Design and Technology

The Design & Technology curriculum at James Dixon is both knowledge rich and coherent in it’s progression of skills. Wherever we look, evidence of design is all around us. From chairs to hospital equipment, from clothes to websites, from advertisements on the side of a bus to playground equipment, everything has been designed. The curriculum aims to inspire students to think about the important and integral role which design and the creation of designed products play in our society.


The curriculum is split into three different areas: ‘cook’, ‘sew’ and ‘build’. It is designed so that each year group will complete a unit of work in these three different areas once a year.  Two different ‘aspects’ of design are interwoven into the three areas of study: the environment and sustainability, and enterprise and innovation. These ‘aspects’ acknowledge the enduring and contemporary concerns of modern design.


Each unit specifies the concepts and skills which the students are expected to learn over the course of a unit. These concepts and skills progress gradually throughout the course of a child’s six years at James Dixon. 


In ‘cook’ students learn to cook from recipes which gradually build basic culinary skills, culminating in Year Six with the creation of a mezze-style meal requiring the pupils to produce various small dishes. Whilst studying these practical skills they learn about concepts relating to food such as nutrition, seasonality, food production, transportation and food from different cultures. 


In ‘sew’ students practise using fabric and thread to learn basic sewing techniques to create objects which demonstrate embroidery, appliqué, weaving and plaiting. Concepts such as the properties and creation of different fabrics, fast fashion, industrialisation, waste, recycling and pollution are interwoven into these activities. 


In ‘build’ students learn about the creation of structures and mechanical and electrical devices to create products such as cars, moving cards, toys and books. This culminates with Year Six learning to consider the user in real life, designing a water wall for children in reception.