We value Design Technology. WE ARE DESIGNERS and TECHNOLOGISTS! Design and technology is an inspiring, rigorous and practical subject. Using creativity and imagination, 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. They acquire a broad range of subject knowledge and draw on disciplines such as mathematics, science, engineering, computing and art. Pupils learn how to take risks, becoming resourceful, innovative, enterprising and capable citizens. Through the evaluation of past and present design and technology, they develop a critical understanding of its impact on daily life and the wider world. High-quality design and technology education makes an essential contribution to the creativity, culture, wealth and well-being of the nation.
Our design technology curriculum promotes curiosity and a love and thirst for learning. It is ambitious and empowers our children to become independent and resilient – like all curriculum areas. We follow the ‘Kapow’ scheme which offers our children a broad and balanced DT curriculum, providing them with unforgettable projects and specialised skills in woodwork, textiles, food, structures, mechanical and electrical systems.
We want to equip children with not only the minimum statutory requirements of the design technology National Curriculum but to prepare them for the opportunities, responsibilities and experiences of later life. For example, we have a wonderful school garden where the children frequently visit, plant seeds and grow different fruits and vegetables each year. We enrich their time in our school with memorable, unforgettable experiences and provide opportunities which are normally out of reach – this piques their interests and passions. For example, children take part in a ‘Come Dine with me’ experience in Key Stage 2, this involves children researching and preparing a three-course meal, they taste-test and score food and when they aren’t cooking, they research the journey of their main ingredient (from ‘farm to fork’) and write a delicious favourite recipe to include in a whole class cookbook!! Who will get a super score?!
In September 2021, a complete audit of the design technology curriculum was conducted. On the back of the findings from this audit, the design technology curriculum has been carefully rebuilt and the learning opportunities and assessment milestones for each year group crafted to ensure progression and repetition in terms of embedding key learning, knowledge and skills.
We are now using the ‘Kapow’ DT programme to ensure excellent pupil progression and to follow a consistent structure across Key Stage 1 and Key Stage 2.
Initially, pupils take inspiration from design throughout history to help generate ideas for designs. They explore and practice the practical skills involved in the topic and then design, make, evaluate and refine their final products. This approach is taken for every design technology topic. Pupils work in DT is recorded in books, each project has a knowledge organiser as an overview of the learning that will take place and the new vocabulary that will be introduced.
Design technology subject specific characteristics, which we expect the children to demonstrate, have been developed and shared with all stakeholders. These characteristics underpin all work in DT and form a focal point for display areas and provide a common subject specific vocabulary for staff and pupils. These characteristics are:
- Significant levels of originality and the willingness to take creative risks to produce innovative ideas and prototypes.
- An excellent attitude to learning and independent working and passion for the subject and knowledge of, up-to-date technological innovations in materials, products and systems.
- The ability to use time efficiently and work constructively and productively with others.
- The ability to carry out thorough research, show initiative and ask questions to develop an exceptionally detailed knowledge of users’ needs.
- The ability to act as responsible designers and makers, working ethically, using finite materials carefully and working safely.
- A thorough knowledge of which tools, equipment and materials to use to make their products.
- The ability to apply mathematical knowledge.
- The ability to manage risks exceptionally well to manufacture products safely and hygienically.
We encourage staff to teach DT every week or every other week dependent on what works best for their children. The Kapow units are 4 weeks long and have 4 sessions within the topic. The expectation is that five DT topics are taught over the year with Summer 2 being an opportunity to share their learning within their Key Stage. Summer is also when we will plan DT projects ran by external visitors and other local schools. This gives our children the exciting opportunity to meet experts in mechanics, nutrition and structure development and inspire their future dreams and desires.
Our DT curriculum is high quality, well thought out and is planned to demonstrate progression. We carefully support children through DT projects to ensure they make good or better progress. We then assess each unit against the National Curriculum Objectives in computing using Target Tracker.
Assessment information is collected frequently and analysed as part of our monitoring cycle. This process provides an accurate and comprehensive understanding of the quality of education in design technology. A comprehensive monitoring cycle is developed at the beginning of each academic year. This identifies when monitoring is undertaken. Monitoring in design technology includes: book scrutiny, lesson observations and/or learning walks, child and staff voice.
All of this information is gathered and reviewed. It is used to inform further curriculum developments and provision is adapted accordingly