How have we designed our design technology curriculum?
Our Values in Design and Technology
What is Design and Technology?
Design and technology prepares children to deal with tomorrow’s rapidly changing world. It provides encouragement for children to become independent, creative problem solvers and thinkers, as individuals and as part of a team. Design and technology gives young people the skills and abilities to engage positively with the designs they see in the world around them and to harness the benefits of technology. They learn how products and systems are designed and manufactured, how to be innovative and to make creative use of a variety of resources, including digital technologies, to improve the world around them.
James Dyson (inventor):
“Design and technology is a phenomenally important subject. Logical, creative and practical, it’s the only opportunity students have to apply what they learn in maths and science.”
As designers, we want children to:
How do we deliver the design technology curriculum?
Children experience a sequenced and varied curriculum using a wide range of materials and processes. Clear and appropriate cross curricular links are created whenever possible to help children learn key life skills. Children are exposed to hands-on situations where they are encouraged to make independent informed choices.
Toy to amuse children who are ill in bed
Design and make own biscuits
Computer Aided Design (CAD)
Design packaging for product
Designing a seasonal soup to be served at lunchtime as part of a healthy diet
Making a cushion using clothes/fabrics
Computer Aided Design (CAD)
To help create templates.
Design a moving Easter card
Designing a Pasta Salad
Viewing Platform ‘Seal Surfer’ context
Design and make own bread
Design a bag for an explorer
Making a shelter for a mountaineer
And Mechanical Systems
Design a fairground ride.
Learning Roadmap and Progression Overview Coming Soon
Progression and structure through the design and technology curriculum is supported by ‘threshold concepts’. The ‘threshold concepts’ are what pupils should understand and underpin the breadth of study. These include:
- Take inspiration from design
- Master practical skills
- Design, make, evaluate, improve
The children return to each concept again and again through each area in the curriculum breadth. This helps the children develop as designers, and secures the concept development into long term memory and allows for progression. This increases their knowledge of the areas of design and technology over time.
Links to other subjects
Where appropriate the teaching of our design and technology curriculum is linked to other curriculum areas. Here are some of the ways we link design and technology to other subjects:
How design and technology may be linked to other areas of the curriculum
Texts being studied in English can act as a stimulus for the children, providing a context for their project. For example, in Year 3, as part of their work on The Seal Surfer, the children are required to design a viewing platform.
With the nature of design and technology, there is a wide range of technical vocabulary for the children. It is important that the children are familiar with these and are able to understand these and communicate using them.
When evaluating a project, the children have the opportunity to communicate, in writing, the successfulness of it. There are also opportunities to write instructions or write persuasively about their designs.
Using the knowledge of measures is really important in design and technology, children are required to measure accurately to ensure varying materials are cut to size. During food units, children are use measuring skills for the ingredients required as well applying ratios when adjusting recipes. Teachers carefully ensure that the mathematical skills required are commensurate for the children’s expectations.
To make STEM links there are a number of projects across school which link with the work children are studying or have studied in their science topics. The children’s knowledge of materials is applied when selecting the material to use for a project e.g. waterproofing. Knowledge of forces and electronics are applied during the designing of fairground rides.
Art plays an important role in the children’s design and technology work as it is important that their artistic skills are applied to the products they are designing to ensure they are aesthetically appealing to the intended user of their final designs.
As part of the children’s work on Ancient Greece and World War One, the children have the opportunity to link this work into their production of their cam toys (Year 5) and cushions (Year 6)
In Year 3 the children research a range famous and architectural significant designs of bridges from around the world. As part of Year 5’s study of mountains the children are required to design a shelter for a mountaineer or hide. During food topics, the children consider where ingredients originate from as well as looking at foods from different countries, e.g. different types of soups from around the world.
As a school, we are currently introducing computer aided design to work alongside our existing topics to ensure they meet the needs of a fast developing technological age.
To enhance collaboration during the design stage of a product incorporating into a number of units the use of 4x4 design tool to enable each child to have a voice and input. As a result, the children have to appreciate the views of others and all ideas are represented in the final design.
During the making stage of a product the children often work collaboratively, this requires them to co-operate, support and appreciate each other.
Special Education Needs in Design and Technology
How do we ensure all children can access design and technology lessons?
Our design and technology curriculum is carefully designed to ensure that all children are able to access lessons and are enthusiastic learners about the world of design around them. We focus on a range of topics including mechanisms, textiles and food technology. To achieve this aim, design and technology lessons are differentiated in a variety of ways. We ensure that we vary our teaching styles to suit the children in the class through visual aids, hands on learning, auditory clips as well as discussion and simplification of language where needed. The curriculum is, when required, modified to remove barriers, so all children are able to meet the same objectives. Adult support is also planned to offer support and scaffold individual pupils. When we feel it is appropriate we also consult with the individual children and their parents to ascertain how much support they require; allowing them to be as independent as possible.
As a school we strive to support fully the teaching of design and technology and to develop the children’s learning to allow each and every child to maximise their own individual potential.
What difference is this curriculum making to our children?
Our Design and technology curriculum has been designed to enable end products to reflect effective planning, resourcing and independence – as well as innovative- thinking. Our hope is to develop children who are confident designers, constructors and mechanics who enjoy exploring a range of designs and topics and to value the role technology has in society and the job opportunities which this subject offers.
Each topic ends with all children creating a final product; these products are a fantastic way for children to demonstrate the skills they have learnt. Throughout the school, children are given the opportunity to consolidate their skills by creating their final product both independently and collaboratively. Each lesson builds incrementally on prior knowledge and skills to ensure progression throughout each topic. The overall aim is to ensure clear progression of skills throughout the school as seen in the quality of products created by each year group.
Children develop each threshold concept over time and it takes a two-year period to get to a deeper level of understanding at the appropriate age. For example, in Years three and five, children will have a basic understanding of design and technology at an age appropriate level, but by revisiting this they should have a deeper level of understanding and have developed their skills by years four and six. At Market Drayton Junior School evidence of the children’s learning can now be found in their Design and Technology books. Subject and school leaders monitor the impact of our curriculum provision through monitoring, which includes listening to the voice of the children.