Design and Technology Corner

From DT Online



Primary schools are unlikely to have a specialised room set aside for Design and Technology (indeed it could be argued that such provision would detract from the use of practical designing and making as a vehicle for Active Learning generally, as and when opportunities arise).

But this is not to say that children are not entitled a regular experience of Design and Technology. Improvement in tool skills, as with any other skill development, requires regular practice (preferably weekly) and it is this growing confidence and capability which frees children to engage in Design and Technology activities creatively.

It follows that learning through Design and Technology should not be a 'special treat' reserved for one-off events with equipment 'hidden away' in storerooms. DT Online recommends that opportunities should be sought to ensure that children (and teachers!) are prompted to consider practical learning by having Design and Technology resources on open display in each classroom - a designing and making corner perhaps, or at least a section of the classroom wall displays.


Tool Shadow Board Display

A section of wall display can be set aside for Design and Technology in the smallest primary classroom.

This may accommodate D&T Information Boards, D&T Process Boards and displays of everyday artefacts relating to the current topic. More permanently, there could be a presentation of the tools, equipment and materials which pupils are able to use if they wish to respond to a topic through practical designing and making.


Such a display may include a labelled Shadow Board to indicate what tools are available and to where they must be returned after use. Shadow Boards may be wall mounted and provision could be made to attach removable Resource Boxes. These would normally contain commonly used resources and may be replaced or supplemented with other Resource Boxes which are loaded to match the needs of a particular topic. Shadow Boards may also be supplemented by other Tool Boards containing additional tools and equipment which should only be used under direct adult supervision.

Single Desk D&T Workspace

A single classroom table may be covered with a sheet of Hardboard, or similar, to create a suitable D&T work-surface (Hardboard placed reverse side up will also provide a non-slip surface). The table may placed under or near the D&T display space or the Tool Boards and Resource Boxes located on top of it.

A small clamp-on Vice can be affixed and this will help secure the Hardboard top in place and extra G Cramps can be used if needed (children will find a small vice the easiest way to hold strips of wood as it is sawn for example).

The table should be located where it can benefit from direct adult supervision and designated as the space where any work involving hazardous equipment must be undertaken (e.g. glue-gun, craft knife, soldering iron)

Dual Desk D&T Work Area

Where space can be found for two tables to be used, this can provide a very effective D&T work area. The two desks can be covered with a single sheet of protective Hardboard, or similar, and should also be located where there can direct adult supervision for work involving hazardous equipment. It should be near to any store, stock room or other storage facility, from where any additional resources can easily be retrieved, as needed, without loss of supervision.

The table may be located near to any wall displays of D&T Information Boards, D&T Process Boards or displays of everyday artefacts relating to the current topic and the Tool Boards and a Tool Caddy or Resource Boxes located back to back on top of it. Clamp-on Vices can be affixed to help secure the Hardboard top and there should be space to position a Drill Stand, held in place with a G Cramp and extra G Cramps can be used if needed to secure the top.


D&T Work Benches

Purpose made D&T Workbenches are also available. These are sturdily built and excellent for D&T work at all ages.

A variety of bench tops are available and, optionally, small Wood Vices (as shown) may be added for general use, Small Metal Vices can be fitted to blocks which are then gripped by the Wood Vice and for many operations (e.g. using a Coping Saw) these may be preferable.

Fold-down workbenches are useful if space is limited or to use in different locations. They are also at a height more suitable for young children than some other commercially available benches.

Workbenches for outdoor use are also available. These should be made from treated timber to prevent rotting and Clamp-on vices used so they can be stored indoors to prevent their rusting.

DT Online Buyers' Guide
  • The tools and equipment listed assumes the existence also of commonly available classroom resources such as: basic geometry equipment (e.g. pencils, rulers, compasses); pencil sharpeners, artists' brushes or glue spatulas, paper punches and trimmers, paper clips, bulldog clips, PVA glue.

See also the Buyers Guides for:

Combination Pliers Pistol Grip Junior Hacksaw 8oz Claw Hammer Cross Pein Pin Hammer 4oz Clamp on Bench Vice Coping Saw Frame Glue Gun Soldering Station Flip-Top Workbench
Combination Pliers Pistol Grip Junior Hacksaw 8oz Claw Hammer Cross Pein Pin Hammer 4oz Clamp on Bench Vice Coping Saw Frame Glue Gun Soldering Station Flip-Top Workbench