Design and Technology


How we Teach Design and Technology

At Crosslee Community Primary School, we have developed a Design and Technology curriculum which centres around the National Curriculum. The curriculum we have designed enables teachers to deliver high-quality Design and Technology lessons which will inspire children to develop their use of creativity and imagination and 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.


The curriculum has been carefully sequenced and spaced to facilitate spaced retrieval. In Nursery and Reception, children are taught to safely use and explore a variety of materials, tools and techniques, experimenting with colour, design, texture, form and function. They do this through 12 Expressive Arts and Design units. In Key Stage One and Two, the schemas they have built are deepened with new learning which connects to their existing prior knowledge; ensuring long term memories are created. 


We have carefully selected 6 or 7 pieces of essential knowledge and vocabulary for each unit which enables children to build long term memories whilst managing their cognitive load. We expect 100% of children to know 100% this knowledge and so it is rehearsed and revisited throughout the unit. The essential knowledge is given to children on a knowledge organiser along with technological vocabulary which is identified and split into three categories: ‘known words’ ‘essential words’ and ‘aspirational words’. 



At the start of each Design and Technology Lesson, children are given time and questions to enable them to ‘bridge back’ to prior knowledge they have developed in the past weeks, terms or year groups. This enables children to rehearse previously taught knowledge so that it isn't forgotten. 


Our Design and Technology  curriculum provides children with opportunities to master both essential knowledge and procedural skills using a range of media and materials. Through careful planning, Crosslee’s Design and Technology curriculum provides children with the chance to design, make and evaluate through technical skills such as: 


  • Building structures;
  • explore and use mechanisms [for example, levers, sliders, wheels and axles], in their products;
  • understand and use electrical systems in their products [for example, series circuits incorporating switches, bulbs, buzzers and motors];
  •  applying their knowledge of computing to program, monitor and control their products.

In D&T, children are expected to be metacognitive and are taught to plan, monitor and evaluate their work, thinking about how they can make changes and keep improving. This should be meaningful and continuous throughout the process, with evidence of age-related verbal and written reflection. Children are encouraged to take risks and experiment and then reflect on why some ideas and techniques are successful or not for a particular project. The skills they acquire are applied to their cross-curricular topics, allowing children to make links to previously built schemas and reflect on and explore topics in greater depth.


Our children’s health and wellbeing is our main priority and therefore pupils are taught how to cook and apply the principles of nutrition and healthy eating. 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. We give children opportunities to make food from a range of different countries and cultures, to reflect our schools mission statement and to value and celebrate our diversity. This develops our children as citizens and increases their cultural capital whilst deepening their understanding of the world. 


At Crosslee we believe that all children have a right to a good quality education (Art. 28 UNICEF Charter) and should have an opportunity to access the curriculum of their year group so they can become well-rounded citizens. We adapt our curriculum and pedagogy to meet the needs of all of our children, inclusive of children with Special Educational Needs and Disabilities. We have developed a toolkit of strategies to support children with difficulties in Cognition and Learning; Social, Emotional and Mental Health; Communication and Language and Physical impairments in order for them to access and progress in Design and Technology lessons alongside their peers.


Find out more on your child's History Units using the following links:

Inclusion in DT


Contact us

Crosslee Primary School

Crosslee Road


Manchester, M9 6TG

0161 795 8493