Design and Technology
Design and Technology is an inspiring, rigorous and practical subject. Using creativity and imagination, our 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. The children cover a wide range of skills from learning how to sew textiles to cooking food products. The Design and Technology curriculum has been updated to make sure that it follows the new National Curriculum so that the new skills are covered.
At The Grange, we aim to provide pupils with experiences that will allow them to gain invaluable knowledge and skills essential for active participation in modern British life. Our designers will also be able to confidently investigate and analyse a range of existing products, understand how key events and individuals in Design and Technology have helped shape the world, and select from and use a wider range of materials and components. Pupils will be taught to make links between areas of learning, with the aim of developing engaged, motivated and curious learners that can evaluate their ideas and products against their own design criteria and consider the views of others to improve their work.
Cooking and Nutrition is taught alongside Design Technology when the children have to design and make a food product for a client. We have also planned in opportunities when the children can cook for festivals or special occasions for example, Diwali, Christmas or bonfires night. We feel it is vitally important that all of the children know about healthy eating, where our food comes from and how to cook as these are skills that they will need all throughout life. One of our whole school foci has been Health and Well-being as we believe it to be top priority for our children. We have a dedicated cooking club which runs twice a week. Children learn cooking skills, develop their instructional reading and team-work skills.
Our Design and Technology curriculum has been devised to cover all skills, knowledge and understanding as set out in the National Curriculum. The National Curriculum states ‘Through a variety of creative and practical activities, pupils should be taught the knowledge, understanding and skills needed to engage in an interactive process of designing and making. They should work in a range of relevant contexts [for example, the home, school, leisure, culture, enterprise, industry and the wider environment]’. To ensure pupils develop a secure knowledge that they can build on, our Design and Technology curriculum is organised into a progression model that outlines the skills, knowledge and vocabulary to be taught in a sequentially coherent way. Design, make, evaluate, technical knowledge, cooking and nutrition are all mapped out to ensure that pupils build on secure prior knowledge. When covering each of these strands, the content will be carefully organised by each year group through a long term plan. Content knowledge, vocabulary and skills will then be planned for at a greater level of detail in the medium term plan. Design and Technology is delivered through subject specific teaching organised into blocks under our whole school common thread and Key stage project. Learning about how to fix things, build things, create and problem-solve are vital, and encompass some of the main skills that we want children to have when they leave The Grange Primary School. Design and Technology is all about solving real problems, and as such, is taught in the context of lots of different disciplines; children will use their understanding of Design and Technology which links to other subjects including Computing, Geography, and learn about food and nutrition within Science. They will use their design skills to help them create Art, and in History, learn about how design and technology have helped shape the world
All learning will start with revisiting prior knowledge and making meaningful connections. Staff will model explicitly the subject-specific vocabulary, knowledge and skills relevant to the learning to allow them to integrate new knowledge into larger concepts. Teachers will use images and models to enhance learning. Consistent learning walls and displays in every classroom provide constant scaffolding for children. Subject specific vocabulary is displayed on displays along with key facts, questions and model exemplars of the work being taught. Design and Technology assessment is ongoing throughout the relevant cross-curricular themes to inform teachers with their planning for lesson activities and differentiation. Our designers will be given a variety of experiences, both in and out of the classroom, where they are able to create memorable learning opportunities to further support and develop their understanding. Often, as Design and Technology might require a longer period than a 45 minute / 1 hour timetable-slot might allow, it might be taught as a blocked unit spanning the course of afternoon session, if, for example, children were making a large structure, or time-sensitive project.
The Design and Technology curriculum will make a profound and positive impact on the outcomes of every pupil. The structure enables us to return to core knowledge and skills throughout the course, embedding key practises and understanding core knowledge of each unit is supported by the progression of skills which details the key vocabulary and key questions. We create strong and appropriate links with other subjects to enhance the curriculum and learning experience, predominantly but not exclusively with maths, literacy, music, PD, geography, history and PE.
At The Grange, ‘pupil voice’ shows that pupils are confident and able to talk about what they have learnt in design and technology using subject specific vocabulary. Pupil voice also demonstrates that pupils enjoy design and technology and are able to recall their learning over time. Pupils’ work demonstrates that design and technology is taught at an age-appropriate standard across each year group, with sufficient challenge and opportunities to work at greater depth.