Design Technology


At Croxby Primary School we are Designers!



We want our children to love design technology. We want them to feel ambitious and feel able to access roles as architects, graphic designers, chefs or carpenters.

Design and Technology is dynamic and multidimensional. It is our intention that our DT curriculum will provide opportunities to solve real and relevant problems, allowing our pupils to develop essential everyday skills and unlock their potential to be the designers and innovators of tomorrow. The DT curriculum will encourage children to learn, to think and intervene creatively to solve problems both as an individual and as part of a team. 

Design and Technology will allow all Croxby pupils to put their learning from other areas of the curriculum into practice, and will work to enhance and deepen their understanding of those areas, including maths, computing, science, and art. 

Croxby pupils will learn about cooking, food and nutrition, ensuring that they acquire the fundamental life skills in order to be able to feed themselves healthily and independently, whilst learning about where food comes from, therefore making connections with their geographical and scientific knowledge.


Croxby adopted the CUSP Design Technology curriculum starting in September, 2023.

Our curriculum is structured to introduce and revisit knowledge, following the principles of instruction, guided by understanding how the memory works and cognitive load theory.

The CUSP Design and Technology curriculum is organised into blocks with each block covering a particular set of disciplines, including food and nutrition, mechanisms, structures, systems, electrical systems, understanding materials and textiles. Vertical 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.

Key aspects to learning:

Substantive knowledge - This ambitious Design and Technology curriculum emphasizes excellence in the subject by spotlighting remarkable designers and innovators, shaping both subject knowledge and vocabulary.

Substantive concepts - are the big ideas, and the golden threads, that run through a coherent and cohesive art curriculum. In addition to the core knowledge required to be successful within each discipline, the curriculum outlines key aspects of design technology development in the Working as a Designer section. Each module will focus on developing different aspects of these competencies.

Disciplinary knowledge – this is the use of knowledge and how children become a little more expert at working as a designer through CUSP enquiry-based learning.

*Knowledge notes are an elaboration in the core knowledge found in knowledge organisers. Knowledge notes focus pupils’ working memory to the key question that will be asked at the end of the lesson. It reduces cognitive load and avoids the split-attention effect.

*Retrieval practise is planned into the curriculum through spaced learning and interleaving and as part of considered task design by the class teacher to ensure knowledge is transferred into the long-term memory.

*Explicit Vocabulary is purposefully sequenced into the CUSP curriculum to ensure Tier 2 and 3 vocabularies are explicitly taught along with the etymology and morphology, relevant idioms and colloquialisms to ensure learning sticks. We aim to provide a high challenge with low threat culture and put no ceiling on any child’s learning, instead providing the right scaffolding for each child to achieve.

*Misconceptions are explicitly revealed as non-examples and positioned against known and accurate content as pupils become more expert in their understanding.

*Cumulative quiz questions - Feedback, low-threat quizzes, thinking hard tasks and structured assessment tasks all contribute towards the bigger picture of how well pupils retain and remember the content.

*Oracy tasks provide ample opportunities for teachers to evaluate pupils’ ability to: use the language of design and technology effectively;

    • explain techniques, skills and processes;
    • evaluate their own and others’ work.


The impact of this curriculum design will lead to outstanding progress over time across key stages relative to a child’s individual starting point and their progression of skills.


  • Questioning
  • Pupil Study (talking about learning with the children)
  • Talking to teachers
  • Low stakes ‘Drop-in’ observations
  • Quizzing and retrieval practise
  • Live feedback

Children will therefore be expected to leave Croxby reaching at least age-related expectations for DT. Our design technology CUSP curriculum will also lead pupils to be enthusiastic designers and innovators.

What is my child learning?

Here is the CUSP design technology long-term overview.


The Early Years Foundation Stage Curriculum supports children’s understanding of working as designers when working within the early years area of ‘Expressive Arts and Design’. Through focusing on using a range of materials, tools and fixings, and looking at shape, texture and function, our 3 to 5 year olds are able to develop strong foundational skills when working technically.

We achieve this by encouraging our children to use what they have learnt about media and materials in original ways, thinking about uses and purposes. As part of our curriculum, we explore the work of different designs through stories and have discussions where we evaluate how the machines and buildings make us think and feel. Our foundation stage pupils are supported to represent their own ideas, thoughts and feelings through the choices that they make when selecting the equipment and resources that they want/need to use as well as using ideas that have been inspired by images of constructions and buildings that they have come across. We encourage reflection time, where our pupils return to and build on their previous learning to refine ideas and developing their original plans.

Our experienced early years practitioners are able to skilfully question choices made to engage in technical conversations using questions such as, ‘which fixing shall we use for this job and why?’, ‘Can you explain your choices for the tools you are using?’, What could you use instead of this material?’ and ‘How can we stay safe while we are doing this?’