Our Design and Technology curriculum aims, in line with the National Curriculum, to provide all our children the creative, technical and practical expertise they need to perform everyday tasks confidently and to participate successfully in our increasingly technological world. Our aim is for the children to leave St Michael’s prepared for the next stage in their learning at secondary school as well as having the competencies to apply and build on what they have learnt, should they wish, in their spare time.
We use the Design and Technology Association’s Projects on a Page resource to guide our curriculum planning. Our lesson sequences ensure that children know how to design, make and evaluate functional products with users and purposes in mind. The design and making process is at the heart of the curriculum, children are taught how to use appropriate tools, equipment and techniques safely to make products from a broad range of materials and components. During their time at St Michael’s, the children explore five key areas: mechanical systems, structures, textiles, electrical systems and food. As they progress through the school, they revisit and build on their learning from previous years. Information about progression in the curriculum can be found here: design and technology progression.
The children encounter at least three design and technology topics every year. Each half term children are either taught a design and technology topic or an art and design topic. These topics are usually taught in discrete weekly lessons of at least an hour in length. Time to cover the food element of the curriculum is additional to the curriculum coverage detailed here: design and technology overview.
Typically, a sequence of design and technology lessons will include three main types of activity:
- Initial investigation and evaluation where children learn from a range of existing products and find out about design and technology in the wider world
- Focused tasks where they are taught specific technical knowledge, designing skills and making skills
- Designing, making and evaluating, where children create functional products with users and purposes in mind
Learning to evaluate their work is an essential part of design and technology and teachers work with the children to guide them with this process and how to improve their outcomes. In addition, our expectation is that children should:
- Have a clear idea about the user they are designing and making the product for, considering their needs, wants, interests or preferences
- Know the purpose of their product – design products that perform a clearly defined task
- Be able to design and make products that function successfully
- Make informed decisions when selecting materials, components and techniques and when deciding what form their products will take: how they will work, what task they will perform and who they are for
- Have scope to demonstrate originality
- Design and make products that are believable, real and meaningful to themselves, not just replicas or reproductions
To this end children’s progress and attainment is assessed at the end of each half term’s unit of work. Teachers review results with the Design and Technology Lead and the Head Teacher, which allows for a discussion not only about the success of each child, but of the curriculum content and delivery.