How do we teach Design Technology?
The intention of the Design Technology curriculum in St. Thomas’ Catholic Primary School is for each child to make excellent progress in all areas of Design Technology by being inspired, engaged and challenged. They will be taught a broad range of subject knowledge and skills, then draw on disciplines such as mathematics, science, foundational engineering skills, computing and art. Using creativity and imagination, the children will design and make products that solve real and relevant problems within a variety of contexts, considering their own and others’ needs, wants and values. The children will be taught the practical skills and knowledge that they need with examples and demonstrations. Pupils will learn how to take risks, becoming resourceful, innovative and enterprising. Evaluation of past and present design and technology will help the children to understand the impact of it on daily life and the wider world.
We want our curriculum to be inclusive to everyone and fulfil the requirements of the National Curriculum.
We aim to ensure the progressive development of both knowledge and skills.
“Design is not just what it looks like and feels like. Design is how it works.” — Steve Jobs
"Great things are done by a series of small things brought together." Vincent Van Gogh
The school values of being 'Aspirational', 'Christ Centred' and 'Togetherness' are at the heart of our
school and so will also affect our Design Technology curriculum:
● Aspirational: Our children will aspire to do their best.
● Christ Centred: At our school we remember that Jesus began life learning carpenter skills from Joseph. Throughout his ministry on earth he showed creativity, resourcefulness, perseverance and risk taking along with many other life skills that we can learn from. The National Curriculum states that Design Technology contributes to the well-being of society. Our 'Christ
centred' value also focuses on well-being because Jesus was full of compassion and love for each individual with their well-being at the centre. We want to follow the example of Jesus and contribute to the children’s well-being through this subject.
● Togetherness: There will be regular opportunities for collaborative learning including working with a partner, with a small group or together as a whole class. This 'togetherness' will show in all year groups whether working together with a partner to create a series of switches or sharing food together that has been jointly prepared. We want to help our children discover more of who they are and what they can achieve both independently and as a collaborative
Contribution to wider Social Education and values:
"High-quality design and technology education makes an essential contribution to the creativity, culture, wealth and well-being of the nation." (National Curriculum).
In line with the National Curriculum, we aim for our Design and Technology to ensure that all pupils in St Thomas’ School:
● develop the technical and practical expertise needed to perform everyday tasks confidently
● participate successfully in an increasingly technological world
● develop creativity
● build and apply a repertoire of knowledge, understanding and skills
● use these skills to design and make real products for a wide range of users
● have high expectations for each pupil, taking into account their age and ability.
● 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.
● foster a love of design.
● improve their well-being.
They will do this by:
● following the design process of collecting ideas, creating a final design, building the design,
evaluating it and suggesting improvements.
● growing in confidence to happily 'have a go' and learn from mistakes.
● observing and recording from first-hand experience
● developing competence in controlling materials and tools.
● becoming proficient in design techniques and processes.
● producing their own creative work by developing and reffing their ideas.
● developing a knowledge of significant craftspeople and designers.
● developing a cross-curricular approach to the use of design and technology in other subjects,
making links where appropriate.
● sharing ideas with peers and discussing and evaluating each other's work.
● having progression through the school, aiming towards high-quality prototypes and products
for a wide range of users by Year 6.
Implementation of Design Technology in our school:
The Design Technology curriculum at St Thomas’ Catholic Primary School is based upon the Primary National Curriculum in England, which provides a broad framework and outlines the knowledge and skills taught in each Key Stage. We focus on these areas of knowledge and skills. The progression document ensures the curriculum is covered and the skills and knowledge taught is progressive from year group to year group. This ensures high standards of teaching and learning throughout the school.
We use ‘Projects on a Page’ from the Design Technology Association
● ‘Projects on a page’ give teachers a framework.
● At the heart of Projects on a Page is the designing and making process. The scheme of work ensures children design, make and evaluate products using the broad range of materials and components specified in the statutory requirements.
Each Project Planner includes three types of activity:
● Investigative and Evaluative Activities (IEAs) where children learn from a range of existing
products and find out about D&T in the wider world;
● Focused Tasks (FTs) where they are taught specific technical knowledge, designing skills and
● Design, Make and Evaluate Assignment (DMEA) where children create functional products
with users and purposes in mind.
We use formative assessment for children’s learning and progression. Next steps are planned accordingly. Learning is discussed with the children and they sometimes have opportunities to review their peers’ work as well as their own. Finished projects and evaluation are part of the assessment process.
At the end of each unit a ‘summative assessment’ is made using the school foundation subject assessment tracker.