“Design is not just what it looks like and feels like. Design is how it works.” Steve Jobs, designer
Design and technology is an inspiring, detailed 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 wellbeing of the nation. (DfE 2014)
At Crownfield Infant School, we aim to provide inclusive opportunities for all children to design and make products that are purposeful. We encourage children to use their creativity and imagination so that they show individuality in the design and construction of their product. Children are taught the two strands of Design and Technology: Designing and Making and Cooking and Nutrition. Children are encouraged to examine and evaluate existing products in order to have a critical understanding of the mechanisms, details and aesthetics of the products they aspire to make. At our school, we teach children the importance of making ongoing changes and improvements during the making stage. In Cooking and Nutrition, children look into the seasonality of ingredients and how they are grown, caught or reared.
At Crownfield Infant School, DT units are based on the National Curriculum and are taught three times during the academic year. The KS1 units of DT are covered through: food technology, textiles and mechanisms. In the EYFS curriculum, children are taught to safely use and explore a variety of materials, tools and techniques. They think about uses and purposes. They also represent their own ideas, thoughts and feelings through DT when making and evaluating. At Crownfield Infant School, we use a variety of teaching and learning styles in Design and Technology lessons in order to develop children’s knowledge, skills and understanding. Teachers provide a curriculum which involves children taking part in meaningful activities in which they discuss their plans and evaluate their own and other’s work in a constructive way. Within lessons, we give children the opportunity to work individually, in pairs and in group situations. Children are encouraged to use a wide range of materials and resources and will be supported to use tools and equipment safely and responsibly.
Pupils are taught: Practical skills – developing the skills needed to make high quality products.
Design, make, evaluate and improve – developing the process of design thinking and seeing design as a process.
To research and take inspiration from design and technology throughout history and the present– appreciating the design process and technological advances that have influenced the products we use in everyday life.
At Crownfield, we provide a selection of materials and tools which cater for all the different abilities in the class in order to enable all children to access the subject and make informed choices. We ensure that all children are able to access these resources and make sensible choices about when and how to use them. Teachers teach the safe use of tools and equipment and insist on good practice prior to starting the making part. These include:
Safe contact with sharp objects including fabric, needles, scissors, knives etc.
Safe handling of food: all children need to ensure that they are aware of personal hygiene rules such as thorough hand washing and wearing of aprons before handling food, as well as how to store perishable food appropriately.
We strive to ensure that our children’s attainment is in line with or exceeds their potential, taking into consideration the varied starting points of all our children. At Crownfield Infant School, we can judge the success of our Design and Technology curriculum in the following ways:
Using a clear progression of skills.
Pupil engagement and feedback – are children happy, engaged, motivated to do well and challenged within the subject. Are children able to clearly express their opinions about DT?
Photographs and examples of work, showing a clear progression of skills between the year groups.
Informed teacher judgement and feedback based on success criteria.
The DT subject leader can articulate and explain the progression of skills through KS1