Design & Technology
"Design is concerned with how things work, how they are controlled, and the nature of the interaction between people and technology. When done well, the results are brilliant, pleasurable products.”
Director of the Design Lab at the University of California and author of The Design of Everyday Things
Design and technology is an inspiring, rigorous and practical subject. Using creativity and imagination, pupils design and make products that solve real and relevant problems within a variety of contexts, considering their own and others’ needs, wants and values. They acquire a broad range of subject knowledge and draw on disciplines such as mathematics, science, engineering, computing and art. Pupils learn how to take risks, becoming resourceful, innovative, enterprising and capable citizens. Through the evaluation of past and present design and technology, they develop a critical understanding of its impact on daily life and the wider world. High-quality design and technology education makes an essential contribution to the creativity, culture, wealth and well-being of the nation.
WE CAN provide teaching that develops knowledge and skills so children can learn and progress effectively
In Year 1-6, DT is organised in blocked units. Each year group teaches two units each year. One unit is a cooking and nutrition unit and the other is a construction unit. In Reception, it is addressed in the Expressive Art and Design area of learning.
The curriculum is planned so that skills are introduced progressively and children have opportunities to revisit what they have learnt before. Vertical links to what children have already experienced are embedded. Horizontal links are made whenever possible. In Year 4, children link their fruit crumble with an understanding of seasonality gained from their time in the school garden and in Year 3 children learn that Stone Age man might have eaten the vegetables he grew in a stew similar to what they produce in cooking. Y6 cook American style burgers to link to their Geography work on North America. Diagonal links allow children to use their DT knowledge across year bands and subjects.
In the EYFS, children experience design and making with construction toys.
In Key Stage 1, children make pizza and bread rolls. They design and make moving pictures and windmills.
In Lower Key Stage 2, children make soup and fruit crumble. They design and make moving toys and mini greenhouses.
In Upper Key Stage 2, children make curry and burgers. They design and make torches and use BBC Microbit computers to control a product they have made.
A good DT lesson at Grendon will include opportunities for children to develop their skills. Children will be able to use their own creativity to develop their own ideas. Lessons involve practical rehearsal of skills and allow children to explore and evaluate their own ideas. When all classes are cooking it is a very exciting time in school!
DT is included in the annual planned cycle for homework projects. This allows children to engage in design based learning at home with their families. In Year 1 the children are asked to design a new sweet pizza.
WE CAN offer enriching activities, event and experiences
Children in Year 5 enjoy their Expert Led chocolate workshop.
WE CAN work together to remove barriers and ensure equality
Lessons are planned to develop the skills of all children from their starting point. For pupils with EAL the experience of cooking or building is a universal one that they can engage in without a language barrier. Where needed, children with special educational or sensory needs are supported to engage with lessons and record their ideas in an accessible way so they are able to achieve.
WE CAN build independent and resilient learners who are able to communicate confidently
Children are encouraged to work towards a design brief, meet design criteria and explore their own ideas in DT lessons. The process of developing a product has evaluation and re-drafting built in and children are supported in this process and encouraged to employ a growth mindset. Shared design work gives pupils a clear purpose for expressing their ideas.
WE CAN listen to and treat each other and all members of the community with respect, tolerance and concern
As part of the process of DT, children learn to evaluate their work. They learn about using supportive language, sharing feedback sensitively and celebrating others’ successes.
WE CAN recognise ability, maximise potential and prepare children well for their future and life in modern Britain
Skills learnt in DT are life skills which will allow children to feed themselves and understand how things work in their adult lives. Children learn to work through the various stages of a project, this experience is transferable to other project based work.
Our DT curriculum sets the foundations for pupils continuing with DT in their secondary schooling.
An interest in DT at primary school may lead children into design, catering or engineering in their future lives.