Design and Technology
Subject Leader Name: Mrs Hodgson
'Design is intelligence made visible.' Alina Wheeler
'Everything is design. Everything!' Paul Rand
Design and Technology is an inspiring, rigorous and practical subject which is highlighted as being more important in the new curriculum. Design and Technology at Didsbury Road Primary School encourages our children to learn, to think and intervene creatively to solve problems both as individuals and as members of a team. At Didsbury Road Primary School, we encourage children to use their creativity and imagination, to design and make products within a variety of contexts, for a real-life purpose. Children are given the opportunity to evaluate their own designs, ideas and products. The children at Didsbury Road Primary School are inspired by engineers, designers, architects and chefs to enable them to develop their skills and technical knowledge throughout the school to create a range of structures, mechanisms, electrical systems, textiles and food products. We aim to, wherever possible, link work to other disciplines such as science, engineering, mathematics, computing, art, history and geography. The children are also given opportunities to reflect upon and evaluate past and present design technology, its uses and its effectiveness and are encouraged to become innovators and risk-takers.
Teaching and learning in Design and Technology
We follow the six steps to outstanding teaching and learning in Design and Technology (see separate Teaching and Learning Policy).
Orientation – Each term there are two days where Design and Technology is the main focus of teaching across the whole school. The pupils engage in any material collecting preparations and talk about what is coming up next which promotes enthusiasm and excitement across the pupils in the lead up to the DT Days. In the main corridor there is a whole school DT display board which showcases the whole school's projects from nursery up to year 6 which excites the children in seeing what comes up in the years ahead of them at Didsbury Road Primary School. Each year group and project follow the same process of ‘design, make and evaluate’ so the pupils become familiar with this design process. Resources that are required for the DT Days are fully prepared and available beforehand.
Prior Knowledge - This is ascertained through the previous linked project in the earlier Key Stages. For example, textiles is covered in year 1, year 3 and year 5 therefore the skills and knowledge would build on this each time. Any gaps in previous learning is identified and incorporated into the early stages of the recap and planning part of the current project.
Presentation - We link our Design and Technology units to current learning where possible and are constantly making connections with real life, every day, designs, concepts and existing products. Our DT Days are designed to improve children’s design understanding and encouraging them to see the project through from beginning to end just like they would in the working world when they are older. Design criteria, concepts and purpose are shared with pupils as part of their overall learning journey. A multisensory approach is used for lesson presentations and dual coding is used throughout.
Challenge - Lessons and projects are designed to challenge pupils’ thinking and require research, reasoning and critical thinking. Pupils are encouraged to make connections between their brief and existing products and are given opportunities to apply knowledge that has been acquired to a set design brief. Pupils have time to explore a variety of methods to find one that suits the needs of their design criteria. They will often work in pairs or small groups and learning partners will change frequently or work individually dependent on the project. Questioning is used by teachers to encourage the pupils to think more critically about their designs and move their learning on showing new techniques.
Feedback - This is precise, timely and often ‘in the moment’. Teachers use direct verbal feedback to address misconceptions and move learning forward. Through group work, children develop their own ‘talk and feedback’ strategies as part of cooperative learning.
Repeat – The repetition of the main design categories across the school enables the children to repeat similar design projects but enhancing their previous knowledge into something new and more challenging.
Design and Technology in EYFS
Design and Technology is taught within the Expressive Arts and Design specific area of learning of the EYFS. Children are given opportunities to use and explore a variety of materials, tools and techniques. Children experiment with colour, design and texture. They are encouraged to share their designs and products and to articulate their thought processes and ideas. Their design skills are developed through explicit teaching of techniques and also through independent experimentation.
Inclusion in Design and Technology
See the attached document for adaptive teaching strategies in the areas of:
- communication and interaction
- cognition and learning
- sensory and/or physical
- social and emotional
What our pupils say about the subject
‘I really enjoy DT and I wish to do more in the future.’
‘DT is fun and I love making things.’
‘My favourite DT project was making the burglar alarms.’
‘My teacher makes DT Days exciting and I can’t wait for more.’
‘DT teaches me how to be creative and to have patience and determination with what I make.’