Category Archives: D&T

Building Bridges

Year 5 have worked extremely hard to design, build, complete and test their bridges using levers.

They really have used their knowledge from seeing designs and thinking hard about the needs of the task: to get a car across the bridge and even a boat safely under the bridge once it has been lifted.

Have a look at how brilliant some of the bridges are. They have worked hard to overcome several problems. Some of their ideas were harder to put into practice than they imagined once they began working with their chosen materials.

A great effort Kestrels.


Today year 5 were experimenting with making pulleys. They followed a set of instructions to make a simple pulley.

It did take some problem solving, as threading the string through the holes in the cup became a challenge, as well as ensuring the knots in the string were tight and the string was the same length.

Once the pulleys were made they enjoyed seeing how it worked and trying to pull up different things. As they experimented, they thought about how to apply a pulley to a bridge.

If you would like to have a go at making a pulley, you too can follow the following instructions. Good luck.


This week Year 5 started their ‘Bridges’ topic. They learnt the 4 types of bridges that exist, as well as how bridges are constructed today.  One of the activities was to work with a partner and construct the tallest tower they could, and then see if their construction would balance a ruler…many did!
They then had to construct a bridge out of cardboard. They learnt that when they inserted an arch under the main bridge beam, they were able to place more weight on the bridge and it held.
One group managed to balance an incredible 60 multi cubes before their bridge collapsed. Amazing!

Designing a Viking-style bag

Year 5 have finished their Viking & Anglo-Saxon topic. They showed they’re incredible new knowledge in some very high scoring quiz answers. Well done Kestrels!

Today, they started they’re new D&T topic of designing and making a Viking-style bag to hold their stationery. They researched bags already on the market and carried out their own market research to ascertain what their class mates and teachers thought about the bags they had chosen to research. Tomorrow we will have a go at sewing to demonstrate a seam allowance. Watch out for the photos.

Designing our bridges

This afternoon Kestrels in year 5 started designing their bridges, working together in small groups, we thought carefully about the design brief and the materials we have available.

We were asked to make a bridge that would connect two towns separated by water, our bridge would go over the water and needs to allow boats to go under it and cars to go over it. When designing we need to think about scale… is our bridge going to be one way or a two way bridge?

We need to decide if it if is going to have a drawbridge to allow the boats to go under and if we incorporate this into our design… how is it going to work?

Sophie used the bridge she made at home for inspiration.

Kenny and Joey worked really well together, they came up with different ideas and took the best aspects of each one and amalgamated them together into one fantastic design!

Some final designs in progress…

Once our design was finished, we could start planning how we are going to make it.

Building our own bridges

In DT today, year 5 learnt about the different types of bridges; hanging, beam, arch, cantilever.

We were given instructions and a template to make our own bridge, we could increase the layers of the card platform, then we had to test the different layer’s strength with cubes.

Chandler’s one layer held 5 cubes!

Megan’s two layers also held 7 cubes…

Joey’s 3 layers held 3 cubes.

Sophie and Elliott’s 4 layers held 11 cubes!

There was a way to strengthen the bridge, using one last piece of card.

Evie and Niah put their final pieces of card in the middle of their bridges.

Tallest tower challenge

Year 5 learnt about Isambard Kingdom Brunel in DT and the bridges he constructed that are still in use today.

The Clifton Suspension Bridge, designed by Brunel in 1830, is now a famous landmark in Bristol and a Grade I listed building.

In our lesson we were given the challenge of making the tallest tower out of one piece of paper, only using scissors and glue.

Viking style Hemp bags

Year 5 have today, finished their D&T topic of making Viking style Hemp bags to carry their belongings in. They have learnt how to use various sewing stitches, learnt how to design a Celtic sign and have also designed and added a handle and fastener to their bags. It has been a very successful topic and the children are extremely proud of the end results!