Design and Technology

‘Design and Technology is about using creativity and imagination to design, make and evaluate products that solve real and relevant problems, considering an audience and purpose.’

Design and Technology prepares children to deal with tomorrow’s rapidly changing world. It encourages children to become independent, creative problem solvers and thinkers as individuals and part of a team. It enables them to identify needs and opportunities and to respond to them by developing a range of ideas and by making products and systems. Through the study of Design and Technology, they combine practical skills with an understanding of aesthetic, social and environmental issues, as well as functions and industry. This allows them to reflect on and evaluate past and present technology, its uses and impacts.

Children at Brookvale learn skills in product research, disassembling and building products, making prototypes, testing, designing and evaluating. By the time children reach Year 6, they should be confidently performing everyday tasks and applying their knowledge, understanding and an increased level of skills as they progress through the school. They will be on the way to becoming risk takers and innovators and will have used a range of tools, resources and materials, including the use of IT, to create effectively constructed and aesthetically pleasing results. This, along with a strong focus on the importance of evaluation, allows children to adapt and improve their work, providing them with not only a sense of achievement but a strong foundation for the next step of their learning and a key skills for life.

Design and Technology in the Early Years Foundation Stage

The Early Years Foundation Stage (EYFS) Curriculum develops children’s early understanding of Design and Technology through the planning and teaching of the Early Learning Goal (ELG) ‘Creating with Materials’ which sits within the area of ‘Expressive Arts and Design’. This area of the curriculum encourages children to safely use and explore a variety of materials, tools and techniques experimenting with colour, design, texture, form and function and sharing their creations, explaining the process they have used.

A primary focus in EYFS is for children to 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

Design and Technology in Key Stage 1 and 2

The Design and Technology curriculum is treated as a discipline in its own right, with specific subject knowledge and pedagogical knowledge clearly defined in our school’s comprehensive and sequential planning. This planning ensures children develop a broad and comprehensive knowledge of design and technology that extends beyond the expectations of the national curriculum.

The Design and Technology National Curriculum outlines the three main stages of the design process: design, make and evaluate. Each stage of the design process is underpinned by technical knowledge which encompasses the contextual, historical, and technical understanding required for each strand. Cooking and nutrition has a separate section, with a focus on specific principles, skills and techniques in food, including where food comes from, diet and seasonality.

Through our Design and Technology curriculum, children respond to design briefs and scenarios that require consideration of the needs of others, developing their skills in six key areas:

  • Mechanisms
  • Structures
  • Textiles
  • Cooking and nutrition
  • Electrical systems (KS2)
  • Digital world (KS2)

Each of the key areas follows the design process (design, make and evaluate) and has a particular theme and focus from the technical knowledge or cooking and nutrition section of the curriculum. It is a spiral curriculum, with key areas revisited again and again with increasing complexity, allowing pupils to revisit and build on their previous learning.

Our Design and Technology Curriculum will enable children at Brookvale to:

  • Understand the functional and aesthetic properties of a range of materials and resources.
  • Understand how to use and combine tools to carry out different processes for shaping, decorating, and manufacturing products.
  • Build and apply a repertoire of skills, knowledge and understanding to produce high quality, innovative outcomes, including models, prototypes, CAD, and products to fulfil the needs of users, clients and scenarios.
  • Understand and apply the principles of healthy eating, diets, and recipes, including key processes, food groups and cooking equipment.
  • Have an appreciation for key individuals, inventions, and events in history and of today that impact our world.
  • Recognise where our decisions can impact the wider world in terms of community, social and environmental issues.
  • Self-evaluate and reflect on learning at different stages and identify areas to improve.
  • Meet the end of key stage expectations outlined in the National Curriculum for Design and Technology.

Design and Technology is delivered bi-weekly across KS1 and KS2, as a discrete subject, and links are made where appropriate, with other areas of the curriculum. Key questions are introduced at the beginning of each lesson for children to explore. Lessons incorporate a range of teaching strategies from independent tasks, paired and group work including practical hands-on, computer based and inventive tasks. This variety means that lessons are engaging and appeal to those with a variety of learning styles. Differentiated guidance is available for every lesson to ensure that lessons can be accessed by all pupils and opportunities to stretch children’s learning are available when required. Knowledge organisers for each unit support children in building a foundation of factual knowledge by encouraging recall of key facts and vocabulary.

Strong subject knowledge is vital for staff to be able to deliver a highly effective and robust Design and Technology curriculum. Tier 2 and tier 3 vocabulary is explicitly taught at the beginning of all lessons and children are encouraged to apply this in their spoken and written work, with teachers continually revisiting this vocabulary to ensure it is retained in long-term memory.

Low-stake short, medium and long-term retrieval tasks are planned into each lesson and teachers use this information to assess learning and progress, adapting teaching sequences according to the needs of their class. End of unit assessment outcomes are planned for in each unit so that staff can identify children who are working at or above the expectation for each unit and the results of these feed into pupil progress discussions each term.

The impact of quality first teaching in Design and Technology fosters a love and enthusiasm for the subject. Pupil voice provides evidence that pupils are able to talk with confidence and enthusiasm about what they have learnt in design and technology, using subject specific vocabulary. Pupil voice also demonstrates that many pupils enjoy the subject and are able to recall their learning over time.

Book scrutinies demonstrate that design and technology is taught well across school. Work is of good quality and demonstrates pupils are acquiring knowledge, skills and vocabulary in an appropriate sequence.

Assessment and book scrutinies ensure pupils can demonstrate knowledge and understanding, use key vocabulary and are covering all skills in the progression of skills tracker.