Springfield House Community Special School

PROUD of our Roots

Design Technology

Levers consist of a rigid bar that rotates around a fixed point, called a fulcrum. They reduce the amount of work needed to lift a heavy object. Sliders move from side to side or up and down, and are often used to make moving parts in books. Axles are shafts on which wheels can rotate to make a moving vehicle. Cams are devices that can convert circular motion into up-and-down motion.

To build this knowledge children: Explore everyday levers, such as seesaws, nail clippers and bottle openers, considering their functions and uses. Investigate how using a lever can help to lift heavy objects. Children use a rigid ruler, a pencil, a brick or heavy wooden block and an elastic band or force meter. They move the position of the pencil (fulcrum), closer and further away from the brick, measuring the stretch or force required each time. Record results on a data table.

Design criteria are the exact goals a project must achieve to be successful. These criteria might include the product's use, appearance, cost and target user.

To build this knowledge children: Make simple spinners from cardboard discs with a cocktail stick or pencil pushed through their centres. Explore different materials to improve the spinners and trial them on different surfaces. Does the surface affect how long they spin? Which material produced the best spinner? Should the end of the shaft be sharp or blunt? Whilst the children test out the spinners, talk about the forces involved. Which force keeps the spinner spinning? Which force causes the spinner to slow down and stop? Inertia is the force that keeps an object at rest, or keeps it moving unless something interferes with it, such as the opposing force of friction.

Materials for a specific task must be selected on the basis of their properties. These include physical properties as well as availability and cost.

To build this knowledge children: Play with a large playground parachute, experiencing what happens as they move it up and down. Describe what they can feel happening. Make mini parachutes using a selection of materials, such as plastic bags, nylon and paper. Tie small figures or plasticine to the parachute and see what happens when the items are dropped from different heights learning that very strong nylon fabric makes the best parachute. Children record the time taken for their parachutes to fall to the ground. Discuss the forces at work, asking them to describe what force(s) might oppose the downward pull of gravity.

Make a simple cart from a cardboard box, dowelling and different types and sizes of wheels. Explore different materials and ways of affixing the wheels and axles to the chassis, ensuring that the wheels turn freely. Children to test their carts on slopes.

Design and make wind chimes from old metal tubing, cutlery, keys, chains and other scrap metal objects. Experiment with different pieces of pipe, exploring how the length, hole bore and type of metal affects the sound that it generates when tapped with another metal object.



Design Technology 2

Design criteria are the exact goals a project must achieve to be successful. These criteria might include the product's use, appearance, cost and target user.

To build this knowledge children: Design and make a magnetic travel game. Conduct market research to find out what board games are popular amongst friends and family and use this information to inform their design. Test their games whilst travelling with parents and feed back on their effectiveness. Key vocabulary related to the theme, including attract, repel, magnetic field, poles, opposite, same, repulsion and attraction.

Asking questions can help others to evaluate their products, such as asking them whether the selected materials achieved the purpose of the model.

To build this knowledge children: Evaluate their companion designs, reflecting upon how successful they were. Refer back to the original brief and summarise how far they met its requirements. Suggest ways to improve their original designs. They display their evaluations alongside their models and invite parents and carers into school to see their work.



Art and Design

Visual elements include colour, line, shape, form, pattern and tone.

To build this knowledge children: Create embossed patterns, using a range of tools on a range of different coloured foils. Use the tools to create different designs and imprints into the foil. Make suggestions for ways to adapt and improve their artwork using artistic vocabulary. They are offered a range of tools for experimentation, including plastic forks, pastry rollers and cutters and cotton buds.

Use wire, metal beads, foils and clasps to make jewellery. Use techniques of wrapping, curling, bending and threading to make a range of decorative jewellery, including bracelets, badges and rings. Look at images from famous jewellery designers for inspiration.






Sequences of sounds combine melodies, harmonies, pitches, rhythms and dynamics. Sequences can be written down using informal pictures or symbols in a graphic score or using musical notation.

To build this knowledge children: Source old pots, pans, metal dustbins and their lids, pipes and metal sheets and create their own steel band. Listen to all the different sounds which can be produced using the metal objects and compose and perform a theatrical steel music extravaganza, using footage of steel bands and the percussion group, Stomp. Ask them to look carefully at the instruments used and how movement adds to their performance.




Text, images, animation, audio and video clips can be combined using tools within a piece of software or by using a range of software. For example, an image could be inserted into a word processing document or a video could be inserted into a presentation.

To build this knowledge children: With appropriate help, create and use a simple data table in spreadsheet software to record their findings from the slide investigation. Decide how many columns and rows they need. Plan the necessary headings and input the correct information into the rows and columns and generating a simple bar chart using spreadsheet software.

Use PowerPoint to create a presentation all about their Mighty Metals project. Include images, five key facts and three top things that they have learned. Use transition effects to move from slide to slide. Share the presentations with the whole class, reflecting with the children on the new things that they have learned during this project





An object will not move unless a pushing or pulling force is applied. Some forces require direct contact, whereas other forces can act at a distance, such as magnetic force.

To build this knowledge children: Visit a local playground with a wide range of play apparatus. Allow the children time to explore, thinking about how the equipment works. For example, what makes the swing move to and fro? Do all things slide down the slide at the same speed? What prevents you from being flung off the roundabout? Take digital images of the different play equipment in use, trying to capture the swinging, spinning or whooshing motions.

Annotate a picture of playground apparatus with words that describe the forces (push, pull, gravity, friction) needed to make the apparatus work. Sort and classify the apparatus into those that need a contact force and those that rely upon a non-contact force. Consider why a roundabout slows down when it is no longer pushed and whether they would continue to slide if a slide was horizontal. Contact forces need direct contact between two objects to bring about an effect (as with swings and roundabouts). Non-contact forces (gravity and magnetism) need no contact in order to have an effect.

Friction is a force between two surfaces as they move over each other. Friction slows down a moving object. Smooth surfaces usually generate less friction than rough surfaces.

To build this knowledge children: Investigate whether different materials affect how fast an object can slide down a slide. Think about why the surface of a slide is smooth and shiny. Discover which materials make for a faster or slower slide and consider why. Measure how fast the same object, wrapped in different materials, travels down a slide. Remember to use a slippery surface of the same incline to ensure a fair test.

Some materials have magnetic properties. Magnetic materials are attracted to magnets. All magnetic materials are metals but not all metals are magnetic. Iron is a magnetic metal.

To build this knowledge children: Work in teams to find and list 20 different magnetic objects from around the school. Work out what each listed item is made from and identify its properties. Present their findings in simple tables or charts. Items for investigation might include spoons, forks, paper clips, coins, aluminium foil, toy cars, soft toys and rubbers.

Equipment is used to take measurements in standard units. Examples include data loggers plus sensors, timers (seconds, minutes and hours), thermometers (°C) and metre sticks (millimetres, centimetres and metres). Taking repeat readings can increase the accuracy of the measurement.

To build this knowledge children: Investigate the strength of different magnets using force meters. Record their results and calculate each magnet’s average force.

Magnets have two poles (north and south). Opposite poles (north and south) attract each other, while like poles (north and north, or south and south) repel each other.

To build this knowledge children: Identify and label the north and south poles of a magnet. Explore and observe magnetic fields by placing bar, horseshoe and other magnets on or under a sealed container of iron filings or ferrofluid. Describe and compare the patterns formed by the various magnets. Ask the children to explain what they can see using key vocabulary.

Test a range of magnets to investigate which poles attract and which repel. Use floating magnets to find out which pole points in which direction. Specify the direction in which the magnet’s north pole points. Using what they know about polar attraction, explain what this tells them about the Earth’s magnetic poles.

Tests can be set up and carried out by following or planning a set of instructions. A prediction is a best guess for what might happen in an investigation based on some prior knowledge.

To build this knowledge children: Investigate what happens to tarnished pennies when soaked in water, vinegar, coke, ketchup and lemon juice. Notice what happens to the pennies when they are removed from the liquids. Find out if rinsing the pennies in water after soaking changes the final effect. Explain why the pennies change in appearance. Pennies tarnish because oxygen in the air causes an oxidation reaction. When placed in acidic liquids, the oxidised copper is dissolved and the pennies become shiny once more. If the liquids are not rinsed off, the pennies will quickly tarnish again and verdigris (a green copper salt) may form on their surface.

Use their carts to conduct a fair test, investigating the distance the carts travel when released down a slope. Decide what variables they will be testing, such as the length or angle of the ramp or the material that the ramp is made from. Encourage children to discuss how to carry out the test fairly before carrying out and recording their observations.

Data can be recorded and displayed in different ways, including tables, charts, graphs and labelled diagrams. Data can be used to provide evidence to answer questions.

To build this knowledge children: Make a table to list common materials, their uses and properties. Include a range of metals, such as iron, brass, copper, mercury, aluminium, gold, silver, tin, lead and zinc. Find their information on the web and from other source materials. Create tables using ICT, adding the appropriate number of columns and rows.

Results are information that has been discovered as part of an investigation. A conclusion is the answer to a question that uses the evidence collected.

To build this knowledge children: Work in mixed teams to take part in a forces quiz. Answer questions about a range of aspects covered during the project. Generate questions to ask children in other teams. Questions might include ‘What is a force? What would you use to measure a force? What are forces measured in? What are the ends of a magnet called? What materials are magnets made from? In which direction will a pivoted magnet point? What happens when two north poles are put together? What is meant by the phrase ‘magnetic attraction’? In what direction does gravity act?’



English Spoken Language

Articulate and justify an idea or opinion.

To develop this skill children: Recount their findings about the apparatus and the forces that make it work. Display a range of images taken during the memorable experience and discuss what they see happening in the pictures. Describe the forces at work, by writing simple explanatory sentences about each picture. Discussed with the children is the effects of these different forces on their bodies.

Look at digital images of themselves working during the Innovate stage and order the pictures chronologically. Work in groups or as a whole class to discuss what was happening in each picture with the focus on explaining what they are doing in each of the pictures. Work together as a whole class to plan a collective oral recount for presentation Take on different parts, learning their part by heart and speaking clearly.

Use a range of sentence lengths and vocabulary to add interest and clarity to different forms of communication.

To develop this skill children: Watch an example of an explanation from a TV programme or advert. Consider the purpose of explanations and how we use them in everyday life. Choose an item from a random selection in a feely bag, explaining to their group what it is and what it does. What do children think makes a good explanation? Make a list of their suggested features to be used in subsequent writing activities.

Work in groups or pairs to generate verbal instructions on how to play a familiar playground game. Play the game to help decide on the instructions needed and the order in which they should be given. Think about the language needed when giving instructions to others and identify the key words. Key words would include a range of imperative verbs and time adverbials. Make a class list of the words that children used when giving their instructions for play.

Use interesting adverbial phrases and noun phrases in a discussion or presentation.

To develop this skill children: Investigate a range of metallic materials, including foils, cutlery, tins, wire, springs, coils, jewellery, pieces of machinery and other collected items. After handling, choose one or two items to describe in detail, recording suitable adjectives that describe them. Make a list of words using dictionaries, word banks and thesauri. Share and compare their adjectives. How many different words did they find? Look for rhymes and other patterns, such as alliteration, in their word collections.

Ask for specific additional information with a supplementary question.

To develop this skill children: Invite the Iron Man to see their presentation and ask him for feedback on their designs.




English Writing

Orally compose and write sentences using an increasing range of vocabulary and sentence structures.

To develop this skill children: Bring a variety of toys from home that use forces, such as pushing, pulling or gravity, to work. Explore the toys, sorting them into force groups. Choose a favourite toy and write a simple explanatory paragraph about how it works. Explain what parts of this toy are essential to make it work. Decide if the toy has any parts that could be broken or missing without affecting the way that it works. Recap and brainstorm technical language associated with forces. Words might include push, pull, gravity, gravitational pull and magnetic attraction and repulsion.

Watch video footage of metals and alloys being melted or poured. Use interesting adjectives and verbs to describe what they see. Write their words on whiteboards and transfer them to individual cards, checking spellings using a dictionary. Sort adjectives onto card of one colour and verbs onto another. Words might include adjectives, such as molten, smooth, liquid, hot and fiery. Verbs might include spitting, steaming, sparking and flowing.

Write a sentence or short paragraph for each of the images, recounting the working process. Remember to use the past tense throughout the passage. Children should also be reminded to write in the first person.

Plan, discuss and record ideas in notes on a writing frame, using similar writing to support with structure and vocabulary.

To develop this skill children: Receive a letter from the local council, asking them to suggest ideas for a new piece of play equipment in the local playground. Work in pairs to develop an idea for a piece of play equipment, describing how their apparatus works and the forces it uses. Children produce a report for the local council, showing a labelled diagram of their design and explaining how it works, including any safety considerations.

Choose a force to explain (one that they have encountered in their practical investigations and explorations). Begin planning their ideas using the checklist. Before writing, decide on a suitable heading and the purpose of their explanation. Things to explain might be: gravity – how a parachute works; push – how to make a ball bounce higher; friction – why the spinner stops.

Begin to draft instructions for playing their magnetic travel game using the checklist devised by the class. Work with a partner to stop and review as they develop their writing, checking that sentences make sense and are clear enough for the reader to follow. Children could also think about whether their instructions should include diagrams or photographs, which will help the player understand the game more easily.

Continue to draft their recounts, using a checklist to make sure their writing features characteristics of the recount genre, such as time adverbials, proper adjectives and a clear introduction.Remind the children to include a closing statement reflecting on the whole event. Encourage children to read their recounts to a friend to check they make sense and work collaboratively to suggest improvements.

Use simple organisational devices in non-narrative writing.

To develop this skill children: Refine and edit their reports, considering how best to present the information. Create a good title for their report and decide on what subheadings, paragraphs, facts or figures they might need.

Assess the effectiveness of their own and others’ writing, noticing some ways to improve the grammar, vocabulary or conventions of the genre.

To develop this skill children: Work together to evaluate two or three examples of each other’s work, contributing to discussions about what has been done well and where they might need a little help with improvements. Provoke their reflections with questions, such as ‘What do you notice about the poem? What has the writer done well? (noting any particular strategies discussed earlier) What needs to be revised or edited and why?’

Develop and refine their instructions, adding diagrams or photographs as required. Add captions explaining what is shown in the diagrams and illustrations. Invite older children into the classroom to play the children’s created games. What do they think about the instructions provided?

Proofread to check for errors in spelling, grammar, vocabulary and punctuation, noticing some errors and attempting to make appropriate corrections.

To develop this skill children: Refine and edit their poems, making any final changes and improvements. Find ways of making them more interesting, perhaps using repetition or rhyme. Use joined handwriting to write out a polished copy of their poem for display. Children could use metallic pens to write their poems onto black paper or use their word processing skills to type them. They could also download images to enhance their work.

Look at examples of glossaries in a variety of books and leaflets, recapping on their purpose. Explain how the glossaries are ordered and create their own for their explanatory texts. Check their own spelling, grammar, sense and punctuation.

Begin to group related ideas into paragraphs

To develop this skill children: Continue to draft and develop their explanations, making sure that paragraphs link together clearly. Underline any examples of technical vocabulary, so that they can identify the words that they need to include in their glossary.



English Reading

Identify the main point of each paragraph in a short text.

To develop this skill children: Read a range of untitled explanatory texts and decide what they think each text explains. Choose appropriate headings for the texts and consider how they might improve their content. Create a class checklist to select effective features of an explanatory text. Features of explanatory texts should include: a clear title, use of the present tense, sequenced events, time adverbials, causal conjunctions (such as, because, when or so), well ordered paragraphs, technical vocabulary, diagrams, pictures and perhaps a glossary.

Identify some themes and conventions in a range of books, texts and poetry

To develop this skill children: Analyse instructions from a range of popular board games and identify their common features. Work in pairs to create a list of effective features for writing instructions, sharing these with the whole class to devise a class checklist. Features for the children to identify could include starting with a goal or title; giving a list of tools and equipment; numbering the separate steps; using time adverbials and imperative verb forms.

Look at examples of list poems, identifying their compositional features. Put their metal word cards into a list, then swap the cards around, reading them aloud to decide which order sounds best. A list poem is a poem made up of a list of things, which might rhyme or be repeated. An example might be ‘metal melting, melting molten, hot, hot, sparks, drops, liquid steel’. Decisions about the poem’s structure might be made purely for aesthetic reasons, perhaps how it looks or sounds.

Check that longer texts make sense to them and talk about what they have read independently, and important or new vocabulary.

To develop this skill children: Read sets of jumbled up instructions of varying levels of complexity. Rearrange each set of instructions into its correct order and suggest extra details that might improve them. Use IWB software to drag and drop sentences. Jumbled instructions could be for a range of different activities, such as making a cup of tea, cleaning teeth or getting ready for bed.