“Design Technology should be the subject where Mathematical brainboxes and Science whizzkids turn their bright ideas into useful products” – James Dyson
The Design and Technology curriculum at Mersey Park Primary School provides our pupils with the opportunity to tackle problems of a practical nature and develop a range of tool skills. The cross curricular nature of Design and Technology offers a setting for children to apply knowledge and skills linked to other subjects, including science and history. Skills are developed using materials, tools and mechanics which are used to design and make structures, mechanisms, textiles and food products. Children work collaboratively – discussing their design ideas; working cooperatively to make their products; evaluating the own work and the products of others. We also encourage pupils to look to the wider world of product design, exploring the work of engineers, architects and other product designers through shared texts.
Curriculum progression is clearly set out in our Progression of Skills planning document, which has been carefully structured to allow frequent opportunities for children to practice and embed key skills and concepts. From Foundation Stage onwards we plan opportunities for our children to explore materials, practice their construction and design skills and express themselves creatively. This is an experience we feel many of our children need when beginning their journey as designers and engineers at Mersey Park.
Much of our Design and Technology is taught in timetable blocks which may be used as Entry Points to introduce a new topic or Exit Points to consolidate learning at the end of a topic. During Design and Technology days, children are fully immersed in the whole design process and get the opportunity to practice a range of skills and express their creative ideas in a supportive, safe environment.
We ensure that we meet the needs of all pupils, allowing them the opportunity to access the full and broad curriculum through carefully planned support and scaffolding as required.
From Foundation Stage through to Year 6, pupils are given opportunities to explore the use of materials and tools; to design and make prototypes; to discuss how things work; and to discuss how they could be improved. They are presented with design problems to solve, working as part of a team. Design and Technology is taught through areas of learning in accordance with EYFS documents and the National Curriculum for KS1 and KS2.
The areas of design and making covered by each year group are:
Food Technology – emphasis is on healthy eating and a progression of skills using a variety of cooking techniques, including boiling, stir-frying, baking and grilling, and the safe use of kitchen equipment and appliances.
Structures – emphasis is on using wooden Jinx frame constructions as a basis for products, ensuring a progression of skills and using tools safety.
Mechanisms – this element is incorporated into the products made during the structures topic and includes: levers/sliders, chassis/axles/wheels, pneumatics, electrical circuits, cams, gears and pulleys.
Textiles– emphasis is on sewing skills, progressively taught across each key stage and including fastenings and other design elements to make a product appealing.
A strong focus for teaching is the use of correct technical vocabulary. Teachers carefully plan the language they use during their sessions and model, through discussion, specific technical vocabulary to help embed this language in the children’s long term memory. This is also reinforced through the use of videos created by school staff which introduce and revise basic skills.
Teachers are provided with regular opportunities to develop their own subject knowledge through sharing good practice, peer observation and visiting experts. We also make use of our own, in school, experts with our lead teacher for Design and Technology often providing support and help to teach topics.
Design and Technology is monitored through a variety of strategies, including: planning and evaluation scrutiny, lesson observation and product scrutiny. Summative assessments take place throughout the year and teachers record the progress and attainment against the National Curriculum expectations of attainment and statements taken from Weaving Skills and Knowledge. Teachers use this information to inform future lessons; ensuring children are supported and challenged appropriately. This data is analysed regularly to inform and address any trends or gaps in attainment. Information is also gathered through pupil questionnaires, which highlight both strengths and achievements and the knowledge and skills that require further work in order to be embedded.
Final end of year assessments are made using criteria that have been developed in line with the National Curriculum, Target Tracker and Weaving Skills and Knowledge, to identify the level at which the child is working. Children in Foundation Stage are assessed within Expressive Arts and Design and their progress is tracked termly. Age related expectation levels are reported to parents at the end of each year.
The teaching of the use of tools, cooking equipment and sewing equipment is progressive, building year on year, to ensure that by the end of Key Stage 2, pupils have a full range of skills and understand how to use equipment safely.
Food Technology is usually incorporated into Healthy Eating Week and there are opportunities for children to sample their cooking and take it home. We also aim to use home grown produce from our school gardens and classrooms and send recipes home to encourage families to cook the dishes the children have made in school. The children will experience the whole design process from the issue, through planning, trial and error prototypes, finished products and evaluation to see if further improvements are necessary.
Click below to view our DT Curriculum for all year groups:
To view our Design overview for our Design Technology curriculum please follow the link for your child’s year group: .
Children researched, designed, made and evaluated finger puppets linked to their Science topic on Living Things.
FOUNDATION SUBJECT REPORT TO GOVERNORS – SPRING 2019 – DT