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Dartford Bridge Primary

Design and Technology

All the pupils in the DBCPS community, including SEN and disadvantaged pupils, will participate and learn the following concepts and themes through their journey here.

They will study different design and technology topics throughout their time at DBCPS that will build on previous learning. By exploring each of the year group topics, children will be able to build on knowledge and be able to consider types of materials and creation.

At DBCPS we aim to:

  • develop the creative, technical and practical skills necessary to perform everyday tasks confidently and successfully.
  • build and apply knowledge, understanding and skills to design and make high-quality products for a range of users
  • critique, evaluate and test their ideas and products
  • understand and apply the principles of nutrition and learn how to cook.

Design and Technology is taught through the following key concepts:

  • Design
  • Make
  • Evaluate

Each unit follows these stages, to form a full project. Each stage of the design project Is underpinned by technical knowledge which encompasses the understanding (contextual, historical and technical) required for each strand.

Within our D&T curriculum we cover the following core themes:

  • Textiles
  • Mechanics
  • Electricals and Electronics
  • Food technology
  • Construction
  • Materials

 By connecting our British Values through the teaching of DT, we explore issues that affect us all in our lives and this helps inform decisions that will shape our future. An example is the right to have a different opinion and the need to respect the views and opinions of others when discussing different designs and creations.

We teach Design and Technology three times a year in short blocks. This creates a more immersive and focused learning experience, enabling rich knowledge to become deeply embedded. The pace of progress is increased because less time is spent recapping consecutive sessions. Our scheme of work is cyclical; pupils return to the key strands repeatedly during their time in primary school. Each time the strands are revisited, it is covered with greater complexity. Prior knowledge is utilised upon returning to each key strand so that children can build upon previous foundations.

 We use relevant props and resources to support children with SEN. Adult modelling is very important and we use the I do, we do, you do technique to ensure new skills are broken down and taught in easy to manage steps. TA support is used, when necessary, to assist children in their learning. These will be adapted to suit individual children's needs. Learning will be chunked or put into simple steps to allow learning to be more accessible.

 In EYFS, children have access to a range of materials, including reclaimed materials, which they will learn to safely use and explore a variety of materials, tools and techniques, experimenting with colour, design, texture, form and function. Children will have access to these materials to freely create and experiment and will be able to discuss what they have created. Children will explore different celebrations, including fireworks for Firework night, Diva lamps for Diwali, decorations for Christmas, lanterns for Chinese New Year. This learning allows children to start to develop an understanding of choosing suitable materials for different purposes.

In Year 1 children begin studying structures. They design and make a windmill for a mouse introducing the idea of designing for purpose. They develop an understanding of different types of windmills, how they work and their key features. Through their Mechanisms unit children learn that wheels move because they're attached to an axle. They recognise that wheels and axles are used in everyday life, not just in cars.  In Term 6 children undertake taste testing before establishing their chosen ingredients for a smoothie. They will think about how to make their product attractive by designing packaging.

Children in Year 2 develop their understanding of structure, designing a chair for baby bear. Baby bear is chosen as a character from a familiar story to reduce cognitive overload, particularly when designing the chair, as they must consider his needs and what he likes and explore ways of building it so that it is strong. Then children develop their technical knowledge, learning the terms pivot, lever, and linkage. In textiles children will use a running stitch to sew regular sized stitches that are knotted at both ends. They will prepare and cut fabric to make a pouch from a given template and use the running stitch to join the two pieces of fabric together. Finally, they’ll decorate their pouch using provided materials and explore different techniques.

The children begin in Year 3 designing and making a castle. They use handmade nets and recycled materials to make towers and turrets. Using their knowledge from Year 2, children learn to construct a secure base.  Children learn about cooking and nutrition through the concept of eating seasonally. They explain how fruits and vegetables grow in different countries based on their climate. They understand what seasonal fruits and vegetables are and they taste best when grown in each season and they show an understanding of the positive effect on the environment of eating seasonal fruit. They design their own tart recipe using seasonal ingredients. Following the instructions within a recipe children learn the basic rules of food safety and food hygiene. Having already learnt the basics of sewing and decorating fabric, children are challenged further by learning cross stitch and applique. After learning these techniques, they apply their knowledge to the design, decoration, and assembly of their own cushions.

In Year 4, the idea of a strong and stable structure is reinforced. Children explore pavilion structures and learn what they are used for before designing and creating their own pavilions, complete with cladding. Pupils will then transform lollipop sticks, wheels, dowels, and straws into a moving car. They’ll review their mechanisms from Year 1 on wheels and axles, making the launch mechanism and designing the main body of the vehicle an assembling the chassis. In Textiles the children will make a book sleeve. They will review their learning from Year 2 using stitching techniques to assemble a book sleeve and considering the benefits of different fastening types.

The Year 5 Bridges unit develops children’s understanding of secure structures and introduces them to measuring, sawing, and joining wood accurately. After learning about different types of bridges and exploring how shape affects the strength of structures, children create their own wooden bridge and test its durability. Pupils use their knowledge of electricity from Year 4 to incorporate electrical circuits into products. Children explore how circuits can be adapted to sit different purpose, explore series circuits, and recreate one using conductive adhesive tape. They then apply this knowledge to design and create an electronic greening card. In Cooking and Nutrition, children research and modify a traditional Bolognese sauce recipe to make it healthier. They will cook their new and improved versions, making appropriate packaging and learn about the ethical considerations of farming cattle.

Using their understanding of electrical systems and design pupils in Year 6 are challenged with creating a steady hand game.  They will use nets to create their bases and build a circuit with a buzzer which closes when the handle contacts the wire frame. In Term 3 and 4 children make Victorian waistcoats using the textiles skills they have developed over the past few years. Children select fabrics, use templates, pink, decorate and stich the waistcoat for a person or purpose of their choosing. Towards the end of the year, pupils create a model of a new playground with 5 apparatus using three different structures. They create a footprint as the base, visualising objects in a plan view and using natural features creatively.