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Designing for a need (Making Educational Toys for pupils with SEN)

This is a fantastic opportunity for the Year 8 children here at Taverham Hall Prep School to embark on a user-centred design exercise, similar to that which they may well face in their Design and Technology curriculums in their senior schools in Year 9. Researching the needs of another pupil (or client) who has specific learning requirements, prompts the children to think creatively and design a toy or artefact that will provide the children at Harford Manor School with an effective tool. Such a tool is enjoyable to use and at the same time help them to distinguish colours and shapes, learn number sequencing or provide simple hand-eye coordination exercises. Each year projects are different. However this years’ projects will benefit from being made by the new laser cutter, which is capable of cutting and engraving materials to a quality finish that would otherwise be impossible to achieve by hand. 

Year 8 Pupils learn a real-life Design and Make exercise, and the Harford Manor pupils get a high quality toy: or at least that’s the intention! 


The Duke of Edinburgh funding has been used to buy a laser cutter for pupils at Taverham Hall which will enable them to make high quality items to share with others. Year 8 pupils will meet with pupils at Harford Manor School to understand more about their lives and learning needs. They will use this information to help them design and make items for Harford Manor Pupils in Taverham Hall's Design and Technology Department which they will evaluate themselves before being handed over. Once the items have been submitted to Harford Manor, pupils there will have the opportunity to use them and evaluate them further.

Pupil Involvement

24 pupils from Year 8 at Taverham Hall will design and produce items for children at Harford Manor School to use in their learning.


Following a successful application to the Department for Education, Taverham Hall Prep School and Harford Manor School have secured funding that will help them further develop their partnership.