Design Technology

Intent

At Cathcart Street Primary school, we aim to provide children with a broad and balanced curriculum which prepares them for life beyond primary education. Design Technology is an inspiring, rigorous and practical subject that uses creativity and imagination to design and make products that solve real and relevant problems within a variety of contexts, considering their own and others’ needs, wants and values.

Our DT curriculum recognises the need for children to acquire a broad range of subject knowledge including such disciplines as Mathematics, Science, Engineering, Computing and Art. DT encourages children to think and intervene creatively to solve problems both as individuals and as part of a team by learning how to take risks children become resourceful, innovative, enterprising and capable citizens.

DT combines skills, knowledge, key vocabulary, concepts and values to enable children to tackle real life problems thus developing an understanding of their impact on daily life and the wider world. High quality DT education makes an essential contribution to the creativity, culture, wealth and well-being of the nation.  

As part of the school’s ethos to address inequality, the DT curriculum aims to develop the creative, technical and practical expertise needed to perform everyday tasks confidently. Children learn to participate successfully in an increasingly technological world, build and apply a repertoire of knowledge, understanding and skills in order to design and make high-quality prototypes and products for a range of users, critique, evaluate and test their ideas and products and the work of others, understand and apply the principles of nutrition and learn how to cook.

Implementation

Teachers set out a long term overview for their year, incorporating the skills needed to engage children in Design Technology. Through a variety of creative and practical activities children will develop the knowledge, understanding, skills and key vocabulary needed to engage children in the frequent process of designing and making required by the end of each key stage.

EYFS Children explore and use a variety of media and materials through a combination of child initiated and adult directed activities. They have the opportunity to use their senses to explore the world around them creating simple representations of events, people and objects. They are encouraged to think of ideas, finding ways to solve problems and testing their ideas

KS1 lessons include progressive skills using include a range of relevant contexts. When designing and making children are taught about functionality, purpose and appeal based on their given criteria. Children are given time to communicate their ideas through talk, drawings, templates, mock-ups and where appropriate information and communication technology. They can select from a wide range of tools and equipment to perform practical tasks e.g. cutting, joining, shaping and finishing and choose from a wide range of materials and components including construction, textiles and ingredients according to their characteristics. 

When evaluating their work, children study a range of existing products and evaluate their own ideas and products against design criteria whilst acquiring the technical knowledge to build structures that can be made stronger, stiffer and more stable and explore the use of mechanisms e.g. levers, sliders, wheels and axles in their products.

As part of their work with food children are taught how to cook and apply the principles of nutrition including the basics principles of a healthy and varied diet and where food comes from. Learning how to cook is a crucial life skill that enables them to feed themselves and others affordably and well, now and in later life.

KS2 lessons include progressive skills using include a range of relevant contexts. When designing and making children use research and develop design criteria to inform the design of innovative, functional, appealing products fit for purpose aimed at particular individuals or groups.  Children generate, develop, model and communicate their ideas through discussion, sketches, diagrams, prototypes, pattern pieces and computer aided designs. They can select from a wide range of tools and equipment to perform practical tasks e.g. cutting, joining, shaping and finishing and choose from a wide range of materials and components including construction, textiles and ingredients according to their functional properties and aesthetic qualities.

When evaluating their work children investigate a range of existing products and evaluate their own ideas and products against their own design criteria and consider the views of others to improve their work while understanding how key events and individuals in design and technology have helped shape the world. During the sequence of learning children will acquire the technical knowledge and skills to understand how to strengthen, stiffen and reinforce more stable structures and understand the use of mechanical systems e.g. gears, pulleys, cams, levers and linkages and the use of electrical systems in their products such as circuits, bulbs, buzzers and motors while applying their understanding of computing to program, monitor and control their products.

As part of their work with food, children in both key stages are taught how to prepare, cook and apply the principles of nutrition including the basics principles of a healthy and varied diet, where food comes from, seasonality and where and how a variety of ingredients are grown., reared, caught and processed. Learning how to cook is a crucial life skill that enables them to feed themselves and others affordably and well, now and in later life.

Robust assessment at the end of each unit of work shapes future learning to ensure key skills, knowledge and understanding are built upon year on year as set out in the National Curriculum to support progression throughout the key stages, thus supporting children’s transition into secondary education and the wider world beyond.

Impact

The DT curriculum is high quality, well thought out and planned to demonstrate progression of skills, ensuring we equip children for their next key stage and beyond. The impact can be measured through standards achieved against planned outcomes. The school reflects a celebration of learning in 2D and 3D form which promotes discussion amongst children about their learning, thoughts, ideas, processes and evaluations, leaving children with a sense of pride in their own work, that of their peers and the school community as a whole.