Design & Technology – Mechanisms

Subject Key Objective Progression & Development by Year Groups

The following is a guide to help you understand your child’s progression through school.

All lessons are differentiated. This means teachers plan activities that enable the objective to be learned by all children including those who will find the objective challenging, those children who with hard work will secure good progress and those children who can tackle extra stretch and challenge in this subject.

Design and Technology – Mechanisms – Primary Curriculum


Mechanisms – Foundation stage:

With support begin to incorporate moving parts in to models.  For example, use split pins to make body parts move.


Mechanisms – Year 1:

With some support, begin to explore and use simple mechanisms . For example, use sliders in moving pictures, hinges into models etc.


Mechanisms – Year 2:

With some independence explore and use  winding mechanisms . Begin to incorporate wheels and axles into their products.


Mechanisms – Year 3:

Begin to develop an understanding  that mechanical systems such as levers and linkages or pneumatic systems can  create movement.  Begin to incorporate levers and linkages  into their products.


Mechanisms – Year 4:

With increasing independence produce models that incorporate mechanical systems such as levers, linkages or pneumatic systems to create movement.


Mechanisms – Year 5:

Begin to understand how mechanical systems such as cams create movement.  Design and make a product that incorporates a cam mechanism.


Mechanisms – Year 6:

Develop a greater understanding of  how cams, pulleys or gears create movement. Create and use prototypes. Design and make products with greater independence.


Mechanisms – Mastery:

Children are able to make quality products, evidencing a range of designing and making skills of a particularly high standard. They have an excellent understanding of a range of mechanisms.

This collection of short films and resources will help you understand your child’s progression through school.

The curriculum film resource has been broken down by subject area initially and then by topic area.