Design & Technology at Mercenfeld

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, children at Mercenfeld Primary School 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.

Intent

Quite simply, it is our intention that every pupil, irrelevant of needs, develops such a passion for Design and Technology that they are thinking of creative, imaginative ideas that they want to develop and make in school and at home. We want all our pupils to experience a wide and varied Design Technology Curriculum, which leaves them able to actively participate in the changing technological world, as users, consumers, service makers, designers, innovators or observers. We wish for every pupil to develop their decision-making confidence, take risks and increase their sense of personal worth through the production of quality outcomes. Our intention is for Design technology to be taught in all year groups at least one topic per term, one topic will also relate to food, often our Design technology projects will be made cross curricular, linking to other subjects taught.

Key objectives of intent within the Design Technology Curriculum based on the National Curriculum 2014 guidance:

  • Products are to be made for a purpose.
  • Individuality should be ensured in children’s design and construction of products.
  • Delivery of the two strands: Designing and Making and Cooking and Nutrition.
  • More emphasis to be given on creating ‘innovative’ products in KS2.
  • Teaching the importance of making on-going changes and improvements during making stages.
  • Looking into seasonality of ingredients and how they are grown, caught or reared.
  • The introduction of computing and coding of products in KS2.
  • Researching key events and individual designers in the History of Technology in KS2.

Aims:

The national curriculum for Design and Technology aims to ensure that all pupils:

  • develop the creative, technical and practical expertise need to perform everyday tasks confidently and to participate successfully in an increasingly technological world.
  • build and apply a repertoire of knowledge, understanding and skills in order to design and make high-quality prototypes and products for a wide range of users
  • critique, evaluate and test their ideas and products and the work of others
  • understand and apply the principles of nutrition and learn how to cook.

Implementation

Design and Technology is a crucial part of school life and learning. We are dedicated to the teaching and delivery of an exciting Design and Technology curriculum where children may experience things for the very first time. This subject allows opportunities for children to learn practically and apply their imagination and creatively in a purposeful way.  Children learn to take risks and how to become reflective, resilient learners whilst learning how Design Technology impacts everyday life and the wider world.

Part of implementing an effective Design and Technology curriculum is encouraging children to work collaboratively with others. Collaborative work in Design and Technology develops mutual respect for the differing opinions, abilities and beliefs of others. It also helps children to respect their environment and the health and safety of themselves and others. They learn to appreciate that their ideas and opinions may differ to others and learn to show tolerance. Children are encouraged to work in a democratic way by listening to others and sometimes accepting the ideas of others may be more suitable than their own to create the most effective product.

Early Years Foundation Stage: 

In the EYFS children are encouraged to explore and use a variety of media and materials during a combination of adult directed and child-initiated activities. Children are given opportunities to:

  • Use different media and materials to express their own ideas.
  • Begin to make plans and construct with a purpose in mind, using a variety of resources.
  • Use what they know about different media and materials in original ways, not being afraid to explore and try new things.
  • Learn how to use simple tools and techniques appropriately, effectively and safely
  • Identify foods that are good or not good for them and learn how to prepare some foods hygienically.

Key Stage 1:

Children should be taught through creative and practical activities the knowledge, understanding and skills needed to engage in the designing and making process. They should work in a range of relevant contexts that inspire and interest them.

When designing and making, pupils should be taught to:

Design:

  • Design purposeful, functional, appealing products for themselves and others based on design criteria.
  • Generate, develop, model and communicate their ideas through talking, drawing, templates, mock-ups and, where appropriate, information and communication technology.

Make:

  • Select from and use a range of tools and equipment to perform practical tasks, (or example, cutting shaping, joining and finishing).
  • Select from and use a wide range of materials and components, including construction materials, textiles and ingredients.

Evaluate:

  • Explore and evaluate a range of existing products.
  • Evaluate their ideas and products against design criteria.

Technical Knowledge:

  • Builds structures, exploring how they can be made stronger, stiffer, and more stable.
  • Explore and use mechanisms, (for example levers, sliders, wheels and axles), in their products.

KS1 – Food and Nutrition:

As part of their work with food, pupils should be taught how to apply the principles of nutrition and healthy eating.

Children should be taught to:

  • Use the basic principles of a healthy and varied diet to prepare dishes.
  • Understand where food comes from.

Key Stage 2:

Within KS2, key events and individuals that have influenced the world of Design and Technology are teaching focuses that are to be covered. Introducing and using computer programmes and applications are also a key focus to be utilised by children in their design of their products.

Through a variety of creative and practical activities, pupils should be taught the knowledge, understanding and skills needed to engage in an iterative process and designing and making. They should work in a range of relevant contexts.

When designing and making, pupils should be taught to:

Design:

  • Use research and develop design criteria to inform the design of innovative, functional, appealing products that are fit for purpose, aimed at particular individuals or groups.
  • Generate, develop, model and communicate their ideas through discussion, annotated sketches, cross-sectional and exploded diagrams, prototype and pattern pieces.

 Make:

  • Select from and use a wider range of tools and equipment to perform practical tasks, such as cutting, shaping, joining and finishing, accurately.
  • Select from and use a wider range of materials and components, including construction materials, textiles and ingredients, according to their functional properties and aesthetic qualities.

Evaluate:

  • Investigate and analyse a range of existing products.
  • Evaluate their ideas and products against their own design criteria and consider the views of others to improve their work.
  • Understand how key events and individuals in design and technology have helped shape the world.

 Technical Knowledge:

  • Apply their understanding of how to strengthen, stiffen and reinforce more complex structures.
  • Understand and use mechanical systems in their products, (for example gears, pulleys, cams, levers and linkages).
  • Understand and use electrical systems in their products, (for example series circuits incorporating switches, bulbs, buzzers and motors).
  • To apply their understanding of computing to programme, monitor and control their products.

KS2 – Food and Nutrition:

Pupils should be taught to:

  • Understand and apply the principles of a healthy and varied diet.
  • Prepare a variety of predominately savoury dishes using a range of cooking techniques – finishing cooking off at home where necessary.
  • To understand seasonality, and know where and how a variety of ingredients are grown, reared, caught and processed.

Impact

Assessment of children’s learning in Design Technology is an ongoing monitoring of children’s understanding, knowledge and skills by the class teacher, throughout lessons. This assessment is then used to inform differentiation, support and challenge required by the children.

Summative assessment is conducted termly by class teachers across each year group of the school to inform the subject leader of progress or skills and knowledge still to be embedded. Design Technology will also be monitored by the subject leader throughout the year in the form of book monitoring, looking at outcomes and pupil interviews to discuss their learning and understanding and establishing the impact of the teaching taking place.

EYFS pupils’ progress and attainment is tracked using the Early Excellence Assessment tracker system, telling us whether each individual child is below expected, at expected or above expected attainment for their age.