Design and Technology
Design and Technology Curriculum Intent
“Tell me and I forget – show me and I may remember – let me do it, and I learn’: Learning through making works!” Prue Leith
At All Saints School, Design and Technology (D.T.) is a rigorous and practical subject which engages, inspires and challenges pupils. Using creativity and imagination, pupils design and make their own works of D.T. which solve real and relevant problems within a variety of contexts. Our Design and Technology curriculum is taught as part of termly projects where children are taught D.T. skills and knowledge which they apply in a cross-curricular and purposeful way. Although taught in a cross-curricular way, this does not weaken the focus on the development of Design and Technology skills and knowledge which remain the focus of teaching within a D.T. lesson. Children will acquire a broad range of subject knowledge and draw on disciplines such as Mathematics, Science, Engineering, Computing and Art. Through these lessons, pupils will also learn how to take risks, becoming resourceful, innovative, enterprising and capable citizens. Our Design and Technology curriculum is split into the four strands of:
- developing, planning and communicating ideas,
- working with tools, equipment, materials and components to make quality products,
- evaluating processes and products,
- food and nutrition.
At All Saints, when designing and making, we teach pupils the four steps of Design and Technology which are: technical knowledge, designing, making and evaluating. These four steps enable children to progress by thinking critically and developing a more rigorous understanding of Design and Technology. At All Saints, we also instil a love of cooking in pupils and ensure that all pupils are taught how to cook and apply the principles of nutrition and healthy eating. Learning how to cook is a crucial life skill that enables pupils to feed themselves and understand the importance of a healthy and well-balanced diet.
Units of work usually start with teachers introducing either a scenario or a close investigation of an existing product allowing children to draw upon prior knowledge, skills and understanding. This is intended to ensure that learning is meaningful as children observe, identify and analyse the D.T. skills and knowledge used by designers as part of real-life products. Based on these observations, children will then have the opportunity to practice and refine their D.T. skills and techniques relating to the medium taught. Children will then apply their knowledge and skills when designing, making and evaluating their own work to reflect their understanding. Our Design and Technology curriculum is designed to ensure that children’s prior knowledge is built upon. As part of textiles, children in Year 1 learn to attach different materials using glue to produce their own Sockasaurus Rex. This is then built upon in Year 2, where the children use the basic skills of sewing to attach material when creating a finger puppet of a seagull. The skills of sewing and material attachment is revisited, refined and built upon in Year 4 when the children design and create a T-shirt representing the different parts of the digestive system.
How can I support my child with Design and Technology?
- Discuss product design at home.
Find examples of products around your house and encourage discussion with your child about whether they are easy to use or not. Talk about why products are designed the way they are. For instance, why has the product designer made the decisions they have made about the form and function of the product?
- Celebrate your Child's Design and Technology
Praise your child’s creations and encourage them not to get disheartened if they feel they have made ‘mistakes’. Explain that D.T. is about solving problems, trying out different things and that through experimentation they learn. You could display their D.T. items around the house or even use them!
- Discuss and Enjoy D.T. Together
We are extremely lucky to have local museums and exhibitions where you can see examples of Design and Technology throughout history that you could visit with your child. Encourage them to talk about what they see and to share their opinions.
- Involve your child in cooking at home.
Whilst cooking, talk with your child about nutrition and healthy eating. Let your child get involved with choosing meals to cook and the process of making them, applying their knowledge of a healthy and varied diet. Look at the labels on food items to see where food products come from and why.