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Exploring good design at Ocklynge School

Pupils worked alongside product designer Robert Philips to explore notions of good and bad design. At the end of the project the pupils had designed a prototype for new coat hooks for their own school and deepened their knowledge and understanding of the design process.

Who was involved

  • Pupils and teachers from Ocklynge school, East Sussex
  • Creative practitioner: Robert Philips, designer


What does ‘good’ look like in Design and Technology?


  • To explore notions of good and bad design
  • To give pupils opportunities to see, feel, use and test a product of their own design, and deepen their understanding of how products get
  • To develop the pupils’ understanding of, language around, and ability to make good judgements about design
  • To enable the school to a deliver a more relevant and coherent DT curriculum


Pupils developed new awareness and appreciation of collaborative working, and deeper thinking. Pupils benefited from new approaches to teaching and learning, informed by the pupil-led nature of the enquiry.

For the teachers the project has been a significant success, helping to transform for the better a weaker area of teaching and learning within the school. There is now a more robust, relevant and coherent approach to teaching Design and Technology. The school is better able to support gifted and talented pupils, and better equipped to make appropriate and differentiated interventions for all pupils.

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We learned that we could think in our heads quickly and deeply at the same time


It’s helped to improve our opinions in everyday life by being more observant, sort of noticing things more


It is completely transferable. We achieved more than I hoped. We have ended up with an entirely different approach to teaching


One of the things that the children did best was learning to evaluate their own work and other peoples work. It began as an ability to evaluate an object but it broadened to become an ability to evaluate more generally