Design and Technology

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The Federation of St Mary’s Catholic Schools are a secure, friendly and faith-centred community where we seek to realise the full potential of all our family through the living love of Christ. All our work with children and their families, staff, governors, parishioners and the wider community is influenced by our core values which are: Compassion, Respect and Resilience.

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 The purpose of our Arches Curriculum is to ensure that our children are successful in life and learning. The ‘Nine Arches’ Sankey Viaduct in Newton-le-Willows has been the inspiration for our curriculum.  The viaduct was built by George Stephenson between 1828 and 1830 and the bridge, built to let trains cross above the Sankey Canal, has international significance as the world’s earliest major railway viaduct still in use.

The ‘Nine Arches’ signifies excellence in engineering that is still successful.  Our curriculum is designed to show our children that our ambitious curriculum will offer them rewards for the future. As a school, our curriculum sets high expectations for each and every child, meaning that we are relentless in our commitment to overcoming barriers faced by our pupils and to developing children to be resilient and self-motivated in their pursuit of learning.

With Christ at the heart and encompassing our Mission Statement, “I can do all things through Christ who strengthens me,” we provide a high-quality education within a creative, stimulating, encouraging and mutually supportive environment where children are enabled to develop the skills they require to become successful in design technology.

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Through our ‘ambitious’ curriculum driver, we want our children relish challenges that being a designer can bring: to follow the design, make, evaluate process towards a final outcome/product, to use creativity and imagination, to make products that solve real and relevant problems within a variety of contexts, considering their own and others’ needs, wants and values.

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Through the ‘resilience’ curriculum driver, we encourage children to take risks, become resourceful, innovative, enterprising and capable citizens within in DT curriculum. Children are encouraged to ‘make mistakes’ during the design, make, evaluate process and learn from them.

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As a Catholic school we place Christ at the centre of all that we do. We integrate Gospel values and the teachings of the Catholic Church into every aspect of learning and teaching in our DT teaching. Through our DT curriculum, we encourage a sense of awe and wonder of the world around us.

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At St Mary’s, we understand that happiness is linked to personal growth, health and development. We ensure our children are happy, healthy individuals. In DT, we ensure there is a huge emphasis on keeping safe when using tools and equipment. In Food & Nutrition, food handling and hygiene is taught before the children ‘make’. Healthy diets and lifestyles are embedded within the curriculum planning. With ‘wellbeing’ as a curriculum driver, we give children the confidence to thrive in a diverse, global society and be respectful citizens with British and Christian Values at the core.

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Through the ‘excellence’ curriculum principle, children acquire a broad range of subject knowledge and draw on disciplines such as mathematics, science, engineering, computing and art.

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.

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Through ‘success’, we raise aspirations to broaden our children’s horizons – opening their eyes to the myriad careers they might pursue. Through careful planning, visitors attend school to inform children of their careers linked to technology. We provide tangible role models to raise our pupils’ aspirations to inspire them to work even harder to be the best that they can be. We give children real life design tasks and scenarios in DT. We want our pupils to have a clear understanding of the link between achieving well and having goals for the future.

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Being a designer means that disciplinary and substantive knowledge complement each other harmoniously. Design and Technology disciplines such as textiles, building structures etc are all given the same importance within our curriculum.

Through disciplinary literacy, all children read like designer: reading design briefs, recipes, and quality non-fiction texts to support their DT knowledge and understanding.


All of our children will have consistent access to a broad, balanced and high-quality Design and Technology curriculum which will: 

  • Develop the creative, technical and practical expertise needed to perform everyday tasks confidently and to participate successfully in an increasing 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
  • Enable pupils to critique, evaluate and test their ideas and products and the work of others
  • Help pupils to understand and apply the principles of nutrition and learn how to cook 

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A comprehensive set of progression documents are available from Kapow Primary.  These are all accessed by staff through Kapow (and are not published here due to copyright reasons).

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VALUED - We value vocabulary in design technology and it underpins everything we do. 
IDENTFIED - Design technology vocabulary is identified by the DT subject leader and is explicitly planned for.
TAUGHT - Vocabulary is explicitly taught in every lesson. Our knowledge organisers are used as a teaching tool for key design technology vocabulary and the design technology medium term plans include additional vocabulary to be taught.
APPLIED - Once vocabulary is taught, it is applied. Children apply their vocabulary in their speaking and listening, writing and assessment outcomes in design technology.
LEARNED - Vocabulary is revisited and relearned. Vocabulary sticks in the children’s long-term memory. Lesson by lesson, year by year, children revisit and relearn key computing vocabulary.


Through an ‘explosion of experiences’, our youngest designers are exposed to the foundations of their DT learning. Carefully planned DT knowledge, skills and experiences are provided for our children. High quality books, stories and rhymes are the beating heart of our design technology curriculum in EYFS. Design vocabulary is planned for. Staff are role models in demonstrating design technology vocabulary and this is further enhanced in our excellent provision. The foundations of DT learning in EYFS is linked to Year 1 and beyond.


Both our staff and children are enthusiastic about Design Technology. Through ongoing CPD, we strive to ensure our teachers have expert knowledge of the music they teach. Our pedagogy is firmly based upon our curriculum intent of embedding concepts into long-term memory so that they can be recalled, to ensure substantive and disciplinary knowledge and skills can be applied fluently. 

The Federation of St Mary’s Catholic School’s model ensures that lessons are effectively sequenced so that new knowledge and skills build on what has been taught before and towards defined end points.  

We firmly believe that all children should have full access, including those with additional needs, to our Design Technology curriculum therefore lessons are scaffolded where appropriate in order to meet the needs of all our children.    

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Our well-constructed and well-taught Design Technology curriculum leads to great outcomes. Our results are a reflection of what our children have learnt. At St Mary’s, our philosophy is that broad and balanced leads to great outcomes and meeting end points at the end of each key stage. National assessments are useful indicators of the outcomes our children achieve.

We ensure all groups of children are given the knowledge and cultural capital they need to succeed in life. We strive to ensure that our children are equipped with the skills (through a growth mindset approach) to fluently be able to retrieve key facts from their semantic memory.

The quality of our children’s work, at every stage, is of a high standard. All learning is built towards an end point and at each stage of their education, we prepare our children for the next stage.

We ensure all our children read to a stage appropriate level and fluency through disciplinary literacy in DT lessons.

The impact of St Mary’s DT curriculum is measured through the following:

  • Assessment at the end of each unit of work
  • Vocabulary and knowledge are assessed at the end of each lesson and at the end of each sequence
  • Pupil voice
  • Progress evident in children’s books and record of experiences
  • Seeking views of parents where appropriate

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