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Design and Technology

Ashbourne Primary designers!
All the photographs to show you what we are up to in Design and Technology can be found here!

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Design and Technology at Ashbourne Primary School inspires children to be resourceful, enterprising and imaginative.

Our work is underpinned by our vision and aims: ‘Nurturing aspiration through happy, creative learning’. Our PRAISE aims are at the heart of every lesson and our focus on the removal of barriers to learning is firmly embedded into all areas of the Art curriculum.

Children will participate in projects from design, through creation and modification, demonstrating practical skills and rigorous evaluation. They will learn to take risks, make mistakes and solve problems. Our curriculum will equip the children with the skills necessary to design and make an object which has purpose.

DT scheme of work

Design and Technology Week 2020-21

This year all children at Ashbourne Primary took part in a full week of Design and Technology learning. Each year group had a particular skills focus, with a clear context for their learning and a purpose.

The children began by reading their brief or context and then carrying out research to see what products were already available in a similar area. For example, Year 1 and 2 were building catapults to defend their castles from each other, and so explored different types of catapults that had been used throughout history.

After this, all children explored different materials that they could use and worked together with others to create a design for their product. They adapted these until they were happy.

Then came the bit that the children enjoyed the most – the making. All year groups set about making their products, exploring the best ways to put them together and leading their own learning. This part was tricky, and some of us needed to make adaptations along the way!

Finally, we all tested and evaluated our designs. This meant different things in different year groups, with some hilarious results! However, every child in every year group was able to carry out all the steps that are involved in a good design and making process – and we are really proud of what the children have achieved during Design and Technology Week!

Scroll down to have a look at some of the things we have made…

EYFS – Exploring Media and Materials

EYFS went into school on Monday to find that all of their instruments for their performance had gone missing! But that’s no problem for Reception at Ashbourne Primary – they can just make some more instead! They spent a long time researching the different type of instruments they would need…

Then they set to work designing them!

After that, they explored a range of materials and began bringing their designs to life.

Now they were made, EYFS had a practice using their new instruments…

Before putting on a show for the grown ups!

Finally, they thought about what they had done well, and evaluated their designs. Super problem solving Reception!

Year 1 and 2 – Mechanics

Key Stage 1 went into battle for their D&T Week as part of their Knights and Castles topic! Each class received a letter from the other, explaining how they thought they would win in the battle for the castle. Each side needed to set up a defense, so they decided to create catapults in the quest to reign supreme.

They began by exploring catapults throughout history, and looking at existing model catapults.

Then they set to work in teams, exploring materials and sketching ideas before deciding on a final design.

Next it was time to get building…


And when the catapults were ready? We let the battle commence!

They created a table of their results, showing that ultimately, 1/2ET claimed the victory, but all groups did amazingly well. Some groups did particularly well at adapting their designs in the heat of the moment, to try to make the ‘cannonball’ travel further.

Finally they evaluated their designs, thinking about what they did well and how they could improve in future.

Some comments from Year 1 and 2:

“This is the best thing we have ever done!”

“It was fun because we got to make it however we wanted to.”

Year 3 – Materials and Construction

Year 3 worked hard to create photo frames to present their artwork, thinking about their intended user.

Firstly, they looked at a range of photo frames already available and deconstructed them to see how they were put together.

They created their designs (all the time thinking about how their frames would stand up)

Brought these to life (sometimes having to make some adaptations so they actually did stand up!)…

And came up with some excellent finished products! They were so good, Miss Mochor didn’t even mind about the amount of glitter and feathers in her classroom!

After, they evaluated them and then presented them to their target market: mum and dad!

Some comments from Year 3:

“I needed extra materials to those that I had planned so I had to change my design a bit”

“There were too many straws so I had to add stronger paper to make it stand up”

“I liked doing something myself and making my own piece of work.”

Year 4 – Electronics

Year 4 had the tricky but exciting job of working with electronics. They decided to design and make an electronic game, as part of their Sports topic.

Firstly, the explored different types of games currently available and also did a lot of testing to work out how the electrical circuits worked.

Next they produced their individual designs, creating circuit diagrams to show how their games would work.

They set to work making them, and Mr Clark was really impressed with the effort that they put in.

Finally, they played their games to test them. Then they evaluated them, thinking about what they liked and what they could improve on. Then the best bit – the got to play each other’s!

Year 5 – Textiles

In Year 5, the children decided they wanted to raise some money for their class party, and so set to work designing and making Christmas decorations which they could then go on to sell. This not only taught them textiles skills, but also how to become enterprising business people too!

They explored a range of existing decorations and deconstructed some to see how they had been made and which stitches had been used.

Then, Mrs Oldrini taught them a range of stitches which they might like to use to construct their own decorations.

As part of the design process, children used exploded diagrams to demonstrate different construction techniques.

Once their designs had been perfected, they used felt and sewed their decorations together.

Finally, they asked each other to review their products, in the way you might review an online purchase. Then they sold their decorations to their unsuspecting families!

Some comments from Year 4:

“I persevered!”

“I had to change the stitch on my decoration and adapt my design.”

Year 6 – Mechanics

As their D&T week project, Year 6 set about finding a strategy to help Nepalese farmers use mechanisms to transport crops down a mountainside. Though doing so, they gained an understanding of how STEM (science, technology, engineering and maths) can be used to solve real life problems.

Firstly, they set about exploring how pulley systems worked.

Next, they worked in groups to come up with their own designs for a way of transporting tomatoes down the mountain, without them getting squashed!

Once they had designed a strategy they thought would work, they began making models of their ideas and making any modifications to their designs, testing as they went along.

Once they had perfected their design and created their final model, they were then able to evaluate their designs. They then explored how designs such as theirs were having an impact in Nepal and found out about the changes that it had made to the life of a farmer called Suchana.

Some comments from Year 6:

“It was a fun challenge and I enjoyed working as a team. Everyone had a role to play.”

“We got to think outside the box!”

“My favourite part was not following instructions and having the freedom to do our own thing!”

Fantastic work Ashbourne Primary!


Other examples of Design and Technology at APS

As well as our super Design and Technology Week, below you will find some of the other great things we have been doing in Design and Technology.

Food Technology

At Ashbourne Primary, we also really enjoy our tasty food technology projects!




Year 3 making Indian butter biscuits!


Materials and Construction

We enjoy combining materials to construct objects for different purposes across all year groups.


KS1 have been learning how to cut, stick and fold.


Moving parts


Moving parts


EYFS have been making Chinese Dragon Heads for their dance.


Children in Key Stage 1 and 2 are also taught to work with different types of textiles, in order to create products with a user and purpose in mind.


Year 5 have been learning different stitches

They designed and created their own Christmas decoration.

1/2ET have been cutting and combining fabrics