Our aim that D&T is loved and enjoyed by all; staff and children across school from Nursery to Year 6 , including SEN children and those in our strategic facility. We are an inclusive school and believe it is important for all children to have equal opportunities . We encourage our children to want to build on their own skills and learning and develop their D&T skills from the youngest in Foundation Stage onwards and upwards.
This school year we have started using the Kapow scheme of work which ensures the children progressively cover the knowledge, understanding and skills required by the National Curriculum.
We also provide opportunities to learn about key events and individuals who have helped shape the world. We aim to inspire the children to be the innovators of the future by showing them the impact of design and technology in the real world. As an Eco School we hold environmental awareness and issues close to our hearts and aim to reuse and recycle wherever possible within our work as well as using Fairtrade products.
We encourage the children to be collaborative, innovative and creative when designing solutions to real and relevant problems. The discussion required to solve problems is valued as an important part of the children’s learning and is a vital part of the children’s speaking and listening skills.
As a cross curricular subject, the children’s design and written work is expected to be of a high standard equivalent to that expected throughout their learning. Activities will be taught on a whole class basis with an adaptive teaching approach, where individuals will be given tailored support, resources and guidance according to their differing needs. This way all children experience the full curriculum content and have the opportunity to achieve ambitious goals whatever their needs.
Content and implementation
National curriculum guidance requires children to learn in the areas of design, making, evaluation, technical knowledge and cooking and nutrition.
This academic year we have begun following the Kapow scheme of work which is organized into 6 key areas which are revisited each year. These consist of:
Throughout lessons children learn the vocabulary to express themselves and are expected to discuss problems together using rich and technical language which is targeted in lesson objectives.
We have taken part in the local Rotary Club’s annual D&T competition. The children are set a task to complete and are judged according to group collaboration, making skills and product success. We are proud to have been regular and repeat winners, which reflects the successful impact of our school’s curriculum and ethos.
Assessment and recording
The impact of our D&T curriculum is monitored and assessed using class assessment and evidence books within which each teacher keeps a record of the work done in that class. These include a copy of the knowledge organizer for each unit of work, examples of design work done by children working at different levels and photographs of a range of children’s work. Technical vocabulary will be focused on; being displayed, spoken and emphasized in lessons.
On completion of a unit of work the teacher will also include a class list keeping a record of individual children’s achievements and attainment. This will be a summary judgement about whether each child is working at, above or below the expected level.
The D&T lead teacher regularly completes lesson observations throughout school including interviews with children to assess their knowledge and understanding.
Design and Technology in the early years appears in the ‘Expressive Arts and Design’ strand of the curriculum as well as the ‘Physical Development’ strand. In our Nursery and Reception classes there is a lot of emphasis on fine motor skills ensuring the children have a strong foundation in using a range of tools and equipment. We have ‘making corners’ which include tools ranging from scissors and hole punches to vices and hacksaws for woodwork. Here the children can practice and embed shaping, assembling, joining and decorative skills which they learn in teacher led activities whilst following their own ideas and creativity.
The children also work regularly with construction kits learning the basic principles of construction and mechanisms.
The children also learn about the importance of a healthy diet for good health. They learn about food groups and take part in regular cooking activities which form strong foundations for the food and nutrition part of the D&T curriculum in key stages 1 & 2. They learn measuring and weighing skills and join in with a range of cooking and baking techniques.
The children often work outside too, constructing and building on a large scale and learning about the safe handling of equipment including fire safety when they have the opportunity to enjoy building fires and cooking simple things like baked potatoes, popcorn and smores.
We aim for all children to be proficient in handling tools and equipment to construct successfully with a purpose in mind. The design process is usually based on talking and listening and arranging and rearranging materials and components.
We offer a range of enrichment opportunities to encourage children to further their interests and skills.
Year 2 offer a very popular weekly engineering club where the children can take part in a series of engineering activities.
We also offer a KS1 after school cooking club, which has been stimulated and resourced by the ‘Phunky Food’ course attended by one of our staff
There is also a KS2 cooking club run by another staff member which draws on Phunky Food resources.
Year 1 and 4 have weekly ‘forest schools’ lessons which require the skilled handling of tools and equipment and the application of many D&T construction skills in the real world. The children also can learn cooking skills on open fires. Throughout this the children are also made aware of their environment and the impact we can have on it for better or worse.
We are building up STEM online contacts so that the children can understand how D&T is relevant in the real world and be inspired to pursue science, technology, engineering and maths studies and careers.
Years 5 & 6 attend React engineering shows which showcase inspiring and fascinating science and engineering.
Strong subject knowledge is vital for staff to be able to deliver the design and technology curriculum.
We have used staff meetings to keep staff up to date, to plan our curriculum collaboratively and to ensure all staff have the relevant understanding of what needs to be taught, to identify key vocabulary, skills progression and share key questioning skills about children’s knowledge of processes and previous knowledge.
Staff are also encouraged to enroll in their own training through the ‘Phunky Food programme’ which has been very useful for food and nutrition as well as courses on coding and CPD courses available through Kapow. The curriculum leader has taken part in coordinator training and is part of a local D&T consortium group with links to other schools.