Design and Technology is an inspiring, rigorous and practical subject. It helps develop children’s skills and knowledge in design, textiles, structures, mechanisms, electrical systems and food and nutrition. It promotes creativity and innovation through design, and by exploring the designed and made world in which we all live and work.
By the end of Year 6 we aim for the children to have become creative individuals who are able to design and make purposeful products for a range of users. In addition, it is important for the children to learn to critique, evaluate and test ideas, so they become accustom to the constantly evolving nature of technology. We encourage children to think through problems creatively, both as individuals and collaboratively. Our aim is for pupils to build resilience when things are challenging and to feel proud of the products they have created.
We teach cooking and nutrition as part of Design and Technology. Our aim is to ensure that children can understand and apply the principles of nutrition and learn the valuable life skills needed to become healthy individuals who can cook for themselves later in life.
Across KS1 and KS2, pupils take part in many activities which will give them the opportunity to plan, design, make and evaluate a range of products. They will be encouraged to think critically about existing designs as well as their own. The children will practise and apply the knowledge and skills throughout each year group whilst developing their use of technical vocabulary. The curriculum is organised so that when revisiting knowledge and skills they develop progressively alongside the children’s natural development with age-appropriate challenges from Reception to Year 6. The key skills taught in Design and Technology such as measuring and joining materials, designing and evaluating products and applying the principles of nutrition and healthy eating all offer cross curricular links to mathematics, science, art and computing.
The National Curriculum states that throughout Key Stage 1, when designing and making, pupils should be taught to:
- · design purposeful, functional, appealing products for themselves and other users based on design criteria
- · generate, develop, model and communicate their ideas through talking, drawing, templates, mock-ups and, where appropriate, information and communication technology
· select from and use a range of tools and equipment to perform practical tasks [for example, cutting, shaping, joining and finishing]
· select from and use a wide range of materials and components, including construction materials, textiles and ingredients, according to their characteristics
- · explore and evaluate a range of existing products
- · evaluate their ideas and products against design criteria
- · build structures, exploring how they can be made stronger, stiffer and more stable
- · explore and use mechanisms [for example, levers, sliders, wheels and axles], in their products
Throughout KS2, pupils should be taught to:
- · use research and develop design criteria to inform the design of innovative, functional, appealing products that are fit for purpose, aimed at particular individuals or groups
- · generate, develop, model and communicate their ideas through discussion, annotated sketches, cross-sectional and exploded diagrams, prototypes, pattern pieces and computer-aided design
- · select from and use a wider range of tools and equipment to perform practical tasks [for example, cutting, shaping, joining and finishing], accurately
- · select from and use a wider range of materials and components, including construction materials, textiles and ingredients, according to their functional properties and aesthetic qualities
- · investigate and analyse a range of existing products
- · evaluate their ideas and products against their own design criteria and consider the views of others to improve their work
- · understand how key events and individuals in design and technology have helped shape the world
- · apply their understanding of how to strengthen, stiffen and reinforce more complex structures
- · understand and use mechanical systems in their products [for example, gears, pulleys, cams, levers and linkages]
- · understand and use electrical systems in their products [for example, series circuits incorporating switches, bulbs, buzzers and motors]
- · apply their understanding of computing to program, monitor and control their products.
Across KS 1 and KS2, DT is planned within the different Cornerstones topics, with many projects following ‘Projects on a Page’ planners supplied by The Design and Technology Association. These documents cover National Curriculum learning objectives as well as ensuring progression of skills and knowledge. The lessons may either be taught in a block week or a series of sessions over a few weeks. The teacher will introduce the learning objectives and model some key skills e.g. cutting and joining. Children will then work independently, in pairs or small groups to design, make and evaluate. A focus on health and safety will also be included where specialist equipment is used such as saws or needles. Pupils are guided by teachers and what has been modelled at the start of a lesson but have some freedom to be creative with the materials used. They have opportunities to discuss and critique each other’s work with peers in their own class and those in parallel classes.
DT is not mentioned as a discrete subject within the Early Years Foundation Stage (EYFS), however ideas and principles behind DT do link to areas of the EYFS Framework. The most relevant statements for DT are taken from the areas of Physical development and Expressive Arts and Design. The children will have opportunities to develop their small motor skills so that they can use a range of tools competently, safely and confidently. They will also have opportunities to return to and build on their previous learning, refining ideas and developing their ability to represent them. Also, they will create collaboratively, sharing ideas, resources and skills.
The DT subject leader will monitor this subject by conducting learning walks, organising pupil conferencing, carrying out book looks and exploring photographic evidence across the school.