Horsforth Newlaithes

At Horsforth Newlaithes Primary School we aim to provide children with a Design and Technology curriculum that is relevant in our rapidly changing world. We want to expose the children to a broad range of architects, designers and engineers that reflect the diversity of our local community and the wider world. Through our high quality teaching we give our children opportunities to build and apply knowledge, understanding, vocabulary and skills in order to design and make high quality products that solve real and relevant problems. We want our children to be able to learn to think and intervene creatively to solve problems, both as individuals and as part of a team. At Newlaithes we aim to embed the ‘think, make, break, repeat’ iterative design process into our Design and Technology lessons to ensure our children are thinking critically and developing resilience. Throughout their time at school, the children will be exposed to a wide range of media and will develop their technical knowledge by exploring structures, mechanical systems, electronic processes, computer programming, textiles and food.


At Newlaithes, Design Technology is delivered as a discrete subject and, wherever possible, cross curricular links are formed. Design Technology links well with many other subjects, such as Art, Maths and Science and teachers carefully plan these links to ensure they are meaningful. In KS1, DT is often linked to imaginary community learning to inspire and stimulate children. To ensure high standards of teaching and learning in Design and Technology, we implement a curriculum that is progressive throughout the whole school. Teachers use the progression milestone document to ensure the curriculum is covered and the skills/knowledge taught is progressive from year group to year group. The skills are grouped into threshold concepts: master practical skills; design, make, evaluate improve and take inspiration from design through history. Threaded through our curriculum are a series of knowledge categories to underpin the curriculum: technical knowledge, practical knowledge, design inspiration, design ideas. Teachers may use the Chris Quigley compendium units of work as a guide, but also allow themselves the creative freedom to add their own ideas too, providing the skills and technical knowledge are taught. The DT long term plan is carefully organised so that units are repeated and built upon to ensure these skills and knowledge are embedded. KS1 will experience units on structures, mechanisms, textiles and food. Lower KS2 will experience units on structures, levers and pneumatics, app control, textiles, paper circuits and food and upper KS2 will do structures, cams and pulleys, artificial intelligence, electronic motors, textiles and food. All these units will be taught safely, following appropriate risk assessments and guidance.

Early Years have created their own long term plan based on the Early Years Framework and is mapped out to consider the needs of their children, as well as the curriculum drivers of the school. Staff in Early Years have a good knowledge of how the key ELG’s and CofEL that link to Design and Technology feed into the National Curriculum. In reverse, staff in KS1 and 2 understand how EYFS lays the foundations for progression in Design and Technology throughout school.

Lessons in Design and Technology at Newlaithes follow the structure- research, design, make and evaluate. We believe that evaluation is crucial throughout the whole process, with the iterative design process ‘think, make, break, repeat’ present throughout lessons, not just at the end of a unit.

Independent Learning Time (ILT) allows children in KS1 and EYFS to carry out their own lines of enquiry and child-initiated projects, supported by adults. Many children choose Design and Technology activities during ILT and are able to further embed skills already learnt, such as using scissors or joining techniques. Children often challenge themselves to acquire new skills and knowledge during ILT and are able to teach their peers what they have learnt.

We measure the impact of our curriculum through the following methods:
• Monitoring of children's understanding, knowledge and skills by the class teacher throughout lessons. This assessment is then used to inform differentiation, support and challenge required by the children.
• The use of DT books from Year 1 to Year 6 allow teachers to monitor this progression throughout the year groups. The research, design, make and iterative evaluation journey is recorded in the books, which should include research, notes, designing, photos of the making process and finished product and peer and self evaluations of the work (post its or notes).
• DT book scrutinies and feedback passed on to staff.
• Interviewing the pupils about their learning (pupil voice).
• POP tasks (Proof of Progress) tasks are completed by the children several weeks after a unit to assess whether learning has been embedded.

In EYFS and KS1 Tapestry is used to inform parents of Independent Learning Time projects. It can also be used for the subject lead to monitor independent DT learning across the year groups and the embedding of skills.


Threshold Concepts Knowledge Categories

Master practical skills (food, materials, textiles, electronics, computing, construction, mechanics)

Design, make, evaluate, improve

Take inspiration from design through history

Technical knowledge

Practical knowledge

Design inspiration

Design process


Click here to download our intent statement for design and technology

Click here to download our long plan plan for design and technology

Click here to download our skills progression document for design and technology