Design & Technology
Subject Leader: Miss Bracken
Design Technology (DT) at Airedale Infant School is intended to develop our children into confident creative designers, who are able to participate confidently in an ever-changing technological society. We aim to provide a high-quality DT education, which will engage, inspire and challenge pupils, equipping them with the knowledge and skills to experiment, invent and create their own products.
The Primary Objectives of teaching Design Technology at Airedale Infant School 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.
Design Technology links closely to our school drivers ‘VOICE’. Our TRUST values of Ambition, Bravery and Respect underpin our school ethos. We understand that our children need to become more resilient and braver in their choices, DT promotes this by children understanding the need to be evaluative in order to succeed. Children are encouraged to discuss where designs can be improved in a respectful way, enabling them to build a fundamental skill which can be used later in life.
Oracy and communication are fundamental skills that we believe equip our children to be life-long learners. DT supports this aim by children being able to respectfully discuss their designs and articulate their evaluation process to one another. Our pupils understanding that their voice is a vital tool required for supporting and developing one another’s designs, is crucial to aid success and promote the use of technical vocabulary. The vocabulary taught in DT is carefully chosen and progressive across units of work, which we expect children to know, understand and apply in context.
Being independent and fostering a love for learning is crucial in our school. Our children need to become problem solvers and develop enquiring minds, which again is linked to resilience. Developing creativity and enterprise is a vital life skill, which will equip them to be lifelong learners. Our DT curriculum develops the creative, technical and practical expertise needed to perform everyday tasks confidently and to participate successfully in an increasingly technological world.
How do we ensure progression of knowledge and skills?
At Airedale Infant School, we have in place, for each subject area, a knowledge and skills progression document, which is used for planning, to ensure sequenced and appropriate content for specific year groups. Teachers are clear on the learning and expectations for each year group, as this has been carefully selected and mapped out so that children are building on prior knowledge and skills each term and each year. Whenever possible, we teach through a themed approach, to enable our children to embed and revisit learning, make connections and develop a greater depth of understanding within the subject. The content is chosen in order to make effective links with key cross-curricular themes, reflect expectations in the National Curriculum programmes of study and engage and inspire children’s curiosity and interest in DT.
Ultimately, our curriculum is designed to ensure that pupils know more and remember more, through the use of progressive skills. Within these documents there are opportunities for differentiation, in order to meet the needs of all learners.
How is the subject taught?
When children are in DT lessons, they are explicitly told that they are going to be ‘designers.’ They are then reminded of the key skills that they will learn, use and develop within this subject, specifically linking to their prior learning.
We link learning where possible to our exciting topics, this allows children ample opportunities to revisit, reinforce and embed learning.
Within each unit of study, we follow the design, make, evaluate cycle. This enables the children to further develop and deepen their knowledge and understanding whilst driving their own learning forward through their creative designs.
Within each DT lesson, children are introduced to and reminded of key vocabulary, in order to promote oracy and language acquisition. Specific questioning is used to check children’s understanding and prior knowledge, before new concepts, skills or knowledge are introduced. Modelling is used by class teachers to clarify expectations, children are then given plentiful opportunities to consolidate, build upon and apply basic skills and knowledge, across a series of lessons, as well as across the year. Through studying a range of people from the past and present, who have had an impact on the world of Design, as well as a range of countries and cultures, children are able to increase their cultural capital.
In accordance with the Key Stage 1 National Curriculum pupils should be taught to:
- design purposeful, functional, appealing products for themselves and other users based on design criteria
- generate, develop, model and communicate their ideas through talking, drawing, templates, mock-ups and, where appropriate, information and communication technology
- select from and use a range of tools and equipment to perform practical tasks [for example, cutting, shaping, joining and finishing]
- select from and use a wide range of materials and components, including construction materials, textiles and ingredients, according to their characteristics
- explore and evaluate a range of existing products
- evaluate their ideas and products against design criteria
- build structures, exploring how they can be made stronger, stiffer and more stable
- explore and use mechanisms [for example, levers, sliders, wheels and axles], in their products.
How do we know that our children are making progress?
Ongoing assessments of the children’s knowledge and skills are made by the class teacher. Misconceptions are addressed and next steps carefully planned. Children’s outcomes are compared to the subject specific skills and knowledge documents.
Subject leaders gather an overview of children’s outcomes in each subject area. This is used to plan appropriate next steps for their future learning, as well as provide an overview of learning within a subject area cross the whole school.
What wider opportunities are provided for our children?
In addition to discrete teaching in this subject, opportunities for DT through additional enrichment and links with other subject areas, ensure that elements of the DT curriculum are accessed by children throughout the year.
Healthy eating is promoted through daily routines as well through specific activities where children learn about nutrition and are educated about healthy food choices.
Further Information & Links