Design Technology Rationale
At Bridgelea we are designers and technologists! We want our children to love Design and Technology (DT). 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 on what their ambitions are and grow up wanting to be architects, graphic designers, chefs, or carpenters. The DT 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 DT. Pupils need opportunities to learn about the designers, architects, and engineers who have shaped our world. We want our children to remember their DT lessons in our school, to cherish these memories, remember what they have learned, and embrace the DT opportunities they are presented with!
Our children will be taught DT in a way that ensures progression of skills and follows a sequence to build on previous learning. Our children will gain experience and skills of a wide range of formal elements of design and concepts of technology in a way that will enhance their learning opportunities, enabling them to use design and technology across a range of subjects to be creative and solve problems, ensuring they make progress. Examples include...
- 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 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, and 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.
In the Spring term of 2019, a complete audit of the DT curriculum was conducted. On the back of the findings from this audit, the DT curriculum has been carefully built and the learning opportunities and assessment milestones for mileposts are crafted to ensure progression and repetition in terms of embedding key learning, knowledge and skills.
We follow the Kapow scheme for DT which provides a balanced DT curriculum building on previous learning and provides both support and challenge for learners.
Children’s work and pictures of their work will be recorded in the child’s DT folder for reference and assessment.
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.
How is the curriculum structured?
We’re going to take a journey through the five main areas of DT and look at what each one involves and how we can make them fun, engaging and impactful.
There are five areas within Design & Technology:
- Cooking and Nutrition
- Electrical Systems
There are 4 areas of skills and knowledge
- Technical knowledge
Cooking & Nutrition
Like any DT project, in the design stages of cooking, the children will read or design a brief. They will need to consider who the target audience is, what their dish and packaging needs to include and how it will be prepared and made.
The skills they need to develop include chopping and preparing food hygienically, following a recipe and cooking ingredients in different ways.
Children need to know how to evaluate existing products to inform their design but also how to evaluate their own against their design criteria.
As well as understanding flavour and texture, children must also develop their knowledge of seasonality, hygiene, origin of ingredients as well as the importance of a balanced diet.
Teach children to explore and develop their ideas in exploded diagrams, nets, prototypes and storyboards so they are able to explain how their product will work.
Provide children with the skills to accurately measure, cut and join materials for their product to be functional.
Children need to regularly test and evaluate their project to make sure that it works. If it doesn’t, they should refer to their designs and check the accuracy of the build.
There is a lot of technical knowledge within mechanisms such as cams and motion for children to understand in order to apply this to their own designs.
Design should be informed by experiments and prototypes or pre-existing structures to ensure they are planning strong and stable structures.
Children should be taught how to cut, join and assemble accurately with a secure understanding of how to reinforce structures in order to be more creative with the final outcome.
By critically evaluating existing structures, children can learn how to build with greater complexity and reinforce structures of different shapes and materials.
Pupils should build an understanding of how to achieve strength and stability in their structures and explore different materials and equipment.
Children must consider who the product is for and build a design criteria based on this with regards to factors such as size, material, appearance and intended use.
Teach children to master a variety of techniques for joining two pieces of material together such as stitching styles and fastening types for different purposes.
This involves both evaluating their own work and evaluating and learning from the work and feedback of others to help master techniques.
Children should be taught a range of stitches and techniques as well as an understanding of why they might be used for different purposes.
Children should use their scientific knowledge of electricity to draw accurate circuit diagrams, alongside suitable ideas to house the components in order for their design to be fit for purpose.
Encourage pupils to consider and experiment with how technology and electricity can interact with other materials to breathe life into them. Help them to understand and apply electrical systems within products, such as the use of buzzers, motors and switches to create an operational electrical product.
Teach children to think critically about electrical products, understanding what makes them successful and how to develop their projects.
Their scientific knowledge of electricity is important as well as their understanding of structures and mechanisms.
Progress in Design and Technology is demonstrated through regularly reviewing and monitoring of children’s work, in accordance with the school's assessment policy to ensure that progression of skills is taking place. Namely through:
- Looking at pupils’ work, especially over time as they gain skills and knowledge
- Observing how they perform in lessons or during a learning walk.
- Talking to them about what they know.
The DT curriculum will contribute to children’s personal development in creativity, independence, judgement and self-reflection. This would be seen in them being able to talk confidently about their work, and sharing their work with others.
We will be able to find evidence that our children enjoy and value DT and know why they are doing things, not just how.
Children will be able to understand and appreciate the value of DT in the context of their personal wellbeing and the creative and cultural industries and their many career opportunities.
Progress will be shown through outcomes and through the important record of the process leading to them.
DT and Metacognition
As a school we are currently working towards a Thinking School Accreditation. We are working hard to embed a whole school approach resulting in a common language and framework which enable children to talk explicitly about thinking and to understand there are different kinds of thinking. We have introduced eight thinking maps which are used to help children organise their thinking, whether it be in story planning, classifying and sorting information, understanding relationships or considering cause and effect. Alongside the Thinking Maps we are also introducing reflect and evaluate sheets to support children to target their thinking.