Architect Stephen Gardiner: ‘Good buildings come from good people and all problems are solved by good design.’
Design and Technology at Newton Ferrers Primary School is an inspiring and practical subject that allows children to develop subject-specific skills and knowledge to produce imaginative and creative products whilst using their problem-solving skills. In order to do this, children will need to draw on a broad range of subject knowledge and apply skills that they have learnt in other areas such as maths, science and art. DT is an invaluable way of embedding our school values with a particular focus on creativity, perseverance and collaboration.
The national curriculum for design and technology aims to ensure that all pupils:
- 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.
Throughout their time at Newton Ferrers, children will acquire and apply knowledge and understanding of materials, mechanisms, textiles, structures, electrical systems and food technology, including healthy eating. Within these units of work, children will learn technical language and subject-specific skills at an age-appropriate level. When planning sequences of work, teachers refer to the First Federation subject spines and materials from DATA, alongside our skills ladders to ensure progression and coverage across the school.
Our teaching sequences follow the process of design- make-evaluate so that children can understand how to develop a product with confidence. Children will participate in a range of activities within each DT sequence:
- Activities which involve investigating and evaluating existing products
- Focused tasks in which children develop particular aspects of knowledge and skills
- Designing and making activities in which children design and make 'something' for 'somebody' for 'some purpose'
- Evaluation activities where children evaluate their work in relation to their design brief
The teaching of DT takes place as a weekly block as this allows the children to really engage with the activity, and design, make and evaluate their products in depth. DT is taught as a discrete subject, however opportunities for cross-curricular links through themes will be utilized where appropriate.
We believe that children should know how Design and Technology has shaped our history and understand its impact on daily life and the wider world. Children will be exposed to inventors and designers from a range of time periods and cultures linked to the area of learning that they are studying.
In the early years, one of our areas of learning and development is expressive arts and design. This may be taught discretely through a mix of adult directed activities or through child-directed activities which are enabled through the classroom environment. Opportunities for children to have access to expressive arts and design are available in both the indoor and outdoor learning environment where children have free access to explore through continuous provision. Examples of our provision include; junk modelling and a creative area where children can make their own resources for their role play, small world area with blocks for children to design and create their own worlds and large loose parts outside for children to build with as part of their play.
In KS1, pupils will have the confidence to take risks when tackling new challenges and be curious and creative to solve manufactured/encountered problems practically. Guided by the teacher, children will follow a process of design, make and evaluate to create purposeful products. They will be introduced to subject-specific vocabulary to articulate their proposed design. Children will be taught how to choose appropriate techniques and materials, and how to use tools safely to meet a given criteria. Pupils will be consistently reflective to enable them to adapt and improve their work to ensure it is of good quality.
In KS2, pupils will become confident risk-takers when tackling new challenges and be curious and creative to solve problems practically using their prior learning within DT and the wider world. Children will take more responsibility for the process of designing, making and evaluating purposeful products using their cross-curricular knowledge. They will build on prior learning and be familiar with subject-specific vocabulary to articulate their proposed design and, where appropriate, use technology to research the problem and techniques to carry this out. Children will use their knowledge and judgement to choose appropriate methods and materials from a wider range of options and use these safely to meet their self-initiated criteria. Pupils will be consistently reflective to enable them to adapt and improve their work to ensure it is of good quality and is functional for the purpose.
At Newton Ferrers, we have a wonderful outdoor area with a brand-new community-built Forest School building. The skills and knowledge acquired in Forest School compliment our DT curriculum, and teachers utilize this to enhance and embed the children’s learning. For example, in food technology, children will design and make recipes that they have adapted to be cooked on an open fire, which they have built themselves, after learning from their experience of previous cooking sessions within Forest School.
At Newton Ferrers, we believe it is important that children are aware of where food comes from as we are a rural school surrounded by farm land. Children are given the opportunity to visit a local farm termly where they can further apply aspects of their learning from the DT curriculum. Children learn about the history of foraging, seasonal produce and how to forage safely in their local environment, as well as using their chopping and food preparation skills to make food to share.
Pupils will be assessed on their design and technology knowledge and skills against the planned curriculum for each unit of work. Work throughout the year is assessed against the intended curricular goals. Assessment can be carried out in a number of ways and these can include; self-assessment, peer assessment, teacher assessment and pupil presentations.