Tuel Lane Infant School and Nursery

Tuel Lane Infant School and Nursery

Confident, Curious, Creative Learning

Tuel Lane. Sowerby Bridge, West Yorkshire,HX6 2ND


01422 831221

Design Technology

Design Technology



At Tuel Lane Infant School we aim to provide inclusive opportunities for all children to use creativity and imagination to design and make products that solve contextual problems, considering their own and others’ ideas. We strive for our children to have a passion for this subject and aim to inspire them to be the designers and makers of our future. All children should leave our school with: the willingness to take creative risks in order to produce innovative ideas, through their design and ability to evaluate their outcome.


At Tuel Lane Infant School the Design and Technology curriculum consists of: DT objectives taught through Topic Based Learning lessons. DT units are taught three times through the academic year. Tuel Lane’s DT curriculum is based on the National Curriculum.  The KS1 units of DT are covered through: food technology, materials, textiles, construction and mechanics. In the EYFS curriculum children are taught to safely use and explore a variety of materials, tools and techniques. They think about uses and purposes, represent their own ideas, thoughts and feelings through DT when making.

Our School uses a variety of teaching and learning styles in Design and Technology lessons in order to develop children’s knowledge, skills and understanding.  Teachers provide a practical curriculum which involves children taking part in meaningful activities in which they are required to discuss their plans and evaluate their own and other’s work in a constructive way.  Within lessons, we give children the opportunity to work individually, in pairs and in group situations. Children have the opportunity to use a wide range of materials and resources, including ICT and will be supported to use tools and equipment safely and responsibly.

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 particular 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, as well as chopping and slicing) accurately.
  • select from and use a wider range of materials, ingredients and components, including construction materials, textiles and ingredients, according to their functional properties, aesthetic qualities and, where appropriate, taste.


  • 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.

Develop, Use and Apply 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
  • Understand some of the ways that food can be processed and the effect of different cooking practices (including baking and grilling).

Key skills and key knowledge for DT have been mapped across the school to ensure progression between year groups.  The context for the children’s work in Design and Technology is also well considered and children 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.

Each new unit of work begins with a recap of the previous related knowledge from previous years.  This helps children to retrieve what they have learnt in the earlier sequence of the programme of study, and ensures that new knowledge is taught in the context of previous learning to promote a shift in long term memory.  Key vocabulary for the new topic is also introduced as part of this unit introduction.  This provides definitions and accompanying visuals for each word to ensure accessibility to all.  This approach also means that children are able to understand the new vocabulary when it is used in teaching and learning activities and apply it themselves when they approach their work.

Within all lessons, teachers plan a phase of progressive questioning which extends to and promotes the higher order thinking of all learners.  Questions initially focus on the recall or retrieval of knowledge.  Questions then extend to promote application of the knowledge in a new situation and are designed to promote analytical thinking, such as examining something specific.  In design and technology, an example of this level of questioning might ask children to consider how a mechanical system (such as gears and pulleys) might speed up, slow down or change the direction of movement.  The questions that teachers ask within the same lesson phase, then focus on the children’s own work and how they might change or create an outcome and justify a choice they have made which is based on their evaluation.


We strive to ensure that our children’s attainment is in line with or exceeds their potential when we consider the varied starting points of all our children. At Tuel Infant School we judge the success of our Design and Technology curriculum in the following ways:

  • Using a clear progression of skills.
  • Pupil conferencing – are children happy, engaged, motivated to do well and challenged within the subject. Are children able to clearly express their opinions about DT?
  • Photographs and examples of work – they will show a clear progression of skills between the year groups.
  • The DT subject leader can articulate and explain the progression of skills through KS1.


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