Design and Technology
Design and Technology should provide children with a real-life context for learning. As an inspiring and practical subject, we intend to prepare children to deal with an ever-changing technological world, encouraging them to become creative and resourceful problem solvers, working both independently and as members of a team. We teach them to be inspired by real-world opportunities and relevant problems, identifying needs and developing a range of ideas and solutions in a variety of contexts.
At Our Lady’s Catholic Primary School, children receive a Design and Technology curriculum which allows them to exercise their creativity through designing and making. This ensures that children of varying abilities can design and make their own unique product. The children are taught to combine their designing and making skills with knowledge and understanding in order to design and make a product. Skills are taught progressively as they move through the school. Evaluation is an integral part of the design process and allows children to adapt and improve their product. This is a key skill which they will need throughout their life. Design and Technology allows children to apply the knowledge and skills learned in other subjects, particularly Mathematics, Science and Art. Children’s interests are captured through either discrete or cross-curricular projects, giving children motivation and meaning for their learning.
At Our Lady’s Catholic Primary School, we use the DT Association’s ‘Projects on a Page’ as the basis for our long-term overview. ‘Projects on a Page’ reflects the purpose of study in the National Curriculum.
The 3 main types of activities are:
- Investigative and Evaluative Activities(IEAs), where the children learn from a range of existing products and find out about D&T in the wider world.
- Focused Tasks (FTs), where the children are taught specific technical knowledge, designing skills and making skills.
- Design, Make and Evaluate Assignment (DMEA), where children create functional products with users and purposes in mind.
In Key Stage One and Key Stage Two, work in Design and Technology books will show clear development of the design and make process. This means that the whole class does not produce an identical product, but rather that all children will be encouraged to be creative and think carefully about who their user will be, how they can design their product to suit their chosen user and how they can make adaptations throughout the whole process to improve their unique product. Therefore, before beginning the design process, the product, user and purpose (PUP) will be recorded in each child’s Design and Technology book. They will also be encouraged to consider the functionality, innovation and authenticity of their product.
The skills needed for Design and Technology begin in Reception (Early Years Foundation Stage). In Reception, the children are taught using a topic-based curriculum. This incorporates and builds on skills from ‘Development Matters’. (The Early Years Curriculum). These skills, as outlined in ‘Physical Development’ and ‘Expressive Arts and Design’ are the foundations which are built on as children progress through the school.
‘Projects on a Page’ builds on prior learning to develop Design and Technology skills, knowledge and understanding. For each project, there is a Knowledge Organiser which outlines the key learning and key vocabulary to be taught in each year group. To support the progression throughout the school, the expectations of the ‘Design Process’ exemplifies what is to be completed and presented in the children's books at each stage – Key Stage One, Lower Key Stage Two and Upper Key Stage Two. This includes evaluation of the product made - a crucial part of the design and make process.
Knowledge Organisers and Design and Technology books are used to promote the Design and Technology ethos of ‘design, make and evaluate’. In addition, they are a key assessment tool which offer opportunities for learners to refer back to prior learning and are an aid to ‘knowing more and remembering more’.
‘Projects on a Page’ builds on children’s prior knowledge and skills. It provides clear coverage and progression across each unit and year group. Children experience a wide range of skills by being given opportunities to make structures and mechanisms, using electrical control and working with a range of materials, including food. Children also learn about the diverse range of designers, architects, chefs etc., from both the past and the present. The impact of our Design and Technology curriculum can be seen not only in children’s books but is also evident in the school environment.