The national curriculum states that design and technology (DT) in KS1 and KS2 should develop the creative, technical and practical expertise needed to perform everyday tasks confidently and to participate successfully in an increasingly technological world. It should 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. Children should critique, evaluate and test their ideas and products and the work of others.
Children also need to understand and apply the principles of nutrition and learn how to cook.
The D&T Association have further outlined the aims as follows:
"Design and Technology education helps develop children’s skills through collaborative working and problem-solving, and knowledge in design, materials, structures, mechanisms and electrical control. They are encouraged to be creative and innovative, and are actively encouraged to think about important issues such as sustainability and enterprise.”
At St Agnes Academy, we aim to encourage children to use their creativity and imagination, to 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 aim to, wherever possible, link work to other disciplines across the curriculum. We want to nurture our children into becoming successful innovators and effective risk-takers.
We deliver our aims through a variety of creative and practical activities which develop the knowledge and skills needed to engage in the iterative process of designing and making. The children work in a range of relevant contexts (for example home, school, leisure, culture, enterprise, industry and the wider environment) and within a number of design and technology themes (structures, cooking, textiles, electrical systems and mechanical systems). Our curriculum drivers are at the heart of what we do as we encourage children to show their curiosity, courage, compassion and conservation in how they design and make their products and their connection to the local community in what they make.
At St Agnes Academy, we use the DT Association's Projects on a Page to realise our aim to provide excellent teaching and learning within DT. These projects are underpinned by a clear progression of skills in both the generic skills of designing and making and within specific areas such as cooking.
Each unit is supported by a Knowledge Organiser which outlines all of the relevant key information and vocabulary that children need to know by the end of the unit. They also outline previous and future learning to help teachers set the new learning within context and establish starting points for learning.
DT has been carefully mapped across the school to ensure broad and balanced coverage and to establish relevant links to other curriculum subjects and our own locality.
In order to maximise on time, we deliver our DT curriculum over a 3 day block each term.
Our teaching sequence is:
Real world application
How have key individuals, local businesses, inventions shaped our world? These links are made across the curriculum. This will be presented to the children or form part of independent research or reading.
A review of the required skills and knowledge gained in prior years, required for new learning will be presented to the children to remind them of the things they have already learnt.
Need or wants
Identification of a need or want of an individual or group. This will drive the project forward as they aim to fulfil this.
Children research existing products and possible construction materials/ingredients/ tools.
The teacher develops, with the class, a design brief which dictates how the children can be successful in what they design and make.
Skills taught / practiced
Children need to first be taught and practice the skills required for them to be successful in designing and making their product. If children do not know how to do something their design may be inhibited.
Children develop their designs, in response to the brief and research. Children’s ideas are communicated through discussion, annotated sketches, cross-sectional diagrams, prototypes, pattern pieces or computer-aided design. This is where children are given the opportunities for exploring functionality, making design decisions, and innovating. Support is given to children with SEND in small guided groups.
Children select from available tools and equipment to perform practical tasks (for example, cutting, shaping, joining and finishing) with increasing precision.
With sustainability and conservation in mind children select from and use a selection of available materials and components (for example, construction materials, textiles and ingredients) based on what they believe to be the most appropriate for the function and aesthetics of their products. Children create the product using materials and skills which they have learnt.
Children show case their products to an audience for which, a need or want was identified. This might be younger school children, families or a local community group. Work is show cased as a working display, supervised play, a tasting, formal presentation or in assembly. Working towards this step ensures children are engaged throughout the DT process and that the children are motivated to design and create products for a specific user, have a purpose and are something they can believe in (authenticity).
Children are guided to evaluate their work based on the original design brief stating where the design brief was met and where it was not.
Where the design brief was not met, changes to improve the product design or the skills used to make the product are discussed and where appropriate, listed. In some instances, children may suggest modifying the design brief to something more appropriate or manageable due to resource constraints.
At St Agnes Academy, we have 3 measures of curriculum impact, all of which are essential in ensuring that our children make excellent progress, are ready for the next phase in their learning journey and are well-rounded, thoughtful and responsible individuals. Our 3 measures are:
- What we learn
- Who we are
- How we behave
Our children will have the knowledge and skills necessary to move confidently to the next step of their learning journey. They will have and use the correct subject vocabulary to understand and communicate their learning in DT and express their ideas.
Through the solving of relevant problems, our children will understand the importance of design in solving some of the world's problems such as climate change and plastic pollution and how good design can prevent some issues from arising in the first place. Out children will understand the relevance of design within our own community, nationally and globally and the opportunities it presents for careers.
By following our clear design and making sequence, our children will build resilience in problem solving and develop the ability to think creatively. They will be challenged to develop original ideas as well as to build on the ideas of others when working collaboratively.
Our children will think and act like designers, intent on solving problems that positively contribute to the world in which they live.
Below are links to:
Our whole school overview for DT
Our progression of DT skills
Our progression of subject specific unit skills
Our unit overviews from the DT Association's Project on a Page