Our curriculum leader for Design Technology is Amanda Read
National Curriculum Purpose of Study
Design and technology is an inspiring, rigorous and practical subject. Using creativity and imagination, pupils design and make products that solve real and relevant problems within a variety of contexts, considering their own and others’ needs, wants and values. They acquire a broad range of subject knowledge and draw on disciplines such as mathematics, science, engineering, computing and art. Pupils learn how to take risks, becoming resourceful, innovative, enterprising and capable citizens. Through the evaluation of past and present design and technology, they develop a critical understanding of its impact on daily life and the wider world. High-quality design and technology education makes an essential contribution to the creativity, culture, wealth and well-being of the nation.
At Houghton Primary School, Design Technology is valued as an inspiring and exciting practical subject within our STEM curriculum. We recognise that DT creates many exciting opportunities for our pupils to develop interpersonal skills, become critical thinkers and to take risks, both independently and as members of a team.
Our school curriculum drivers of oracy and enquiry are central to our approach to DT. Pupils are encouraged to intervene supportively and eloquently in the development of each others products and to review their own work in light of feedback and review from their peers. We aim for our pupils to have the resilience to value such feedback and the determination to overcome any practical challenges they may encounter.
Through stepping back, we allow pupils to use their initiative to solve problems and take risks. To make the learning meaningful, we make relevant links within the wider school curriculum, or to the children’s interests, when appropriate. We wish for our curriculum to inspire and empower our students to become independent, confident, creative and reflective designers, innovators and engineers of the future.
At Houghton Primary School we follow the National Curriculum Design Technology programmes of study, but aim to develop the children’s skills and experiences further by making purposeful, appropriate and fun links to the wider curriculum and to areas of interest to pupils. We aim to give the children a mixture of engaging full design projects and FPTs (Focused Practical Tasks) which combine the teaching of practical skills with knowledge of the design process. Over the course of each year, pupils engage in 3 units of work, at least one of these being focused on cookery and nutrition. These units give our pupils different experiences of product research as well as a wide range of opportunities to build products themselves through making prototypes, testing, designing and evaluating. Evaluation is a key skill which is embedded within each unit. We encourage pupils to take responsibility for their own work, make their own judgments, handle uncertainty and disappointments and adapt their plans in light of reflection, both personal and from their peers. Knowledge and skills are progressively revisited during our children’s time in school to ensure their learning is embedded and fully developed. We aim that, over time, pupils will be able to autonomously design, make and evaluate their own projects. To enable this teachers aim to stand back and allow the children the time and space to think and try their own solutions to problems.
Assessment of DT skills is ongoing (formative) during lessons. Teachers use the skills statements to assess and use this responsively to support children as necessary.
At the end of each unit teachers assess children’s knowledge through comparative judgement, low stakes quizzes and similar activities. Knowledge is revisited over the course of the year to support long term memory and retrieval.
Pupils taking part in a cookery enterprise project