional products tailored to diverse user This equips them with essential life skills for maintaining a wholesome lifestyle. Going beyond individual growth, our Design and Technology curriculum makes a meaningful contribution to the creativity, culture, wealth, and well-being of both students and the broader community. It instils a sense of responsibility, resourcefulness, and innovation, preparing students to be capable and enterprising citizens.

DT Progression