Design & Technology
Why we teach Design & Technology
The United Kingdom has a rich history of design and manufacturing innovations but we are now seeing a skills shortage in this area. The breadth of skills that children can learn through D&T can potentially help bolster this important economic contribution to industry in the future; it prepares children to participate in tomorrow’s rapidly changing world.
Design and Technology in primary schools develops children’s skills and knowledge in design, structures, mechanisms, electrical control and a range of materials, including food. It encourages children's creativity and encourages them to think about important issues. D&T gives children the opportunity to develop skills, knowledge and understanding of designing and making functional products. We feel it is vital to nurture creativity and innovation through design, and by exploring the designed and made world in which we all live and work. 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. Furthermore, D&T has strong cross-curricular links with a range of subjects, such as Mathematics, Science, Computing and Art.
How we teach Design & Technology
We teach D&T through a combination of specific skills lessons and teaching sequences that connect to other subject areas. The following subject-specific elements are developed across the school, building on skills and knowledge from the previous year.
Making (Food, Textiles, Sheet materials, Construction)
Development of technical knowledge
Our Curriculum Drivers in Design & Technology
Children are given opportunities to design their own products and assess how well they have met their objectives. They learn the skills required to work collaboratively either in small groups or pairs. The children are provided with opportunities to be innovative and express themselves creatively, designing products that could serve a purpose for their future.
D&T allows children to understand how products are made and which tools are required to make them. We give them opportunities to develop new products to help solve real world problems or replicate existing products to deepen their understanding of how these work. By learning about food, the children understand how to prepare their own meals as well as the importance of a balanced diet.
D&T allows children the opportunity to understand how products are made and how they can be developed, improved and changed. Through evaluating their work, children are able to discuss their products and how they could change them for improvements. They are also provided with opportunities to view products from different time periods allowing them to see how products have changed alongside technological advances.
In studying D&T, children ascertain the skills to become critical thinkers and learn to evaluate and analyse their own work. With each project they undertake, children are required to think about what they have done well and how they could improve their product next time. They have opportunities to work with a wide range of materials, learning to investigate and compare them for their appropriate uses.
How our curriculum is structured
EYFS & Key Stage 1
In EYFS, children will design their own products using a variety of tools and materials to help create them. They will investigate simple joining techniques, develop their small motor skills and explore how things work. They will learn about basic food hygiene and combine a variety of food ingredients using different methods.
In Key Stage 1 the children will learn to design purposeful, functional and appealing products that are based on design criteria. They will learn how to join a variety of different materials. They will make products by using a wide range of materials and develop the use of tools to cut, shape, join and finish. They will learn to evaluate products and suggest how it could be improved to be stronger, stiffer and more stable. They will learn to cook simple food; sweet and savoury dishes.
Key Stage 2
In Key Stage 2 the children learn to design purposeful products that are aimed at particular individuals or groups. They develop their ideas through detailed planning, evaluating product design, observational drawings and making prototypes. They learn how to use different joining techniques and develop their skills using their previous knowledge. They make products and learn how to use a wide variety of tools, equipment, materials and components. They learn how to include mechanical, electrical and computer control into products. They learn to design and cook food with an emphasis on savoury dishes.
Throughout the school year, KS1 and KS2 children are invited to participate in stand alone D & T projects in association with the Primary Engineer programme.