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Design and Technology

Our Philosophy:

At Brighton Avenue Primary School, we believe Design and Technology is a stimulating and hands-on subject where children use originality and imagination to design and make products that solve real and relevant problems within a variety of contexts. We teach children how to take risks, becoming resourceful and innovative, whilst they develop an understanding of how design and technology impacts on their daily life and the wider world. We give our children lots of opportunities to develop their team working skills to collectively solve problems and see a project through to its end result. 


Our Aims:

The principals of teaching Design Technology at Brighton Avenue Primary School are consistent with our school philosophy and take into account the National Curriculum Guidance for DT. (See Design Technology Policy for further information).


Principals of Teaching Design Technology:

  • To provide a curriculum which offers ALL children effective learning opportunities by: stimulating children’s creativity and imagination by providing visual, tactile and sensory experiences and a unique way of understanding and responding to the world;
  • To give children opportunities to learn, design and make products which are real and believable so they learn to consider who their product is for and how it will perform.
  • To enable our children to develop evaluative skills which enable them to make improvements to their design and final product.
  • To be taught a wide range of skills so our children are able to draw on knowledge from many different subjects such as mathematics, science, computing and art.
  • To develop children’s understanding of colour, form, texture, pattern and their ability to use materials and processes to communicate ideas, feelings and meanings.
  • To explore with our children, ideas and meanings in the work of artists, craftspeople and designers, and help them learn about their different roles and about the functions of art, craft and design in their own lives and in different times and cultures.
  • To help our children learn how to make thoughtful judgements and aesthetic and practical decisions and become practically involved in shaping environments.
  • To use the ‘Power of 3’ to ascertain prior knowledge.
  • To train our children in the safe and appropriate use and maintenance of tools and techniques in accordance with health and safety requirements; fostering an understanding and enjoyment of art, craft and design.
  • To ensure teachers have access to quality CPD and good practise is shared within and outside of school.




    Useful DT Websites

    Design Technology Across The School 2023-2024


    What do our children say about Design Technology?


                                “You had to decide a way to stick the puppets together. We could use staples, pins and glue.”

                         “I decided to use staples because it was more secure and easy to press down.”

    “I like measuring shapes, I liked building baby bears chair because it was challenging and I liked to be challenged.”

     "We start a project with research, in our fastening project we looked at things that were good and not good about different fastenings.”

     “After the research, we draw how we want it to be.” 

      “We have to record our problems and say what we did to solve them.”

    “So we can look back and the next time you make one make sure you don’t do that again.”

     “We make a design criteria then look at the design criteria when making it.”

     “The design criteria is your expectations for what we are going to make.”

     “Our target audience is for the people you are making it for.”

    “We have a problem solving page where we record any problems we have throughout the project.”

     “We add solutions to our problem solving page.”

    Summer 2

    Coding and Micro-bit Workshop

    LKS2 visited Gateshead Library and took part in a micro-bit workshop. They used code blocks to program the micro-bit to play an interactive game of rock, paper, scissors, we used variables and checked for bugs in our codes and then we played the game. Such fun!

    Summer 1 - Design & Technology within the Early Years

    Brighton Avenue Primary School Easter Egg Competition!

    Wow! As always the children have created some amazing entries for the Brighton Avenue Easter Egg Competition! Well done to all of the children who entered the competition. The theme this year was to create something based on someone or something that inspires you and in EYFS to create something based on a fairy tale or nursery rhyme. Each class had two winners, although their could have been more!

    Spring - DT across the school

    Spring 2 - Design & Technology in the Early Years

    Design Technology in UKS2


    Spring 1 VEX Robotics Competition

    On Monday 15th January our VEX Robotics Team went to NISSAN to compete in the Robotics Championships. They completed a variety of challenges, including driving their robot around a field to gain as many points as they could by knocking over blocks, collecting blocks and parking. They also completed coding challenges where their robot continued to collect blocks and complete its obstacle course. The children also worked alongside other schools, they had to ensure they had a game plan so that each school could work to its strengths. As well as this, the team were interviewed by a set of judges, where they discussed how they have continued evaluating and creating solutions to problems they have come up with. The children were absolutely AMAZING!!!!! They have had an extremely successful day where they have learnt new skills and developed their engineering and coding skills! Mrs Jones and Mr Livings are super proud of you. 

    LKS2 Pneumatic Toys

    Autumn - DT across the school

    LKS2 - Textiles - Book Sleeve with fastenings

    Year 2 - Baby Bear's Chair

    UKS2 - Electronics - Buzzer Game

    Design Technology within the Early Years in Autumn Term

    Autumn 2 - Visit from Dr Steve Bunce from The Partnership for Robotics, Royal Grammar School Newcastle

    Dr Bunce came to work with our VEX IQ team, together we worked on a strategic plan for our competition. After some problems with coding, we reset the motors and re-programmed our inputs and came up with a range of solutions. We had a fantastic afternoon and achieved so much!

    Autumn 1, 2023: VEX IQ After-school club

    Following on from the success of our VEX IQ extra-curricular club in the 2022-2023 National Championships (see last years STEAM and the DT pages), the children and staff are excited to continue the VEX IQ club with Mrs Jones and Mr Livings.


    VEX Robotics is one of the leading platforms for educational robotics around the world. With the plastic VEX IQ platform for Key Stages 2 and the metal VEX EDR Cortex and V5 kits for Key Stages 3, 4 and 5 it is perfectly placed to allow students to grow and develop in an open-ended, problem-solving and engaging way. The programming software, ranging from Modkit, a simple drag and drop format, through to the more advanced Robot C based on C++ language makes VEX accessible to all.


    The VEX Robotics kits are used as part of extra-curricular VEX Robotics. The VEX IQ competitions are the largest and fastest growing robotics competition in the world with events held each year across the UK. Involvement in the competition develops key skills including teamwork, time management, perseverance – all of which are valued by employers.


    We’re looking forward to what knowledge and skills the children will share with the rest of the school!


    Mr Livings & Mrs Jones

    DT: Autumn 1, 2023

    Mrs Jones successfully applied for and we were able to participate in a fully funded coding, training course.

    On Tuesday and Thursday 24th and 26th October, the Year 5s went to Nissan, Sunderland, to take part in the coding and programming workshop: the children and staff said it was amazing!

    The coding and programming workshop, allowed the Nissan Skills Foundation to engage with the Year 5s and deliver a coding programme that made daunting topics like the engineering behind an electric vehicle fun and to encourage children to consider careers of which they may have never dreamed!

    The Nissan Skills Foundation was created to engage young people across the North East in the world of engineering, manufacturing and design whilst also raising aspirations. At Nissan, they aim to inspire the next generation to discover new passions in STEAM by delivering a range of fun and exciting programmes: the children said it was inspirational to see the range of careers they can have!

    Nissan Skills Foundation Core Objectives:

    • Raise interest in Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics in primary, secondary and tertiary schools
    • Raise the aspirations of local youngsters to show that social issues, economic background and gender are not barriers to a potential career in Engineering and Mathematics
    • Raise awareness of opportunities and the desire to work in the Manufacturing and Engineering sector
    • Engage with the broader community

    Autumn 1 2023 - DT within the Early Years 


    In our key worker time the children participate in a daily Plan, Do, Review process. They think about what area they would like to play in, what they will do when they get there and how they will carry out their plan. Finally, once they have completed their plan in their child initiated time we review together when we re-group. The children present and discuss how they could improve their creation during review time. 


    Can you guess what we have been creating based on their own interests?

    VEX IQ National Championships 04.03.23 - 06.03.23


    Wow! What a weekend we’ve had at the VEX IQ national championships! We travelled down on Saturday and had a early night ready for 2 full days of the competition. An early start on Sunday morning meant we were on time to have our robot checked before the games began. After a total of 9 matches on Sunday we went back to our accommodation exhausted, and ranking 12th at the end of day one. Monday was another day full of games. After a successful morning we were ranking 5th and made the finals in the afternoon. We placed third in the final during our teamwork matches. What an achievement to place 3rd out of all the primary schools in the UK. The children who came did Brighton Avenue proud.

    Spring - What do our children say about DT?


    Yr 2  "When making our moving toy we have to have linkages to make it move”

    Yr2 “We used card and split pins, we used blutak so we could push the pins through, this made it safe.”

    Yr2  “We start with research then we design, make, test and evaluate…actually we evaluate all the time!”

    LKS2 ‘We’ve learnt how to create a working circuit, with a switch to turn circuit off and on”

    LKS2 ‘When I evaluate I look closely at what I like, what I don’t and how to make it better.’

    LKS2  “Whenever you come up with a problem you need to evaluate so you can find what is good and how to improve it”



    April 2023 - DT across our school

    Spring 2 - DT within the Early Years

    WE’RE GOING TO NATIONALS! Amazingly, our STEM team have qualified for the VEX IQ National Championships! We were so disappointed at the end of the regional competition that we didn’t qualify for nationals, despite performing so well and coming 6th overall in the north east. However, it turns out there was somewhat of a miscalculation of points and we are now rightfully going to the National Championships at the beginning of March, to show off our Robot’s skills. Take a look at the video of the children hearing the news that they qualified.  We are all so proud! 


    Still image for this video


    VEX IQ - 25.01.23

    A huge well done to our VEX IQ team, they competed t NISSAN and came 6th out of 18 North East teams! They did Brighton Avenue proud. 

    Vex IQ - 17/01/23

    Today, our STEM team visited Nissan for a drop in session. We were able to meet other teams, share ideas and perfect our code with the help of the professionals! We are feeling much more prepared for our competition next week!

    DT within the Early Years 


    In our key worker time the children participate in a daily Plan, Do, Review process. They think about what area they would like to play in, what they will do when they get there and how they will carry out their plan. Finally, once they have completed their plan in their child initiated time we review together when we re-group. The children present and discuss how they could improve their creation during review time. 


    Can you guess what we have been creating based on their own interests?

    LKS2 Adapting A Recipe - Autumn 2

    In LKS2 the children made the cupcakes which they had researched and adapted a recipe for. They had taste tested a range of cupcakes and decided on the ingredients they wanted to add to their recipe, they also planned their budget in order to make a profit  After they baked their cupcakes they decorated them and made a cupcake box, following our designs. Once they had completed all of this, they entered the cakes into the Great Brighton Bake Off, Mrs Kevin and Mrs Miller even came to judge. What a fun day!

    08.12.22 LKS2 - Lesson in a box - NISSAN


    LKS2 completed a range of STEAM activities provided to us by the Nissan Skills Foundation Team, the resources helped us to gain knowledge of Nissan and Japan. The children were able to gain lots of knowledge of a global company on their doorstep. 

    VEX IQ


    This week our VEX IQ team were lucky to work with Dr Steve Bunce who visited us from the Royal Grammar School. Dr Bunce was extremely impressed with how far we had developed our game strategy for our robotics. He questioned us so that we problem solved and made new adjustments to our robot. We had such fun and learnt so much! He was so impressed that he is going to return to school next Tuesday tp work with us in our club. What an amazing team we are!

    Lindisfarne Gospels

    Year 5 have had an amazing week of design technology, linked to their visit to see the Lindisfarne Gospels, when a real-life artist ,Rosi Thornton, came to visit us.

    Funded by the arts council, our task was using textiles to make a carpet page in the style of those found in the Lindisfarne Gospels . We learnt to do running and blanket stitch, as well as applique and reverse applique. We even got to use some hand sewing machines that were over 100 years old!


    Ms Morgan and Miss Hindmarch are so impressed with all of the children that took part and would also like to say a  big thank you to both the Arts Council and to Rosi herself.

    VEX IQ

    Today we launched our VEX IQ project. We worked so well as a team to build the game board and the different elements. It was difficult to follow the instructions but we managed it and just look at what we created. Now it’s time to start building and programming our robot. Watch this space!

    Exciting news! We will be involved in one of the largest educational robotics programmes in the world. With funding from the Reece Foundation and support of the Nissan Skills Foundation, VEX Robotics and the REC foundation, a group of UKS2 children will be trained in robotics and entered into a competition at NISSAN. The children will compete against other North-East schools, with the opportunity to compete nationally. The selected children will be involved in a STEM after school club! Keep an eye on this page for updates!

    LKS2 Nissan Project October 2022

    The LKS2 children had a visit from Nissan skills foundation team, to launch the 'Lesson In A Box' project. The team talked about raising aspirations of local children, showing us that social issues, economic background and gender are not barriers to a potential career in advanced engineering and manufacturing. The activities and resources link to both Nissan and Japan, through the 'Lesson In A Box' the children will gain knowledge of a global company, that is on their doorstep!

    Design & Technology within the Early Years


    Our children follow the Plan, Do, Review process in their child initiated planning time.

    We encourage the children to plan what they would like to do, create and then review their plan using various strategies. 

    Take a look at the children exploring materials, creating 2D & 3D structures from their own thoughts and ideas. 

    Across the school, the children have been super design technologists, they have built dens and came up with design solutions in forest school. Children used their knowledge from building structures to help with their den building.

    Brighton Avenue Design Technologists 2021 - 2022

    Mechanical Systems - Moving Cars

    Peter Calver, an engineer from Siemens, came to judge the moving cars made by upper key stage two. After being unable to visit for two years, it was lovely to see him again in school! Peter was extremely impressed with our cars. Each car had been individually designed and made by a team of children. We were so impressed to see some of our cars manage to climb up the ramp and even reverse. 

    We evaluated the cars together discussing how they could be improved. Sarah talked about using elastic bands on the wheels to increase resistance! Fantastic.

    Easter Egg Competition


    Wow! Wow! Wow! The children really excelled with their Easter Egg creations this year, the children transformed their polystyrene eggs into unique and imaginative creations. How lovely to see how well they were supported at home and how creative they have been. Our winning eggs will be displayed in the library so look out for them!

    Year 4JM STEAM event

    The children in Y4JM went to Gateshead College to participate in a STEAM event. Look at our special events page to find out more information!

    "I really enjoyed the STEAM event, some very impressive results, especially one of the girls who animated her pixel character without even being shown how!" Chris Hart, school governor.

    "A successful event...Thank you for your participation and amazingly well behaved pupils!" Alexa Lynch, event organiser, Gateshead College.


     “I loved it when we went to Gateshead College and made the robot move using the microbit,” Abby Yr4JM

    Digital World Day 2022

    Look at our special events page to see photos from Digital World Day 2022.

    Upper Key Stage 2 completed their project on the Digital World, they carried out research to develop their design criteria, wrote a program to turn on flashing lights and generated a creative micro:bit stand. 

    “I loved using coding in digital day.” Oliver Yr5

    Lower Key Stage 2 looked at the impact of the digital revolution in the world of product design. They wrote a program using a micro: bit light sensing and created a eCharm for a micro:bit using a template.

     “I loved Digital Day and making the shapes with the lights and making the lights flash!” Bua Yr3


     2021-2022 DT Stars

    Here are some of the wonderful DT projects the children of Brighton Avenue Primary School have been involved in. The children are becoming experts at researching, investigating, designing and evaluating! Look at the wonderful comments they make about

    DT in our school.

    Year 4 worked on researching and investigating fastenings. They designed and created a book sleeve and added a button or press stud to fix it in place. The children used a range of skills including a running stitch to make their book sleeves.

    They then evaluated their own and their partner's sleeves.

    "I really enjoyed sewing the book sleeve and decorating the fabric,” Silay Yr3

    Year 1 researched, designed then made puppets. They used a range of different joining methods and were able to talk about which methods were the most effective.

    “I loved making a puppet! It was so much fun!” Shanaya Yr1

    Upper Key Stage 2 researched, designed, made and evaluated electrical buzzer games, using a range of electrical components.

    “I loved making the game using electrical systems. I particularly enjoyed testing the game.” Sema Yr5/6

    Our wonderful nursery children love working in the cut and stick area, look at the child initiated tasks they were involved in! They used lots super of skills to create using 3D and 2D materials.

    ' I love making bottles and sticking things on, it looks good.' Miliana, aged 4, nursery.

    Year 2 learning question was 'How can I make a moving monster?' They started out doing some market research, thinking about favourite toys. After this they explored linkages and levers they could use and had a go at making some - Sienna-Rose was the resident expert! Once they knew which linkages they would use, they designed, made and evaluated their final product. I'm sure you'll agree they look great!

    “I loved making a moving monster, it was really fun and we used split pins to make it move.” Alex Yr2D.

    Lower Key Stage 2 designed, made and evaluated the swords they made in forest school. The children used a range of DT skills, they used wittling skills and  expert knife skills to strip the bark from a stick before sanding our sticks, then reinforcing our handles. Look at our class pages to find out more!

    2020-2021 DT Stars!

    Look at our wonderful examples of Design Technology projects completed across the school. Learn more about these on our Class Pages!

    Easter Egg Competition - Theme: NHS


    All children in Early Years, KS1 and KS2 were asked to design an Easter scene which celebrates our NHS. The children had to include an egg in their scene. Everyone was given the design criteria…

    'Could your egg be a nurse or a doctor? Maybe add a face mask with an egg design or a vaccine with an egg on it? Be as imaginative as you can!'

    The competition was tough, with lots of fabulous designs. Chocolate egg prizes were given to the first three chosen designs in each class. Well done to everyone who entered, but especially to our fantastic winners!

    Mrs Jones

    Great Brighton Bake Off!!!

    Lower Key Stage 2 have been super Design Technologists. They began by researching different cupcakes, they taste tested a range of cupcakes and analysed texture and appearance. After this they adapted a recipe within a budget, thinking carefully about profit margins. Then came the most fun, they designed their capcake and packaging then made and decorated them. They then completed their Bake Off project by evaluating their cupcakes and entering them into 'The Great Brighton Bake Off'. Mrs Allan and Miss Wasiejko judged their cupcakes, Olivia, Poonguzhale and Darcy were worthy winners!

    DT Project
    Year 1 and Year 6 were visited by an engineer to launch their DT project. The children will be designing, making and evaluating their own moving car. They will then test their cars and the winners will be entered into a competition at Gateshead Stadium. Good luck everyone!
    Year 1
    Year 6