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Design and Technology

The National Curriculum Programme of study for Design and Technology aims to ensure that all pupils:

  • 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 ideas and products and the work of others.
  • Understand and apply the principles of nutrition and learn how to cook.

We use the KAPOW scheme of learning to support our delivery of the Design and Technology Curriculum. The scheme of work has been designed as a spiral curriculum with the following key principles in mind:

✓ Cyclical: Pupils return to the key areas again and again during their time in primary school.

✓ Increasing depth: Each time a key area is revisited it is covered with greater complexity.

✓ Prior knowledge: Upon returning to each key area, prior knowledge is utilised so pupils can build upon previous foundations, rather than starting again.

We have identified five key strands which run throughout our scheme of work

  • Design
  • Make
  • Evaluate
  • Technical knowledge
  • Cooking and nutrition

Six Key areas

There are six key areas that are revisited each year, with Electrical systems and Digital world beginning in KS2. The areas enable all subject leads, specialists or non-specialists, to understand and make it easy for teachers to see prior and future learning.

Cooking and nutrition:

Where food comes from, balanced diet, preparation and cooking skills. Kitchen hygiene and safety. Following recipes.

Mechanisms/ Mechanical systems:

Mimic natural movements using mechanisms such as cams, followers, levers and sliders.


Material functional and aesthetic properties, strength and stability, stiffen and reinforce structures.


Fastening, sewing, decorative and functional fabric techniques including cross stitch, blanket stitch and appliqué.

Electrical systems:

Operational series circuits, circuit components, circuit diagrams and symbols, combined to create various electrical products.

Digital world:

Program products to monitor and control, develop designs and virtual models using 2D and 3D CAD software.

The design process

The Design and technology national curriculum outlines the three main stages of the design process: design, make and evaluate. Each KAPOW Primary unit follows these stages, to form a full project. Each stage of the design process is underpinned by technical knowledge which encompasses the contextual, historical and technical understanding, required for each strand.



Design criteria (e.g. tailoring to an audience/user).

 Idea generation (e.g. annotated sketches).

Idea development (e.g. templates, pattern pieces.).

Models and prototypes (both virtual and physical).

Cross-sectional and exploded diagrams.

 Innovative, fit-for-purpose and functional product solutions to design problems.


Select and use appropriate tools and equipment.

Understand and select materials and components (including ingredients) based on their aesthetic and functional properties.

Carry out practical tasks with increasing accuracy and precision.

Understand the importance of, and follow the health and safety rules.


Explore existing products.

Evaluate against a list of design criteria.

Evaluate, investigate and analyse existing products.

Evaluate their own and others’ ideas.

Understand how key events and individuals have helped to shape the world of D&T.

Consider feedback to make improvements.

Cooking and nutrition has a separate section in the D&T National Curriculum, with additional focus on specific principles, skills and techniques in food, including where food comes from, diet and seasonality. Food units still follow the design process summarised above, for example by tasking the pupils to develop recipes for a specific set of requirements (design criteria) and to suggest methods of packaging the food product including the nutritional information.

Progression of skills and knowledge

The progression of skills and knowledge identifies progression within each phase of school across each of the six key areas. The progression of skills links to the design process: design, make and evaluate. The progression of knowledge links to technical knowledge and additional knowledge.

Long-term overview:

Our long-term overview shows where each of the six key areas are taught.

Regular opportunities to revisit vocabulary and knowledge are provided through our Flashback Friday events – these take place once every 4 weeks and act as a means of retrieving and recalling previously learnt knowledge and vocabulary across a broad range of wider curriculum subjects.

Composites and components

Composites, relating to the National Curriculum, are top level outcomes which involve a range of knowledge and skills. Each of these composites is made up of its constituent parts known as the components. These components need to be logically sequenced so that all children can build upon previous learning and apply prior knowledge and skills. Teachers use these component parts to drive the teaching content of their lessons. This ensures that children develop a coherent body of knowledge within each unit. 

Click on the links below to view the composites and components for our Design and Technology curriculum.


Digital World

Electrical Systems 

Mechanisms and mechanical structures 



Knowledge organisers

Knowledge organisers are designed for each unit to build a foundation of factual knowledge in addition to mapping out key tier 3 vocabulary taught within a specific unit.

Click on the image below to view an example knowledge organiser. 

Key vocabulary

We recognise the importance of building children’s tier 2 and tier 3 vocabulary. Our scheme of learning outlines the key vocabulary covered within each design and technology unit. Within lessons, teachers will explicitly teach the meaning of newly encountered vocabulary and retrieval practice will be used to revisit these key terms to ensure that children remember them.

Click on the image below to view the vocabulary document.

Subject knowledge

We recognise that strong subject knowledge is essential for teachers to be able to deliver a highly effective DT curriculum. KAPOW offers numerous teacher videos to develop strong subject knowledge and provide ongoing CPD. This is available for every unit to support teachers in feeling confident to deliver the full Design and Technology curriculum ensuring that lessons are delivered to a high standard and children make good progress.

Click the button below to view our history 'subject on a page' document which summarises our curriculum intent and implementation.