Design and Technology

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Curriculum Information


At Woodcroft, we follow the Design Technology programme of study outlined in the National curriculum Programmes of Study: Key Stages 1 and 2, supported within the framework provided by The Essentials Curriculum. The aim of our curriculum is to ensure all pupils acquire:

Technical Knowledge; Practical Knowledge; Design Inspiration; Design Process and are able 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.

Curriculum Scope and Breadth

The scope and breadth of the curriculum at Woodcroft is shaped by our curriculum drivers, cultural capital, National Curriculum subjects and our ambition for students to study the best of what has been thought and said by many generations of academics and scholars.

KS1 Curriculum Map

KS2 Curriculum Map

Curriculum unit organisation

We have mapped out our topics in line with the National Curriculum, the sequence of units is listed in the Woodcroft Scope. A summary of current unit titles is listed below.

Milestone 1
Year Group Unit
Year 1 1.4 Solid Structure
1.5 Slider Mechanisms 
1.8 Portable Snacks
Year 2  1.6 Wheels and Axles Lever Mechanisms  
1.2 / 1.3 Frame structures (chairs)
1.9 Food: Couscous dish 
Milestone 2
Year 3
2.6 Frame Structures
2.3 Paper Circuits 
2.9 Food: Dips
2.4 Linked Levers
Year 4 2.2 App Control
2.7 Shell Structures
2.5 Sewing
2.8 Vegetable soup
Milestone 3
Year 5 3.6, 3.7 Pulleys, gears and cams (Lego WeDo-summer)
3.4 Arch Structures
3.9 Bread
Year 6 3.5 Frame structures 
3.8 Food throughout the year – biscuits
3.10 Baking (pizza, cake, pasta sauce) inc health eating
3.3 Electric Motors (Summer – Lego WeDo unit)


National Curriculum coverage are divided into three Phases*. We call these phases Milestones at Woodcroft.

*Early Years Foundation Stage is treated as a separate milestone and has its own curriculum. Transition from Reception to Year 1 has been carefully planned.

We distinguish between subject units and threshold concepts.

  • Subject units (topics) are the specific aspects of knowledge that are studied
  • Threshold concepts tie together the breadth of  subject knowledge. The same concepts are explored in a wide variety of different topics throughout each milestone.. Pupils will return to the same concepts over and over; gradually deepening understanding the subject.

Threshold Concepts in Design and Technology

 We have identified three threshold concepts

  • Take Inspiration from Design (design Inspiration):
    • Explore objects and designs to identify likes and dislikes.
    • Suggest improvements to existing designs.
    • Explore how products have been created.
  • Master Practical Techniques (technical and practical knowledge)
    • Learn and practice the skills needed to make a high-quality product
  • Design, make, evaluate, improve (design process)
    • Develop the process of design thinking:
      • Think 
      • Make 
      • Break 
      • Repeat

These ‘Threshold Concepts’ are further developed into seven disciplinary concepts. These can also be described as Knowledge Categories.

Knowledge Categories 

  1. Structures
  2. Mechanisms
  3. Control (inc Artificial Intelligence)
  4. Electronics
  5. Food and nutrition

Disciplinary Concepts

Each knowledge category is taught according to four disciplinary concepts of Design Technology

  • Design Inspiration
  • Technical Knowledge
  • Practical Knowledge
  • Design process

Curriculum Progression and Assessment

We identify specific categories of knowledge that enable pupils to express their understanding of the substantive concepts. Teachers plan learning sequences to cover each of these knowledge categories, making each subject distinct.

Within each Milestone, pupils progress in their learning through three cognitive domains from basic to advancing and then deep understanding. The goal for pupils is to display sustained mastery at the ‘advancing’ stage of understanding by the end of each milestone. The most able pupils will be able to demonstrate a greater depth of understanding at the ‘deep’ stage. The time-scale for sustained mastery and greater depth is two years of study within each milestone phase.

A fundamental aspect of our curriculum are planned Proof of Progression assessment tasks. These are based on  learning expectations of a milestone in each cognitive domains from basic to deep. Teachers are able to make comparative assessments of pupil progress based on how pupils independently apply their learning to these tasks at the end of each unit.

Knowledge Webs and The Tree House

Knowledge webs are published on the Treehouse. The Treehouse is our virtual learning environment. They cover the essential knowledge and vocabulary that children should learn.

Curriculum Resources and Core Curriculum Texts

At Woodcroft we utilise a range of different teaching resources to support our curriculum: As part of every DT unit there is an identified core curriculum text to support the development of reading for fluency and purpose.

How are lessons sequenced?

Teachers plan a block learning sequence (BLS)  by first considering the intended outcomes from the unit. This outlines what pupils need to know  (or be able to do) at the end of the units to demonstrate Basic, Advancing or Deep understanding.  First, teachers design a pop task that will act as proof of progress or learning. The pop task will inform the direction of learning as the sequence will be planned so the children are able to independently achieve success in the pop task. Within a sequence of lessons, teaching content will include: opportunities for vocabulary building, reading, geographical enquiry, quiz questions, modelling, guided practise and memory retrieval.

Units are always sequenced in three consecutive parts according the development of the subjects threshold concepts:

Unit Learning Sequence Part 1: Take inspiration Part 2: Master practical techniques Part 3: Design, make, evaluate and improve


Progression of skills

We use the design of POP tasks to further strengthen pupils’ knowledge development. This aligns with our whole school approach to cognitive challenge:

  • Basic ( bronze level within the scheme) – to introduce a topic 
  • Advancing (silver level) – when practising techniques and gaining fluency 
  • Deep ( gold level) – when using knowledge to be creative.

Pupils are able progress through each topic from basic to deep.

Basic (bronze) 

  • Technical knowledge POP tasks 
  • Practical knowledge POP tasks 

Advancing (silver) 

  • Finger fluency POP tasks – practice at applying practical knowledge with the aim of procedural fluency
  • Design inspiration POP tasks (inc. Guided design tasks: think, make, break, repeat 

Deep (gold)

  • Design challenge

What does a Design Technology  lessons at Woodcroft look like?

The structure of lessons will vary based on the topic, year group and the individual needs of the children in the class.  However, effective learning sequences will include the following elements:


  1. Prime the content to be learnt and how it fits in to the curriculum sequence
  2. Specify key vocabulary


  1. Establish the required prior knowledge is in place


  1. Explain and model the new concepts
  2. Check for understanding 


  1. Prepare for practice – show pupils how you want them to work to represent their learning through guided proactive and worked examples.
  2. Provide opportunities Independent practice


  1. Provide live feedback and intervene for misconceptions 
  2. Review the learning that has taken place
  3. Feed forward to the next step in the sequence

* Remember, these steps can happen multiple time in a chunked lesson

Plan to revisit and review concepts again at a later date

Cooking and nutrition

As part of their work with food, pupils should be taught how to cook and apply the principles of nutrition and healthy eating. Instilling a love of cooking in pupils will also open a door to one of the great expressions of human creativity. 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. Pupils should be taught to: Key stage 1  use the basic principles of a healthy and varied diet to prepare dishes  understand where food comes from. Key stage 2  understand and apply the principles of a healthy and varied diet  prepare and cook a variety of predominantly savoury dishes using a range of cooking techniques  understand seasonality, and know where and how a variety of ingredients are grown, reared, caught and processed.

Visit a curriculum subject page by clicking the link listed below:

English   Mathematics   Science   Computing   Physical Education   Music   History   Geography   Spanish   Design and Technology   Art and Design   Religious Education