Design Technology

We are lucky enough to have an art / DT studio for those times when children are completing long-term projects that need space and time to dry so clearing up is not a problem! For the food and nutrition units, the children are also able to access kitchens on site and extensive school grounds mean that they can sometimes cook the produce they have grown eg: EYFS enjoyed cooking the pumpkins from the pumpkin patch earlier this year!

Aims and Objectives

Design and technology helps to prepare children for the developing world. The subject encourages children to become creative problem solvers, both as individuals and as part of a team. Through the study of design and technology, they combine practical skills with an understanding of aesthetic, social and environmental issues. Design and Technology helps all children to become discriminating and informed consumers and potential innovators. It should assist children in developing a greater awareness and understanding of how everyday products are designed and made.

Teaching and Learning

At St Nicholas we follow the ‘Design, Make, Evaluate’ approach to the teaching of DT, as outlined in the National Curriculum Programmes of Study document. The technical skills which we teach encompass the following areas: Construction, Mechanisms, Textiles and Food and Nutrition. We feel that the teaching of Food and Nutrition is a great importance and holds great relevance in current times. For this reason, children will study a Food and Nutrition unit every year. Additionally, a Construction unit will be covered, along with either a Mechanisms or Textiles unit. This ensures that the technical skills are covered with greater depth, and that – by the end of each key stage – children will have reached the expectations of the National Curriculum. If teachers wish to complete extra units to develop skills in an area that has not been assigned to their year group, they are encouraged to do so – this is frequently done via topic.

During DT sessions, children are encouraged to be inquisitive about the way products work. We encourage both asking and answering questions in order to deepen children’s understanding of product and product design. They will use market research to inform their designs and, as they move up through the school, will be encouraged to draw detailed designs and make prototypes in order to refine their designs before creating their final piece. Whilst making their products, staff will guide them through the technical skills they will require, modelling good practice and highlighting safety considerations with the children. Through the evaluation stage of our ‘Plan, Make, Evaluate’ approach, children are encouraged to reflect upon their final products, considering how they could have altered their design or techniques to impact the overall appearance and usability of their product.

Assessment and Recording

DT learning may be recorded in big books and this should typically evidence all three stages (Plan, Make and Evaluate). Due to the practical nature of design and technology, evidence of work undertaken by children can be in the form of teacher’s notes or as a photographic record.

Teachers assess children’s knowledge, understanding and skills in design and technology by making observations of the children working during lessons. Children will receive both verbal and written feedback in order to aid progress in the subject. They are also encouraged to be critical of their own work, highlighting their own next steps.

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.