Design and Technology is a vital part of our curriculum as it helps to prepare children to deal with tomorrow’s rapidly changing world. Design and Technology provides children with a real-life context for learning whilst exploring past and present technology. At New Silksworth Academy, children receive a Design and Technology curriculum which allows them to exercise their creativity through designing and making. The children work towards end goals following the principles of the 3Ss – Make ‘Something’ – For ‘Someone’ – For ‘Some Purpose’.
The children are taught to combine their designing and making skills with their knowledge and understanding in order to design and make a product; following a design criteria. In these fun and engaging lessons, the children will also develop their use and understanding of key skills and subject specific vocabulary relevant to their project. In Design and Technology lessons, children will be inspired by engineers, designers, chefs and architects to enable them to create a range of structures, mechanisms, textiles, electrical systems and food products with a real-life purpose. The most suitable equipment will be chosen and used accurately for each project by the children and methods will be carefully selected to match the task and used effectively.
The skills and knowledge developed in Design and Technology are transferable to support and build upon learning in our core subjects; Maths, English and Science. Teachers follow the ‘Projects on a Page’ planners created by The Design and Technology Association to support their planning and the design process.
The projects and activities undertaken here at New Silksworth Academy are created to support our pupils in the wider world as our next generation of innovators.
In the Early Years, weekly designing and making activities are made available for child-initiated development and learning and there will be some teacher led activities throughout the half term. Links with other subjects and key skills to ensure children to meet age-related and end of year expectations (Early Learning Goals – ELGs). Design & Technology is mostly implemented within ‘Physical Development’ and ‘Expressive Art and Design’ areas of learning.
Design and Technology lessons are based on the Projects on a Page scheme of work which allows progression of both knowledge and skills. Teachers adapt the planning as necessary to ensure it meets the needs of all children.
Teaching of DT follows the design, make and evaluate cycle. Each stage should be rooted in technical knowledge. The design process should be rooted in real life, relevant contexts to give meaning to learning. While making, children should be given choice and a range of tools to choose freely from. To evaluate, children should be able to evaluate their own products against a design criteria. Each of these steps should be rooted in technical knowledge and vocabulary.
Design and Technology skills and understanding are built into each series of lessons. It allows for the revision of ideas to become part of good practice and ultimately helps to build a depth to children's understanding. Through revisiting and consolidating skills, our lesson plans and resources help children build on prior knowledge alongside introducing new skills, knowledge and challenge.
The revision and introduction of key vocabulary is built into each lesson. This vocabulary is then included in display materials and additional resources to ensure that children are allowed opportunities to repeat and revise this knowledge. Adult guides and accurate design and technology subject knowledge are always provided within lessons to allow the teacher and adults working in those lessons to feel confident and supported with the skills and knowledge that they are teaching.
Through these lessons, we intend to inspire pupils and practitioners to develop a love of Design and Technology and see how it has helped shaped the ever-evolving technological world they live in.
We want to ensure that Design and Technology is loved by teachers and pupils across school, therefore encouraging them to want to continue building on this wealth of skills and understanding, now and in the future.
Due to the nature of this curriculum area, DT monitoring takes various forms. A key component of this is pupil voice, this is used as an effective tool to ascertain the pupils’ ability to express themselves through a range of different mediums. In addition to pupil voice, the DT lead undertakes planning/DT book/project monitoring throughout all year groups, allowing her to ensure our pupils have the opportunity to develop their skills fully and showcase their talents. Examples of our pupils’ work is exhibited throughout the school, both on classroom and communal displays.
Focused practical tasks are planned by the class teacher to develop and practise particular skills and acquire knowledge. Meaningful assignments set within familiar contexts are used by class teachers. Where appropriate they are also linked to other subjects e.g. History, Science, Mathematics.
Teachers assess children’s work on a continual basis through discussion and questioning, work completed and products made. Teachers use KPI’s to identify if children are working at age related expectations. Children are encouraged to self-evaluate as a form of assessment. Progress is reported annually to parents.
Children should develop an understanding of the world through first-hand experiences; wherever possible children will be given opportunities to visit local areas of interest to develop their learning and experiences. Visitors will also be invited into school and career links made when planning each project. Significant and/or famous people linked to the project will also be explored.