Design and Technology

Intent: The DT curriculum at Stanford School aims to encourage children to design and make products that solve real and relevant problems within a variety of contexts; considering their own, and others’, needs, wants and values.

This curriculum is very interactive, practical and purposeful to the child. We draw on the disciplines of mathematics, science, engineering, computing and art to design and make high-quality products for a wide range of users. These may include an historical figure who we are learning about in History; a group of people living in a certain geographical area; our friends and family as well as ourselves.

Implementation: Our DT curriculum is designed so that children are not only building up their technical knowledge, vocabulary and skills; but also learning how to design, make and evaluate their products effectively.

This can involve the following stages:

  • Exploring and evaluating existing products,
  • Sharing, discussing and evaluating their own ideas,
  • Using design criteria,
  • Designing purposeful, functional and appealing products,
  • Selecting from and using a range of tools and equipment appropriate to the task,
  • Selecting from and using a wide range of materials and components, including construction materials, textiles and ingredients, according to their characteristics,
  • Evaluating theirs and others’ products using the original design criteria.
  • Presenting their products to others, sometimes marketing and selling them for profit.

Impact: We are extremely proud of the achievements of our pupils in DT. Our pupils progressively build up their practical skills throughout their years at Standford, adapting them, applying them and shaping them to a wide range of products. These products are always used, relevant and meaningful for the children.

At Stanford School we encourage pupils to be aware of how key events or individuals in design and technology have helped shape the world. Wherever possible this is personalised to our locality and the lives of our community.

The pupil’s knowledge and experience is enhanced by visitors, school trips, workshops and themed days. Links within local industry are also made.

A snapshot of some of our Design Technology work:

Blossom DT- We are Designers

Year 5 pupils have began designing their own structures for a modern day shelter. They used some of the strengthening techniques, practised earlier, in their designs, such as triangulation and gussets. Pupils then used straws and glue to begin making their prototypes, measuring each length carefully.

'We struggled to fit the straws together at first, but we worked together and managed to succeed in the end.'

' It was a challenge getting all the straws the right size, so that they fitted together.'

Year 5 are Design Engineers

In Blossom class pupils have been researching air raid shelters and other types of modern shelters to design their own modern take on an air raid shelter. Pupils investigated how a structure can be built and then how it can be strengthened using triangulation. Pupils then tested the strength using different resources.

“ I enjoyed this lesson and working as a team’
“It was frustrating at first, but I managed to strengthen my structure successfully’

Making Wallets and Purses

Today in Pumpkin class we have started our latest design and technology project making a wallet or purse. We chose appropriate equipment, used different coloured felt and cut out our desired shape using a template. We used our plan to make sure we were cutting the correct shape we needed. Next we will be sewing our designs onto our wallet/purse.

Year 2 Hook Day: Can I think like an engineer?

The children enjoyed a very busy and informative day learning about bridges and designing and making their own.

D- We watched a video that told us all about engineers and how they design and build things to solve problems. It was interesting.
O- I enjoyed the story called ‘George Makes a Bridge.’ I could answer all the questions and I drew a picture of the bridge that George made to help the chicks cross the river.
L- It was interesting to look at the photos of different kinds of bridges all around the world.
W- I could tell what the bridges were made out of and we talked about why they were built.
C- I loved the Lego challenge. I made a really good bridge that crossed my river.
M- I learnt lots of new words, like pier, reinforce and stable. I found out that lots of bridges have triangle shapes and these make them stronger.
A- I found out different ways to make cardboard bridges. When I made mine, I joined my cardboard together by cutting slots and then I used pencils to reinforce my bridge to make it stronger.>

Year 1 Hook Day Puppet Making

In Year 1 this week we had our ‘Hook Day’ to start the Summer Term.

Our focus was to design and make a sock puppet as part of our DT work.

We all drew a design and wrote down a list of things we would need.

Next we set to work making the puppets. Our DT skills were to select and use the appropriate tools for joining different materials. We were so good at this that we persevered even when some skills became tough! We are so proud of the results.

We also learnt how to evaluate a product by looking at how successful it is. What do you

Child A: I love the long hair and ribbons on my puppet.
Child B:  My puppet can breathe fire and has spikes all down its back.
Child C: My puppet talks in a funny voice.
Child D: I have had the best day ever and I loved making my puppet.

Pumpkin Class are sandwich artists!

Today in Pumpkin class we have been making our own healthy sandwiches. In our sandwich we tried to include each part of the Eatwell plate. We also tried to explore new food we don't usually eat or haven't tried before. Some of us tried some unusual choices of sandwich.

"My sandwich was amazing"
"Astonishingly good!"
"I want to eat it all over again"
"I like BBQ sauce now"
"BEST sandwich EVER!" 

Chocolate Workshop

Year 4 had a special visitor this week who taught us lots about chocolate. We learned about its development throughout history and links to the Ancient Maya civilisation (that we have been learning about). We also learned about the conditions for growing cocoa pods within tropical rainforests and where the ingredients for chocolate are harvested. After this, we were taught some of the skills of what it takes to be a chocolate taster, with blind aroma tests, followed by tasting a variety of chocolates and identifying what ingredients they might include.

Designing Healthy Sandwiches

Today in DT we have been designing healthy sandwiches. Last week we looked at the eatwell plate and the different aspects we needed to include in our sandwich. Today we tried different foods we might include for each aspect of the eatwell plate and decided what we are going to include in our sandwich we make next week.

"I tried tuna and I have eaten it for years"
"I tried a gherkin and I always thought I hated them, but I didn't"
"I did not like the gherkin it was too vinegary"
"My sandwich is going to have all aspects of the eatwell plate; brown bread, butter, soft cheese, ham, lettuce, tomato and mayonnaise" 

Alarms ⏰

This half term Barley class have been designing, planning and then creating their own alarm system based on a given design. Pupils have used their knowledge on circuits, alarms and switches to create an alarm system. They used different electrical components and materials to create their design.

Sausage Making

Pumpkin Class got the chance to work with Gavin making sausages. Gavin told us all about what goes into shop bought sausages, and how we can make healthier ones ourselves. The sausages that Gavin made he knew all the ingredients that went into making them, however sometimes you don't always know what is in shop bought sausages. We then got to try the sausages ourselves and they got a thumbs up!

"That's the best sausage I've ever tasted!"
"I love sausages with beans and mash!"
"I really liked the sausage Gavin made"

Eating Five A Day!

As part of the Year 2 children’s Design and Technology and PSHE work, the children enjoyed a very informative workshop led by Chef Gavin from Chartwells.

M- We learnt about eating different kinds of fruit and vegetables and that we should try and eat five every day.
M- Chef showed us lots of different kinds of vegetables, some of them I had never seen before.
J- Chef Gavin told us how he grows his own vegetables and cooks different healthy recipes.
A- He gave us some vegetable soup to taste. He had made it with fresh ingredients. I liked it and I liked dipping in his homemade bread too!
T- Mrs. Brady liked the soup and she was asking lots of questions about healthy meals she could make too.

Year 1 Pizza Making

This week, Chartwells – our lunch providers – visited us to teach us about healthy eating. We learnt that we should have 5 pieces of fruit or veg every day. We thought about every fruit of vegetable that matches the colours in a rainbow and talked about which we liked best. Then came the best part! We learnt how to make our own pizzas and choose from a rainbow of toppings to make them look great and be healthy to eat. This was so much fun and we want to say a huge thank you to Chartwells for this amazing learning experience. Take a look at all our pizzas.

DT Enterprise Projects

Year 6 completed their DT enterprise projects ready to sell at the Christmas fayre. Pupils designed and then calculated the costings for this to ensure they made the most profit.

Using a range of DT skills, they then created their designs!

Willow Class Design and Technology

Willow class have been working on DT skills recently. We have designed and made a product for the Christmas enterprise, inspired by and made from natural materials. We have also been learning about shell structures, investigating which types of structure are stronger, moving on to learning how to reinforce and strengthen structures. We look forward to updating with our finished product later this term.

Metal Flowers Project

Today Pumpkin class were the first class to start the metal flowers project with VANEL. Year 3 created designs linking to their class artist Maud Purdy. They then painted these designs onto the metal flowers using key terms such as strokes, light, dark, pattern, layering. We were then joined by year 2 who came to have a look at how we were getting on and looking at the different designs we had created!

"I had lots of fun painting"

"I think they looked really pretty once they were finished"

"I liked mixing different colours to get the colour I wanted"

"I can't wait to see all the flowers when they are up!"

Designing, Making and Evaluating Our Healthy Fruit Smoothies

The Year 2 children had some great ideas for making healthy fruit smoothies.

They carefully selected their fresh ingredients and learnt how to prepare their smoothies using a range of techniques. Under the expert guidance of Chef Christie, they whizzed up some amazing drinks.

S- It was fun to make a fruit smoothie.

C- I enjoyed it so much that I wanted to make another one.

E- Mine was a bit sour, I think next time I would choose some sweeter fruit.

J- I loved the colour of mine.

L- I used milk in mine, next time I would like to try adding apple juice.

P- I want to make fruit smoothies at home!


Blossom Class have been looking at the word seasonal-what it means and which foods are harvested, caught or reared in certain months. Today we had the exciting job of tasting these foods! We tried and reviewed them, a tasty session!

L- ‘I didn’t like tomato before but I really like it now!’

A- ‘The celery was bumpy and it felt weird in my mouth’

H- ‘The apples were so sweet and juicy’

Pumpkins are design technologists: Mechanical Systems

In DT we having be learning all about mechanical systems and we have made our own moving animals using linkages and levers. We will back these onto a calendar ready to take home at Christmas.

"My fixed part is the head of my lion"

"My loose pivot was too tight so I had to loosen the split pin"

Craft Club

The children were very busy recycling some jeans to make bunting raising awareness of ‘Jeans for Genes’, an event to raise funds for those who have genetic conditions.

They look very proud of their work!

Egyptian Hook Day!

Today in Pumpkin class we have had our hook day. We have learnt lots about Egyptians and how they used to live, we even had a virtual tour of the British Museum around the Egyptian exhibition. Then we learnt all about papyrus paper and how it was used, then we had a go at making our own! 

Year 2 Project

The Year 2 children have been working very hard on their project this term. They had to design and build a trolley for holding small gardening tools. They each designed a trolley and then in teams chose the design they liked best. It was wonderful to see them working so co-operatively. They were all very proud of their excellent work. Well done everyone!

Healthy Eating Week!

This week, we have been looking at healthy eating and healthy lifestyles! Today, we made healthy chicken nuggets, using a range of skills such as: cutting, crushing and whisking. They were delicious! We also looked at what other foods we could pair with our chicken nuggets to create a well-balanced meal and had a lovely discussion justifying why we made these choices.

To finish the afternoon off, we incorporated some physical activity into our healthy lifestyles, and took part in some kick ball rounders for Well-being Wednesday! A wonderful afternoon!

Year 6 have been baking 🧁

As part of our Maths lessons this week we have been learning about ratio, proportion, profit and loss. As a class we have looked at a recipe that was intended to make 6 cupcakes and we had to calculate the ingredients needed to make 42 for the class (and a few extras for teachers of course!). Once we had calculated this, we researched the size of packaging our ingredients were sold in, for example butter in 250g. Continuing our research skills, we compared the cost of the ingredients across different supermarkets. So to end the week we combined our baking and maths skills to measure accurately, portion up the mixture and decorate some yummy cupcakes! These were definitely enjoyed by all! 👩‍🍳

Year 3 Making a healthy snack

After tasting different varieties of bread, the children looked at the different food groups needed for a balanced diet. They then used this knowledge to design a healthy snack containing all food groups. They wrote instructions to make their sandwich and gave Miss Perrin their shopping lists. The next day the children created their sandwiches themselves, ate them and evaluated them. A large percentage of children used breads that they had not tasted before this project which was amazing...... unfortunately the 'kitchen' was not as amazing when they had finished!

Year 3 Designing a healthy snack

As a part of the DT curriculum each year the children look at nutrition. Through this children learn about the nutritional value of food, seasonality and how foods vary around the world. It is an opportunity for children to try new foods and become independent preparing foods. To start off this project we did a little research. Miss Perrin found 15 different varieties of bread for the children to try. They didn't like them all but they were keen to try each variety.

Taste of Maya: Making Tortillas

We followed a recipe for making tortillas.  The cornmeal was really bright yellow and it made a crumbly texture.

Can I design and make a healthy fruit smoothie?

Pumpkin Class had some great ideas for making healthy fruit smoothies.

They carefully selected their fresh ingredients and learnt how to prepare their fruit and vegetables using a range of equipment and techniques. Under the expert guidance of Chef Christie, they whizzed up some weird and wonderful concoctions.

H- My smoothie was very nice. I was surprised that it was so nice.

T- I liked mine because it had loads of fruit and also it was a bit lumpy.

H- I liked my fruit smoothie because I added lime to give it a fruity boost.

E- Even though my smoothie had lumps in, I still tried it and liked it.

Designing and Making Poison Dart frogs.

This half term we have been designers, manufacturers and evaluators.

We explored the many varieties of poisoned Dart frogs and used their vivid colours as a stimulus to create our own variety.

Once our frog had been designed we started to make it. We used templates, drawing round them in chalk so they didn’t leave a permanent mark on the felt. It took a lot of care and concentration to cut the body parts out – especially the back legs!

Next came the sewing the pieces together using embroidery thread. We had to remember to leave a gap so we could pop the Kapok in.

Stuffing it was fun. Following this, the gap needed sewing.

Finally, we cut out small parts of felt to create patterns and glued them on along with eyes.

WV: “I’m very pleased with how it is soft and squishy. I feel I chose great colour and am happy with the finished frog.”

OW: “ I like the colours I chose. My favourite part was stuffing it. I can’t wait to take it home and play with it.”

TS: “I’m proud of my frog. I love the bright colours and that I have made something that actually looks like a poisoned dart frog.”

Foods from around the world

Year 6 pupils taste tested a variety of foods from around the world. These included Italy, Mexico and India. These included different textures and ingredients, some of which the pupils were unfamiliar with. Thank you Chartwells!