DT Netw 2015-16

Tues 20-10-2015

Outline plan for the session

The National Curriculum PoS for History
What are the opportunities for links with Design and Technology?

Brainstorm: Periods in History and possible links to DT

Focus on Victorians

  • ‘Penny Toys’ sold on the streets of London
  • Ball and cup game
  • Simple ‘spinner dice’ board game

Focus on Bridges

  • How do bridges work (see also last meeting June 2015 notes and pics) - reference to the ‘technical knowledge’ behind structures and mechanisms.
  • Modeling the construction of a stone bridge as a class activity or demonstration - problem solving. eg. Roman bridge across the River Tyne.


The National Curriculum PoS for History

The NC History documents are littered with opportunities for D and T activities. There are references to:

  • Events which change our lives (inventions, new materials, new ways of doing or making)
  • Achievements and follies of mankind (the good side and bad side of technological development)
  • Local history (related to famous people? - inventors, inventions and discoveries)
  • Stone age to iron age (materials and how we recognize their properties and use them accordingly to make things)
  • Travel (transport systems)

Irrespective of the History document it is obvious that our lives change as we are exposed to new materials and inventions and our world or the way we live today is sometimes described as ‘man made’.

The problem as usual is to find an interesting hook which allows us to develop a suitable project which brings out DT skills, knowledge and understanding through designing and making an artefact which, hopefully, can be taken home by the pupils. The project of course must be within a budget and fit into the curriculum appropriately in terms of age etc.

History and DT links brainstorm

Here is the DT Network group brainstorm showing periods in History and possible links to products or areas for possible DT activities

dt periods in history jpeg

What form might the DT products or activities take?


  1. Making a Celtic roundhouse dwelling using readily available materials to simulate the use of logs, branches, clay, animal skins, cloth. The materials might be: Paper roll tubes; Straws; recycled part-shredded paper packaging; cloth offcuts, card; paper; paint
  2. Solving the problem of ‘sieging a castle’ by making siege towers to reach the height of the battlements and making siege catapults to fire over the walls as well as into the walls to break them down.
  3. Taking part in a bridge building activity such as using simple materials to span a gap or using a model to construct a stone arch bridge.
  4. Making a Victorian ‘Penny Toy’ which were sold on the streets of London by poor children at Christmas time. The penny toy could have a moving part.


Victorian: Penny Toys; Ball and cup; Spinner dice game.

Bridges: How they work; Stone bridge construction model.

Tues 10-5-2016

Topics for this session

Giant structures

  • The New Wear Bridge
  • Sports Stadium
  • The Colosseum
  • Eiffel Tower


21-12-09 011c
low res pic
plan-colosseum[1] TOWER 1

Knowledge and understanding

  • Forces
  • Materials and strength testing
  • How bridges work
  • Types of bridge - why so many types?
  • Bridges through history eg. Tyne bridges


Structures activities using Design and Make skills - EYFS to Y6

  • Paper towers - teamwork challenge
  • Simple bridges and roads - transport systems
  • Large structures from newspaper
  • Paper roll tube structures - Collosseum, Eiffel Tower, Bridges various etc.
  • New Wear Bridge model  - reusable kit of parts!


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