Design and Technology
“We need technology in every classroom and in every student and teacher's hand, because it is the pen and paper of our time, and it is the lens through which we experience much of our world.” David Warlick
At Gorseybrigg Primary School, we want all our pupils to be inspired and engaged by a high quality design and technology education.
- We offer children the opportunity to develop their practical skills through a contextual design-led approach which allows them to follow their own ideas.
- Our D&T curriculum enables pupils to utilise their prior learning, to develop their technological understanding and to design, make and evaluate a range of products and systems.
- We are committed to promoting depth of knowledge which is supported by the direct teaching of challenging, domain-specific D & T vocabulary to enable children to consider and articulate their developing understanding and opinions.
- We strive to cultivate a real enjoyment of design & technology and to support all children to achieve their full potential.
- We encourage our children to take risks with their ideas, to collaborate on group and individual projects and to learn from their choices. We teach them that creativity is allowing yourself to make mistakes, design is knowing which ones to keep.
Throughout the academic year, opportunities for design & technology projects are provided as an enhancement to the wider curriculum including but not limited to:
- Food preparation and nutrition activities as part of the school’s healthy eating programme linked to our P.E. and Science curricula.
- Ongoing outdoor activities as part of our Forest Schools/outdoor learning programme, including the development of skills in the use of a variety of tools.
- Learning taking place as part of the design element of the computing curriculum
- Activities with a D & T focus as part of our offer within the continuous and enhanced provision in EYFS and Year 1.
- Pupils’ involvement in the development and design of our outdoor spaces, including our Eco Garden, Secret Garden and Serenity Square (quiet space).
In the autumn term, the core design & technology curriculum is delivered during our school-wide D & T/Geography focus. This subject-blocking offers pupils and teachers the time and focus to delve deeply into the technical skills, knowledge and vocabulary required for high quality learning and teaching.
Each year group studies 2-3 D&T units, participating in a range of projects which ensure that coverage of all the core design skills and the D&T essentials: user, purpose, innovation, authenticity, functionality and design decisions (from the D&T Association) are covered over time. Teaching and learning are facilitated through IEAs (Investigative and Evaluative Activities), FTS (Focused Tasks) and a DMEA (Design, Make and Evaluate Assignment). These are examined in depth and provide the main vehicle for the teaching of the essential skills of designing, making, evaluating, technical knowledge and cooking/nutrition. Progression is embedded into our D&T curriculum and described in detail in our skills progression map which takes the D&T Association’s progression framework as a model. We ensure that each project is supported by the provision of high quality resources, enabling the children to explore their ideas and produce finished products to the best of their ability.
We have two D & T subject leaders in order to ensure coverage, continuity and progression throughout the whole school. They have a range of joint responsibilities:
- To monitor and evaluate D&T teaching and learning
- To manage the D&T budget effectively
- To maintain the D&T element of the School Improvement Plan
- To liaise and consult with outside agencies, local clusters and community groups
- To support and advise teachers in the planning and delivery of D&T lessons
- To maintain and monitor D&T resources
- To attend and disseminate training
- To ensure membership of the D&T teaching professional body is up to date and used in school
We want all children at our school to make excellent progress, achieve success and find enjoyment in design and technology. Our belief that designing, making and evaluating their own products help our pupils to develop confidence and explore creativity guides the choice of activities and resources to promote active participation by everyone whatever their race, gender, economic status or ability. We strive to meet the needs of those pupils with special educational needs, disabilities, particular gifts and talents and children for whom English is an additional language so that everyone is able to fulfil their potential.
Our design and technology curriculum is filtered through our ‘big idea concepts’ so it has relevance for children’s understanding of our local, national and worldwide community. We hope that our pupils’ adult lives continue to be enhanced by their enjoyment and understanding of D&T and offer our curriculum as a foundation for life-long learning and pleasure.
To achieve our high expectations and fulfil our commitment to excellence, we appreciate how crucial it is to engage with students in order to evaluate the impact of our provision. We regularly conduct pupil voice interviews and act on the outcomes. Using our in-year assessment model, we consider the attainment of individuals and use the results to set pupil targets.
To inform excellence in D&T teaching, we intend that teaching staff will develop a deep knowledge of the curriculum. To enable this, all teachers and TAs have access to our Design & Technology Association membership and participate in practical training sessions delivered by the association online and our coordinators in house. We also actively seek support from our partnership of local schools, the LA and members of our local community with skills in this area. Assessment against the curriculum enables us to consider attainment and progress and adjust teaching accordingly, communicating achievement in D&T to children’s new teachers. Regular monitoring including lesson observations, book-looks where appropriate and the checking of planning takes place in a supportive atmosphere where the emphasis is on improvement and the sharing of ideas.
The curriculum is designed to value innovative design from all around the world. Children are taught to appreciate the many people who have influenced design over the centuries and the impact that their work has had. We look for opportunities to involve our local community including parents and businesses to offer children ways to see D&T in action. Most importantly, we aim to show our children that this is a wonderful subject which can offer them many opportunities in both their future education and in their possible choice of employment