Design and Technology

“The designer does not begin with some preconceived idea. Rather, the idea is the result of careful study and observation, and the design a product of that idea.”

— Paul Rand

Design and Technology subject lead: Mrs A Wardle


At Saint Augustine Webster Catholic Voluntary Academy, we aim to provide high quality design and technology sessions which prepare our children to take part in the development of tomorrow’s rapidly changing world. Creative thinking encourages children to make positive changes to their quality of life. It is our intention for children to become autonomous, creative problem solvers both as individuals and as part of a team. This will enable them to identify needs and opportunities where they can then respond by developing ideas, and eventually making products and systems.

Embedded in the heart of design and technology, we aim to weave our Catholic values into our teaching. Through kindness, children will develop an appreciation of the beauty and wonder and how they can impact on creating a wonderful world for future generations. Children will also develop an awareness that they belong to a community, evolving mindfulness about how our ever-changing world can be improved. Most importantly, we will continually teach our children to have faith! Faith to know it is acceptable to make mistakes; we learn from failures and build resilience to try again having hope for the final product.

Through the study of design and technology, children will be able to combine practical skills with an ever-developing understanding of aesthetic, social and environmental issues, together with functions and industrial practices. Time to reflect and evaluate effectively is crucial and allows children to develop an awareness of past and present design and technology, its uses and its impacts.

We are considerate of cognitive load and represent our lessons in a way which will not overload the children’s working memory. Our children will be taught design and technology in a way that ensures progression of skills, and follows a sequence to build on previous learning, ensuring they make progress. Vocabulary at Saint Augustine Webster CVA is extremely important and this is evident in our design and technology curriculum.

Overall, we believe that design and technology will help all children to become discriminating and informed consumers and potential future innovators


We follow a broad and balanced design and technology curriculum that builds on previous learning and provides both support and challenge for learners. We follow a design and technology scheme called CUSP, that ensures a progression of skills and covers all aspects of the KS1 and KS2 design and technology curriculum; currently not including EYFS. Within the EYFS curriculum, aspects included within Expressive Art & Design are a huge focus for development together with many of the Characteristics of Effective Learning. CUSP Design and Technology is based around the principles of evidence-led practice. This is to ensure that pupils are equipped to successfully think, work, and communicate like a designer. It is a high quality and ambitious curriculum which focuses on excellence in this subject through a range of disciplines and by referencing outstanding practitioners in this field. The intention is that pupils are inspired to acquire knowledge as designers and technologists and enables them to skillfully apply their understanding.

The CUSP design and technology curriculum, developed by Unity Schools, is organized into blocks with each block covering a particular set of disciplines: food and nutrition, mechanisms, structures, systems, electrical systems, understanding materials and textiles. Progression in each discipline has been deliberately woven into the fabric of the curriculum so that pupils revisit key disciplines throughout their Primary journey at increasing degrees of challenge and complexity. In addition to the core knowledge required to be successful within each discipline, the curriculum outlines key aspects of development in the Working as a Designer section. Each module will focus on promoting different aspects of these competencies. This will support teachers in understanding pupils’ progress as designers more broadly, as well as how successfully they are acquiring the taught knowledge and skills.

Learning is supported through the use contextual reference materials, vocabulary modules focusing on language of emotion, explanatory videos and annotated exemplifications. The exemplifications can be used to inform assessment of pupil outcomes and to support teachers in developing their own subject knowledge.  Central to the learning modules are activities designed to develop pupils’ oracy and vocabulary skills to enable them to use the language associated with design and technology meaningfully when talking about their work and the work of others.

Children’s work is presented through a combination of both written and photographic evidence in specific design and technology books for reference and assessment. Examples of actual items made are also archived for reference.


The implementation of this curriculum ensures that when our children leave Saint Augustine Webster CVA, they will have enjoyed and valued design and technology knowing WHY they are doing things and not just HOW! The impact for our children will be that they understand and appreciate design and technology in the context of their own wellbeing, within the creative and cultural industries, and their many career opportunities.

We will measure the impact of design and technology through:

  • pupil’s work, especially over time as they gain skills and knowledge
  • pupil voice, talking to them about what they know
  • lesson observations, looking at how well children perform


If you were to walk into a design and technology lesson at Saint Augustine Webster you would see:

  • children talking to each other about their work and sharing ideas
  • creativity, independence, judgement and self-reflection
  • curiosity and wonder about past and present designs
  • high levels of fascination and energy towards their work
  • risk taking and engaging in new experiences whilst learning through trial and error
  • persistence, resilience, challenge and a belief that more effort or a different approach will pay off
  • satisfaction and pride over accomplishments and not just end products