We are Designers and Technologists …..
Our Vision for DT
“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 other’s needs, wants, and values”.
The National Curriculum, Design and Technology.
At Wrington Church of England Primary School, we want children to experience a broad and balanced curriculum and an excellent DT curriculum is essential to achieving this aim. We believe that DT develops children’s practical skills, technical knowledge and curiosity about design and the products they experience in day-to-day life. A rigorous and engaging DT curriculum offers children the opportunity to develop their understanding of design, structures, mechanisms, electrics and electronics, and food technology.
DT enables children to use relevant subject knowledge from a range of contexts including mathematics, science, computing, art and engineering, and see these disciplines as exciting tools to inspire practical and creative design, and products in a range of real life contexts.
The DT taught in each year group is set out in our school curriculum overview. This forms the basis of the whole school overview DT plan, which ensures progression of skills, knowledge and experience as children progress through the school. Each year group has a detailed long term plan, linked to our clear and detailed scheme resources, the Global Goals, an dNational Curriculum objectives. These long term plans also link with the DT Association plans covering the allocated units of DT. Teachers therefore have clarity in the long term DT planning, and in the medium term and step by step DT Association plans for their DT units.
"Unless you try to do something beyond what you have already mastered, you will never grow".
Ronald E Osborn, Author and Professor.
Our Curriculum Provision
DT at Wrington C of E Primary School is taught as a subject in its own right, and time is allowed in the school curriculum plan to ensure quality teaching and learning in DT. DT also promotes strong cross-curricular learning, giving the opportunity for children to see the practical impact of maths, science and key engineering concepts in practice.
Our school has implemented the Chris Quigley Curriculum Companion for Design and Technology, which provides resoures to support the planning and resources for each unit of DT we have implemented as members of the DT Association. We have chosen the Chris Quigley resources because they introduce each aspect of DT using knowledge organisers to develop understanding of technical knowledge and vocabulary to ensure that children fully and deeply understand each aspect of DT, before moving to support them in understanding the practical understanding and skills they need. Teachers can choose to check children's technical knowledge and subject specific vocabulary using unit quizzes, which are presented in a fun and interactive way. Children are then given the opportunity to explore existing and guided design, to put technical knowledge into practice and to build skills through finger fluency activities before tackling a final design, and implementing these skills through creation of a prototype. Children also have the opportunity to evaluate their products and ‘break’ them to make any necessary modifications or improvements before creating a final version that can make them feel proud and inspire their future learning and achievement. By approaching each unit of DT consistently, children are supported to understand the big ideas in the subject, and develop a DT schema, so that they have deep layered awareness of DT, and can fit new knowledge into this model, appreciating the way DT concepts are connected.
"The Designer does not begin with some preconceived idea. Rather the idea is the result of careful study and observation, and the design a product of that idea".
Paul Rand, Art Director and Graphic Designer
Our approach to DT includes a practical, investigative methodology, and the opportunity for children to become familiar with tools and techniques, which support their emerging knowledge and skills. Our DT planning ensures children develop the practical techniques required, and have time and opportunities within each unit to grow these key skills.
Children gain confidence and skills in DT, and by ensuring that time is dedicated to the important aspects of design, technical knowledge and evaluation, as well as to making, children appreciate the impact that good and poor design can have on a final product. The curriculum ensures that our school curriculum covers the breadth of the DT national curriculum, and goes above and beyond this, so that children can grow as designers, engineers and crafts people, appreciating the valuable role that these careers play in our society.
As a full members of the DT Association, our teachers have access to supportive resources for each DT unit, including stepped lesson plans. This enables teachers to support children with creative development within DT, taking concepts from inspired ideas, to carefully considered designs, developed into creative prototypes, which are evaluated fully.
The DT Association project plans are designed in tandem with the D&T Expert Subject Advisory Group (ESAG). This means that our DT curriculum incorporates all of the aspects of DT which the ESAG consider vital to ensure children have the best possible understanding of this exciting curriculum area, which link with our school's chosen curriculum scheme. This gives our children the opportunity to really engage with STEM and become designers, technicians, experts with finger fluency and tools, and to develop commercial awareness to support our budding DT enthusiasts in their future life and career choices. This specialist input also enables our school to consistently deliver excellent DT teaching and learning in every unit of DT, within every year group. Our teachers provide exciting, interesting, practical lessons as part of quality first teaching, further engaging children so that they develop a love of DT.
"Every great design begins with an even better story".
Lorina Mamo, Designer
Location, location, location....
Our school’s location also provides lots of exciting and inspiring opportunities to explore and experience DT in the local area, including the Grand Pier at Weston Super Mare, the original pier in the same location and the design implemented in the Clifton Suspension Bridge and Temple Meads Railway Station.
Our school has a close link with Farmlink which enables children to experience where food comes from through first hand experience, as well as exploring nutrition and food technology in practice on location at Lower Stock Farm. Every year group at Wrington experiences food technology, each year, using the teaching resources at Farmlink whenever possible.
All children have access to high quality resources, which are stored in the designated DT cupboard. These resources are monitored closely to ensure children have access to tools in order to understand how to create using wood, plastics, card, electrical circuits and electronics as well as food. The resources are signed for in order to ensure that they are only used under adult supervision and in line with our school health and safety policy which can be found here.
DT and the EYFS
In order to ensure that we offer the best quality teaching and learning opportunities to our youngest learners, creating a responsive curriculum that incorporates children’s interests, needs and learning milestones, we have not adopted set DT planning in Reception.
The Early Learning Goals set out what children should know, understand and be able to do by the end of Reception. The ELG for Expressive Art and Design incorporates important early aspects of DT, and children will experience teaching and learning which enables them to safely use and explore a variety of materials, tools and techniques, experimenting with colour, design, texture, form and function. Children also experience food technology by preparing vegetables for Harvest lunch and creating fruit kebabs linked to our Farm visit and learning around growing.
"Design is not just what it looks and feels like. Design is how it works".
Steve Jobs, CEO Apple.
Children in Reception share their DT creations, explaining the process they have used. The EYFS also provides for children to engage with experiences and activities which enable them to make use of props and materials when role playing characters in narratives and stories, using the products they have created for a purpose.
Moreover, DT weaves through all areas of the EYFS so that children experience:
- Cutting Skills- e.g. using scissors to cut paper, knives to cut soft fruit.
- Joining Skills- e.g. using glue/tape/staples/hole punch and string to join a variety of materials.
- Creating flaps- e.g. folding paper and card
- Explore and use varied materials to assemble a variety of imaginative and inventive creations.
These are all key early aspects of DT which link effectively with our DT curriculum in KS1, ensuring that children have the necessary knowledge and skills to access and thrive within the KS1 DT curriculum.
Learn more here.
DT and SEND
We recognise that children learn in different ways and face different challenges across our curriculum subject areas. In DT children may need different strategies and approaches. These may include:
- Use of ICT
- Individual learning plans (ILPs) which reference support for DT such as adaptions to workspaces, tools, sharing of subject specialist vocabularly or technicial knowledge
- Additional time for class tasks, including practical activities and/or support to understand key technical knowledge linked to a unit of DT
- Differentiated tasks (such as scaffolded worksheets)
- Personalised resources (eg coloured films, specialist tools, adapted workspaces)
- Peer or adult support
Success in all aspects of DT
Through our approach to the teaching of DT, our children achieve well, meeting end of year expectations. They are able to develop their skills, knowledge and understanding throughout each academic year. Children produce high quality products, which reflect their enhanced technical knowledge and practical skills. Each DT process and unit of learning experienced aids the progression of learning, and development of a DT schema. This is reflected in the way that children leave each year ready for the next, and in the high quality design, make and evaluate processes evident in the work of children in KS1 and 2, and particularly in the work of children in Year 5 and Year 6.
At Wrington Primary School all of our children meet age related expectations in DT. Children make good or better progress from Reception to Year 6 to achieve this significant goal. This is important because it means that children have the skills to support them in life, and in their potential future career choices.
A good understanding of food and nutrition is particularly important to enable children to grow into healthy adults. Each year children have the opportunity to demonstrate their culinary skills as part of our school Eisteddfod, and the entries reflect the children's enthusiasm in this area of DT. In addition to this, our school participates in the Rotary Young Chef competition, where children compete to create a tempting menu on a budget for a panel of impartial judges.
At Wrington we focus on the Global Goals throughout our DT curriculum teaching. This supports children to appreciate the significance of a sustainable future for our world from their experiences and learning in school, but also from community involvement, particularly with Farmlink.
At Wrington Primary School we are aware of the need to ensure that children make progress in every area of the curriculum whether core or foundation, and DT is no exception. Within each lesson, and on completing work in books, children are given feedback in order to identify their next steps, and progress their learning.
Children are also given detailed feedback at the end of each unit of DT teaching and learning in order to monitor their progress and ensure that they are supported as necessary to continue their learning journey. This is important for every child to develop a broad and balanced range of skills and experiences in their time at primary school, and is especially important where children are interested in DT, or are considering further study or a career in this interesting area.
Our teachers have access to specialist guidance created specifically to support assessment in their allocated units of DT, and also to the expectations for children’s achievement at the end of KS1, lower KS2 and upper KS2 created by the DT Association and D&T Expert Subject Advisory Group (ESAG), implemented by our DT lead. This means that any child who does not meet expected levels, or fails to make good progress in DT, can be supported to achieve the best possible outcome when they next encounter DT. This ensures all of our children engage positively with DT and become creative technicians, designers, cooks and craftsmen. As a result our children achieve, flourish and aspire in and through DT.
"The main thing is to make history, not to write it".
Otto Von Bismark