Design Technology (DT) at Duke Street Primary School

At Duke Street Primary School the foundation stage, Key Stage 1 and Key Stage 2 all receive Design and Technology lessons, which focus on different skills and techniques to design, make and evaluate innovative products based on a design brief. 

Design and Technology helps you to teach Maths and English and indeed other compulsory subjects on the curriculum in a fun manner and put these subjects into context making them easier to digest and more understandable to younger primary age pupils.

D&T gives children the opportunity to develop skills, knowledge and understanding of designing and making functional products. We feel it is vital to nurture creativity and innovation through design, and by exploring the designed and made world in which we all live and work.

Key Changes to our Design Technology Curriculum

These include:

  • Products to be made for a purpose.
  • Ensure individuality in children’s design and construction of products.
  • Two strands: Designing and Making and Cooking and Nutrition.
  • More emphasis on creating ‘innovative’ products in KS2.
  • Teaching the importance of making on-going 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 individuals in KS2

Why do we teach DT?

The national curriculum outlines Design Technology (DT) as ‘an inspiring, rigorous and practical subject’( DfE: 2014) DT is designed to capture the children’s imagination and creativity and become inventors and designers in order to make products that solve real and relevant problems within a variety of contexts. The curriculum stress that this subject area enables children to become innovative by learning how to take risks. This develops other characteristics of learning and developing such as;

  • Being resourceful
  • Enterprising
  • Capable citizens

This subject area also probes the children’s evaluative skills in order for the children to develop a critical understanding of the impact of their product on daily life and the wider world.

The national curriculum 2014 highlights that DT also makes an essential contribution to…

  • Creativity
  • Culture
  • Wealth and well-being of the nation

Aims of DT

The national curriculum has 4 main aims which are;

  • Develop the creative, technical and practical expertise needed to perform everyday tasks confidently and 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 wide 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.

Intention

Design Technology is taught in all year groups, through at least one topic per term, which includes one topic relating to food each year. Design Technology projects are often made cross curricular - linking to other subjects taught possible. We follow the Design and Technology Association's Projects on a Page, which give the children comprehensive exposure to key skills in a range of different projects.

Implementation

The teaching of Design Technology across our school follows the National Curriculum through the use of Design and Technology Association's 'Projects On A Page' documents. Children design products with a purpose in mind and an intended user of the products. Areas such as structures, mechanics, textiles, and gears, levers and pulleys will be evident in each year group, with a focus on a progression of skills going up through the school. Food technology is implemented across the school with children developing an understanding of where food comes from, the importance of a varied and healthy diet and how to prepare this.

In Key Stage 1:

Within key stage 1, we aim to develop design, creativity and problem solving through purposeful design projects, which promote the children's skills in developing as individuals and as part of a team. Key stage 1 also aims to promote in children a clear understanding of where food comes from and how to safely prepare food.

In Key Stage 2:

Within key stage 2, the children will focus on key events and individuals that have influenced the world of Design Technology and then aim to use this as inspiration in their own designs. The children will create design briefs based on what they want to make, who they want to make it for and what its purpose is. This should be at the heart of their whole project.

The use of computer programmes and applications are also a key focus to be utilised by children in their design of their products, where possible.

Impact

Assessment of children's learning in Design Technology is an ongoing monitoring of children's understanding, knowledge and skills by the class teacher throughout lessons, based on the skills being taught off the progression of skills document. This assessment is then used to inform differentiation, support and challenge required by the children from the teacher. This may include: answering questions about how and why their design works/doesn't work; what processes did they use and why; asking them to explain how they could support another child to help make their design work for effectively..

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