How each unit works

Each design technology unit plans to meet the criteria of the National Curriculum, extending children’s skills and knowledge in design, structures, mechanisms, electrical control, materials, cookery and nutrition. Each unit of learning is planned around one of three core areas: textiles, construction (including electronics) or cookery. Core skills are mapped out and introduced within each unit, and then built on and revisited year by year, as children move through the school. By Year 6, we expect pupils to be utilising knowledge and skills from throughout their time at Thomas Jones to produce more advanced final outcomes.

Design Technology is taught discretely each term, and although our units of learning are usually ‘stand-alone’ topics in their own right, some do connect with other subject topics across the curriculum. For example, Year 1’s Heraldic Flags textiles unit links closely with their learning on Knights and Castles.

Through a sequence of practical and immersive sessions, the children will follow the ‘design cycle’: outlining a brief, planning, designing, making and evaluating. By Upper Key Stage 2, children should be confident with following and understanding both the process and purpose of the design cycle. As with other creative curriculum areas at Thomas Jones, self-evaluation and critical appraisal of their own outcomes is constantly encouraged, as is the development of skills in working effectively with peers and within design teams.

Our cookery sessions are almost all practical, with theoretical aspects interwoven where appropriate; either at the start of a practical session or in a standalone session. These non-practical sessions teach children about nutrition, healthy diets and food choices, where our food comes from and important elements of health and safety in the kitchen, including teaching core skills. Some of this learning compliments other subjects concerning health and wellbeing such as science and personal development.

Design Knowledge

  • Construction – key architects/designers, structures and strength
  • Textiles – key artists/designers, working with fabrics
  • Cookery – reading recipes, ‘farm to fork’, nutrition, health and safety
  • Technical vocabulary

Design Skills

  • Design – research, target users, concept, product design, planning, criteria, pattern, form, shape
  • Make - building, joining, safe use of tools, sewing techniques, weaving
  • Evaluate – target users, testing, self/peer assessment, redesign
  • Cookery – food preparation: cutting, slicing, mixing, peeling, measuring, assembling