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Cage Green Primary School

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Cage Green Primary School, Cage Green road, Tonbridge, TN10 4PT


01732 354325




 Again, we think our DT curriculum is brilliant.

It has been written by school staff because we saw an excellent opportunity to use it to teach our Cage Green children the things they really need to know.  Resilience is a key part of everything we do here; it runs through every part of our curriculum and classroom practice; it informs our pastoral strategy and it is the backbone of our success due to our demographic.   DT gives us many opportunities to build that resilience.  Plan, do, review is integral to design technology and there is nothing better for building resilience and a growth mindset approach than this. Children are provided with opportunities to experiment and try out ideas in DT and when they fail, they are encouraged to review and try again.  We think that if we produce children who can see that failure is a part of life and they need to keep trying, we've done a pretty good job! 

We have high expectations in all areas of the curriculum and strive to ensure that all children reach their full potential in all areas so that they have a plethora of choices when they leave school.  DT gives us an opportunity to develop the talents and interests of children who may have more practical or creative talents so we aim to inspire these children and provide them with opportunities to excel.  Children develop the skills, techniques and knowledge that they would need to excel in linked industries when they are adults.  We aim to inspire future engineers even if they come from a background where this is not celebrated.  

 As with our other subjects, our curriculum building starts with the threshold concepts.  

Here are our threshold concepts for DT.  We have key areas which guide us with progressions between phases, ensure we have robust assessment and continuity and aid us in ensuring a cohesive curriculum.  

Next,  we formulate our vision for the subject and write our curriculum statement and drill down on our intent.    Here is what our DT document looks like.

cage green d t progression planning final.pdf


 To support our formulation of progression documents, we use other documents to support us to ensure that we are compliant, our pitch is appropriate, we are up to date with current thinking and that we are ambitious

 Here is an example of the sort of document that we use to inform our practice.  It is a Food Teaching Progression Chart published by a charity who support schools in making the right choices around food education. We use the advice of experts regularly but ensure that we adapt their suggestions to meet the needs of our children and our school context. 


food teaching progression chart age 5 11 years 2020.pdf

Next come the Knowledge Category documents.  These expand the key areas from the threshold concepts and provide us with a thorough overview of progression between year groups, allow teachers to make links between year groups' learning and get us that sticky knowledge!

This document looks a bit different to some of our other knowledge category documents.  "Why is that?" you make ask.  It's because we have written most of our curriculum from scratch without using schemes.  Our teachers have started from nothing and written a complete curriculum to ensure that the needs of our school are met and that our curriculum drivers are not just lip service.    In writing this curriculum, they have created multiple documents to ensure coverage, pitch and progression.  Here is an example of the work that has gone on behind the scenes to create our curriculum.  This document contains the same information as the other knowledge category documents but is laid out differently because this is now this teacher needed to do it for herself.  The green highlighting shows the knowledge categories covered in that unit. She's done a good job! The example here is for Years 1-3 but progression for all year groups has been tracked as well as tracking between Reception and Year One on the main progression document. 


d t long term planning grid updated sept 2022 1 3 complete.pdf


Next comes the planning Curriculum drivers, key vocabulary (we put a BIG emphasis on vocabulary), exciting and stimulating activities and constant opportunities for assessment are embedded in the planning.  

The plan shows links to previous learning so teachers can build on skills taught previously, ensuring sticky knowledge.  

In this unit of work, children learn about structures by building a bridge.  This is a great example of how we get outside as much as possible and use large, reusable resources to support learning. This encourages children to think about the environment (For Our Tomorrow) and is much more fun. It also helps with the budget!  This attitude runs through all of our units; when children do textiles in various year groups, we ask the children to bring in old clothes so that we can recycle rather than buy new.  

Throughout every unit in DT, children learn about an engineering or design job,  This is our curriculum driver of More Choices where we make children consider what their choices are for their adult lives and increase their aspiration.  In this unit, you can see that children are learning about civil engineers and what they do. Another example is in Year Four when children learn about being marine engineers when they design a boat.  Our focus on building children's aspirations doesn't just include engineers;  our food units also give us opportunities to build ambition for children's future careers (more choices) as well as talk about diversity (more people).  For example, during their food unit, Year Five look at catering roles.  They also study an entrepreneur who has opened his own restaurant and celebrate the diversity of his South Asian heritage through the food that he serves.  After learning about him and his food, they go on to design and make a curry of their own. Year One during their autumn term unit look at the design of cars and  learn about the people who designed the first car (more choices).  They learn that one of the members of the team who designed the first car was a woman. Throughout many of the other units, children also learn about a designer, often from another country (more people, more places) .

You can also see in the example below where aspects of maths, science and art are pulled into DT.  Children needs these skills from other subjects in order to do their DT, but this also strengthens their abilities in other subjects.  Links between DT and other subjects are particularly strong in our textile and structures units. 

Challenge throughout all of our units is high.  Children don't simply design a simple product;  they have a strict set of design criteria they have to adhere to. This also gives us another opportunity to talk about diversity!  (more people) For example, when designing a food product, some children have to think about vegetarians or design a nut-free product. 

The expectation that children have a role to play in their community runs throughout our curriculum and is well exemplified by Year Five and Six's DT learning where the focus is on helping people.  In Year Five, children design and build a flood warning system aimed at developing nations, having learnt how and why flooding is a huge risk to life.  In Year Six, children design and build floating gardens with the intention that these could be used in areas that easily flood so that people could still grow crops. 

We are about to start a brilliant new unit using Microbits.  We'll let you know how it goes!

y2 term 6 d and t structures.pdf


Next comes the children's work.  Watch this space for samples of this!


Finally, comes the assessment. 


We work on Lesson By Lesson

                     Term by Term

              and Year By Year.


Lesson by Lesson

This means that teachers constantly assess as they teach.  They ensure that all children have their needs met in the lesson by adapting tasks, questions, pace and expectation.


Term by Term

We do a brief assessment at the beginning of each unit.  This usually involves a spider diagram with key questions or concepts that allows the teacher to gauge children's starting points.  Children then complete the same spider diagram with the same prompts at the end of unit so that teachers can ensure that children make progress. 

 Year by Year.  At the end of the academic year, we complete an assessment to ensure that children's learning has stuck across units throughout the year.  Sticky learning is massively important to ensure that children are able to progress across year groups and phases.  This assessment varies depending on the subject but is often an open ended task or a piece of problem solving.  .

As we carry out more of our curriculum, we are also finding that we can assess across years and assess what has stuck from previous years, enabling us to go back and review and develop the previous year's learning.