D & T
“If you haven’t failed yet, you haven’t tried anything.” -Reshma Saujani, Founder of Girls Who Code
“We are continually faced by great opportunities brilliantly disguised as insoluble problems.”
Lee Iacocca, American engineer and automobile executive
From concept to product
At St. Michael’s Church of England primary school, we plan Design & Technology lessons that meet the aims set out in the EYFS framework and the national curriculum. Design and Technology is an inspiring, rigorous and practical subject. It encourages children to learn to think and intervene creatively to solve problems both as individuals and as members of a team.
In Design and Technology pupils are taught to develop, plan and communicate ideas. They work with a range of tools and materials to make quality products, making creative and informed choices along the way. Children are encouraged to discuss, evaluate and amend the processes and products, giving and receiving constructive advice. Mistakes are an integral part of Design and Technology because how else would we know how to develop and improve a product? Resilience and perseverance, above all else, are skills that can be gained through D&T.
In Foundation Stage D & T is an important part of the school day, with regular provision for model making and building.
Design & Technology is included within: Understanding the World, Expressive Arts and Design, Physical Development and Personal, Social and Emotional Development and Communication and Language.
Each term, opportunities are planned for children to develop their skills in order for children to meet age-related and end of year expectations (Early Learning Goals – ELGs).
In Key Stages 1 Design and Technology lessons focus on 4 key areas:
- Using Technical Knowledge.
Children begin to use their own experiences to influence their designs and through talking, can bring their ideas together to create. Children are able to learn range of new vocabulary to explain what they are doing and how, allowing them to discuss next steps and improvements.
In Key Stages 2 Design and Technology lessons also focus on 4 key areas:
- Using Technical Knowledge.
In the Designing stage, children are encouraged to research and evaluate existing products. The projects they complete further up the school often involve making a prototype that can be evaluated giving children the opportunity to decide what ideas to bring forward and why.
Through D&T children can seek joy in service by communicating with their peers and the wider school before designing and creating a product for others to use. Children have the opportunity to engage in small projects of their own and be part of wider movements to create a better future. Design and Technology pushes children to think, not just about what they want out of a product, but how it can benefit others.
In the Infants
Children begin to use their own experiences to influence their designs and, through talking and working with others, they bring their ideas into reality. They learn new vocabulary and they learn to apply their ideas to real-life problems.Then they build on their previous experiences of investigating objects around them to develop their own solutions to the problem. Exploring how familiar things work, talking, drawing and modelling are key elements of being a engineer or designer.
In the Juniors
Children gain a lot of satisfaction in designing and developing product for others to use, eat or buy. They work on their own and as part of a team on a range of designing and making activities. The focus tends to remain on 'meeting a need' or 'solving a problem' and as they get older, market forces become part of planning process. They think about what products are used for and the needs of the people who use them as well as conducting market research with potential buyers. Junior classes are involved in 'mini-enterprise' activities for the PTA Summer Fayre. They plan carefully what has to be done and identify what works well and what could be improved in their own and other people’s designs. Year Six undertake a Dragons Den type project to plan a product from concept to market. They pitch their idea to a panel in order to get start up funding, they use their previous D and T experience to manufacture or source their product, advertise and sell at a Dragons' Den Fair. Of course, after the event, they pay back the start-up funding (plus interest) and use the profit to support their favourite charities.
For details of Skills Progression, please see below
The curriculum we use is led by the National Curriculum.