Design and Technology helps to prepare children for the developing world. The subject encourages children to become creative problem solvers, both as individuals and as part of a team. Through the study of design and technology, they combine practical skills with an understanding of aesthetic, social and environmental issues. Design and Technology helps all children to become discriminating and informed consumers and potential innovators. It should assist children in developing a greater awareness and understanding of how everyday products are designed and made. Children should acquire a broad range of subject knowledge and draw on disciplines such as mathematics, science, engineering, computing and art. Children will also understand and apply the principles of nutrition and learn how to cook.
Implementation (Teaching and Learning)
At Abbots Ripton we follow the ‘Design, Make, Evaluate’ approach to the teaching of DT, as outlined in the National Curriculum Programmes of Study document. We also teach specific technical knowledge and skills in the following areas: Construction, Mechanisms and Food and Nutrition. We feel that the teaching of Food and Nutrition is of great importance and for this reason, children will study a Food and Nutrition unit every year.
Every child will complete 4 Design and Technology projects in Key Stage 1, 4 in Lower Key Stage 2 and a further 4 in Upper Key Stage 2. This ensures that the technical skills are covered with greater depth, and that – by the end of each key stage – children will have reached the expectations of the National Curriculum. If teachers wish to complete extra units to develop skills in an area that has not been assigned to their year group, they are encouraged to do so.
During D&T sessions, children are encouraged to be inquisitive about the way products work. We encourage both asking and answering questions in order to deepen children’s understanding of product and product design. They will use market research to inform their designs and, as they move up through the school, will be encouraged to draw detailed designs and make prototypes in order to refine their designs before creating their final piece. Whilst making their products, staff will guide them through the technical skills they will require, modelling good practice and highlighting safety considerations with the children. Through the evaluation stage of our ‘Design, Make, Evaluate’ approach, children are encouraged to reflect upon their final products, considering how they could have altered their design or techniques to impact the overall appearance and usability of their product.
Impact (Assessment and Recording)
D&T learning is recorded in a Learning Journal and should typically evidence all three stages (Design, Make and Evaluate). Due to the practical nature of design and technology, evidence of work undertaken by children can be in the form of teacher’s notes or as a photographic record.
Teachers assess children’s knowledge, understanding and skills in design and technology by making observations of the children working during lessons. As part of our assessment for learning process, children will receive verbal and written feedback at different times during a project in order to aid progress in the subject. Children are also encouraged to be critical of their own work, highlighting their own next steps. After each project, or a minimum of twice a year, teachers complete assessment grids, showing children’s attainment in the following four areas: Designing, Making, Evaluating and Technical knowledge. There are separate assessment criteria for Food and Nutrition.
Spiritual, moral, social and cultural development and British Values
Collaborative work in design and technology develops mutual respect for differing opinions, beliefs and abilities of others. A variety of experiences teaches them to appreciate that all people – and their views – are equally important. In addition, children develop a respect for the environment, for their own health and safety and that of others. Children are encouraged to work in a democratic way, exercising the ‘give and take’ required for successful teamwork.