Design and Technology Curriculum
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Our Design Technology (DT) curriculum is based on what we know is best for our pupils. It prepares children to deal with tomorrow’s rapidly changing world and encourages them to become independent, creative problem-solvers and thinkers. It enables them to evaluate designs and identify needs and opportunities and to respond to them by developing a range of ideas and by making products and systems, which can affect daily life and the wider world.
We strive to offer children the chance to use creative thinking through a variety of practical activities. These activities will ensure pupils are taught the knowledge, understanding and skills needed to engage in the process of designing and making.
Through an engaging and varied DT curriculum pupils acquire a broad range of subject knowledge and draw on disciplines such as mathematics, science, engineering, computing and art. Pupils are encouraged to take risks, becoming resourceful, innovative, enterprising and capable citizens and to become astute and informed future consumers and potential innovators.
Teaching and Learning
At Lincoln Gardens Primary School we encompass a variety of teaching and learning styles in DT lessons to ensure skills and knowledge are embedded for all children, these include visual, auditory and practical styles of learning. Teachers ensure that the children apply their knowledge and understanding when developing ideas, planning and making products, and evaluating them. They provide the children with the opportunities to work on their own and to collaborate with others, listening to other children’s ideas and treating these with respect. Teachers provide children with a wide range of materials and resources including common tools, cookery equipment and computing software. We recognise that in every class there are children of differing abilities and we strive to provide suitable learning opportunities for all children by matching the challenge of the task to the ability of the child. We achieve this through a range of strategies:
- Setting tasks that are open-ended and can have a variety of results
- Grouping children by ability and setting different tasks for each group
- Grouping children by mixed ability to provide peer support and scaffolding
- Providing a range of challenges through the provision of different resources, task and/or questioning
- Using additional adults to support the work of individual children or small groups.
Our engaging curriculum is based on the National Curriculum and where possible we plan to the local community of our school, using the local environment as the starting point for aspects of our work. We also look into how children can work in a range of other relevant contexts, such as the home and school, gardens and playgrounds, the local community, industry and the wider environment. We carry out the planning in three phases long-term, medium-term and short-term. The long-term plan is based on the National Curriculum objectives for each stage to ensure coverage and progression so the children are increasingly challenged and they move through the school. The progression map for DT can be found on the shared drive. The medium-term plans identify the skills, knowledge and vocabulary, which will be taught each, term and show the distribution of work across a term. The short-term plans are completed for each lesson and show the skills, learning objectives, expected outcomes and they detail how the lessons are to be taught. Activities and projects in are planned to build on the prior learning of the children. We give all children the opportunity to develop their skills, knowledge and understanding.
We encourage the development of DT skills and knowledge as set out in the Early Years Outcomes. We relate this development to the objectives set out in the Early Learning Goals. We offer early experiences including:
- asking questions about how things work,
- investigating and using a variety of construction kits,
- investigating and using materials, tools and products,
- developing assembling and joining skills, handling appropriate tools and construction materials safely and with increasing control.
These early experience lay the foundations for later work on the National Curriculum.
Lessons are planned according to the children’s interests and provide an enabling environment offering a range of experiences that encourage exploration, observation, problem solving, critical thinking and discussion.
Cross Curricular Links
DT contributes to the teaching of English in our school by providing valuable opportunities to reinforce what the children have been doing during their English lessons. Through discussion, the children develop an understanding that people have different views about design and learn to justify their own views and clarify ideas they have for their designs. The evaluation of products requires children to articulate their ideas and to compare their views with those of other people.
In DT, the children are given the opportunity to use and apply their mathematical skills. They learn how to measure accurately and how to check their results for reasonableness. They apply their knowledge of fractions and percentages to describe quantities and calculate proportions. They learn to read and interpret scales, collect and present data and draw conclusions. In designing and modelling, they learn about size and shape.
Cross-curricular links can be made with science within certain aspects and teachers use these links to combine their teaching in areas such as, electricity and healthy foods.
Computing enhances the teaching of DT, wherever appropriate, in all key stages. The children use computing to research, collect information, and look at ways that they can design. In Key Stage 2, they have opportunities to use computer control.
Children are encouraged to use their skills and methods developed in Art for applying aesthetic enhancements to their designs and products.
We encourage a sense of responsibility in following safe procedures when making products and the projects teach them how to plan, set targets and meet deadlines. They also learn about personal hygiene, the prevention of disease spreading, health and healthy diets when working with food.
Spiritual, moral, social and cultural development
The children are given the opportunity to work together and discuss their ideas and feelings about their work and the work of others. Through collaborative and cooperative working, the children develop respect for the abilities of other children and a better understanding of themselves and their own skills. They also develop a respect for the environment, for their own health and safety, and for that of others. They develop a cultural awareness and learn to appreciate the value of differences and similarities.
DT is taught to all children, whatever their ability or need and we provide opportunities for all pupils to make good progress. We work to meet the needs of pupils with special educational needs, those with disabilities, those with special gifts and talents and those learning English as an additional language. Assessment against the National Curriculum allows us to consider each child’s attainment and progress against expected levels. This helps to ensure that our teaching is matched to the child’s needs, allowing them to make progress across the various areas of the subject over the years.
Assessment for Learning
Teachers assess children’s work in design and technology as they observe them during lessons. At the end of term teachers make a judgment based on the National Curriculum levels of attainment and record this on the assessment system FFT. Children are also encouraged to make judgements on how their work can be improved. Teachers then use the assessments to plan future work and to make an annual assessment of progress for each child as part of the annual report to parents. This information is passed on to the next teachers at the end of the year.
There are a range of resources to support the teaching of DT held across the school. Materials and equipment suitable for teaching all of the DT skills in KS1 and KS2 are kept in labelled and locked stores in the resource cupboard and the key is kept in the main office, a list of all the resources in school can be found in the DT folder on the shared drive. It is the responsibility of the class teacher to be aware of the resources needed for a particular unit and to ensure that they are available in consultation with the designated subject lead.
Health and Safety
It is the teacher’s responsibility to be aware of safety issues in all design and technology activities by:
- Providing a safe working area (furniture, materials storage, tool maintenance)
- Teaching and implementing safety rules and good practice, including hygiene
- Teaching safety rules and safety issues
- Ensuring the safe and correct usage of tools and materials
- Ensuring working areas are kept clean and tidy
- Considering storage of partially completed work
- Ensuring the correct disposal of waste
The teacher is responsible for ensuring that children are adequately supervised when using tools and that other adults working in the classroom understand safety rules and maintain safety standards.
Where children are to participate in activities outside the classroom e.g. on a visit to a museum or restaurant, a risk assessment is completed prior to the activity to ensure that the activity is safe and appropriate for the pupils.
Teachers are encouraged to incorporate elements of DT into WOW days, celebration days and parent into schools activities, as many children enjoy the practical side of the subject this can be a real hook to get them involved in a theme.
Monitoring and Reviewing
The co-ordination and long term planning are responsibility of the designated subject leader.
The subject leader also:
- Supports for colleagues by keeping them informed about current developments;
- Reviews and updates policies relating to DT;
- Reviews planning across the Key Stages to ensure coverage;
- Liaises with other subject leaders to ensure coordination of resources for any cross-curricular work;
- Keeps abreast of new developments and campaigns with a DT focus;
- Maintains a subject leader file which includes a gallery of the children’s work;
- Provides the Head Teacher with an annual summary report detailing strengths and weakness and creates an action plan for further development;
- Report to Governors;
- Use subject leader time to perform book scrutinies, pupil voice tasks, and drop in observations to ensure quality of teaching and progression of the subject.
The classroom teacher is responsible for the delivery of the policy and the curriculum and the care and security of the tools and materials in their classroom.