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Primary Design Technology Scheme of Work

Model Treehouse (Key Stage 1)

Design Brief: Design and make a model of a tree house for the local playground
Strand of Learning: Materials & Structures

Overview: In this unit of work children learn about structures by designing and making a model treehouse. They begin by visiting a local playground to look at different types of playground equipment shapes and structures. Having discussed their favourite playground activities and equipment they draw a plan of their ideal playground. Children create 2D and 3D structures using straws and pipe cleaners and are taught different ways of making these frame structures stronger, stiffer, and more stable. Having discussed what a treehouse is and the different types of activities that can take place in a treehouse, children draw a labelled drawing of their treehouse design. Working in groups they use their designs to help them make a model of their treehouse and apply their learnt knowledge to make them strong, stable, and stiffer. They evaluate their own models  and those of their peers using the design specifications , identify what they like and what they would improve.


Images from the Lesson Presentation Slides

  • 6 x Lesson Presentation Slides

  • PDF Playground Labelling

  • Playground Word Mat

  • Playground Labelling Sheet

  • Treehouse labelling Sheet

  • Treehouse Design Sheet

Medium Term Planning includes:

  • 6 x lesson overviews

  • Vocabulary List

  • Learning statements linked to Curriculum

  • Support and Challenge

  • Assessment - Keeping up with the curriculum

Teaching Pack

Curriculum Scope and Sequence

Substantive & Technical Knowledge

Pupils should know:

  • A product is something that is made to do a job or fulfil and need.

  • A design brief describes the product that is to be made

  • Drawing out design ideas is useful to see how the product will look.

  • Using model and construction kits can help to develop their ideas and designs.

  • About a range of materials and their properties and how they can be used when making a product.

  • Evaluating a product is about identifying what is good about the product and ways it could be made better.


  • That sheet materials refers to materials that are flat.

  • That sheet materials can be folded to create three-dimensional shapes.



  • Know the different types of structures that are found in the natural world and in the man-made world.

  • Know that different structures are used for different purposes.

  • Know how to use shape to increase the strength and stiffness of a structure.

  • How a large base can make a structure stable.

Practical Knowledge (skills)

Pupils should know how to:

  • Research similar existing products, including online research.

  • Use knowledge of existing products to help with generating their own ideas.

Drawing Skills

  • Generate and communicate ideas using sketches, drawing and digital software.

  • Create clearly labelled drawings to explain how their product works.


  • Select and use tools most appropriate for a practical task.

  • Measure and mark out different materials when working with them.

  • Cut and shape a range of materials using different tools and techniques.

  • Assemble, join, and combine a range of materials using different methods and techniques.

  • Explore and identify how products have been created, including the materials that have been used to make the product.

  • Reflect on a finished product explaining their likes, dislikes and suggesting improvements.



  • Cut sheet materials safely using tools provided.

  • Measure and mark out to the nearest centimetre.

  • Shape sheet materials through folding, creasing and curling.

  • Join materials through gluing and by making slots.

  • Combine materials to increase their strength and stability.


  • Join different materials to create a structure.

  • Create a simple rectangular framework with corner struts for added strength.

  • Use techniques to make structures that are stronger and stable

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