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Primary Design Technology Scheme of Work

Nightlights (Lower Key Stage 2)

Design Brief: Design and make a night light for a child who is afraid of the dark.
Strand of Learning: Materials, Structures, Electrical Systems
Overview: In this unit of work children design and make a night light product. This provides an opportunity to apply their knowledge and understanding of different structures and simple electrical circuits to create a product. Children learn about different lights in the home and that a product such as a night light is made up of three components – a stand, a shade and the electrical circuit. Children design and make a wooden frame, create a shade using papier mâché and then add a simple circuit with a switch to complete the product. They evaluate their product against the design brief and design specifications and use this information to create a marketing poster for the product.


Images from the Lesson Presentation Slides

  • 6 x Lesson Presentation Slide

  • Additional Presentation: Thomas Edison

  • Additional Presentation: Working with Wood

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

Children will know:

  • The difference between a design brief and design specifications.

  • Design specifications describe how a product should be made, how it works or what it should do.

  • How making models of their intended product can help in the design process.

  • There can be a range of people and places that can be clients for a product.

  • How computer-aided design software can help in the design process.

  • Rules and procedures for keeping themselves safe when making products.

  • The properties of materials that they are working with and how these determine the tools and techniques that they use.

  • What different components of a system do and how these can be incorporated into their product to make them work.

  • Design specifications are a list of success criteria for the product.

  • When evaluating products, it is important to use the design brief and the design specifications as a guide.

  • Stories about iconic designs and designers that have helped to shape the world in which we live.



  • That products are made of materials that are chosen because of their properties.


  • Whether a structure is a frame structure or a shell structure

  • Suitable techniques to strengthen materials.

  • Suitable techniques of making structures more stable

 Electrical Systems

  • Components of an electric product such as a switch, battery, motors, and buzzer,

  • The importance of a complete circuit when using a series circuit.

  • Electrical circuits are used in products to make them work.

Practical Knowledge (skills)

Children will know how to:

  • Generate ideas for a product, considering its purpose and who the client is.

  • Design a product that meets client’s needs and the design brief.

  • Use design specifications as a guide to the making process.

  • List the design features that will appeal to the client.

  • Communicate and draw out their designs using three-dimensional techniques such as ‘crating’ and isometric drawing.

  • Use computer software to show what their final product will look like.

  • Select suitable tools, equipment, materials, and components for the task.

  • Explain their choices of materials, techniques and tools when making a product.

  • Measure, mark out, cut and shape materials with increasing accuracy.

  • Identify the characteristics of a design which makes the product useful and successful.

  • List the ways in which a finished product meets the design specifications. 


  • Measure, mark-out, cut and shape a wide range of materials.

  • Join and combine materials and components using a variety of methods.


  • Choose suitable materials, techniques, and tools to construct or repair products.

  • Apply a range of techniques to create shell structures using paper.

  • Apply a range of practical skills and techniques to create stable and strong frame structures.

 Electrical Systems

  • Build simple circuits, including bulbs and switches, into their products.

  • Use tools and equipment to attach components when creating a simple circuit.

  • Create products that include simple circuits to make them work.

  • Troubleshoot a simple circuit to identify components that may be faulty.

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