At St Clare’s we want our children to love Design and Technology (DT).  It is dynamic and multidimensional subject and our DT curriculums will provide opportunities for children to solve real and relevant problems, allowing them to develop essential everyday skills and unlock their potential to be the designers and innovators of tomorrow. 

Our D&T curriculums will encourage children to learn, think and intervene creatively to solve problems both as an individual and as part of a team. Design and Technology will allow all St Clare pupils to put their learning from other areas of the curriculum into practice and will work to enhance and deepen their understanding of those areas, including Maths, Computing, Science, and Art.

At St Clare’s we follow the CUSP curriculum. CUSP Design and Technology has purposely been built around the principles of evidence-led practice. This is to ensure that pupils are equipped to successfully think, work and communicate like a designer. Unapologetically ambitious, our curriculum focuses on excellence in this subject through a range of disciplines and by referencing outstanding practitioners in this field.

The intention is that the exceptional teacher instruction inspires pupils to acquire knowledge as designers and technologists and enables them to skilfully apply their understanding.

Throughout the year, the school will engage in art, design and technology weeks. During these weeks, students will delve into the six DT topics. This approach aims to provide children with an immersive experience, allowing them extended time to focus on their creative endeavours.

Design and Technology is integrated into the Early Years Foundation Stage (EYFS) curriculum, with evidence documented in floor books. Each student from Year 1 to Year 6 maintains their own art/DT book, featuring work from every lesson. Prior to each topic, children design a dedicated page, specifying the topic name, key vocabulary, and knowledge notes. This page serves as a reference, allowing students to anticipate their learning and revisit information to aid their work.

Teachers assess students by identifying those who excel and those requiring additional support, recording observations accordingly.

The Design and Technology Curriculum for St Clare’s outlines the Intent, implementation and impact in more detail.


The national curriculum for design and technology aims to ensure that all pupils:

  1. develop the creative, technical and practical expertise needed to perform everyday
    tasks confidently and to participate successfully in an increasingly technological world
  2. 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
  3. critique, evaluate and test their ideas and products and the work of others
  4. understand and apply the principles of nutrition and learn how to cook.


At St. Clare’s Primary School, our Design and Technology Curriculum, guided by the CUSP framework, is meticulously designed to facilitate well-organized lessons that closely align with our teaching and learning policy. Our teaching methodology commences with a thorough review of prior lessons, establishing a solid groundwork for the acquisition of new knowledge. Through interactive activities, we illustrate key concepts, fostering children’s ability to creatively apply their understanding.

As lessons progress, we consistently build upon this foundational knowledge, ensuring a cohesive and structured learning experience. Planned opportunities for pupils to revisit and reinforce previously acquired skills and concepts are integrated throughout the teaching sequence, promoting deeper comprehension and retention. This deliberate planning ensures a seamless progression of learning, facilitating a coherent and enriched educational journey for our students.

All lessons within a given topic are interconnected, ensuring a progressive development from one year to the next, demonstrating clear advancement in the subject matter. Throughout their time at St. Clare’s, students have the opportunity to enhance their vocabulary within each topic. Teachers provide support in Design and Technology through modelling and presenting worked examples, enabling pupils to grasp the purpose and intention behind each task and actively participate in the learning process. Their evident enthusiasm for exploration and further learning highlights the efficacy of our approach.

Within each learning sequence, students cultivate essential knowledge and inquiry skills, fostering a comprehensive understanding of design and technology. Through this holistic approach, we aim to instil in our students a lifelong appreciation for creativity and a dedication to continual learning.


The assessment of pupils is formative and is based on pupil outcomes and questioning from each lesson. The following
can be used to assess pupils’ knowledge and application of skills and techniques as well as their understanding and
use of relevant vocabulary.

  • Expectations for each block are made explicit on slide one, e.g. At the end of this block pupils will know how to waterproof cotton fabric and which fabrics are both functional and hardwearing.
  • The Point of reflection section specifies the expected outcomes for each lesson.
  • The Questions for assessment section in each block provides specific questions to be used with pupils to elicit their level of understanding of tools, techniques and effects, e.g. How have the properties of the cotton changed? Is the cotton now more or less functional?
  • The Oracy and Vocabulary tasks provide ample opportunities for teachers to evaluate pupils’ ability to:
    – use the language of design and technology effectively;
    – explain techniques, skills and processes;
    – evaluate their own and others’ work.
  • The vocabulary quiz provides an opportunity for teachers to assess pupils’ deeper understanding and application of the technical vocabulary covered in the block.
  • The exemplifications demonstrate the expected standard against which teachers can assess pupils’ work.

The best form of assessment in design and technology is at the point of delivery, while pupils are working. This helps us to understand pupils’ development as designers, rather than their ability to produce a prescribed end outcome. By encouraging pupils to articulate their thinking and reflections, we can understand which aspects of design and technology may require additional teaching and reshape teaching to support this.

Teaching of Design and Technology in Early Years Foundation Stage (EYFS)                   

In EYFS, design in technology refers to the exploration and development of children’s creativity and problem-solving skills through hands-on experiences with various materials and tools. While the emphasis in EYFS is primarily on play-based learning, design and technology activities are integrated into the curriculum to encourage children to explore, create, and innovate.

Design in technology at the EYFS level often involves activities such as building structures with blocks, constructing with construction toys, creating simple models with recyclable materials, exploring mechanisms with gears and pulleys, and experimenting with basic tools under supervision.

The key objectives of design in technology in EYFS include promoting imaginative thinking, developing fine and gross motor skills, fostering curiosity and exploration, encouraging collaboration and communication, and laying the foundation for later understanding of design principles and technological concepts. These activities provide children with opportunities to develop problem-solving skills, spatial awareness, creativity, and resilience while having fun and engaging in purposeful play.

Teaching of Art and Design in Key Stage 1

Through a variety of creative and practical activities, pupils should be taught the
knowledge, understanding and skills needed to engage in an iterative process of designing
and making. They should work in a range of relevant contexts [for example, the home and
school, gardens and playgrounds, the local community, industry and the wider

When designing and making, pupils should be taught to:

  • design purposeful, functional, appealing products for themselves and other users
    based on design criteria
  • generate, develop, model and communicate their ideas through talking, drawing,
    templates, mock-ups and, where appropriate, information and communication


  • select from and use a range of tools and equipment to perform practical tasks [for
    example, 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 [for example, levers, sliders, wheels and axles], in their


Teaching of Art and Design in Key Stage 2

Through a variety of creative and practical activities, pupils should be taught the
knowledge, understanding and skills needed to engage in an iterative process of designing
and making. They should work in a range of relevant contexts [for example, the home,
school, leisure, culture, enterprise, industry and the wider environment].

When designing and making, pupils should be 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 and exploded 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], accurately
  • select from and use a wider range of materials and components, including construction
    materials, textiles and ingredients, according to their functional properties and aesthetic qualities


  • 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

Technical knowledge

  • apply their understanding of how to strengthen, stiffen and reinforce more complex
  • understand and use mechanical systems in their products [for example, gears, pulleys,
    cams, levers and linkages]
  • understand and use electrical systems in their products [for example, series circuits
    incorporating switches, bulbs, buzzers and motors]
  • apply their understanding of computing to program, monitor and control their products


Design and technology offers numerous benefits to children. Engaging in these activities nurtures creativity and innovation as children learn to generate ideas and express themselves through their designs and develop problem-solving skills by identifying issues and finding practical solutions, fostering critical thinking and real-world application of knowledge. DT activities introduce children to basic technological concepts, laying the foundation for understanding more advanced topics in the future.

Art & DT weeks

At St Clare’s, we’ve implemented a structured approach to our art and design technology (DT) curriculum by organising them into dedicated blocks rather than dispersing them weekly throughout the term. This strategic decision is rooted in several advantages. Firstly, concentrating these subjects into blocks allows students to delve deeper into their creative processes, fostering a more immersive and focused learning experience. With extended periods dedicated solely to art and DT, students have the opportunity to engage in more complex projects, experiment with various techniques, and refine their skills. By structuring our art and DT curriculum into dedicated blocks, we aim to cultivate students’ creativity, critical thinking, and practical skills in a manner that is both enriching and adaptable to the demands of a diverse learning environment.

Long Term Plan – DT LTP