It is our intention that the Design and Technology curriculum at St Paul’s CE Primary inspires and engages children in the subject area, instilling ambition in our children to choose careers such as architects, designers, chefs or carpenters. Through a range of tasks, focused on building skills, students will learn to work independently and collaboratively to gain an in-depth understanding of the creative and problem solving process. The planned outcomes are designed to give children real and relevant experiences, as well as a sense of achievement in completing functional and purposeful products. It is our aim that the products produced represent the diversity in our school, the community and the UK through outcomes linked to a wide range of faiths and cultures (finding new ways to link our children’s heritages and cultural experiences wherever possible). Following the national curriculum requirements, Design and Technology at our school also incorporates opportunities for children to apply, strengthen and deepen their competence in other curriculum areas, including English, mathematics, science, geography and art. One of the main aims is that DT is a vehicle for oracy, discussion and development of presentation skills, allowing children to make and justify their choices, express opinions and develop a sense of individual achievement, while sharing their learning with each other and learning from one another.
Through a variety of creative and practical activities over a planned two year cycle, we will teach the knowledge, understanding and skills needed to engage in the process of designing and making. Whilst planning is guided by the DT Association ‘Projects on a Page’ schemes of work, this is adapted to the particular needs and requirements of our children ensuring the National Curriculum is followed. The leader of this subject is a member of the DT Association and will keep abreast of developments and opportunities in their subject. Key skills and knowledge for DT have been mapped across the school to ensure clear progression through the year groups. Key concepts and technical vocabulary are also included in planning which follows a ‘design, make, evaluate’ structure. Encouraging the use of technical vocabulary during discussion opportunities links directly into our focus on oracy. Design and technology lessons are taught as a termly block so that children’s learning is better focused throughout each unit of work. Units on nutrition are taught ensuring that children have a growing understanding of where food comes from, its seasonality and the need for a healthy and varied diet. Reflecting our local context, a ‘Bridge Project’ is also planned and taught on a biennial basis.
Beginning with the purpose of a product for a user, the children are encouraged to use the exploration of existing products to gain first-hand experience of existing approaches. We aim to promote creative problem solvers, both as individuals and part of a team and pupils develop their understanding of the ways in which people in the past and present have used design to meet their needs. Children design and make quality products using a range of tools, materials, and components, make connections with their learning across the curriculum including in maths, computing, science, and art and reflect on and evaluate techniques using subject-specific vocabulary. As the children progress through year groups, phases and key stages, their outcomes will move from more collaborative group or whole class outcomes to more individualised outcomes wherein children can develop and adapt their own design criteria and personalised products, based on the range of experiences they have had over time.
Children will have clear enjoyment and confidence in Design and Technology which they will then apply to other areas of the curriculum. Through carefully planned and implemented learning activities, pupils will develop the creative, technical and practical expertise needed to perform everyday tasks confidently and to participate successfully in an increasingly technological world. As designers, children will develop skills they can use beyond primary school and into adulthood. Pupils will become critical thinkers who apply the collaborative and reflective approach to DT outcomes in all areas of the curriculum and everyday life.
Pupil’s skills and knowledge, when assessed by the class teacher as part of an ongoing process, throughout lessons, will show that they build on previous knowledge and experiences. More formal assessment such as marking of children’s work and monitoring of outcomes will, alongside more informal child interviews and photographic and video evidence, show progress over time. Careful questioning and planning of child-led discussions will support the DT leader in measuring impact and will enable the class teacher and curriculum lead to measure impact and adapt planning, overviews and support where necessary.