Design and Technology
Design and Technology
Our Design and Technology curriculum aims to inspire pupils to use their creativity and imagination, to design and make products that solve real and relevant problems within a variety of contexts.
Children receive a design and technology curriculum which inspires and allows them to exercise their creativity practically, through designing, making and evaluating. Design and technology is a motivating, precise and practical subject that encourages children to learn to think and intervene creatively to solve problems imaginatively, both as individuals and as members of a team. Pupils are encouraged to be inventive whilst considering their own and others’ needs, wants and values in order to be resourceful, resilient, problem-solving citizens.
Our curriculum allows children to apply the knowledge and skills learned in other subjects, particularly Maths, Science and Art. Children also learn basic cooking skills and design and make dishes themselves. Children’s interests are engaged through theme learning, ensuring that links are made in a cross curricular way and to their own experiences, giving children motivation and meaning behind their learning. We want to equip our pupils with the skills and technical knowledge required within each aspect of the iterative designing and making process. We want to enable children to become successful designers, makers and evaluators. We want to induce curiosity and innovativeness and provide opportunities for the development of problem solving and risk taking through a range of contexts, often linked to daily aspects of life. We encourage children to explore the significance of design and technology in our lives by learning about the designed and made world and how things work within it and allow children time to critique, evaluate and test their ideas, proto-types and products, and those of their peers, in a constructive and meaningful way. Lessons provide children with opportunities to explore and understand the key principles of nutrition and healthy eating whilst learning how to cook in a hygienic and safe environment. The also give children the ability to manage risks exceptionally well to manufacture products safely and hygienically. Most importantly, they should instill a passion for designing and creating.
At Sandbach Primary, we teach a rolling program split into Year A and Year B, aligned to Key Stage 1, Lower Key Stage 2 and Upper Key Stage 2 objectives. Teaching of DT follows the design, make and evaluate cycle. The design process is fixed in real life and relevant contexts, to give greater depth to learning. Skills are taught progressively across key stage phases of Key Stage 1, Lower Key Stage 2 and Upper Key Stage 2, to ensure that all children are able to learn and add to their range of skills and progress as they move through the school. We implement our curriculum by providing a range of creative and practical activities, through which we teach the knowledge, understanding and skills needed to engage in an interactive process of designing and making: 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; and Evaluate – evaluate their ideas and products against their own design criteria and consider the views of others to improve their work. During lessons, children are taught to combine their designing, making and analytical skills with knowledge and understanding in order to design and make a product. The lesson sequence starts with a design brief or problem linked to a cross curricular theme. Children then are taught to research existing solutions before developing their own designs, using annotated sketches. Children produce at least three initial designs and apply their critical thinking skills to choose the most suitable. While making, children are given choice and a range of tools to choose from freely, appropriate to age and expectations. They consider which materials are best fit for purpose and begin by making models and prototypes. Following on from designing and making their products, they evaluate them by analysing and critiquing their own creations, as well as testing and solving any issues, through using their own ideas and collaboratively sharing feedback. To evaluate, children analyse and critique their own and their peers’ products against the design brief.
The approach to assessment is less formal than in core subject disciplines. In DT, there is ongoing teacher assessment to ensure that the children are keeping up with the pace of the curriculum and achieving our goals. We assess at the end of the Foundation Stage against the Early Learning Goal for Expressive Arts and Design. There is no published data for art and design in KS1 and KS2. The school tracks foundation subjects very broadly to ensure that children are working within the curriculum expectations for their year group.
Floor books are key to capturing pupil work. Additionally, homework/pupil work is displayed in communal areas as a wider public display of DT work is a critical part in the design process. Talking to pupils is key to the continual refinement and development of the DT curriculum. Regular pupil voice conferences provide valuable feedback which is used to assess pupil’s understanding and the success of units of work.