Design and technology is an inspiring, rigorous and practical subject. Using creativity and imagination, pupils design and make products that solve real and relevant problems within a variety of contexts, considering their own and others’ needs, wants and values. They acquire a broad range of subject knowledge and draw on disciplines such as mathematics, science, engineering, computing and art. Pupils learn how to take risks, becoming resourceful, innovative, enterprising and capable citizens. Through the evaluation of past and present design and technology, they develop a critical understanding of its impact on daily life and the wider world.
The national curriculum for DT aims to ensure that all pupils:
We know that children in our community love to learn practically. We also know many of our families earn a living through practical occupations. It is important to us that we allow opportunities for our children to learn how to be practical and hands on whilst evaluating their surroundings. We want to be able to be the starting blocks that may open the doors to a future carer in catering, construction, electronics or textiles.
“Design is not just what it looks like and feels like. Design is how it works.” Steve Jobs
“Design is thinking made visual.” Saul Bass
Early years outcomes and the Design Technology projects on a page form the foundations of our DT curriculum. Pupils use creativity and imagination, to think creatively to solve problems both as individuals and as members of a team. They design and make products that solve real and relevant problems within a variety of contexts considering their own and other’s needs, wants and values, producing high-quality prototypes and products for a wide range of users. They acquire a broad range of subject knowledge whilst drawing on their knowledge from other subjects in school such as; maths, science, computing and art in order to design and make high quality products for a wide range of uses. Design and Technology requires children to be active learners with the confidence to ‘have a go’ and the resilience to persist with a problem when challenges occur. Through the evaluation of past and present design and technology, they develop a critical understanding of its impact on daily life and the wider world which includes understanding and applying the principles of nutrition, where food comes from and how to cook.
We ensure teaching is highly effective by delivering a balance of child-initiated experimentation opportunities and focus teaching through concrete, meaningful experiences as well as ensuring that teachers have excellent DT subject knowledge, and leadership supports that acquisition of this for NQT and non-specialist teachers. Subject matter is presented clearly, teachers carefully check learning and identify misconceptions, providing direct feedback. Teaching is designed to ensure children know more and remember more. DT is carefully resourced to ensure we have all the specialism and resources required. Through a variety of creative and practical activities, we teach the knowledge, understanding and skills needed to engage in an interactive process of designing and making. We ensure the pupils are familiar with the design cycle:
Design – use research and develop design criteria to design for a purpose and communicate their ideas through a range of mediums.
Make – use a wider range of tools and equipment with accuracy and use a wider range of materials and components according to their qualities. Children learn new techniques to fasten, cut, strengthen and present using a wider range of materials including; cardboard, fabric, plastic and wood. Children talk about and try new foods, experiencing new tastes and gain an understanding of where food comes from and which foods are healthy. Children are taught the skills of how to use tools and materials effectively and safely. They are provided with a range of materials to construct and fix together. Opportunities are provided for food preparation, cooking and baking.
Evaluate – evaluate their ideas and products against their own design criteria and consider the views of others to improve their work.
Through this process, the aim is to develop the pupils’ technical knowledge and vocabulary in relation to structural design, mechanical and electrical systems, the integration of technology and food production and nutrition. Through knowledge organisers Children have access to key knowledge, language and meanings to understand Design Technology and to use these skills across the curriculum.
With key links to British Values and PSHE, children will learn and revisit the importance of our world and how it should be treated.
Learners develop detailed knowledge and skills and will achieve age related expectations in DT at the end of their cohort year.
Children will Build and apply a repertoire of knowledge, understanding and skills in order to design and make high-quality prototypes and products for a wide range of users and critique, evaluate and test their ideas and products and the work of others. They will also understand and apply the principles of nutrition and learn how to cook. Children will design and make a range of products.
We check this through regular pupil voice and collecting evidence of outcomes which we measure against our age-based progression grids. Pupils are well prepared at each stage to be ready for the next stage of learning.