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Design & Technology

Purpose of study

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 well-being 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 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.

DT at Middleton

Within each year group, children will focus on three threshold concepts. These are the big ideas which underpin the subject.

• Master practical techniques
This concept involves developing the skills needed to make high-quality products. 
• Take inspiration from design
This concept involves appreciating the design process that has influenced the products we use in everyday life.
• Design, make, evaluate and improve
This concept involves developing the process of design thinking and seeing design as an iterative process.


Alongside these three threshold concepts, there are a range of knowledge categories which work to strengthen children's knowledge of each of the threshold concepts. Within each unit, the children will work towards showing their understanding of these knowledge categories. These are as follows:


  • Technical knowledge

Involves knowing about the technical theories that underpin design. This helps designers to imagine products that, in the real world, will do what they intended them to do.

  • Practical knowledge

Involves applying technical knowledge to projects. Designers need automatic recall of technical and practical knowledge to successfully realise their designs. 

  • Design inspiration

The ideas for most inventions come from things that are already in existence and, over time, inventors gradually improve them. Designers take inspiration from products already in existence and use them as starting points for their designs.

  • Design Process

​​​​​​​​​​​​​​Design is an iterative process. The word ‘iterate’ means to repeat. This is an important part of the discipline of design.

Long Term Curriculum Map

As you can see, there are a wide range of DT units covered at Middleton:

  • Structures 
  • Mechanisms
  • Electrical systems
  • Artificial Intelligence and app control
  • Food and nutrition
  • Textiles


Our curriculum is designed to allow children to experience each of these units within each milestone. This allows children to revisit these areas and progress their skills.