Design and Technology is an inspiring, rigorous and practical subject. At Holy Trinity School we have carefully planned topics that are taught though the creative and thematic approach of the Cornerstones Curriculum. This ensures that children are learning appropriate knowledge and skills in exciting and engaging ways.
Design and Technology education helps develop children’s skills and knowledge in design, textiles, structures, mechanisms, electrical systems and food and nutrition. By the end of Year 6 we aim for the children to have developed into creative individuals who are able to design and make purposeful products for a range of users. In addition, it is important for the children to learn to critique, evaluate and test ideas, so they become accustom to the constantly evolving nature of technology.
We teach cooking and nutrition as part of Design and Technology. Our aim is to ensure that children can understand and apply the principles of nutrition and learn the valuable life skills needed to become healthy individuals who can cook for themselves later in life.
The National Curriculum states that throughout Key Stage 1, when designing and making, pupils should be taught to:
- design purposeful, functional, appealing products for themselves and other users based on design criteria
- generate, develop, model and communicate their ideas through talking, drawing, templates, mock-ups and, where appropriate, information and communication technology
- select from and use a range of tools and equipment to perform practical tasks [for example, cutting, shaping, joining and finishing]
- select from and use a wide range of materials and components, including construction materials, textiles and ingredients, according to their characteristics
- explore and evaluate a range of existing products
- evaluate their ideas and products against design criteria
- build structures, exploring how they can be made stronger, stiffer and more stable
- explore and use mechanisms [for example, levers, sliders, wheels and axles], in their products
Throughout KS2, pupils should be taught to:
- use research and develop design criteria to inform the design of innovative, functional, appealing products that are fit for purpose, aimed at particular individuals or groups
- generate, develop, model and communicate their ideas through discussion, annotated sketches, cross-sectional and exploded diagrams, prototypes, pattern pieces and computer-aided design
- select from and use a wider range of tools and equipment to perform practical tasks [for example, cutting, shaping, joining and finishing], accurately
- select from and use a wider range of materials and components, including construction materials, textiles and ingredients, according to their functional properties and aesthetic qualities
- investigate and analyse a range of existing products
- evaluate their ideas and products against their own design criteria and consider the views of others to improve their work
- understand how key events and individuals in design and technology have helped shape the world
- apply their understanding of how to strengthen, stiffen and reinforce more complex structures
- understand and use mechanical systems in their products [for example, gears, pulleys, cams, levers and linkages]
- understand and use electrical systems in their products [for example, series circuits incorporating switches, bulbs, buzzers and motors]
- apply their understanding of computing to program, monitor and control their products.
Across KS 1 and KS2, DT is planned within the different Cornerstones topics and the progression of skills and coverage checker ensures all learning objectives are taught. The lessons may either be taught in a block week or a series of sessions over a few weeks. The teacher will introduce the learning objectives and model some key skills e.g. cutting and joining. Children will then work independently, in pairs or small groups to design, make and evaluate. A focus on health and safety will also be included where specialist equipment is used such as saws or needles. Pupils are guided by teachers and what has been modelled at the start of a lesson but have some freedom to be creative with the materials used. They have opportunities to discuss and critique each other’s work with peers in their own class and those in parallel classes.
DT is not mentioned as a discrete subject within the Early Years Foundation Stage (EYFS), however ideas and principles behind DT do link to areas of the EYFS Framework. The EYFS staff plan activities for the children to develop Characteristics of Effective Learning within all learning opportunities. The “Creating and Critical Thinking” characteristic emphasises the importance of children having their own ideas, making links, and choosing ways to do things. This could involve the children exploring and evaluating existing DT products along with thinking of their own design ideas and choices. In the EYFS Prime Areas of Learning aspects of DT are evident within children’s physical development. Here children will have opportunities to handle DT tools safely and effectively. Along with the knowledge and understanding of a healthy diet, linking to cooking and nutrition. Aspects of DT are most evident within the EYFS Specific Areas of Learning, “Expressive Arts and Design”. Here the children will have opportunities to safely use tools, explore materials, and apply their own knowledge for their own ideas and purposes. “Understanding the World” is an additional Specific Area, where children will have opportunities to explore how things work, linking to evaluating current products in DT.
The DT subject leader will monitor this subject by conducting learning walks, organising pupil conferencing and exploring photographic evidence across the school.