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"Design is a funny word. Some people think design means how it looks. But of course, if you look deeper, it's really how it works." – Steve Jobs
At Hadrian Primary School, we value Design Technology. WE ARE DESIGNERS and TECHNOLOGISTS! 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.
Our design technology curriculum promotes curiosity and a love and thirst for learning. It is ambitious and empowers our children to become independent and resilient – like all curriculum areas. We follow the ‘Kapow’ scheme which offers our children a broad and balanced DT curriculum, providing them with unforgettable projects and specialised skills in woodwork, textiles, food, structures, mechanical and electrical systems.
We want to equip children at Hadrian with not only the minimum statutory requirements of the design technology National Curriculum but to prepare them for the opportunities, responsibilities and experiences of later life. For example, we have a wonderful school garden where the children frequently visit, plant seeds and grow different fruits and vegetables each year. We enrich their time in our school with memorable, unforgettable experiences and provide opportunities which are normally out of reach – this piques their interests and passions. For example, children take part in a ‘Come Dine with me’ experience in Key Stage 2, this involves children researching and preparing a three-course meal, they taste-test and score food and when they aren’t cooking, they research the journey of their main ingredient (from ‘farm to fork’) and write a delicious favourite recipe to include in a whole class cookbook!! Who will get a super score?!
We are confident that when children leave Hadrian and take their next steps in the world, they will be very well equipped to participate successfully in an increasingly technological world.
In September 2021, a complete audit of the design technology curriculum was conducted. On the back of the findings from this audit, the design technology curriculum has been carefully rebuilt and the learning opportunities and assessment milestones for each year group crafted to ensure progression and repetition in terms of embedding key learning, knowledge and skills.
For example, the way design technology is taught at our school has been revamped and as a school, we are now using the ‘Kapow’ DT programme to ensure excellent pupil progression and to follow a consistent structure across Key Stage 1 and Key Stage 2.
Initially, pupils take inspiration from design throughout history to help generate ideas for designs. They explore and practice the practical skills involved in the topic and then design, make, evaluate and refine their final products. This approach is taken for every design technology topic. Pupils work in DT is recorded in books, each project has a knowledge organiser as an overview of the learning that will take place and the new vocabulary that will be introduced.
Design technology subject specific characteristics, which we expect the children to demonstrate, have been developed and shared with all stakeholders. These characteristics underpin all work in DT and form a focal point for display areas and provide a common subject specific vocabulary for staff and pupils. These characteristics are:
We encourage staff to teach DT every week or every other week dependent on what works best for their children. The Kapow units are 4 weeks long and have 4 sessions within the topic. The expectation is that five DT topics are taught over the year with Summer 2 being an opportunity to share their learning within their Key Stage. Summer is also when we will plan DT projects ran by external visitors and other local schools. This gives our children the exciting opportunity to meet experts in mechanics, nutrition and structure development and inspire their future dreams and desires.
Our DT curriculum is high quality, well thought out and is planned to demonstrate progression. We carefully support children through DT projects to ensure they make good or better progress. We then assess each unit against the National Curriculum Objectives in computing using Target Tracker.
Assessment information is collected frequently and analysed as part of our monitoring cycle. This process provides an accurate and comprehensive understanding of the quality of education in design technology. A comprehensive monitoring cycle is developed at the beginning of each academic year. This identifies when monitoring is undertaken. Monitoring in design technology includes: book scrutinies, lesson observations and/or learning walks, child and staff voice.
All of this information is gathered and reviewed. It is used to inform further curriculum developments and provision is adapted accordingly.
At Hadrian Primary School, we are DESIGNERS AND TECHNOLOGISTS!
EYFS (Nursery and Reception)
In the EYFS children are encouraged to explore and use a variety of media and materials during a combination Continuous and Enhanced Provision as well as some adult led activities. Children are given opportunities to:
In Early Years, we want our children to have lots of active, hands-on experiences that encourage their communication and language skills. We nurture our children in becoming critical and creative thinkers by giving them limitless opportunities to design, make and evaluate their models, creations and designs.
The national curriculum for design and technology aims to ensure that all pupils:
develop the creative, technical and practical expertise needed to perform everyday tasks confidently and to participate successfully in an increasingly technological world
build and apply a repertoire of knowledge, understanding and skills in order to design and make high-quality prototypes and products for a wide range of users
critique, evaluate and test their ideas and products and the work of others understand and apply the principles of nutrition and learn how to cook.
By the end of each key stage, pupils are expected to know, apply and understand the matters, skills and processes specified in the relevant programme of study.
Schools are not required by law to teach the example content in [square brackets].
Key stage 1
Through a variety of creative and practical activities, pupils should be taught the knowledge, understanding and skills needed to engage in an iterative process of designing and making. They should work in a range of relevant contexts [for example, the home and school, gardens and playgrounds, the local community, industry and the wider environment].
When designing and making, pupils should be taught to:
design purposeful, functional, appealing products for themselves and other users based on design criteria
generate, develop, model and communicate their ideas through talking, drawing, templates, mock-ups and, where appropriate, information and communication technology
select from and use a range of tools and equipment to perform practical tasks [for example, cutting, shaping, joining and finishing]
select from and use a wide range of materials and components, including construction materials, textiles and ingredients, according to their characteristics
explore and evaluate a range of existing products
evaluate their ideas and products against design criteria
build structures, exploring how they can be made stronger, stiffer and more stable
explore and use mechanisms [for example, levers, sliders, wheels and axles], in their products.
Key stage 2
Through a variety of creative and practical activities, pupils should be taught the knowledge, understanding and skills needed to engage in an iterative process of designing and making. They should work in a range of relevant contexts [for example, the home, school, leisure, culture, enterprise, industry and the wider environment].
When designing and making, pupils should be taught to:
use research and develop design criteria to inform the design of innovative, functional, appealing products that are fit for purpose, aimed at particular individuals or groups
generate, develop, model and communicate their ideas through discussion, annotated sketches, cross-sectional and exploded diagrams, prototypes, pattern pieces and computer-aided design
select from and use a wider range of tools and equipment to perform practical tasks [for example, cutting, shaping, joining and finishing], accurately
select from and use a wider range of materials and components, including construction materials, textiles and ingredients, according to their functional properties and aesthetic qualities
investigate and analyse a range of existing products
evaluate their ideas and products against their own design criteria and consider the views of others to improve their work
understand how key events and individuals in design and technology have helped shape the world
apply their understanding of how to strengthen, stiffen and reinforce more complex structures
understand and use mechanical systems in their products [for example, gears, pulleys, cams, levers and linkages]
understand and use electrical systems in their products [for example, series circuits incorporating switches, bulbs, buzzers and motors]
apply their understanding of computing to program, monitor and control their products.
Cooking and nutrition
As part of their work with food, pupils should be taught how to cook and apply the principles of nutrition and healthy eating. Instilling a love of cooking in pupils will also open a door to one of the great expressions of human creativity. Learning how to cook is a crucial life skill that enables pupils to feed themselves and others affordably and well, now and in later life.
Pupils should be taught to:
Key stage 1
use the basic principles of a healthy and varied diet to prepare dishes
understand where food comes from.
Key stage 2
understand and apply the principles of a healthy and varied diet
prepare and cook a variety of predominantly savoury dishes using a range of cooking techniques
understand seasonality, and know where and how a variety of ingredients are grown, reared, caught and processed.
Spiritual, moral, social and cultural development and British Values
Collaborative work in design and technology develops mutual respect for the differing opinions, beliefs and abilities of others. In addition, children develop a respect for the environment, for their own health and safety and that of others. They learn to appreciate the value of similarities and differences and learn to show tolerance. A variety of experiences teaches them to appreciate that all people – and their views – are equally important. Children are encouraged to work in a democratic way, exercising the ‘give and take’ required for successful teamwork.