Design & Technology
Welcome to the Design & Technology Page!
Design & Technology Curriculum Intent
At SMSJ, we have created a bespoke Design & Technology curriculum based on the National Curriculum.
Our aims are for all our children to:
- solve real and relevant problems within a variety of contexts, considering their own and others’ needs, wants and values
- develop knowledge and practical understanding through the specific process of investigate, design, make and evaluate
- acquire a broad range of subject knowledge and draw on disciplines such as mathematics, science, engineering, computing and art.
Our Design & Technology scheme of work incorporates the content of the National Curriculum, along with
planned opportunities to meet the very specific needs of our children. Given that the majority of our
children have English as an Additional Language (EAL), these opportunities focus on:
1. Language development and understanding of key vocabulary
Key language is unpicked and clarified when looking at the initial project brief. This is reinforced during the lessons that follow to increase familiarity. Continually following the iterative process of investigate, design, make and evaluate during each unit, helps to underpin vocabulary understanding.
2. Oracy development
In every lesson, opportunities are provided for children to discuss aspects of Design & Technology in pairs and within groups. Verbalisation of thoughts is a key element of lessons, which encourages discussion and evaluation amongst peers.
3. Learning experiences
Design and Technology is an inspiring, rigorous and practical subject and each unit provides opportunities children to create a physical item that fulfils the project brief. We have an annual STEM week in which the children take part in a whole-school project incorporating Science, Technology, Engineering and Maths.
Design &Technology and our School Vision
At SMSJ it is our intent that learners of all abilities access a safe, practical and challenging Design & Technology curriculum. Our school motto ‘Nurture, Inspire, Achieve’ underpins the delivery of lessons we
provide. Children are introduced to a project and shown examples of existing products to inspire them.
They then engage in lessons to nurture the skills they need to make a product - always with a focus on
health and safety. By the end of a unit, every child will have made a product and achieved the project brief.
Evaluating each of these stages not only develops children’s critical thinking, but also offers children the
opportunity to partake in language rich exchanges, with both staff and peers. Not only that, it encourages
links across the curriculum to be considered and reinforced.
Sometimes Design & Technology can be a daunting subject and we know how crucial it is for staff to have
current, up to date skills in this ever changing society. The subject leader endeavours to share updates on
a regular basis which gives staff the subject knowledge and first-hand experience to deliver effective,
engaging lessons. Each unit contains a practical resource providing examples and explanations to support
and develop teacher confidence.
STEM weeks are an exciting opportunity to explore these cross curricular links even further. We want our
children to be inquisitive and curious about the world around them and we stimulate their minds by offering
a variety of experiences linked to a real-life theme or problem. This is done through practical investigations,
research projects, first hand experiences, practical challenges, team building, writing opportunities and
oracy presentations. Each STEM experience develops and encourages children’s understanding of the
world around them. This encourages reflection on our school vision that ‘With God anything is possible’
and inspires pupils to become the critical thinkers and problem solvers of tomorrow.
STEM at St Michael with St John
We have an annual STEM week in which the children take part in a whole-school project incorporating Science, Technology, Engineering and Maths. Over the last few years, these have proved very popular with our children and have included the following projects:
2015 - Floating gardens
2017 - Wind powered winches
2018 - Card business
2019 - Catapults
The website and video linked below below demonstrates the concepts of STEM.
STEM - A range of videos and resources incorporating STEM activities.
Mr Brown's Top 3 STEM Challenges
Whilst you're at home, why not try one of the fun STEM challenges listed below. You don't need much equipment, just a little patience!
Pringle ring challenge. Forget what you've been told about playing with your food... can you take a pack or two of Pringles (or any similar type crisps) and build a ring?
If you manage it, take a photo of you next to it and send it to the school email address. Good luck.
Paper Hole Challenge
Rube Goldberg Machine
A Rube Goldberg machine is a machine that does a simple task in a complicated way - in one continuous motion. The video below will show you an example.
Your challenge is to try and make a simple Rube Goldberg machine at home using whatever you have lying around. There are some simple ideas at the following website: to get you started. It's really important for your safety that if you are planning on using anything electrical or high up, make sure you ask your parents for help.
Take a picture or video of your machine and send it to the school office. Have fun!
Rube Goldberg Machine Year 6
Food hygiene & Safety
Within D&T, a range of units are based on food. Consequently, as a school, We aim to educate children on the importance of food safety and hygiene. Considering the effects of cross contamination on end users is a very important part of the learning process, when we handle and prepare food. The website below offers a range of advice and videos explaining why it is important - and how to minimise risk.
There are several other D&T links that you may find useful:
The Design & Technology Association - Offers resources and advice for KS2
Dyson engineering resources - Website providing lesson resources by the inventor James Dyson
Design & Technology POS - National curriculum for D&T KS1/kS2