Design and Technology encourages children to use their creativity and imagination to solve real life problems. At St Chad’s, Design Technology education involves two important elements – learning about the design in the world and learning how to create functional products for particular purposes and users. We follow Six, interrelated principles developed by the D&T Expert Subject Advisory Group (ESAG). Through Design and Technology at St Chad’s, we aim to provide opportunities for all our children to develop their capabilities in these areas. We encourage them at every step to work practically and theoretically to solve problems and overcome barriers, working with resilience and perseverance whilst building on previous skills. We aim to, wherever possible, link work to other areas such as our Building the Kingdom Curriculum, mathematics, computing, science and art. We aim to inspire our children by engineers, designers, chefs and architects to enable them to create a range of structures, mechanisms, textiles, electrical systems and food products with a real-life purpose so they can become the future transformers of society.
At St Chad’s we use the Design and Technology Association website and planning (Projects on a Page) to support teaching and underpin our curriculum. Each teacher is a member of the Association and has their own personal login to access resources. Projects on a Page provide progression and coverage of the NC programmes of study for KS1 and 2. For each planner, National Curriculum coverage is indicated in Key Learning in D&T, setting out what children should have previously learnt and summarising what they will learn through the project. This provides more detail than the programmes of study to indicate an appropriate expectation for children’s learning according to their ages.
Six, interrelated principles have been developed by the D&T Expert Subject Advisory Group (ESAG). They describe the features of a genuine D&T experience and can be applied to all aspects of the subject. Each principle should be evident, to a greater or lesser extent, in each unit that children undertake. The principles provide a helpful starting point for clarifying and securing the distinctive nature of D&T in the classroom. The 2014 National Curriculum requirements are consistent with the six principles. When evaluating planning, teaching and learning we suggest you refer to the following definitions for each of the D&T principles:
- User – children should have a clear idea of who they are designing and making products for, considering their needs, wants, interests or preferences. The user could be themselves, an imaginary character, another person, client, consumer or a specific target audience.
- Purpose – children should know what the products they design and make are for. Each product should perform a clearly defined task that can be evaluated in use.
- Functionality – children should design and make products that function in some way to be successful. Products often combine aesthetic qualities with functional characteristics. In D&T, it is insufficient for children to design and make products which are purely aesthetic.
- Design Decisions – when designing and making, children need opportunities to make informed decisions such as selecting materials, components and techniques and deciding what form the products will take, how they will work, what task they will perform and who they are for.
- Innovation – when designing and making, children need some scope to be original with their thinking. Projects that encourage innovation lead to a range of design ideas and products being developed, characterised by engaging, open-ended starting points for children's learning.
- Authenticity – children should design and make products that are believable, real and meaningful to themselves i.e. not replicas or reproductions or models which do not provide opportunities for children to make design decisions with clear users and purposes in mind.
In addition to securing the D&T principles, it is important to check that other key aspects of teaching and learning are in place e.g. the development of knowledge, understanding and skills through the evaluation of existing products and focused tasks.
There are three types of D&T activities:
The programmes of study state what should be taught in KS1 and 2, but do not provide detail on how it should be taught. Building on current good practice, each Project Planner includes three types of activity:
- Investigative and Evaluative Activities (IEAs) where children learn from a range of existing products and find out about D&T in the wider world;
- Focused Tasks (FTs) where they are taught specific technical knowledge, designing skills and making skills;
- Design, Make and Evaluate Assignment (DMEA) where children create functional products with users and purposes in mind.
For children to understand the context for their project, it is advisable to give them an overview of what they will be designing, making and evaluating before they undertake any activities.
Through IEAs and FTs children are equipped with the knowledge, understanding and skills to engage successfully and with increasing independence in a DMEA. IEAs and FTs do not have to be followed in sequence and it is good practice to dip in and out of these activities to meet children’s needs.
At St Chad’s Catholic Primary School, Design Technology is a popular subject enjoyed by our children. They develop the creative, technical and practical expertise needed to perform everyday tasks confidently and to participate successfully in an increasingly technological world. 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. Our children are becoming creative problem-solvers, both as individuals and as part of a team so that they can transform society now and in the future.
Design Technology Overview - Sep 2022