The Woodfield Design Technology Curriculum
At Woodfield, we believe that design technology (DT) is an exciting, practical subject which enables children to use their creativity and reasoning to solve problems in a range of contexts. DT encourages children to see everything around them that is man-made as a designed object and to consider how designers have created objects with the user and purpose in mind. DT draws on other areas of the curriculum and gives children excellent opportunities to apply their learning, e.g. careful measuring of axels when making a vehicle, or choosing suitable waterproof materials to make a rain shelter.
Through the DT curriculum at Woodfield we want all children to be have the opportunity to work practically with a range of tools, materials and techniques. We include opportunities to solve problems in all areas of the subject: food, textiles and mechanisms (structures, levels & sliders, wheels & axles). Our DT curriculum encourages children to consider the user and purpose of their items each and every time they design a product. Whether they are designing for themselves, another real user, e.g. a parent/sibling, or a fictional user, e.g. Baby Bear, they consider what the needs of the user are and how their products need to match the user’s needs.
We plan for children to experience both pre-planned design and iterative design processes and, as a result of all of this, children are prepared for future stages of learning where they will again meet, and build upon, each of these areas.
Throughout all of the DT curriculum, children are expected to use the ‘Learning Powers’. For example, they need to work co-operatively when exploring different ways to join materials to find a way that makes a stable structure. Every problem they solve in DT requires them to be curious and use their reasoning skills and, when they come up against challenges, they will need to be resilient until they solve the problem. The ‘Learning Powers’ are very useful learning tools for all children in DT and their use encourages the children to be free thinking, creative, independent learners. We endeavour to ensure that the DT curriculum we provide inspires children to be excited about design technology, curious about the designed world and enthusiastic problem solvers who use their ideas and resources in a creative, innovative ways.
The DT curriculum at Woodfield follows the National Curriculum but we have also decided to enhance this and include work about the preparation and creation of food dishes in Year one and in Year Two; we believe that this is an essential part of everyday life and want children to develop a good understanding of healthy eating from a very young age.
Planning for DT is guided using long term plans and teachers are able to pitch the DT experience correctly using progression grid documents.
Throughout the DT process, 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 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, prototypes, pattern pieces and drawing and labelling.
• 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 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.
- To build structures, exploring how they can be made stronger, stiffer and more stable
- To explore and use mechanisms [for example, levers, sliders, wheels and axles], in their products.
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 mostly taught as a block so that children’s learning is focused throughout each unit of work.
Special Educational Needs and Design Technology
Effective quality first teaching is the key to enabling all children to participate and develop their Design Technology knowledge and skills. Differentiation within lessons is a vital component to ensure that a balance of support and challenge is achieved by all learners.
Challenge and support specific to computing may include:
- Providing practical support to scaffold activities
- Pre-teaching of the relevant vocabulary
- Providing visual clues
Pupils not secure within a sequence of lessons or a skill taught are supported through differentiation of support given. Where appropriate the level of challenge is also increased through questioning or skill for those pupils requiring it.
The long term plans and progression documents ensure that the Government recommendations for coverage are being taught across the school and that progression is demonstrated.
The cross curricular DT curriculum provides inspiration so children are excited about the subject and become enthusiastic problem solvers who use their ideas and resources in a creative, innovative way. As designers’ children will develop skills and attributes they can use beyond school and into adult hood.
Files have been created for each element of DT: mechanisms, textiles, structures and food. These provide all staff with suggested practical activities, design pro-forma, planning and photographs of the work produced by each year group and enable staff to confidently teach each element. They also support new members of staff.
End of Key Stage One Expectations
By the end of Key Stage 1, as designers, children will be able to:
- Design purposeful, functional, appealing products for themselves and other users based on design criteria.
- Select from and use a wide range of materials, tools and equipment.
- Evaluate their ideas and products against design criteria.
- Build structures, exploring how they can be made stronger, stiffer and more stable and explore and use mechanisms in their products.