“The nature of design and technology is such that it should provide opportunities for pupils to engage in activities that are challenging, relevant and motivating. This should give pupils enjoyment, satisfaction and a sense of purpose.”
- DATA Primary Guidance
We believe design and technology is about designing and making products for a specific user and purpose. It involves children in learning about the world we live in and developing a wide range of knowledge and skills through designing and making. It helps children to think through problems creatively, about how to organise themselves and how to use knowledge and skills to bring about change and to shape the environment. Through design and technology children become discriminating and informed users of products and become innovators.
At Bransty Primary School we recognize that Design and Technology prepares children to take part in the development of today’s rapidly changing world. This subject encourages children to become independent and creative problem-solvers, both as individuals and as part of a team. (In turn, creative thinking encourages children to make positive changes to their quality of life.) It also enables them to identify needs and opportunities and to respond by developing ideas and eventually making products and systems. Through the study of Design and Technology they combine practical skills with an understanding of aesthetic, social and environmental issues, as well as functions and industrial practices. This allows them to reflect on and evaluate present and past Design and Technology, its uses and its impacts. Design and Technology helps all children to become discriminating and informed consumers and potential innovators.
In the Early Years Foundation Stage (EYFS) we provide opportunities for children to:
- develop a curiosity and interest in the designed and made world through investigating, talking and asking questions about familiar products
- develop confidence and enthusiasm through frequent exploration of construction kits to build and construct objects, and activities for exploring joining, assembling and shaping materials to make products
- extend their vocabulary through talking and explaining about their designing and making activities
We encourage the development of skills, knowledge and understanding that help Nursery & Reception children make sense of their world as an integral part of the school’s work. As the Nursery & Reception classes are part of the Early Years Foundation Stage we relate the development of the children’s Knowledge and Understanding of the World to the objectives set out in the Early Learning Goals. These underpin the curriculum planning for children aged three to five. This learning forms the foundations for later work in Design and Technology. These early experiences include asking questions about how things work, investigating and using a variety of construction kits, materials, tools and products, developing making skills and handling appropriate tools and construction material safely and with increasing control.
In Key Stages 1 and 2, we follow the guidance set out in the National Curriculum and use the aligned KAPOW planning and resources. We believe Design and Technology offers opportunities for children to:
- develop their capability to create high quality products through combining their designing and making skills with knowledge and understanding
- develop a sense of enjoyment and pride in their ability to make
- nurture creativity and innovation through designing and making
- develop an interest and understanding of the ways in which people from the past and present have used design to meet their needs
Our Design and Technology curriculum provides a clear and comprehensive scheme of work that will show progression of skills across all key stages within the strands of Design and Technology and provides both support and challenge for learners.
Design and Technology is taught for 8-12 hours each term, depending on the project being undertaken. One project is planned and undertaken each term. In the EYFS, daily design and technology activities are planned; some initiated by the children and some led by adults. Each design and technology project will be taught weekly in Key Stage 1 and Key Stage 2, in half term blocks or during Design and Technology mornings/ afternoons/ days, dependant on the needs of the project being worked on. Children in their designing and making will apply knowledge and skills of textiles, food, mechanisms, mechanical systems and structures. Electrical systems are taught in KS2. Every year group will do one food project each term.
We believe that Design and Technology provides a natural opportunity for children to practice and improve basic skills such as spoken language, English and mathematics.
All projects should include the three types of activity:
- investigative and evaluative activities, where children learn from a range of existing products and find out about D&T in the wider world
- focused tasks, where they are taught specific technical knowledge, designing skills and making skills
- design, make and evaluate assignments, where children create functional products with users and purposes in mind
Through evaluating the process and their final products children will be encouraged to improve their own in Key Stage 2. In our design, make and evaluate assignments we aim to provide learning opportunities for developing key competencies such as problem-solving, teamwork, negotiation, consumer awareness and organisation. We aim to provide a learning environment where children feel secure and creative risk-taking and problem solving is encouraged and children’s design ideas and suggestions are valued. All design, make and evaluate assignments also provide learning opportunities for developing creativity through designing skills such as generating, exploring, modifying ideas through drawing, modelling with materials and problem solving. Finally, Design and Technology provides opportunity for students to engage in team or group work in Key Stage 2 – developing pupils’ core competences such as oracy.
Displaying and sharing the work they create (showcasing their skills and progress) enables pupils to design with a real purpose. We want our pupils to be aware of different designers (from a variety of cultures, genres and races) and know that it’s good to have unique and individual styles; this will provide opportunities for inspiration and discussion. We want our students to understand that design choices can be a powerful form of personal expression.
The aims of our Design and Technology curriculum are:
- pupils should develop imaginative thinking in children and to enable them to talk about what they like and dislike when designing and making
- to enable children to talk about how things work, and to draw and model their ideas
- to encourage children to select appropriate tools and techniques for making a product, whilst following safe procedures
- pupils should be able to express themselves through their own unique designs
- pupils should experiment with a range of resources and materials, learning new skills and techniques as they do so
- in Design and Technology, pupils should also develop and apply knowledge and skills from Art and Design, Science, Computing and English (e.g. Programming is used in electrical systems projects in Y4 and Y6 to operate children’s products)
- pupils should develop an understanding of the design and the made world through first-hand experience and be proud of their own, functional product designs
- to foster enjoyment, satisfaction and purpose in designing and making
- pupils should develop an understanding of technological processes, products, and their manufacture, and their contribution to our society
- they should explore attitudes towards the made world and how we live and work within it
- wherever possible pupils will be given opportunities to visit local museums, shops and restaurants and meet with designers, engineers, chefs, architects and students from college or secondary schools
- Design and Technology should also be used to raise children’s appreciation of British Values
Access and Inclusion
We recognise the fact that we have pupils of differing ability in all our classes, and so for all children to produce their best, we plan differentiated resources and tasks:
- adapted worksheets
- changing the demands of a task
- more limited choices
- greater teacher intervention, small group work and teaching assistant support
- ensuring manipulative skills needed are manageable
- selecting appropriate tools and equipment
Highly able children are challenged through more demanding tasks such as more open-ended design briefs; rigorous testing of their products; carrying out independent research; and giving additional responsibilities – for example, leading a team.
Additionally, wide range of cultural images and contexts will be used in design and technology, and we will use these opportunities to challenge stereotypes.
The Design and Technology curriculum will contribute to children’s personal development in creativity, independence, judgement, and self-reflection. This would be made apparent through their ability to improve upon their initial designs; and talk confidently about their design choices.
Our children enjoy and value Design and Technology and know why they are doing things, not just how. Children will understand and appreciate the value of Design and Technology in the context of their personal wellbeing and the creative and cultural industries and their many career opportunities, such as in architecture, or product design.
Progress in Design and Technology is demonstrated through reviewing and scrutinising children’s work, in accordance with our Design and Technology policy to ensure that progression of skills is taking place. Progress will be shown through outcomes and through the important record of the process leading to them.
What we want our pupils to achieve by the time they leave Bransty:
- we want pupils to have experience solving real and relevant problems within a variety of contexts
- we want pupils to be confident using their own creativity and imagination in a purposeful manner to design and make functional products
- we want pupils to have learned how to take risks, becoming resourceful, innovative, enterprising and capable citizens
- we want pupils to have developed a critical understanding of the impact of Design and Technology on daily life and the wider world