Shakespeare Infant School

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Design Technology

Design and Technology at Shakespeare Infant School


Robert L. Peters once said: “Design creates culture. Culture shapes values. Values determine the future.” We believe at Shakespeare Infants we want to prepare all of our children for our fast changing world and for them to be ready for the future. We want our children to be confident, risk takers, resourceful and independent learners. Design and Technology gives our children these opportunities to develop skills and knowledge through designing and making products to produce a final piece of quality work through our broad and balanced curriculum. DT enables children to be creative like ‘Chrissy the Caterpillar’ through selecting their own resources and, requires children to think like ‘Bertie Bee’ through designing and by exploring the designed world in which we live. We remind the children that everything around us has been made by someone, it has been carefully planned, adapted and evaluated. We ensure children use their imagination and problem solving skills to work independently and collaboratively on a range of practical activities to make and design exciting products.

We bring our inclusive DT learning to life by providing exciting and engaging projects through our integrated curriculum. The combination of practical skills with knowledge allows the children to reflect and evaluate on past and present products. Our children learn to make purposeful, functioning and appealing products for an audience, considering their own, and others, needs wants and values. They learn to select tools, how to connect materials together and combine ideas. This is through looking at existing products and building on previous skills learnt in each year group and other areas of the curriculum.


The teaching of Design Technology across the school is carefully planned to ensure progression of skills and knowledge in each year group. Across our school, we plan DT activities so that they build on children’s prior learning. We aim for our children to be reflective on the work they have made and remind our children of a famous designer, Steve Jobs, who said: “Design is not just what it looks like and feels like. Design is how it works.” Children need to be risk takers. An important part of DT is to test and evaluate a product. We allow the children opportunities to apply their knowledge when developing their creations.


Curriculum Progression for Design and Technology



Year R

Year 1

Year 2


  • Understanding contexts users and purposes


Make products for self.

State products they are designing.

Say whether it is for themselves or others.

Describe what the product is for.

Say how their product will work.

How is it suitable for the user.

Develop ideas from simple design criteria.

  • Generating, developing, modelling and communicating ideas.

Explore different products.

Develop ideas by drawing on own experiences.

Knowledge of existing products.


  • Planning


Explore different tools and explain what they do.

Plan by suggesting what to do next.

Select from a range of tools and explain their choice.

Plan by suggesting what to do independently.

Select components according to characterises.

  • Practical Skills and techniques

Explore joining techniques.

Follow safety and hygiene procedures.

Use a range of materials.

Explain safety and hygiene importance.

Measure, mark out, cut.

Assemble, join and combine.


  • Own ideas and products

Make products for a purpose

Say what they have made.

Talk about design ideas and what they are making.

Begin to suggest how to improve their product.

Make judgements about their product.

Explain how it could be improved.

  • Existing products

Look at a range of products for making.

Look at different products and explain who and what the products for. How they work and are used.

Look at axles and wheels.

Where products might be used. What materials are best to use. What they like and dislike about a product.

Technical Knowledge

  • Making products work

Windup toys

How can freestanding structures be made stronger.

Movements of mechanisms.

Cooking and Nutrition

  • Where food comes from


Taste range of different fruits.

Food comes from plants or animals.

Discuss ingredients

Food has to be farmed or grown.

  • Food preparation, cooking and nutrition.

Basic hygiene.

Playdough exploring cutting.

The importance of eating 5 pieces of fruit and veg a day.

Techniques for cutting gingerbread.


Name and sort foods into food groups.


How to cut fruit.


In the EYFS we develop children’s skills, knowledge and understanding of the world around them, allowing them to experiment and test their ideas ready for future learning in Key Stage 1. The children have explore materials that would float or sink to make a boat. 

In Year One the children make a strong and sturdy ladder for Jack and the Beanstalk. Through this project the children are taught to plan who they are designing for, this being Jack or the giant. The children learn to select tools and explain their choices as to why, talking about their design, what they are making and then begin to suggest how to improve their product.

In Year One the children will explore the axels and wheels to make a moving rover for their space project. They look at real life products, helping the children to make connections. 

In Year Two the children learn about sliders and levels to make a pop up book. The children are taught to follow a design criteria, and thinking about their audience to make it exciting and engaging to look at. ​​​​​​​

Throughout our DT curriculum the children will:

  • Develop their designing skills
  • Experience a language rich DT curriculum 
  • Increase their accuracy when using a variety of tools
  • Have key knowledge and meaning 
  • Apply skills from other subjects
  • Be creative and imaginative in their own ideas
  • Make purposeful products for an audience

A high-quality and ambitious Design Technology education is important to our school to enable children to be confident, independent citizens in the world.


DT also involves an understanding of food technology. We develop children’s understanding of the importance of a nutritious and healthy lifestyle. Each year we build on skills learnt to show all the children how cooking is a crucial life skill. The children will learn about where food comes from, and how to prepare and combine ingredients, and opportunities to taste and evaluate the food they make. The children are involved in the design and making of all our products.



In Year R the children learn basic hygiene, likes and dislikes with foods and experimenting with cutting through playdough. They begin to explore weighing ingredients to mix together to make porridge. 

In Year One the children learn to follow a set of instructions and the techniques for cutting a biscuit with a cutter and the importance of eating 5 pieces of fruit and vegetables a day.

In Year Two the children then learn to cut food products carefully with a knife to make a sandwich and begin to sort foods into food groups.

Please click on the following link for the National Curriculum Programmes of Study for Design and Technology.