Design and Technology
At Plympton St Mary Infants and Old Priory Junior Academy (St. Mary’s Priory Schools), we have planned our Design and Technology (D&T) curriculum with the intent that our children will gain an enjoyable experience of D&T and one which systematically improves their knowledge, skill and understanding in the subject. We aim for children to gain a practical understanding of the world around them, aware of how design and manufacture influences their lives and become resilient, independent, creative thinkers, technically proficient at the taught content, and have a good understanding of the need for high level finish.
Our school uses ‘Projects on a Page’ by the Design and Technology Association and we aim that in all projects, children are enabled to become increasingly mature in their consideration of:
- User – children should have a clear idea of who they are designing and making products for, considering their needs, wants, interests or preferences. The user could be themselves, an imaginary character, another person, client, consumer or a specific target audience.
- Purpose – children should know what the products they design and make are for. Each product should perform a clearly defined task that can be evaluated in use.
- Functionality – children should design and make products that function in some way to be successful. Products often combine aesthetic qualities with functional characteristics. In D&T, it is insufficient for children to design and make products which are purely aesthetic.
- Design Decisions – when designing and making, children need opportunities to make informed decisions such as selecting materials, components and techniques and deciding what form the products will take, how they will work, what task they will perform and who they are for.
- Innovation – when designing and making, children need some scope to be original with their thinking. Projects that encourage innovation lead to a range of design ideas and products being developed, characterised by engaging, open-ended starting points for children's learning.
- Authenticity – children should design and make products that are believable, real and meaningful to themselves i.e. not replicas or reproductions or models which do not provide opportunities for children to make design decisions with clear users and purposes in mind.
We will deliver a curriculum that:
- Allows children to develop functional, appealing products that are aimed at particular individuals or groups and are fit for purpose.
- Promotes analytical thinking, in identifying the features, problems and solutions in products.
- Will challenge children to research information and think for themselves, give reasoned solutions, work independently and cooperatively and be enterprising.
- Builds on prior learning and promotes the progression of the language of technology, the knowledge of appropriate tools and techniques and the skills to use them.
- Creates a fun, enjoyable and engaging environment and memorable learning experiences.
- Allows children to consider the views of others, evaluate their ideas and products against their own design criteria to improve their work.
- Improves children’s understanding of the basic concepts of design, make and evaluate alongside specific skill, knowledge and understanding in food technology, textiles, structures and electrical and mechanical systems.
- Can be adapted to link with other subject areas being taught.
The D & T Subject Leader leads and oversees the subject, to promote continuous improvement by leading a regular programme of monitoring, evaluation review and sharing of good practice, as well as undertaking regular self-improvement and development activities. The curriculum incorporates the statutory requirements of the Design and Technology programmes of study and other experiences and opportunities which best meet the learning and developmental needs of the children in our school in the following ways:
- Through the use of Project on a Page, 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 making skills; Design, Make and Evaluate Assignment (DMEA) where children create functional products with users and purposes in mind. Through IEAs and FTs children are equipped with the knowledge, understanding and skills to engage successfully and with increasing independence in a DMEA.
- We teach D&T in blocks of two days each term, believing that this offers children the opportunity to fully focus their attention over a sustained period on developing the skills they need for producing high quality products which fully meet the design brief.
- Where appropriate, we aim to forge links with local food and nutrition, marketing, design and engineering experts, to bring the outside world into the children’s classrooms and create memorable learning experiences.
D&T in the EYFS
Design and Technology sits within the areas of Understanding the world and Expressive arts and design. From an early age, the children at St. Mary’ C of E Infant School learn to develop and make sense of their physical world through opportunities to explore, observe and find out about technology. They will do this through projects as well as experimenting with different materials. The process and development of skills is valued equally to the final product and a balance of opportunities for children to explore process and not focus solely on final products are given to ensure a clear development of skills across the year. All our learning opportunities are designed to develop children’s interests and to build upon these with exciting and enjoyable learning experiences.
The Design and Technology curriculum will:
- Provide opportunities for all children to collaborate, learn from, understand and react to each other’s perspectives and strengths.
- Create an enjoyable, engaging academic outlet for children who may find traditional subjects challenging.
- Develop children’s subject vocabulary and skill in choosing and using appropriate tools and techniques.
- Give children an insight into how physical products can be created and an understanding of basic concepts used in everyday items.
- Set a firm foundation of subject skills to create a smooth transition to KS3.
- Children will move through, and leave the school, with the confidence that they can design, make and change products and items and belief that qualifications and careers incorporating D&T are within their capability.
- Have a positive impact on children’s self-efficacy.