At Bridgelea we are designers and technologists! We want our children to love design and technology. We want to provide the children with the opportunities to develop and extend skills and an opportunity to express their individual interests, thoughts and ideas. We want them to have no limits to what their ambitions are and grow up wanting to be architects, graphic designers, chefs or carpenters. The design and technology curriculum has been carefully crafted so that our children develop their design and technology capital. We want to engage, inspire and challenge pupils, equipping them with the knowledge and skills to experiment, invent and create their own designs. As pupils progress, they should be able to think critically and develop a more rigorous understanding of D&T. Pupils need opportunities to learn about the designers, architects and engineers who have shaped our world. We want our children to remember their D&T lessons in our school, to cherish these memories and embrace the D&T opportunities they are presented with!
We want our children to make links between British Values, and how the pupils are taught about the moral choices facing designers & manufacturers when deciding on materials. We want pupils to consider sustainability and to understand and apply ways of conserving the Earth’s resources. There is a focus on recycling in food and how to manage portion sizes to minimise waste. This helps students to connect with the dilemmas of those who do not have an abundance of food. We want pupils to develop an awareness of health & safety for themselves and others when working practically. We want to teach our children the social skills around behaviour self-regulation to ensure collective responsibility for a safe and efficient working environment. We want our children to challenge each other’s behaviour and how it impacts on the collective expectations of the group. We want pupils to explore how products contribute to lifestyle and consumer choices and understand how products evolve according to users’ and designers’ needs, beliefs, ethics and values. In food education, we want pupils to look at cultural influences on the food we cook and the diversity of the ingredients available for us to cook with. We also want them to learn about staple foods of other countries.
The design and technology curriculum promotes curiosity and a love and thirst for learning. It is ambitious and empowers our children to become independent and resilient.
We want to equip them with not only the minimum statutory requirements of the design and technology National Curriculum but to prepare them for the opportunities, responsibilities and experiences of later life. For example, we have a developing outdoor space where the children frequently visit, cultivate and harvest what they grow every year.
We want our children to use the vibrancy of Manchester and the surrounding areas to learn from other cultures, respect diversity, co-operate with one another. We achieve this by providing a strong SMSC curriculum, with British Values and our core values placed at the heart of everything we do.
We enrich their time in our school with memorable, unforgettable experiences and provide opportunities that are normally out of reach – this piques their interests and passions. We firmly believe that it is not just about what happens in the classroom, it is about the added value we offer to really inspire our children.
In the spring term of 2019, a complete audit of the design and technology curriculum was conducted. On the back of the findings from this audit, the design and technology curriculum has been carefully built and the learning opportunities and assessment milestones for mileposts crafted to ensure progression and repetition in terms of embedding key learning, knowledge and skills. For example, the way design and technology is taught at our school has been revamped and now follows a consistent structure.
To facilitate coverage of both the statutory and wider curriculum, teachers create “a vehicle” to deliver the curriculum learning to children. The vehicle is a project that does not have its focus primarily on the subjects of the National Curriculum but is rooted in a real life experience that children engage with for up to a term. The key focus in all of these projects has been to deliver the wider aims of the “Rainbow Curriculum” whilst using the academic strands of the National Curriculum subjects to facilitate it.
During a vehicle our children will explore and practise the practical skills involved in the project and then design, make, evaluate and refine their final products. Pupils' work in D&T is also presented differently to other subject areas as teachers use floor books and or displays around school instead of individual exercise books.
Design and 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 D&T and form a focal point for display areas and provide a common subject specific vocabulary for staff and pupils.
We empower our staff to organise their own milepost curriculums under the guidance of our subject leaders. Teachers are best placed to make these judgements. Staff develop termly vehicles, which identify when the different subjects and topics will be taught across the academic year.
In most subject areas, we encourage staff to teach a weekly lesson however, this is not the case for design and technology. This was a notable change after the design and technology audit. Each term, the whole school has two deep-dive design and technology days. This helps to ensure that the children see the whole process from start to finish – from existing products through to their finished product. We believe that by crafting our curriculum this way, we improve the potential for our children to retain what they have been taught, to alter their long-term memory and thus improve the rates of progress they make.
We use both formative and summative assessment information in every design and technology lesson. Staff use this information to inform their short-term planning and short-term interventions. This helps us provide the best possible support for all of our pupils, including the more able. The assessment milestones for each phase have been carefully mapped out and further broken down for each year group (This is available in the Focus Education Resource: Assessing a Knowledge Rich Curriculum). This means that skills in design technology are progressive and build year on year.
Assessment information is collected and analysed as part of our monitoring cycle. As a school, this is a developing approach and we are working with other schools in Manchester to look at effective ways of assessment in D&T. A comprehensive monitoring cycle is developed at the beginning of each academic year. This identifies when monitoring is undertaken. Monitoring in design and technology includes book scrutinies, lesson observations and/or learning walks, pupil/parent and/or staff voice.
Cultural Capital & DT at Bridgelea
- Children have access to key knowledge, language and meanings in order to understand and readily apply to their work in D&T and across the wider curriculum.
- Educational Visits will make links to D&T and be made to develop the children’s learning experiences. Children will achieve age related expectations in D&T.
- Children will retain knowledge about their journey and the outcomes for each unit of work.
- Children will understand what being an engineer, designer and architect means.
- Children will learn British Values and PSHE and revisit the importance of our world and how it should be treated.
- The creativity of our pupils needs channelling into a field where they learn to empathise with others and create solutions for others' problems, not just their own. They will benefit from taking a design brief and designing a product that meets the needs of others. Additionally, our pupils do not always have the ability to see a process through from start to finish. By learning design and technology, pupils will develop perseverance to design, make, test, evaluate and amend their creations, seeing the rewards of sticking at something for its entirety. With regards to food education, our pupils do not always have balanced meals at home and have experience of cooking their own food. By studying food education, pupils will learn what makes a balanced diet as well as how to cook staple meals for themselves.