At Great Kingshill we believe that every child should have the opportunity to dream and ignite their passion. Arts, craft and design embody some of the highest forms of human creativity. A high quality Design education should engage, inspire and challenge pupils. The purpose of Design education is to give pupils the skills, concepts and knowledge necessary for them to express their responses to ideas and experiences in a visual or tactile form. It fires their imagination and is a fundamental means of personal expression. Purposeful Design Technology creates an awareness of how both reflect and shape our history and contribute to the culture, creativity and wealth of our nations.
Design and Technology prepares children to take part in the development of our rapidly changing world. Creative thinking encourages children to make positive changes to their quality of life. The subject encourages children to become autonomous and creative problem-solvers, both as individuals and as part of a team. It enables them to identify needs and opportunities and to respond by developing ideas and eventually making products and systems.
It is our vision that through our carefully planned and structured curriculum, our pupils develop their skills and knowledge to express their creativity and apply their knowledge they have learnt it other curriculum areas. Where appropriate links are made with the topics pupils are studying and form part of the broader programme of study. Some DT units provide opportunities for pupils to apply previous learning from subjects such as Maths and Science. The aim of the Design Technology curriculum is to provide pupils with core life skills in textiles and food & nutrition, as well as encouraging them to be designers and engineers.
Design and Technology is an inspiring, rigorous and practical subject. Design and Technology encourages children to learn to think and intervene creatively to solve problems both as individuals and as members of a team. At Great Kingshill, we encourage children to use their creativity and imagination, to design and make products that solve real and relevant problems within a variety of contexts, considering their own and others’ needs, wants and values. We aim to, wherever possible, link work to other disciplines such as mathematics, science, engineering, computing and art. The children are also given opportunities to reflect upon and evaluate past and present design technology, its uses and its effectiveness and are encouraged to become innovators and risk-takers.
Through a variety of creative and practical activities, we teach the knowledge, understanding and skills needed to engage in an iterative process of designing and making. The children design and create products that consider function and purpose and which are relevant to a range of sectors (for example, the home, school, leisure, culture, enterprise, industry and the wider environment).
The planning for Design Technology is supported by resources purchased through PlanBee. The units are sequenced to ensure that children have the opportunity in every year group to cover units in Textiles and Food Nutrition. Across each Key Stage and phase children study units focusing on Structures and Mechanics & Mechanical systems. In Key Stage 2, pupils also study units focusing on Electronics.
Knowledge organisers are used for each unit to identify the key knowledge and skills that the children will be taught.
Assessment, at the end of each unit, pupils will create their own knowledge organiser to identify the key vocabulary, skills and knowledge they have learnt during the unit. These knowledge organisers are then used to assess progress against the national curriculum statements.
When designing and making, the children are taught to:
• use research and develop design criteria to inform the design of innovative, functional, appealing products that are fit for purpose, aimed at particular individuals or groups.
• generate, develop, model and communicate their ideas through discussion, annotated sketches, cross-sectional diagrams, prototypes, pattern pieces and computer-aided design.
• select from and use a wider range of tools and equipment to perform practical tasks (for example, cutting, shaping, joining and finishing, as well as chopping and slicing) accurately.
• select from and use a wider range of materials, ingredients and components, including construction materials, textiles and ingredients, according to their functional properties, aesthetic qualities and, where appropriate, taste.
• investigate and analyse a range of existing products.
• evaluate their ideas and products against their own design criteria and consider the views of others to improve their work.
• understand how key events and individuals in design and technology have helped shape the world.
• apply their understanding of how to strengthen, stiffen and reinforce more complex structures.
• understand and use mechanical systems in their products.
• understand and use electrical systems in their products.
• apply their understanding of computing to program, monitor and control their products
• Understand some of the ways that food can be processed and the effect of different cooking practices (including baking and grilling).
Key skills and key knowledge for D and T have been mapped across the school to ensure progression between year groups. The context for the children’s work in Design and Technology is also well considered and children learn about real life structures and the purpose of specific examples, as well as developing their skills throughout the programme of study. Design and technology lessons are also taught as a block so that children’s learning is focused throughout each unit of work.
We ensure the children:
• develop the creative, technical and practical expertise needed to perform everyday tasks confidently and to participate successfully in an increasingly technological world
• build and apply a repertoire of knowledge, understanding and skills in order to design and make high-quality prototypes and products for a wide range of users and critique, evaluate and test their ideas and products and the work of others
• understand and apply the principles of nutrition and learn how to cook. Children will design and make a range of products. A good quality finish will be expected in all design and activities made appropriate to the age and ability of the child
Children 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 well-being of the nation.