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Design and Technology

'Technology makes possibilities. Design makes solutions.' 

John Maeda

Intent

We aim to inspire pupils to be innovative and creative thinkers who have an appreciation for the product design cycle through ideation, creation, and evaluation. We want pupils to develop the confidence to take risks, through drafting design concepts, modelling, and testing and to be reflective learners who evaluate their work and the work of others. One of our main aims is to build an awareness of the impact of design and technology on our lives and encourage pupils to become resourceful, enterprising citizens who will have the skills to contribute to future design advancements.

We teach all our design and technology lessons in block units to allow the children to become fully immersed in their learning and the units they are studying. We aim to link our Design and Technology teaching to other areas of the curriculum where appropriate.  If it is not possible to link them, DT will be taught discretely.

Design and technology prepares children to take part in the development of tomorrow’s rapidly changing world. Creative thinking encourages children to make positive changes to their quality of life. The subject encourages children to become autonomous and creative problem solvers, both as individuals and as part of a team. It enables them to identify needs and opportunities and to respond by developing ideas, and eventually making products and systems. Through the study of design and technology, they combine practical skills with an understanding of aesthetic, social and environmental issues, as well as of functions and industrial practices. This allows them to reflect on and evaluate present and past design and technology, its uses and its impacts. Design and technology helps all children to become discriminating and informed consumers and potential innovators.

Implementation

At Lime Walk Primary School we follow the KAPOW units of work to support the teaching of Design Technology.  Our curriculum outlines three main stages of the design process: design, make and evaluate. Each stage of the design process is underpinned by technical knowledge which encompasses the contextual, historical, and technical understanding required for each strand.

Teachers follow their year group’s key learning skills for the design, make evaluate stages and integrate further skills from the unit they are teaching for example, food. Cooking and nutrition has a separate section, with a focus on specific principles, skills and techniques in food, including where food comes from, diet and seasonality.

Teachers plan their lessons following the same approach and sequence of lessons.

Investigate

The National Curriculum states that children should be taught to critique the works of others. Teachers introduce children to current products available and the children  investigate and analyse these. The children are taught to explain and justify their opinions on the current product and consider which features they would like to include in their own work.

Design

Teachers model to the children how they can build a design based on an existing product. The children use the information they gathered from the first stage and use this to include the features they selected from the original product. Children  produce an annotated sketch of their product and in Key Stage 2, a sequence of actions on how they plan to make the product and choose their materials. The children are given a purpose for their product. Some examples of this could include: a Christmas gift or food to share with parents at an event. The children produce a design criteria which they will later use to evaluate their product.

Make

The children are taught a range of skills which are appropriate to the product they are making and the unit they are focussing on whether this be: food, textiles, structures or ICT. First the children are taught the skill then how this can be applied to their product. The children use their plans and sequence of how to achieve their product to create their design.  As children progress through the school they are provided opportunities to:

  • 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

Evaluate

Finally, the children evaluate their own product based on their design criteria which was produced in the design stage and compare how well the product meets the needs of the user. It is important that the children propose future changes at this stage and discuss in detail with their peers and the class teacher how they would improve their product if given the opportunity to create it again.

 

Lessons incorporate a range of teaching strategies from independent tasks, paired and group work including practical hands-on, computer-based and inventive tasks. This variety means that lessons are engaging and appeal to those with a variety of learning styles.

Differentiated guidance is available for every lesson to ensure that lessons can be accessed by all pupils and opportunities to stretch pupils’ learning are available when required.

Each year group produces a topic map, at the beginning of each term, which clearly shows which aspect of D&T will be taught that term. It also breaks down the unit and shows the objective and task that will be taught in each session so that there is a clear flow to the sequence of lessons. By using detailed termly topic overviews, we are able to make sure we allocate the appropriate amount of time to each objective and plan when we will teach these.

The D&T lead assesses how children feel about their D&T learning and whether they are able to identify the skills they are using. Children are encouraged to use subject-specific vocabulary when they are explaining and discussing their learning. Children are taught to explain their design choices and justify their thinking.

The children take their D&T work home to share with their families to promote the learning they have been doing in school.

All D&T projects have a purpose and this is shared with the children at the start of the unit to show the project is meaningful and how it fits into real life.

Impact

We hope to see a love of DT within all children throughout our school.

We aim to expose the children to a range of craftspeople and promote the different jobs and possibilities that having DT skills can open up to the children.

DT will be taught in block units in order to fully immerse the children in their learning. This will allow them to develop a good understanding of the skill they are focussing on.

To measure the impact of DT, the subject leader will conduct a range of monitoring. This could include; pupil interviews, lesson walkthroughs and book scrutinies.

We cover the D&T curriculum to ensure that children develop a depth of skills in each specific aspect. Each year group will be given specific aspects that compliments their themes and cooking and nutrition will continue to be taught every year.

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