Design Technology at Swarcliffe Primary School 

Design and Technology is an inspiring, rigorous and practical subject. It encourages children to learn to think and intervene creatively to solve problems both as individuals and as members of a team.

At Swarcliffe, we encourage children to use their creativity and imagination, to design and make products that solve real and relevant problems within a variety of contexts, considering their own and others’ needs, wants and values. Children learn to take risks, becoming more resourceful, innovative and capable individuals. In a fun, enjoyable and inspiring environment, Design and Technology will challenge children to research information and think for themselves, give reasoned answers, be enterprising and develop good resilience and attitudes to learning.

Here at Swarcliffe we aim to, wherever possible, to link work to other disciplines such as Mathematics, English, Science, Computing, Art and many more and use a variety of high quality texts to enhance and stimulate children’s learning experiences.

Early Years Foundation Stage 

During the early stages of the Early Years Foundation Stage, the essential building blocks of children’s Design and Technology are established. Children are given the chance to enhance their ‘Expressive Art and Design’ skills through a variety of open ended activities.  They look at constructing with a purpose in mind, using a variety of materials and how these can be used competently and appropriately. They look at how to shape, assemble and join different materials they are using. Children learn to adapt their work where necessary and have an understanding of when media is combined it creates a new effect. They also begin to ask questions about how and why things work.

Enrich, Enhance, Excite

Alongside teaching our set lessons for Design and Technology, Swarcliffe offers opportunities for children to be part of cooking, baking and construction clubs; have visitors come in; have launch days and we go on school trips to enhance our Design and Technology curriculum.

We intend for our children to leave Swarcliffe with the ability to: critique, evaluate and test their ideas and products; understand and apply principles of nutrition and learn how to cook; build and apply a repertoire of knowledge, understanding and skills in order to design and make high quality prototypes and products; develop the creative, technical and practical expertise needed to perform everyday tasks confidently and Finally, to leave Swarcliffe with a love for Design and Technology  and  be able to successfully  participate in an increasingly technological world.

Texts to enhance our Design and Technology Curriculum

Early Years Foundation Stage 

Design and Technology 


Year 1 and 2  


Year 3 and 4 

Year 5 and 6 

Key Stage One 

Children in KS1 develop their design skills through the use of annotated diagrams showing what they plan to use and what their product is made of. They share their thoughts verbally, enabling them discuss what materials and components they will use, whether this is construction, textiles or ingredients. Children learn to use a range of tools and equipment to carry out practical tasks e.g. cutting, shaping, joining, finishing). They explore and use mechanisms in products such as levers, sliders wheels and axles. They evaluate their own ideas and products against design criteria and they evaluate the existing products of other people.

At Swarcliffe, when learning about Pirates, children learn to make structures, exploring how they can be made stronger, stiffer and more stable. Children learn to become resilient and flexible when making their products as, if something is not working, they will change this and try a new way to ensure their product is fully functional.

During our Chocolate topic, pupils learn about food and nutrition, diet, food origins, food choice, and food labelling and food safety and take part in a workshop all about Ghana. After learning about Ghana, pupils work closely to create their own chocolate buns. They learn how to cut, weigh, measure and bake to create a delicious chocolaty treat for Willy Wonka to sell.

Design and Technology at Home

Our Design and Technology Curriculum

Important Design and Technology Documents at Swarcliffe Primary School

 Action Plan D & T.docxDownload
 Progression Map - DT.docxDownload
 Swarcliffe's Skills Design and Technology October 2014 KR (2).docDownload
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Subject Organisers 

Key Stage Two 

As children move into Key Stage Two they develop their design skills through the use of exploded diagrams, cross-sectional, annotated sketches and discussions, where they show how products will be put together, step by step. They use research and develop design criteria to inform the innovative, functional and appealing products that are fit for purpose, aimed at particular individuals or groups. They investigate and analyse a range of existing products and evaluate their ideas and products against their own design criteria and consider the views of others to improve their work. Children also learn about how key events and individuals in design and technology have helped shape the world.

Building on their prior knowledge, children select from and use a wider range of tools and equipment to perform practical tasks for example, cutting, shaping, joining and finishing. They 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. Children show their competence in this when making mini greenhouses, jambalaya and when creating their own animal shelters throughout our two year cycle.

At Swarcliffe, when learning about William Shakespeare, children continue to develop their skills of how to strengthen, stiffen and reinforce more complex structures. They understand and use mechanical systems in their products such as gears, pulleys, cams, levers and linkages.  

During the topic of what lies beyond Earth? Children learn about electrical systems and how to use these in their products. They use a series of circuits incorporating switches, bulbs and motors.


Cooking at Swarcliffe Primary School

Cooking and Nutrition:

As part of their work with food, pupils should be taught how to cook and apply the principles of nutrition and healthy eating. Instilling a love of cooking in pupils will also open a door to one of the great expressions of human creativity. Learning how to cook is a crucial life skill that enables pupils to feed themselves and others affordably and well, now and in later life.

In Key Stage 1 pupils should be taught to:

  • Use the basic principles of a healthy and varied diet to prepare dishes.
  • Understand where food comes from. 


In Key Stage 2 pupils should be taught to:

  • Understand and apply the principles of a healthy and varied diet.
  • Prepare and cook a variety of predominantly savoury dishes using a range of cooking techniques.
  • Understand seasonality, and know where and how a variety of ingredients are grown, reared, caught and processed.

Get Ready to Cook Rules:

  • Take off jewellery
  • Tie back long hair
  • Roll up long sleeves
  • Put an apron on
  • Wash and dry hands

Cooking Technique Videos

Useful Links for Design and Technology