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 the technical knowledge required for each strand. Cooking and nutrition has a separate section, with a focus on specific principles, skills and techniques in food. This includes learning where food comes from, the seasonality of produce and diet.
At Fleet our Design and Technology curriculum is designed to teach key skills, knowledge and vocabulary in a progressive model ensuring each year group builds on prior understanding and skills. Links with other curriculum subjects are exploited where relevant to enable deeper understanding across the school curriculum as a whole.
Children in the EYFS begin to develop understanding of the design process, materials and creating for a purpose through provision in Expressive Art and Design and Understanding the World. Children learn through first-hand experiences which involve putting their ideas into practice to develop an awareness and understanding of the possibilities and limitations of different materials. EYFS practitioners encourage children to explore, observe, solve problems, think critically, make decisions and talk about why they have made their decisions as they design and create. Children’s natural curiosity and creativity is fostered and opportunities for investigation, designing and making are offered daily in our provision, which enables our children to learn about the world around them.
Over their time in key stage 1 and 2, children develop skills in key areas:
o Cooking and nutrition
o Electrical systems (KS2)
Each year group completes one project per term, with one per year being based around the cooking and nutrition strand of the curriculum.
Each area follows the design process (design, make and evaluate) with a focus on the relevant technical knowledge. This design process is not a linear model. Children are taught design as an iterative, cyclic model, with opportunities to revisit, reflect and review built into every stage of the process.
Children will follow the 6 principles of Design and Technology:
o User – to have a clear idea of who they are designing /making the product for
o Purpose – to be able to communicate the purpose of the product they are designing/making
o Functionality – to design a product that works and functions effectively to fulfil the user’s needs
o Design Decisions – to make own design opportunities, explore their own decisions and choices
o Innovation – opportunities to be original with their thinking, develop and explore their own ideas incorporating the essential skills involved in the process
o Authenticity – to make products that are believable, real and meaningful to themselves and others, not just replicating ideas
Focus tasks are evaluated using the Design and Technology Association’s Star diagram to ensure they meet the requirements of a Design and Technology lesson – ‘designing something for someone for some purpose’.
The Fleet DT curriculum uses the Design and Technology Association’s Projects on a Page to support planning and provide support with key knowledge, vocabulary and skills. Projects on a Page has been mapped to the year groups and terms to ensure progression and allow for cross curricular links where relevant.
Children are encouraged to explore existing products to gain first-hand experience of approaches used. This helps to ensure they have a clear understanding of the purpose of a product for a user.
Critical thinking and problem solving is encouraged and promoted, with children developing their understanding of the ways in which people in the past and present have used design to meet their needs.
Children design and make quality products using a range of tools, materials, components and processes, using subject specific vocabulary to discuss, reflect and evaluate.
Children are made aware of specific health and safety risks based around tool use and activities undertaken.
Teachers follow a clear progression of skills which ensure all children are challenged in line with year group expectations and are given opportunities to build on prior knowledge.
At Fleet, we aim to provide children with memorable experiences that help to bring the curriculum alive. Clear and appropriate cross-curricular links to underpin learning across the curriculum provide opportunities to learn life skills and apply these skills to real life situations in a purposeful context:
o Each year group has responsibility for our raised beds and takes responsibility for the planning, growing and cultivating of relevant crops that can be used within the cooking and nutrition strand of the Design and Technology curriculum
o Topic learning is drawn together in home learning projects that often involve elements of the design and make process. These are celebrated as part of the school Home Learning Exhibition which takes place termly in KS2
o Fleet is part of the Camden STEAM hub and as part of this, we have an annual STEAM week. This involves drawing together learning from Science, Technology, Engineering, Art and Maths for a specific focus and whole school celebration, such as the Fleet Fashion Show.
o Children are encouraged to take part in the Primary Engineer Leaders Award which provides the opportunity to design a solution to a real world problem.
o Through our work on developing the Black Curriculum and gender equality through the Lifting Limits project, we ensure that focus engineers and inventors are representative of the diverse world we live in.
In Design and Technology, children will have experience of working independently and collaboratively. When working independently to solve problems and develop their learning, children are able to take ownership over their learning and follow their own creative thinking. Through collaborative work, children will have experience of working as a team; learning to support and help one another, embracing challenges and solving problems, listening and evaluating ideas and working towards a rewarding goal.
Our curriculum is accessible for all pupils across the school, with adaptations or bespoke curriculums in place to support children with SEND where appropriate. We have high expectations for each child and the teaching and curriculum provides challenge and support to ensure they can achieve their potential.
Recording evidence and learning is through the collection of a range of sources; examples include paper based work, photos, videos and orally. Class floor books are used to record class projects whilst individual work is recorded in topic books.
CPD includes in-school training sessions and the use of Projects on a Page to support the planning process. Additionally, the subject leader is part of the Camden DT network and shares resources and skills gained from the network within staff meetings and to support with individual projects.