"Design is a funny word. Some people think design means how it looks. But of course, if you look deeper, it’s really how it works."
(Steve Jobs, co-founder of Apple, Inc.)
At Marden Vale, we aim to provide all children with a broad and balanced curriculum which prepares them for life beyond primary education. 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. Design and Technology is an inspiring, rigorous and practical subject. It can be found in many of the objects children use each day and is a part of children’s immediate experiences. Design and Technology encourages children to learn to think and intervene creatively to solve problems both as individuals and as members of a team.
The Design and Technology curriculum combines skills, knowledge, concepts and values to enable children to tackle real problems. It can improve analysis, problem solving, practical capability and evaluation skills. We aim to, wherever possible, link work to other disciplines such as mathematics, science, computing and art. The children are encouraged to become innovators and risk-takers. High-quality Design and Technology education makes an essential contribution to the creativity, culture, wealth and well-being of the nation.
The National Curriculum for Design and Technology aims to ensure that all pupils:
• 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;
• critique, evaluate and test their ideas and products and the work of others; and
• understand and apply the principles of nutrition and learn how to cook.
We teach Design and Technology in EYFS as an integral part of the topic work covered during the year. Ongoing design and make opportunities are planned from the objectives set out in the Early Year Framework, which underpin the curriculum planning for children aged 3 - 5. Expressive Arts and Design ensures children use what they have learnt about materials in original ways, thinking about uses and purposes. They represent their own ideas, thoughts and feelings through Design and Technology activities.
- safely use and explore a variety of materials, tools and techniques,
- recognise that a range of technology is used in places such as homes and schools,
- know the importance for good health of physical exercise, and a healthy diet, and talk about ways to keep healthy and safe.
Within key stage 1, we aim to develop design, creativity and problem solving through purposeful design projects which promote the children’s skills in developing as individuals and as part of a team. Furthermore, Key Stage 1 is a vital time to develop children’s understanding of the process designers engage in to ensure their finished product is effective. Children are introduced to important figures in design & technology and discuss their impact upon the world. Key stage 1 also aims to promote in children a clear understanding of where food comes from.
Within key stage 2, key events and individuals that have influenced the world of design & technology are covered in more depth and sophistication to ensure children can observe the wider context of design & technology. The use of computer programmes and applications are also a key focus to be utilised by children in their design of their products.
The Design and Technology curriculum at Marden Vale is based upon the 2014 Primary National Curriculum in England, which provides a broad framework and outlines the knowledge and skills taught in each Key Stage. Teachers, under the guidance of the D&T leader, plan lessons for their class using our Design and Technology Curriculum and Progression Document (written by D&T subject leaders from different DSAT primary schools). Teachers use this document to plan their D&T lessons suitable for their classes/year groups. For D&T, teachers are planning and delivering lessons around the cycle of:
- Technical Knowledge
- Cooking and Nutrition
When designing and making, children at Marden Vale will:
- use research and develop design criteria to design for a purpose and communicate their ideas through a range of mediums;
- use a wider range of tools and equipment with accuracy and use a wider range of materials and components according to their qualities; and
- evaluate their ideas and products against their own design criteria and consider the views of others to improve their work.
Through this process, the aim is to develop the pupils’ technical knowledge and vocabulary in relation to structural design, mechanical and electrical systems, the integration of technology and food production and nutrition.
Assessment of children's learning in Design Technology is an ongoing monitoring of children's understanding, knowledge and skills by the class teacher, throughout lessons. This assessment is then used to inform differentiation, support and challenge required by the children.
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.
Design Technology is also monitored by the subject leader throughout the year in the form of sketchbook monitoring, looking at outcomes and pupil interviews to discuss their learning and understanding and establishing the impact of the teaching taking place.
At Marden Vale, pupils will
- develop essential skills including behaviour, safety and independence;
- be better able to work across all subjects through skills learned through problem solving;
- develop understanding that will make better and more informed choices through looking at products;
- understand the basics of joinery and structures;
- have an improved knowledge of career options that relate to DT; and
- learn how DT can be useful in any career option.