Design Technology at St. Michael's
What is Design and Technology?
Design and Technology education involves two important elements - learning about the designed and made world and how things work, and learning to design and make functional products for particular purposes and users.
Children acquire and apply knowledge and understanding of materials and components, mechanisms and control systems, structures, existing products, quality and health and safety.
The skills learned in D&T also help with learning across the curriculum. Knowledge about the properties of materials helps in science and the practice of measuring accurately helps in maths. These skills help in computing, through the children’s use of computer control and, naturally, in art and design.
Design and Technology education helps develop children’s skills through collaborative working and problem-solving, and knowledge in design, materials, structures, mechanisms and electrical control. They are encouraged to be creative and innovative, and are actively encouraged to think about important issues such as sustainability and enterprise.
There are three core activities children engage with in Design and Technology:
- Activities which involve investigating and evaluating existing products
- Focused tasks in which children develop particular aspects of knowledge and skills
- Designing and making activities in which children design and make 'something' for 'somebody' for 'some purpose'
These three activities are combined in sequence to create a Design and Technology project.
At St Michael’s we intend to build a Design Technology curriculum which is inspiring, rigorous, and practical. We want our children to use creativity and imagination, to design and make products that solve real and relevant problems within a variety of contexts, considering their own and others’ needs, wants and values. We intend for all children to acquire appropriate subject knowledge, skills and understanding as set out in the National Curriculum. It is our aim to create strong cross curricular links with other subjects, including mathematics, science, computing, and art. We want Design and Technology to prepare our children, to give them the opportunities and experiences they need to be successful in later life.
Our curriculum encourages children to identify real and relevant problems, critically evaluate existing products and then take risks and innovate when designing and creating solutions to the problems. As part of the process, time is built in to reflect, evaluate and improve on prototypes, using design criteria throughout to support this process. Opportunities are provided for children to evaluate key events and individuals who have helped shape the world, showing the real impact of design and technology on the wider environment and helping to inspire our children to become the next generation of innovators.
Design and Technology is an important part of school life and learning; as a school we are dedicated to the teaching and delivery of a high-quality Design and
Technology curriculum. This is implemented through:
• A well thought out, whole school, yearly overview of the DT curriculum which allows for progression across year groups in all areas of DT.
• Well planned and resourced learning opportunities providing children with a hands-on and enriching experience.
• A range of skills being taught ensuring that children are aware of health and safety issues related to the tasks undertaken (including gardening).
• Teachers being given ownership and flexibility to plan for Design and Technology, including cross curricular learning opportunities, where suitable.
• All year groups addressing the principles of designing, making, and evaluating, and incorporating relevant technical knowledge and understanding in
relevant contexts. Through revisiting and consolidating skills, our lesson plans and resources help children build on prior knowledge alongside introducing new skills, knowledge and challenge.
• Pupils being introduced to specific designers, engineers, chefs, etc. helping to embed an appreciation of human creativity, achievement, and increase cultural capital.
Support is available from the curriculum lead.
Children will have clear enjoyment and confidence in Design and Technology that they will then apply to other areas of the curriculum. Through carefully planned and implemented learning activities the pupils develop the creative, technical and practical expertise needed to perform everyday tasks confidently and to participate successfully in an increasingly technological world. The impact of using the full range of resources, including display materials, will be seen across the school with an increase in the profile of Design and Technology. The learning environment across the school will be more consistent with design and technology technical vocabulary displayed, spoken and used by all learners. We aim to ensure that Design and Technology is loved by teachers and pupils across school, therefore encouraging them to want to continue building on this wealth of skills and understanding, now and in the future. Impact can also be measured through key questioning skills built into lessons, child-led assessment such as success criteria, and pupil voice. Children will be able to talk about why design and technology is important. They will know possible career opportunities that might arise, for instant engineers and designers.