John Stainer

Design and Technology

Purpose of study

At John Stainer, we believe that Design and Technology is an inspiring, rigorous and practical subject.

Using creativity and imagination, pupils design and make products that solve real and relevant problems within a variety of contexts, considering their own and others’ needs, wants and values.

They acquire a broad range of subject knowledge and draw on disciplines such as mathematics, science, engineering, computing and art. Pupils learn how to take risks, becoming resourceful, innovative, enterprising and capable citizens. Through the evaluation of past and present design and technology, they develop a critical understanding of its impact on daily life and the wider world. High quality design and technology education makes an essential contribution to the creativity, culture, wealth and wellbeing of the nation.


The national curriculum 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 worl
  • 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.




Attainment targets

By the end of each key stage, pupils are expected to know, apply and understand the matters, skills and processes specified in the relevant programme of study.

Design and Technology- The John Stainer way.

To ensure a broad coverage of the National curriculum’s aims and targets, we celebrate and teach DT in the following ways:

We run specific D.T days in which pupils spend an entire day taking part in creative and practical activities.

During these days pupils follow the entire design process; researching, developing, designing, making and evaluating products.

Rather than short weekly lessons, this specialised all day approach, gives the pupils the chance to immerse themselves completely in the subject, and develop their knowledge, understanding and skills through the design process.
The strands covered during our DT days are Textiles, Mechanisms, Structures, Electronics and Food and Nutrition.


During our Textiles day pupils design and make products from various textile based materials.






The children use a range of tools and equipment to perform practical tasks such as cutting, shaping, joining and stitching.





In this unit pupils learn how mechanical parts can be used to convert movements into motion.

The mechanisms used can be levers, sliders, wheels, axles; the list goes on!


During this strand of the curriculum pupils build structures, exploring how they can be made stronger, stiffer and more stable.


Older pupils apply their understanding of how to strengthen, stiffen and reinforce more complex structures.


Pupils learn how to design and make functioning electronic circuits:

For example series circuits incorporating switches, bulbs, buzzers and motors. These sessions are for KS2 pupils only.

Food and Nutrition

Food and nutrition is a key part of the D.T curriculum.

In this strand pupils understand and apply the principles of a healthy and varied diet. They plan, design, prepare and cook a variety of dishes using a range of cooking techniques.


At John Stainer Primary and Nursery, children use creativity and imagination to design and make products that solve relevant and real problems within a variety of contexts. The intent of our DT curriculum is to:

  • 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.
  • To develop the children’s knowledge of tools and to encourage children to select appropriate tools and techniques for making a product, whilst following safe procedures.
  • To develop ICT skills to allow children to program and control products, to nurture their understanding of mechanical and electrical systems.
  • To reflect on and evaluate present and past design and technology, its uses and effects.
  • To promote pupils spiritual, moral, social and cultural development.


Throughout our DT curriculum, the children follow a design, make, evaluate model to develop their knowledge and skills.


  • Annotate design ideas.
  • Represent design ideas using a range of techniques including modelling.
  • Use relevant research to inform and develop creative design ideas.


  • Work safely and independently using a range of tools and equipment to produce high quality products.
  • Being confident cutting, bending, shaping and joining different types of materials. 


  • Reflecting on their progress and ability.
  • Analysing and evaluating the work of others to influence their own work. 

Technical Knowledge

  • Understand the main categories and properties of common DT materials.
  • To be able to identify the impact DT has on wider social, environmental and moral issues.


Throughout the school, Design and technology is documented through portfolios, these are kept as they progress throughout the school. Class teachers use observations and questioning as an indication to assess whether the children are meeting the expected standard for their age.

This information is also recorded and kept as an indication to support future planning and the development of the DT scheme.

We also encourage the children to self and peer reflect by giving constructive criticism within the lessons. When assessing, teachers and children will consider vocabulary and the use of skills and knowledge.

At John Stainer our aim is that, by the time they leave our school, our children will have a wide understanding which they will be able to use to create original, imaginative, inventive and distinctive designs and projects.

Beyond the Curriculum

The Amazing Egg Mobile Race

Every John Stainer pupil is also given the opportunity to take part in our annual John Stainer Egg Mobile Race.

This is a fantastic competition which all the children in school can enter and will test their design and problem solving skills.

Pupils need to design and make a mobile/carriage to move a hard boiled chicken’s egg as far as possible down the school hall.

Pupil’s mobiles are released from a slope at one end of the hall and need to travel on their own as far as possible. The furthest travelling egg-mobile from each class wins a prize! There is also a prize for the most beautifully decorated mobile and the most original design in each class.


  •  Our KS2 had amazing fun making these decorative present holders.
  • These Year 1 Pupils worked really hard on their design and threading skills to make these lovely stockings.
  • Our KS1 pupils came up with some lovely designs which they cut carefully out of felt.
  • Research to Design- KS2 spent a lot of time researching existing designs before coming up with their own amazing ideas.Last years Year 6 class showed some impressive cutting and sewing skills to come up with some amazing felt puppets designs.
  • 6 and 7. KS1 pupils made some amazing moving picture designs by making sliding and rotating tab mechanisms.
  • Cam mechanisms were used to come up with some very impressive moving toys.
  • KS1 pupils followed the design process by researching and then coming up with lots of different design ideas.
  • Our KS2 pupils were very excited about designing their electronic quiz games.
  • The quiz games used a circuit that buzzed and lit up LED’s to tell the user if their answer was correct or not.
  • Pupils tested their designs on their peers and gave feedback on how to improve their electronic quiz games.
  • KS2 were very proud of their healthy salad designs.
  • Year 2 learned how to use a knife safely to cut food when making a healthy breakfast.
  • Healthy eating can be yummy and fun, as our KS1 pupils founds out when they tested their fruit kebab designs.
  • This amazing design flew down the ramp like a rocket!
  • Our kS1 pupils were very proud of their egg mobile designs.
  • The Egg Mobiles had to travel as far as possible but also look good too- this design did well in both areas!
  • The Egg mobiles had to make it safely down the ramp before their distance could be judged.
  • The excitement of taking part was hard to contain for some pupils!