Design & Technology – curriculum information

Intent

At Francis Askew, our design and technology curriculum provides opportunities for the children to think of themselves as, and become, designers and producers of purposeful products that will be used in real-life contexts. We encourage the children to think and intervene creatively to solve problems both as individuals and as members of a team, within a variety of contexts. The children consider their own and others’ needs, wants and values. The children are also given opportunities to reflect upon and evaluate past and present design technology, its uses and effectiveness and they are encouraged to become innovators and risk takers.

Our aim is to provide inclusive and aspirational learning experiences where pupils thrive and build the cultural capital they need to make ambitious choices about their own futures, overcoming any barriers. In design and technology, this is promoted through collaborative and experiential learning opportunities, for example, links with Siemens STEM projects, taking part in the Green Power Racing events. Wherever possible knowledge and skills learned in design and technology are linked to real life contexts so that children can gain relevant, concrete and modern experiences in areas they might not ordinarily have the opportunity to encounter.

At Francis Askew, the teaching of design and technology has been carefully considered to enable our pupils to become confident and competent designers and producers. At Francis Askew, we follow the Kapow programme. Alongside this our highly skilled subject leaders have carefully worked to create a Subject Progression Document where objectives for each year group are progressively mapped out towards clearly defined end points. This ensures our pupils are given the required skills and knowledge they need to progress. The progressive objectives also enable teachers to identify and plug gaps in pupils’ knowledge and skills.

Children develop a deep understanding of key concepts as they move through our design and technology curriculum. These key concepts have been carefully considered and identified as the core knowledge and skills required to successfully achieve in art and design. They are revisited and developed as the pupils move through the school to ensure that knowledge and skills are firmly embedded within their long-term memory. These key concepts compliment work carried out across the school reinforcing our 6 broad curriculum drivers (see overall Curriculum Intent). The expectation is that, by the end of primary School, children will know and understand these key concepts and to give them a solid foundation to enter the Design and technology curriculum at KS3.

The Design and Technology curriculum is structured into five key concepts:

  • Designing
  • Making
  • Evaluating
  • Technical Knowledge
  • Cooking and nutrition

Children will also develop their understanding of identified second order concepts through the design and technology curriculum. These concepts branch across subjects, creating horizontal links across our whole curriculum. They aim to develop flexible knowledge and skills that children can apply to multiple curriculum areas. In design and technology children will be develop their understanding of the following second order concepts:-

  • Responsibility: (working safely, how design can solve problems, choosing the right materials, responsibilities to customers to ensure quality / reliable products, healthy eating, quality ingredients)
  • Similarity and difference: (making comparisons, noting differences, and drawing conclusions)
  • Cause and consequence: (identifying how things work, how an action can cause change/movement)
  • Significance: (significant designers and designs, real world examples of effective and successful products)
  • Written and oral expression: (Using terminology, evaluating, creating accurate designs, labelling and annotating, explaining processes, presenting)

End Points:

By the end of EYFS, pupils will:

  • be able to explore and choose a range of materials to create and make things
  • be able to investigate how things work and
  • draw, build and make things which fulfil a function

By the end of Key Stage 1, pupils will:

  • learn the knowledge and skills needed to design and make products for a range of relevant contexts
  • be able to design and test products that are purposeful and appealing
  • select tools and materials which are most suitable to make their products from
  • evaluate their products against existing products and design criteria
  • develop the technical knowledge needed to build structures which are stronger and more stable and be able to use a range of mechanisms
  • develop an understanding of where food comes from and how to use the basic principles of a healthy diet to make their own simple dishes

By the end of Key Stage, pupils will:

  • develop further knowledge and skills to enable them to design and make purposeful and quality products in different contexts
  • be able to research how existing products work and use this to develop designs and products to meet a design brief
  • be able to produce more detailed, annotated designs and to test and refine their ideas
  • be able to select and use a wider range of tools and materials according to their function and properties
  • develop the technical knowledge required to make their products work effectively
  • be able to evaluate the effectiveness and quality of their products and use this to improve their work
  • develop an understanding of a healthy and varied diet and be able to prepare and cook a range of dishes

Implementation

At Francis Askew, our design and technology curriculum is carefully mapped out into a long-term plan. This outlines when key concepts will be taught and revisited and shows how these concepts progressively lead towards children achieving our identified curriculum end points. The long-term plan also enables links between subjects to be identified and carefully planned for to support children’s retention of knowledge and skills.

Design and technology is taught using the Kapow scheme of work alongside our art Subject Progression Document. This ensures full coverage of the Key Stage 1 and Key Stage 2 curriculum. The long-term plan from EYFS to year 6 has been designed as a spiral curriculum with the following key principles in mind: cyclical (pupils return to the same skills again and again during their time at Francis Askew), increasing depth (each time a skill is revisited it is covered with greater complexity, prior knowledge (upon returning to a skill, prior knowledge is utilised so pupils can build upon previous foundations).

Short term planning for design and technology is informed by the Kapow scheme, the art and design long-term plan and Subject Progression Document. Lesson objectives are clear and sequenced so that outcomes are secure and meaningful.

All children will have access to the design and technology curriculum with work being tailored appropriately for children with SEND – modifying end points so that they are appropriate but remain aspirational. Any child working below their age-related expectation, will receive a tailored curriculum with personalised objectives. This will enable all children to build the skills and knowledge needed to bridge the gap between themselves and their peers enabling them to reach their full potential.

The development of children’s oracy is also given a high profile and is promoted through the use of subject specific terminology and vocabulary needed to work as designers and producers. When discussing and presenting new knowledge or skills learned within design and technology, children will be directed to specific and progressive vocabulary.

A teaching sequence in design and technology:

Each unit of work will be based on the following teaching sequence, adapted to suit the topic

  • Place the D&T unit in the context of similar past learning in the subject
  • Review the learning covered in previous lessons
  • Deliver a design brief, posing a relevant problem to be solved
  • Children research existing products and possible construction materials/ingredients/tools
  • Children create their own designs in response to the brief and their own research
  • Children make the product (including making and evaluating a technical aspect first or producing and refining a prototype if appropriate)
  • Children evaluate their product with reference to the original design brief

At the beginning of each unit and throughout, children revisit prior learning and link this to new concepts being taught. Additionally, at the end of a learning sequence, children reflect on their new learning and skills and there is opportunity for further teaching when knowledge or skills have not been retained.

Impact

A wide range of strategies are used to measure the impact of our design and technology curriculum. In EYFS, staff professional judgements are considered against the area of learning. Assessments are formative so that they quickly make a difference to children’s learning. Assessments inform the provision of activities and experiences which develop children’s skills and knowledge as well as giving opportunity for further practise.

In key stage 1 and 2, formative assessments are carried out regularly by teachers during and after each lesson, which inform future planning. Where learning is not secure, additional learning takes place to address this. Additionally, summative assessments are carried out each term by using the Kapow internal assessment tool. As a result of this assessment tool, children’s misconceptions or gaps in subject knowledge and skills are addressed and additional teaching and support is provided.

Our subject leaders also monitor the effectiveness of the design and technology curriculum through carrying out regular monitoring evaluations. These evaluations are quality assured by the Curriculum Lead, Senior Leadership and Governors.

The effectiveness of design and technology is also monitored through pupil and parental voice throughout the course of the year.

Further information