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Horizon Academy Trust is an exempt charity regulated by the Secretary of State for Education.

company number 08411590

registered office is C/O Biggin Hill Primary School, Biggin Avenue, Bransholme, Hull, United Kingdom HU7 4RL.

Enter Trust

Gillshill Primary

Design Technology

Design Technology Curriculum Journey.pdf

Design Technology Knowledge and skills progression.pdfDT vocabulary progression.pdfDesign and technology EYFS - KS1 Foundational Knowledge.pdf

Design and Technology Policy.pdf


Design and Technology encourages children to learn to think and intervene creatively to solve problems both as individuals and as members of a team. At Horizon Academy Trust, 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. We believe that high-quality design and technology lessons will inspire children to think independently, innovatively and develop creative, procedural and technical understanding.

We aim to, wherever possible, link work to other disciplines such as mathematics, science, engineering, computing and art. The children are also given opportunities to reflect upon and evaluate past and present design technology, its uses and its effectiveness and are encouraged to become innovators and risk-takers.

Within each unit of Design and Technology children are taught and immersed in four phases of learning; Research, Design, Make, Evaluate. Alongside this, children develop the technical knowledge required to within different elements of design, such as sewing and the knowledge they require to make healthy choices when cooking and eating.

Through design and technology  work in the classroom, Horizon children, have the opportunity to develop their skills in mechanisms, structures, textiles, mechanical systems, electrical systems and cooking and nutrition. These areas are developed continuously throughout the school from foundation stage through to year six and the children have the opportunity to revisit skills from previous years before learning new ones. 

Technical knowledge and relevant vocabulary is taught through every unit and revisited as children progress through the school. This ensures that children gain an understanding and can deploy abstract design terms, such as 'prototype' and 'specification' within their work. 


From the beginnings of design and technology teaching in our EYFS, we endeavour to instil a sense of creativity in our pupils, allowing their understanding to develop through organised play in a creative area. They safely use and explore a variety of media, materials, tools and techniques, experimenting with colour, design, texture, form and function.

Design and technology lessons are rich in resources, vocabulary, questioning and content enabling children to develop mastery of the aims of the National Curriculum. Units of design and technology are further enhanced by focus weeks and days when children are encouraged to master practical skills, deign, make, evaluate and improve their creations.

Cross curricular outcomes in design and technology are specifically planned for and these are indicated on the knowledge organiser for each unit of work. The real life problems are always used as a stimulus for design lessons helping to foster the skills required for achievement in later life.


The DT curriculum at Horizon has been developed so that children gain the knowledge and skills in design, making, evaluating and technical knowledge through the 4 distinct concepts. These are Food Technology, Structures, Mechanisms and Textiles.  All units of work from Year 1 to Year 6 are linked to one or more of these concepts ensuring knowledge and skills build progressively as children move through the school. Knowledge is taught and reinforced consistently and all units build on previous learning taught in earlier year groups.

Food Technology
Children in EYFS develop practical skills and techniques using a range of materials. As children progress into Year 1 they learn to identify and sort foods into different groups. Children build on their prior knowledge of cutting, peeling and chopping to create a simple cold dish safely and hygienically. In Year 2, children further explore the concept of a balanced diet and how we should eat five portions of fruit and vegetables a day. As children move into KS2, Pupils discover when and where fruits and vegetables are grown and learn about seasonality as they now begin to prepare and cook healthy food. In year 4, pupils learn to adapt recipes for nutritional value and look at budgeting to ensure their creation is affordable. This is extended further in year 5 whereby pupils adapt a recipe to create a healthy meal before creating a healthy, three-course meal within a set budget in year 6. Food Technology is taught in every year group due to the context of our schools and community. Understanding healthy eating and nutritional value is seen as essential knowledge for our children due to increasing obesity rates locally.

In Year 1 children begin their learning journey into developing structures by first finding out how to create a stable structure and gain and understanding of how structures can be made stronger and stiffer. This knowledge is extended in KS2 with an exploration of how shape can strengthen more complex structures for a set purpose e.g. a building that can survive an earthquake and a bridge that can take an increasingly heavy weighted object. Through gaining knowledge in this concept children are to evaluate, refine and develop their ideas.

Children begin by learning about simple mechanisms such sliders to create movement in Year 1. As they progress into Year 2, children learn the terms: pivot, lever and linkage, pupils design a linkage mechanism to develop a toy. These initial ideas and concepts are further developed in KS2 through units based on pivots and cam mechanisms.

Children in EYFS experiment and play with threads, fibres and fabrics, allowing children to select their own materials for a specific purpose. At the beginning of Year 2, pupils are introduced to sewing. They make their own template, accurately cut their fabric and sew a basic running stitch to create simple puppets.  This basic knowledge is built on in year 3, as pupils move onto cross stitch and appliqué. By year 5, pupils are challenged to apply their prior knowledge and skills to the design a waistcoat using patterns and a range of sewing and decorating techniques.


The curriculum subject leader is responsible for monitoring and evaluating. The information gathered from this process informs the impact that the teaching has for that curriculum area. Judgements are based upon a triangulation of book scrutiny, pupil voice discussions, outcomes of assessments and the quality of teaching and learning. Governors undertake regular learning walks for their subject responsibility and receive a termly report from the subject leader identifying strengths and areas for development.  Each unit of work is assessed using our 1-3-5 Recap process. This means that the knowledge is revisited as part of the assessment process a week, 3 weeks and 5 weeks after the unit has been taught. The results of the recap are reported within Theme books.

Our aim is that at the end of each school year, pupils will have gained a deepening understanding of the creative, technical and practical expertise needed to perform everyday tasks confidently and to participate successfully in an increasingly technological world. They will have built and applied a repertoire of knowledge, understanding and skills in order to design and make high-quality prototypes and products for a wide range of users. Pupils will also be able to critique, evaluate and test their ideas and products and the work of others, as well as understand and apply the principles of nutrition and learn how to cook.

Through discussion and feedback, children talk enthusiastically about their D&T lessons and show a genuine curiosity and interest in the areas they have explored. Pupils use vocabulary they have a clear understanding of to discuss and evaluate past and present design and technology, and demonstrate a critical understanding of its impact on daily life and the wider world.

By the time our children leave Gillshill Primary School, we will have equipped them with a breadth of knowledge, skills and engineering experiences to give them a secure foundation for their secondary school learning. Our D&T curriculum will have instilled in them a love and enjoyment of learning about design and technology, and inspired the children to take risks, as well as enabling them to become more resourceful, innovative, enterprising and capable citizens.