Design & Technology
Design & Technology at Sir John Heron
The aims of the design and technology curriculum
“Together We Learn. Together We Achieve” is embedded into all elements of school life and learning at Sir John Heron Primary including in the design and technology curriculum and lessons. Design and technology is an important part of the school’s broad and balanced curriculum. We believe it is important that all children have access to a coherently sequenced design and technology curriculum which is relevant to their needs and interests and equips children with the necessary knowledge and skills needed to succeed in their next stage of education and prepares them for life in modern 21st century Britain.
Design and technology plays an important role in working towards the aims of the school’s curriculum. The aims include ensuring children master a range of knowledge and skills, are provided with vocabulary rich learning, are encouraged to become healthy and active citizens and are provided enrichment opportunities and cultural capital development while also supporting the development of key skills needed for successful learning such as resilience and risk taking.
The aims of D&T are to enable children to:
- Develop and use creativity and imagination to design and make products that solve real and relevant problems within a variety of contexts, considering their own and others’ needs, wants and values.
- Record from first-hand experience and from imagination, and to select their own ideas to use in their work.
- Improve the children’s ability to control materials, tools and techniques.
- Increase their critical awareness of the roles and purposes of D&T in different times and cultures.
- Develop increasing confidence in the use of visual and tactile elements and materials.
- Allow for children to become more independent in their learning and get used to the idea of an iterative process.
- Evaluate and test ideas and products and the work of others
- Understand and apply the principles of nutrition and learn how to cook as part of becoming a healthy citizen.
How design and technology is taught at Sir John Heron Primary
- D&T is taught each term in blocks over the course of two weeks from Years 1 to 6.
- The objectives follow that of the National Curriculum to ensure that the skills and techniques obtained are met in a carefully thought-out manner. Curriculum maps specify units of work covered in the school’s D&T curriculum.
- At Sir John Heron, teachers are provided with a detailed medium term plan which outlines the outcomes of a particular topic. The plans also include key vocabulary (tier 2 and 3 words) which teachers embed within their teaching, along with cross-curricular links and enrichment opportunities to ensure a broad and balanced programme of learning. Resources are also considered and children are encouraged to use different mediums to develop their skills. For example, in Year 1 woodwork is used which meets the needs of the National Curriculum objectives. Plans for suggested differentiation are also included and teachers are encouraged to adapt the planning to the needs of the pupils within their class.
- Particular units of work have a focus on nutrition and cooking where children design and prepare dishes while developing an understanding about balanced and healthy diets. Children will also develop a range of cooking skills needed to prepare dishes such as cutting.
- As a school, we ensure children work collaboratively and emphasise the use of partner talk. This ensures key vocabulary is strengthened and that children are developing their communication skills.
- In lessons, new vocabulary (tier 2 and 3) is explicitly taught and teachers use a range of strategies to check children’s understanding of this e.g. asking them to use the word in sentence. Previously taught vocabulary is revisited regularly to help embed into long term memory.
- Previous learning is revisited regularly, particularly at the start of a lesson to assist the embedding of knowledge into long term memory.
- At the start of a topic, KWL grids are given to children, which assess what children currently know and what they would like to learn. As the teaching progresses, children also use the grids to complete what they have learnt helping encode knowledge into long term memory. This reflective journey of children’s learning also guides teachers with planning exciting lessons, as well as identifying any gaps in learning.
- SMSC is embedded into all lessons.
- There is scaffolding for children who require support to access the learning in class. This is done through a handy hints box as well as differentiated resources to help children access the learning. Challenge is also provided to extend the more able.
- Teachers should plan for enrichment opportunities in order to enhance the curriculum and provide children with memorable learning experiences. Enrichment is an important part of developing cultural capital and can include educational visits and inviting visitors into school. Cultural capital can also be addressed within the lessons e.g. learning about famous inventors.
Assessment of design and technology
- Assessment in D&T is a continual process. During lessons, teachers assess learning through questioning, discussions and looking at children’s work.
- KWL grids also aid teachers to make judgements based on the knowledge acquired after a particular topic.
- Teachers complete SIMs assessment termly and give an overall grading to children as E (emerging), D (developing), S (secure) or M (mastery). They also complete the strands linked to the skills acquired.
- A record of final pieces is kept in topic books for the Leader of Learning to monitor to ensure skills are progressive and high-quality teaching is maintained.