Our over-arching aim through our teaching of design and technology is to enthuse children about the subject and develop children who think like designers, engineers and chefs.
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. High-quality design and technology education makes an essential contribution to the creativity, culture, wealth and well-being of the nation.
The Design and Technology curriculum underpins and prepares children for careers in STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics) related work. It is vital that children develop these skills accordingly so that they are prepared to enter the competitive world of work. Design and technology enables children to work collaboratively and develop practical problem-solving skills which other areas of the national curriculum do not allow.
Through teaching Design and Technology, we intent to:
- develop the creative, technical and practical expertise needed to perform everyday tasks confidently and to participate successfully in an increasingly technological world
- 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
- critique, evaluate and test their ideas and products and the work of others
- understand and apply the principles of nutrition and learn how to cook.
At Delves Lane Primary School we follow a subject- focused approach to Design and Technology as we feel that the skills and knowledge that need to be developed and the cycle of ‘design, make, evaluate’ is impossible to do in a cross-curricular way. As a result, each year group has been allocated three design and technology projects to complete across the year. Each project follows the ‘design, make, evaluate’ cycle and focuses on one of the following:
- understanding of structures and techniques to make these more stable
- understanding of mechanisms and how products incorporate moving parts
- understanding of products made using a range of textiles and how these are joined and attached
- understanding of electrical systems and how these are incorporated into our products; including how these are programmed
- understanding of food preparation techniques, cooking techniques and essential basic food hygiene
Our Design and technology curriculum is designed and sequenced around developing technical knowledge and skills; revisiting and building upon these as appropriate.
Within Key Stage 1, children begin by learning about simple mechanisms, how to make structures sturdier, how textiles and other materials can be attached as well as basic food hygiene and preparation techniques. These concepts are then revisited and build upon in lower Key Stage 2 with the introduction of electrical systems. This is then revisited and built upon further un upper Key Stage 2 where the same basic principles are revisited and build upon again. This allows children to use and apply a range of skills and knowledge, building upon them each time, multiple times as they move through out school.
In order to implement our curriculum intent for Design and technology, we use planning units taken from planbee.com We have chosen this approach as it:
- Offers engaging and motivating lessons and resources as well as planning support for teachers
- Provides a coherent and structured approach to Design and Technology which is sequential, offering appropriate progression as children move through the school
- Offers consistency of key knowledge, skills and vocabulary across the school
- Offers pedagogical consistency
Each term, each class has an allocated project. Each project has a different context and focused on developing children’s understanding of structure, mechanisms, electrical systems, programming or food preparation and hygiene.
Each project incorporates 5-7 lessons which follow the design (looking at existing products of a similar style or type, thinking about how materials and components can be used effectively and designing a product using a design brief), make (using practical materials to make the design that they have created; making appropriate changes if needed when problems arise), evaluate (comparing their made product to the initial design brief and thinking about how well they have met the brief and how can improve the product further if they were to make it again).
Within Design and technology, this offers us the opportunity to teach children to:
- Develop a strong understanding of structure and how structures can be made stronger by using a range of different materials, joining techniques and by making alterations to shape or size of the structure.
- Develop a strong understanding of mechanisms and moving parts and how they work. This includes: wheels and axels, moving arms such as on windmills, levers and sliders and cams within moving toys.
- Develop an understanding of the attaching and joining techniques involved in creating products made from a range of fabrics and textiles
- Develop and understanding of how electrical systems are incorporated into products; including how these are programmed.
- Develop critical thinking and problem-solving skills through practical and collaborative work with peers. Children will have to identify problems within their products and work out how these can be fixed
As a school, we assess the impact of our curriculum in a number of ways.
This may be done through:
- Marking and giving feedback on pupils’ work
- Scrutiny of teacher’s planning and/ or books
- Lesson observations
- Learning walk
- Pupil discussions
- Subject leader’s red, amber green (RAG) rating following monitoring
Marking and Feedback
Marking and feedback is expected to be appropriate and proportionate in Design & Technology. Work should be marked up to date using a three-ticks system (outlined in further detail in the Effective Feedback policy) where 1 tick denotes that the child has not met the objective and needs intervention of some kind, 2 ticks denotes that the child has met the objective or expectation and could be extended, and 3 ticks denotes that a child has exceeded the objective or expectation. This information will then be used to provide appropriate, timely feedback to children.
Children’s attainment in Design and Technology will be shared annually, via their end of year reports.
Children’s progress in Design and Technology will be assessed annually using the school format developed by the Curriculum and Subject Leader. This information will then be passed to the subject leader for analysis and review.
Monitoring and review
Following the subject leader’s assessment of the impact of the curriculum, an action plan with specific targets will be developed with a view to enhancing the provision further. The subject leader will then liaise with the Head Teacher, Deputy Head and other staff members in order to ensure that these action plan targets are met.