Rationale for the teaching of Design and Technology
At St. Anne’s, we believe that Design and Technology (DT) should encourage children to become curious and creative problem solvers, both as individuals and as part of a team. Our DT lessons equip children with the knowledge and skills needed to communicate their ideas effectively and help them to become critical evaluators of their own work as well as that of others. Using creativity and imagination, children have the opportunity to solve real-life problems within a variety of contexts, allowing them to develop a greater understanding of the world around them. Children are encouraged to ask questions about how things work and are given many opportunities to use a variety of materials, tools and products as part of their DT lessons.
How we teach and learn Design and Technology at St Anne’s
Our DT lessons aim to develop children’s knowledge, skills and understanding of the world around them. To achieve this, a range of teaching styles are used in our DT lessons. Sometimes lessons are taught through whole-class teaching, while at other times, children are engaged in independent activities. Self and peer assessment also forms an important part of DT lessons, as it supports children in developing their critical awareness and understanding. At St. Anne’s, we promote the learning character of the Creative Unicorn as we encourage children to think of creative solutions to real-life problems. Children also demonstrate the Resilient Tortoise, as they are encouraged to persevere with challenges, such as fixing materials together or selecting appropriate tools for the task.
DT lessons may be taught weekly or as a block unit, linked to the term’s Creative Curriculum topic. Long term planning across both key stages ensures coverage of all key DT skills, including designing, making and evaluating. Year group planning identifies the specific skills to be taught as a part of each unit and highlights the clear progression moving up through the school. As outlined in the National Curriculum, each year group also teaches a unit on nutrition, where children learn how to cook a range of healthy meals. In the Early Years Foundation Stage, children begin their DT journey by exploring and using media and materials while developing physical skills such as cutting and joining. As part of the EYFS provision opportunities are given for children to make choices about how to present their own ideas and follow their own interests.
When children are investigating, designing or evaluating a product, their research and ideas will usually be recorded in their Creative Curriculum books or their Art Journals. Recording their work in this way allows children to reflect on their findings and evaluate both their own ideas and that of others. DT lessons may also be photographed, especially their finished product, as it allows children to reflect on their design and identify its strengths and areas for development. Children will usually photograph their final piece of work to go alongside their final evaluations.
Throughout the year, children are provided with opportunities to attend DT clubs, such as Cooking Club, where they are able to learn new skills and engage with a range of nutritious foods and recipes. We also welcome visitors and members of the wider community into our school, where they can share their knowledge through inspiring and engaging workshops. For example, taking part in STEM activities or Healthy Eating workshops.
Teaching DT is an excellent way to support our pupils’ spiritual, moral, social and cultural development. At St. Anne’s, we believe that it is important to provide children with an opportunity to work co-operatively, whilst allowing them to explore their own thoughts, ideas and beliefs. This helps to create a safe and open learning environment that all children can flourish in. DT also provides children with an opportunity to reflect on their achievements, as well as learn from any challenges that they may have encountered.
How we celebrate our Design and Technology learning
At the end of each lesson, the class teacher is able to assess the children by reviewing the lesson’s learning objectives. The subject leader also plans an assessment task to evaluate the attainment and progression of DT throughout the school.
Throughout the year, St. Anne’s hold exhibitions to showcase all of our fantastic work within DT. As part of the exhibitions, parents, carers and members of the wider community are invited into school to share the children’s learning journey with them. Displaying a range of work from each DT unit, children can share their high-quality learning, providing them with an opportunity to confidently discuss their work and ideas.
Holiday homework projects often incorporate Design and Technology and allow children to work alongside their siblings. Work is shared with their peers, displayed within the school and prizes are often awarded during whole school celebration assemblies.