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Chesswood Junior School

Chesswood Junior School

Design & Technology

Welcome to Design & Technology at Chesswood

Please scroll down to see many examples of great work in design and technology at Chesswood

We are really proud of design and technology at Chesswood. Led by Mr Light and Miss Hills, we seek to inspire children through the DT curriculum, building key knowledge and skills with many memorable activities along the way. 

Our new Design and Technology room is now ready to use. We are very excited to have this great resource which is exceptionally well kitted out with all sorts of high-quality new equipment to help us develop some inspirational projects across the school. 

Scroll down to gain an understanding of how we approach Design and Technology at Chesswood, and take a look at some of the great work being undertaken. 


To download the full Design & Technology Sequence Overview please click on the image below

Design & Technology Vision

Through the teaching of design and technology, children will learn how to manage and control risks; work safely, confidently and competently with a variety of tools and materials; become resourceful, innovative, enterprising and capable citizens broadening their life opportunities. Children will understand clear links between their learning and real life – understanding how their developing knowledge and skills can be applied today, beyond school and in to adult life, including potential career paths.  

Learning will be highly focused on three core strands – engineering, textiles and cooking & nutrition. Children will be inspired by individuals, both historically and current, exposing them to the best of what has been thought, said and achieved in these areas.  Through the evaluation of past and present design and technology, they will develop a critical understanding of its impact on daily life and the wider world, recognising that design and technology makes an essential contribution to the creativity, culture, wealth and well-being of the nation.

Although design and technology is a highly practical subject, learning will be underpinned by core knowledge, skills, concepts and vocabulary on which children will have the confidence to be more creative, making informed decisions when designing and making products.

Within the cooking and nutrition strand, children will develop the life skills and knowledge associated with healthy living, food nutrition and cookery. With a focus on ‘grow local’ ingredients and seasonal produce, all children (especially the most disadvantaged) will benefit from developing skills and knowledge to make informed choices and cook affordable nutritional savoury dishes.

Design & Technology Principles

In line with the whole school curriculum policy, the following drivers and principles underpin everything we do in Design & Technology.

Curriculum Drivers

Life Opportunities      Creativity        Confidence       Competence

Curriculum Principles

Balanced         Coherent         Real & Relevant

Knowledge Rich         Cognitively Challenging         Inclusive

Design and Technology Principles

The design cycle - Research / Design / Make / Evaluate

Design & Technology Strategy

Life Opportunities 

Life skills are key to Design and technology at Chesswood. The focus is on cooking, textiles and engineering. Opportunities to link all units of work to careers are taken – e.g. ‘We are chefs’ links to roles in the local community where parents who are restaurant owners are invited to participate in lessons. Real life opportunities are sought, linking to entrepreneurial skills and showcasing within the wider school community e.g. selling soup at the Christmas Fayre, and the Chesswood Festival of Speed, which involves a race day that includes the school and wider community.

Through studying key people in design and technology, links are established to the best of what has been thought and said. Examining such individuals as Brunel in our engineering bridges topic helps to inspire children to greater understand how individual achievement can impact their future career choices. ACRO In Action job profiles will form part of key learning in each area.   

Creativity Confidence Competence

The design and technology curriculum seeks to build knowledge upon knowledge and skills upon skills, sequencing progression through the school. This seeks to embed competence and confidence within the subject by focusing on core aspects children must achieve to be able to progress. Certificates / licences are used to celebrate achievements – for example ‘Knife skills’. The skills and knowledge culminate in more creative application in Year 6 – Chesswood Festival of Speed, Masterchef and Bridges unit, where knowledge and skills are combined to solve real-life, open problems. 


Design Technology is varied in time between year groups. The priority within the subject will be the synthesis and application of knowledge from subjects, particularly science, art & design, geography (world knowledge and sustainability) and maths to address a range of briefs. Four strands will be given particular importance - Food (healthy eating and eating to enjoy; local businesses - fast and slow food, making money), Materials (linked to local sports & leisure - sailing, wind and kite surfing/ use of fabric for fashion/ parade and festival preparation); Engineering - structures and mechanical. 


Whilst making links to various other subjects, the place and importance of design technology is the core focus. Knowledge, skills, concepts and vocabulary in design technology are coherently planned and sequenced progressively. There is clarity about what getting better at the subject means, with the aim of moving children from novice to expert. The design and technology leader(s) has autonomy to build and oversee the design and technology curriculum, ensuring they have a full understanding of the progressive journey children have through the units planned. 

Real and Relevant

Design technology is rooted in real and relevant experiences for children. The core focus on key life skills and links to the local community (careers and enterprise) is central to the planning of the subject. Products are designed based on real and relevant briefs, taking inspiration from design and technology in the real world, both historically and currently. 

Knowledge Rich

The DT curriculum seeks to sequence knowledge effectively, ensuring that children have a good understanding of core knowledge to enable them to progress from unit to unit. Core knowledge and skills (procedural knowledge) are specified in detail and laid out in knowledge organisers for the key strands within design and technology – Cooking and Nutrition / Engineering / Textiles.

Cognitively Challenging

The DT curriculum seeks to introduce children to the best of what has been thought and said, linking to key individuals historically and currently. Units are chosen specifically to stretch children’s knowledge and skills development, with a key focus on core technical vocabulary and understanding.


The DT curriculum is constructed in a way that is ambitious and designed to give all learners, particularly the most disadvantaged and those with special educational needs and/or disabilities (SEND) or high needs, the knowledge and cultural capital they need to succeed in life. Units have been designed to support the development of key life skills which can be used by all pupils in everyday life. For example - teaching key skills and knowledge in cookery, linked to sustainability (affordable, seasonal produce – school allotment). Enterprise within the local community is designed to inspire all children to aspire to future career and entrepreneurial opportunities. The knowledge and skills foci seek to overcome barriers of the varied life experiences of children at Chesswood. 

Year 3

We are Chefs : Soup making 

Children grow their own ingredients, understanding seasonal produce and the benefit of growing locally

 Harvesting crops

Children learn skills of chopping, peeling, grating, measuring


 Add ingredients to the stock

Add a touch of seasoning to create tasty soup and ENJOY


Enterprise opportunities: A real and relevant outcome - selling soup at the Christmas Fayre. 


We are textile designers : Purse Making

Evaluating existing products - What does the customer require?

Designing - Creating patterns and templates

Using templates to cut the material to size


Threading a needle - building skills


Practising running, over and cross stitch

Proud smiles with finished purses!

We are engineers : Structures and Materials

Identifying different components and cams

​​Making a prototype in small groups

Planning own Easter cam cards

Making own Easter cam cards

Evaluating own cam Easter card

WE are chefs: Pizza Making

Recapping the Eatwell plate

Recapping skills from previous 'We are Chefs' unit

Planning our own balanced, healthy pizzas


Making our own pizzas!

Measuring accurately, combining ingredients, kneading and rolling dough.



Chopping and peeling vegetables to create healthy toppings and grating cheese to finish.



Baking pizzas in the oven.

Tasting the final product!

Evaluating our pizza.

(Coming soon)

We are structural engineers : tower Making


We are mechanical engineers : catapults


Year 4

we are electrical engineers : torches

Evaluation of existing products

Making a series circuit with a bulb and a functioning switch


Practical application of circuits in a functional product


We are structural engineers: Christmas Lanterns

Applying our understanding of structures to plan aesthetically pleasing products

Building our structures by cutting and  joining willow using elastic bands and masking tape to make strong 3D structures

Finished products


Christmas lantern evaluation

We are textile designers: draw-string bag


We are chefs: world cuisine - curry

We are chefs: world cuisine - curry


Year 5

we are chefs: The great british menu

Understanding seasonality and harvesting vegetables

Improving our knife skills

Making the Great British Menu

Enjoying the Great British Menu


Great British Menu Evaluation

We are mechanical engineers : cams toy

Building our own working cam


Developing our shaping and fixing skills


Exploring rotational and linear cams movements 


Cam toy evaluation

we are Textile designers: envelope cushion


Year 6

We are structural engineers: Building Bridges

Children study and explore different styles of bridges and how they work; looking at the advantages and disadvantages of each. Children explore forces of tension and compression building their knowledge as engineers. 

Arch Bridges - Compression Forces

Da Vinci Bridge - Compression Forces


Whilst exploring bridges, we focused on Isambard Kingdom Brunel - an ACRO Champion

Clifton Suspension Bridge - As part of the Bristol residential, children visit the Clifton Suspension Bridge

We are chefs: ready, steady, cook!

we are mechanical and electrical engineers:          chesswood festival of speed.


Sewing Club

We have recently purchased 17 sewing machines which will be used for textile projects in each year group. Sewing club have just started using them and are loving learning new skills and designing fantastic products.