At Neville’s Cross, we recognise the importance of investigating, designing and making in the world around us. We will help our children appreciate that the process of evaluating and adapting is central to good product design. Design technology is a multi-disciplinary subject that applies and enhances skills from other subject areas, as well as developing its own skills, knowledge and attitudes. We will help our children develop practical making skills and technical knowledge and also use creative thinking and problem-solving skills to craft solutions and products.
Our Design technology curriculum is designed with our key curriculum drivers in mind:
Creativity – we aim to foster our children’s natural creativity. We hope they will become creative thinkers who can test out and use their practical knowledge and skills to make useful products. We hope to nurture enjoyment and satisfaction in the creative process and help our children realise that some inspiration comes quickly, some needs persistence and time. We seek to help our children realise that the creativity and innovation of other designers has shaped many everyday products and the world around them.
Well-being – we aim to nurture our children in becoming more resilient in the face of problems, as well as build their understanding of safe practices when using tools and equipment. Design technology’s cycle of ‘investigate, design and make’ explicitly recognises that developing a product involves many cycles of oops a problem, evaluate, adapt, progress. By explicitly teaching about this process, we hope to support our children in approaching challenges with greater resilience.
Our Communities – we aim to develop links with those who design and make within our school and local area. We seek to build awareness of the role of designers and inventors in shaping products and how this impacts our lives and the world around us. We hope to help our children become more informed discerning users of products, beginning to evaluate impacts on themselves and the wider community and world-wide.
Design technology in the Early Years
In the early years, design technology is mainly taught through play, with adults facilitating learning and progress through joining in play as well as adapting available resources. Explicit skills, knowledge and attitudes are thus nurtured in child led play, as well as taught through some adult led activities. The focus in EYFS is, firstly, about developing the practical skills to use certain materials, components and tools and, secondly, about encouraging enjoyment, creativity, problem solving and resilience when making things.
In EYFS our early steps toward design technology include creating with wooden construction, construction kits, card, papers, crates, poles and sheeting, wood, fabric, card and papers, hole punches, pens and paint, scissors, hole punches, paper fasteners, tapes and glue.
Design technology in Key Stage 1 and 2
Design technology is planned to ensure children are able to progressively develop and deepen their knowledge and skills as they move through school. Design technology is taught in projects. These will follow a structure echoing the design, make, evaluate steps in the National Curriculum. Children will be presented with a problem to solve; this problem will identify a user and use. To solve the problem, the children will need to research, design and make something (a functional product). Children will develop their understanding of the iterative process of design. In other words, that design and making inevitably involves a repeated process of investigating, evaluation, testing out and adaptation, for a product to be made and function. This is true for the children’s own products and those of designers, crafters, industry and inventors.
Each project focuses on building specific practical technical skills and areas of knowledge, as well as using specified materials. This will involve explicit teaching and learning of how to safely and effectively use certain tools, techniques, equipment and materials. These skills and aspects of knowledge will then be used by the children as they design, make and evaluate useful products.
At KS1, projects focus on shell structures, slider and lever mechanisms, wheel and axle mechanisms, decorating fabric with stitches, safe tool use, hygienic preparation of fruit and vegetables.
At Lower KS2, projects focus on shell and frame structures, lever and linkage mechanical systems, wheel and axle mechanisms, 2D to 3D fabric using joining stitches, simple electrical circuits and systems, early computer control, safe tool use, hygienic preparation of simple healthy foods.
At Upper KS2, projects focus on shell and frame structures, lever and linkage mechanical systems, mechanical systems using cams, fabric combining different simple shaped pieces, electrical circuits and systems, computer control, safe tool use, hygienic preparation of simple healthy meals influenced by culture and seasonality.
KS1 Design technology MT plans to follow
LKS2 Design technology MT plans to follow
UKS2 Design Technology MT plans
Design technology inherently applies and enhances attitudes, skills and knowledge from other subject areas, doing so in meaningful, practical contexts. Throughout EYFS and across both KS1 and KS2 children will apply things they have learnt subjects such as maths, science, art, personal social emotional health citizenship, computing and physical development.
(For example, measuring, selecting materials based on their properties, making a complete electrical circuit, cutting safely and accurately, knowing which food ingredients are heathy, programming a motor to switch on and off, using vocabulary related to movement and forces, recognising emotions felt during the cycle of designing and adapting and developing resilience.)
Children will become more aware of the role of designers and inventors in creating every-day and one-off products. Through this connection with the wider world, we hope to help our children discuss, reflect and appreciate some impacts that design and products have on their learning, wellbeing, everyday life and world.
In school we seek to forge links with those who design and make within our school and the local and wider community. We offer design and invent themed workshop sessions, where we celebrate designers and inventors, as well as invent and problem solve ourselves.
Children will develop practical technical skills enabling them to use a range of basic tools, techniques, equipment and materials. We hope to inspire them to continue exploring their creativity and practical skills later in life.
We hope to nurture a love of food and cooking, as well as an understanding of the importance of a healthy, varied diet. Learning how to cook is a crucial life skill, allowing us to feed ourselves and others affordably, healthily and deliciously, as well as to be creative and adapt recipes to accommodate preferences.
Children will begin to understand the role of existing designers, innovators, industry, craftspeople and inventors in shaping the products we use and the world we live in. We seek to build confidence in critically evaluating a product, be this something they are making themselves or an existing product.
Most importantly, we want to nurture each child in developing a more resilient, resourceful, reflective, creative, can-do attitude in response to problems. Familiarity with the iterative design process will help a child see small setbacks as an inevitable part of the journey, an indicator of progress. The capacity to evaluate, adapt, persist and be mindful of an end goal will reap rewards in childhood and adult life.