In Design and Technology, children apply their scientific knowledge and their understanding about materials and techniques to make things that work, serve a purpose, and look good: it’s the perfect subject for demonstrating all their skills and knowledge across the whole curriculum.
D&T spans the whole curriculum. At Henleaze we aim to teach D&T in a fun and practical way, which will allow children to draw on their wider curriculum skills enabling them to make valuable connections across the curriculum. We aim to foster a keen and passionate interest in creating functional and user-focused designs and products; communication, cooperation and collaboration skills; confidence, perseverance and the ability to critically self-reflect and evaluate their design decisions. We encourage children to challenge themselves with innovative and bold design, applying an iterative, problem-solving approach alongside critical thinking to show a deeper understanding of the design process.
The National Curriculum states that at KS2 children should:
- 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 Henleaze we strive to:
- develop the knowledge, skills and concepts outlined in the National Curriculum document for Design and Technology.
- provide activities which will combine their design and making skills with knowledge and understanding so children learn to create quality products.
- foster pride and achievement in something they have designed and made themselves.
- familiarize children with a variety of equipment and instruction for it’s safe use.
- provide hands on opportunities in order to explore existing designs and products .
- provide opportunity for focussed tasks, to explore key design elements .
- encourage children to record work in a focussed and detailed manner, using appropriate methods .
- provide opportunities to design products with a specific audience or 'client' in mind .
- enable children to work individually and collaboratively through exploring, talking, observing and developing ideas. This gives individuals the opportunity to ask questions, make and test their own ideas and also to share them and their conclusions, thus developing social interaction and cooperation.
- give children opportunities to be critical and objective about their own design in order to improve it.
Planning and delivery
Teachers plan as a year group. When planning for the next term's topic, they look for meaningful opportunities to introduce design and make projects that will reinforce learning in other curriculum subjects whilst developing relevant DT skills at an age appropriate level. If there are no obvious links, DT projects are planned as standalone units of work.
The scheme of work specifies skills and techniques that are taught from year to year, ensuring that children progressively develop their understanding of the properties of materials and the principles of design. Children are taught how to use tools and which tools to use with which materials. They have opportunities to practice before embarking on design and make projects. They learn about the health and safety aspects relevant to the tools and techniques they are using. All staff are required to familiarise themselves with the risk assessments for the activities they carry out and to conduct risk assessments before embarking on newly designed projects.
We subscribe to DATA (the Design and Technology Association) and refer to their "projects on a page" for guidance on lesson structure, practical skills, health and safety and appropriate outcomes. Teachers design a brief for the project, making sure that it fulfils the essential requirements that it involves the design and manufacture of something for somebody for some purpose.
DT projects may be covered in a block, for example during a DT week, whilst skills may be taught in dedicated standalone lessons. An essential part of learning in DT is that skills need to be practised and that products need to be evaluated and refined, often requiring several attempts before they are ready to present to the "client" or "user".
Cross curricular links
Cross curricular links in Design & Technology are broad and diverse:
- The scientific knowledge of how things work.
- The mathematical knowledge of accurate measurement, as well as data collection and presentation.
- The English skills of gathering and presenting information. The oral skills to present their product to a friend or ‘client’.
- The artistic skills to present an attractive and eye-catching end product.
- PSHE in exploring budgets and allowing consideration towards the end user.
- Key Learning skills as highlighted by our ELLI animals (Effective Lifelong Learning Inventory) for example, resilience, making connections, being curious, changing and learning and more.
Equal opportunities and inclusion
All pupils share the same statutory entitlement to a broad, balanced and differentiated curriculum regardless of the ability, gender and cultural background. We plan our D&T lessons to facilitate the learning of all pupils as individuals with differing needs, backgrounds, experiences and expectations. We aim to highlight and celebrate designers from all backgrounds.
As well as the design and technological skills that are developed, D&T also fosters important attitudes such as independence, perseverance, responsibility and positive self-criticism. These are all valuable life skills for children of all abilities.
Children with SEND may be provided with adult support, an expectation of differentiated outcomes and, where needed, differentiated worksheets and varied appropriate equipment.
We aim to stretch all children within the school, but in particular provide children who are more able with further questioning and extension questions, encouraging valuable evaluation skills and challenge their ideas.