Design and Technology
At Castle Primary School, Design and Technology (D&T) forms a key part of our curriculum. Learning is linked to the Wider Curriculum, enriching and extending understanding of the topics explored. Using creativity and imagination, pupils design and make products that solve real and relevant problems within a variety of contexts, considering their own and others’ needs, wants and values. We facilitate engaging learning experiences for our children to ensure that new skills and knowledge are acquired and applied successfully. Our aim is to create pupils who learn how to take risks, becoming resourceful, innovative, enterprising and capable citizens.
We aim to:
- Encourage pupils to develop the creative, technical and practical expertise needed to perform everyday tasks confidently and to participate successfully in an increasingly technological world.
- Enable students to 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.
- Encourage students to critique, evaluate and test their ideas and products and the work of others.
- Enable students to understand and apply the principles of nutrition and learn how to cook.
- Encourage students to complete tasks independently and confidently.
- Enhance learning and develop cultural capital through purposeful trips, activities and workshops.
Design and Technology learning links closely to the Wider Curriculum and the topics explored. Students develop knowledge and skills in designing, making, evaluating, technical knowledge and cooking and nutrition.
We encourage teachers to explore how key events and individuals in design and technology have helped shape the world throughout the school, but this does not become a statutory requirement until students are in KS2. It is important for pupils to develop a critical understanding of D&T’s impact on daily life and the wider world through the evaluation of past and present design and technology. For example, as part of their History learning our year 2 children explore Isambard Kingdom Brunel and the advances he made in Design and Technology.
Key vocabulary, skills and knowledge to be taught are taken from the Projects on a Page planners and outlined in our curriculum plans. There is a clear progression of skills from the EYFS through to Upper Key Stage Two (UKS2).
Our Design and Technology Curriculum
Our Design and Technology curriculum in Key Stage 1 and 2 is based on the Projects on a Page scheme of work, developed by the Design and Technology Association (DATA). It focuses on the six essentials of good practice in D&T:
- Design decisions
Building on these essentials, each project from the scheme includes three types of activity that link to the National Curriculum:
- Investigative and Evaluative Activities where children learn from a range of existing products and find out about D&T in the wider world.
- Focused Tasks where they are taught specific technical knowledge, designing skills and making skills.
- Design, Make and Evaluate Assignment where children create functional products with users and purposes in mind.
The projects are context-free and not prescriptive, enabling teachers to work with children to decide what products they will design and make, who their products will be for and what purposes they will perform. This also enables projects to be developed alongside the Wider Curriculum.
The following areas of learning are explored in each key stage:
Key Stage 1
Lower Key Stage 2
Upper Key Stage 2
· Preparing fruit and vegetables
· Healthy and varied diet
· Celebrating culture and seasonality
· Sliders and levers
· Wheels and axles
· Levers and linkages
· Pulleys or gears
· Freestanding structures
· Shell structures
· Frame structures
· Templates and joining
· 2D shape to 3D product
· Combining different fabric shapes
· Simple circuits and switches
· More complex switches
Design and Technology in the Early Years
Design and Technology in the Early Years falls under the area of Expressive Arts and Design (EAD), one of the four specific areas of development. Selected areas of learning, including EAD, are flexible depending on individual and cohort funds of knowledge and interests, and these are frequently rooted in concepts based on children’s lived experiences.
The EAD Early Learning Goals focus on ‘exploring and using media and materials’ and ‘being imaginative’. Children are given the opportunity to independently explore and experiment with a range of media and tools through various techniques. At Castle Primary, we have a woodwork bench in our outdoor area allowing children to develop their wood work skills. Children are also taught how to sew and follow simple recipes as part of our Early Years Curriculum.
Design and Technology Principles
Each Design and Technology project in KS1 and KS2 is planned to take into consideration the following principles:
Evaluating existing products – After deciding what product will be designed and made, students will have the opportunity to explore and analyse existing similar products. In KS2 this also includes investigating how key events and individuals in design and technology have helped shape the world.
Designing – Students will consider the six essentials of good practice in D&T as outlined in the curriculum. Purposeful, functional and appealing products are designed based on design criteria. In KS2, research will be undertaken to inform the criteria, based on the needs of the intended user.
Making – Students will learn how to safely use a wide range of tools and equipment to perform practical tasks, developing more accuracy with experience. They are encouraged to select from and use a range of materials and components, including construction materials, textiles and ingredients. Functional properties and aesthetic qualities are considered in KS2.
Evaluation- Students are encouraged to evaluate and analyse their own work against their design criteria and also consider the creative work of others throughout each project. There are opportunities for peer assessment. Students are supported to develop the language of Design and Technology to apply when evaluating and analysing. This may take the form of verbal discussion or, for older pupils, writing in their project booklet.
Feedback - We will provide both verbal and written feedback to our children (as per the marking policy) and ensure that this happens ‘live’ during lessons as much as possible.