At Thomas Gamuel Primary, Design Technology is taught in all year groups through one topic per term. Design Technology projects are often made cross curricular - linking to other subjects that are taught. We have used the DT Association as the main basis for each of our projects. Design and technology is a crucial part of school life and learning and it is for this reason that as a school we are dedicated to the teaching and delivery of a high quality Design and Technology curriculum; through well planned and resourced projects and experiences.
Design and Technology education involves two important elements - learning about the designed and made world and how things work, and learning to design and make functional products for particular purposes and users.
The skills learned in D&T also help with learning across the curriculum. Knowledge about the properties of materials helps in science and the practice of measuring accurately helps in maths. These skills help in IT through the children’s use of computer control and, naturally, in art and design.
There are three core activities children engage with in Design and Technology:
- 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
Pupils are taught to;
Early Years Foundation Stage
During the EYFS pupils explore and use a variety of media and materials through a combination of child initiated and adult directed activities. They have the opportunities to learn to:
- Use different media and materials to express their own ideas
- Use what they have learnt about media and materials in original ways, thinking about form, function and purpose
- Make plans and construct with a purpose in mind using a variety of resources
- Develop skills to use simple tools and techniques appropriately, effectively and safely
- Select appropriate resources for a product and adapt their work where necessary
- Cook and prepare food adhering to good health and hygiene routines
National Curriculum requirements at Key Stage 1
Through a variety of creative and practical activities, pupils should be taught the knowledge, understanding and skills needed to engage in the process of designing and making.
When designing and making, 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.
As part of their work with food, pupils should be taught how to cook and apply the principles of nutrition and healthy eating. Pupils should be taught to:
- use the basic principles of a healthy and varied diet to prepare dishes
- understand where food comes from.
National Curriculum requirements at Key Stage 2
Through a variety of creative and practical activities, pupils should be taught the knowledge, understanding and skills needed to engage in the process of designing and making. They should work in a range of relevant contexts, for example, the home, school, leisure, culture, enterprise, industry and the wider environment.
When designing and making, pupils should be taught to:
- use research and develop design criteria to inform the design of innovative, functional, appealing products that are fit for purpose, aimed at particular individuals or groups
- generate, develop, model and communicate their ideas through discussion, annotated sketches, cross-sectional and exploded diagrams, prototypes, pattern pieces and computer-aided design
- select from and use a wider range of tools and equipment to perform practical tasks, such as cutting, shaping, joining and finishing, accurately
- select from and use a wider range of materials and components, including construction materials, textiles and ingredients, according to their functional properties and aesthetic qualities
- investigate and analyse a range of existing products
evaluate their ideas and products against their own design criteria and consider the views of others to improve their work
- understand how key events and individuals in design and technology have helped shape the world
- apply their understanding of how to strengthen, stiffen and reinforce more complex structures
- understand and use mechanical systems in their products, (for example as gears, pulleys, cams, levers and linkages)
- understand and use electrical systems in their products, (for example series circuits incorporating switches, bulbs, buzzers and motors)
- to apply their understanding of computing to programme, monitor and control their products.
As part of their work with food, pupils should be taught how to cook and apply the principles of nutrition and healthy eating. Instilling a love of cooking in pupils will also open a door to one of the great expressions of human creativity. Learning how to cook is a crucial life skill that enables pupils to feed themselves and others affordably and well, now and in later life.
Pupils should be taught to:
- understand and apply the principles of a healthy and varied diet
- prepare and cook a variety of predominantly savoury dishes using a range of cooking techniques
- to understand seasonality, and know where and how a variety of ingredients are grown, reared, caught and processed