Design and Technology
DT at St Mary's
Children have an innate curiosity about the world around them and an enthusiasm to create new things. At St Mary’s, our aim is to facilitate this, while preparing them to deal with tomorrow’s rapidly changing world, encouraging them to become independent, creative problem solvers and thinkers, as individuals and as part of a team. The iterative nature of Design and Technology should allow children to put forward a variety of ideas, make mistakes, make improvements to their designs and choose the most suitable and appropriate ones, based on their criteria. Through the study of Design and Technology, they should be able to combine practical skills with an understanding of aesthetic, social and environmental issues, as well as functions and industry, hence allowing them to reflect on and evaluate past and present ideas and technology, their uses and impact. We support and challenge children based on continuous assessment and plan accordingly.
Design and Technology also gives children the chance to demonstrate our school values, as children interact to share ideas, work together and persevere to achieve desired outcomes, just as designers have traditionally done. It is an inspirational, rigorous and practical subject, requiring creativity, resourcefulness, and imagination; as well as a critical and evaluative outlook and growth mindset. Pupils design and make products that solve actual and relevant problems within a variety of contexts. Being cross curricular, it draws upon subject knowledge and skills within many subjects including English, Mathematics, Science, History, Computing and Art. Children learn to take risks, be reflective, innovative, enterprising and resilient. Children’s development of these skills and knowledge should provide them with tools for future success. Through the evaluation of past and present technology and designers they can reflect upon the impact of Design and Technology innovations on everyday life and the wider world. Learning about designers throughout history gives children the knowledge of how innovations and inventions have shaped our world and the importance of their continuation, with the hope of inspiring them too.
Key objectives of intent within the Design Technology Curriculum based on the National Curriculum 2014 guidance:
Products are to be made for a purpose.
Individuality should be ensured in children’s design and construction of products.
Delivery of the two strands: Designing and Making and Cooking and Nutrition.
More emphasis to be given on creating ‘innovative’ products in KS2.
Teaching the importance of making ongoing changes and improvements during making stages.
Looking into seasonality of ingredients and how they are grown, caught or reared.
The introduction of computing and coding of products in KS2.
Researching key events and individual designers in the History of Technology in KS2.
How we teach DT
Design Technology is taught in all year groups through 3 projects per year, which includes one project involving cooking and nutrition. Design Technology projects are thematic and cross curricular and ensure progression through the key stage. The teaching of Design Technology across the school follows the National Curriculum, where children design products with a purpose in mind and an intended user for the products. Some projects are STEM based and encourage children to think about design using science, maths engineering and computing. Teachers are able to adapt projects according to new ideas and developments that may be relevant to current ideas and thinking. Food technology is implemented across the school with children developing an understanding of where food comes from, the nature of seasonality, the importance of a varied and healthy diet and how to prepare this. Health, hygiene and safety play a vital role in ensuring all children are aware of the hazards involved when embarking on a project. They themselves are given the opportunity to analyse potential hazards, playing a key role in risk assessment and mitigation.
Assessment of children's learning in Design Technology is an ongoing monitoring of children's understanding, knowledge and skills by the class teacher, through conversations, photographs and writing, throughout lessons and once a project is complete. This assessment is then used to inform variation, support and challenge required by the children. Children are assessed, not only on a finished product, but the skills they have learnt along the process. Their evaluation of the product also plays a key part of our assessment.
Here are some links to some fun DT activities which children can try at home: