Design and Technology


Intent, Implementation and Impact at Arnside National C of E School 

 

Intent 

Design and Technology teaches pupils how the world works and how things are made.  It encourages them to think differently and be creative.  Design and technology lessons give the pupils opportunities to explore ideas and to design and make things that solve problems.  They need to learn to use tools and equipment to create their designs and also how to use a range of materials.   

We aim to give pupils the tools, knowledge and experiences to turn their ideas into reality.  Instead of saying why? We want them to say why not?  We want our young designers, engineers and technologists to constantly ask that question, to think differently and to find solutions to problems.  Through our curriculum, we aim to inspire pupils and spark their imagination.  This may lead some children to pursue a career in the creative, engineering and manufacturing sectors.  Whilst not all children will follow a career path in these sectors, design and technology equips all children with important life skills and personal qualities, such as, teamwork, resourcefulness and risk-taking. 

 

Implementation 

At Arnside National C of E School, all learning in design and technology is reinforced by the successful application of knowledge, skills and understanding in many different contexts.  Our design and technology curriculum provides lots of opportunities for literacy, art and design, numeracy, computing skills and scientific knowledge to be practically applied.  It encourages children to work together in groups to try things and to develop ideas about how things are made by making and evaluating the things they design.  Through the process of being creative and solving problems in different ways pupils are taking risks and not being afraid of getting things wrong. 

Design and technology is taught throughout the year all classes cover three units, one each term. 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, their homes, school and the wider environment).  Over the two- and three-year curriculum cycles the children will cover all areas of design and technology; food, textiles, structures, mechanisms, electronics and woodwork. 

When designing and making, the children are taught to: 

Design 

  • use research and develop design criteria to inform the design of innovative, functional, appealing products that are fit for purpose, and 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. 

Make 

  • 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. 

Evaluate 

  • 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. 

Develop, Use and Apply Technical Knowledge 

  • 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 design and technology 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.  At times, design and technology lessons are also taught as a block so that pupils’ learning is focused throughout each unit of work. 

Each new unit of work begins with a recap of the previous related knowledge from previous units taught in the current year and over previous years.  This helps pupils to retrieve what they have learnt in the earlier sequence of the programme of study, and ensures that new knowledge is taught in the context of previous learning to promote a shift in long-term memory.  Key vocabulary for the new topic is also introduced as part of this ‘unit introduction’.  This provides definitions and accompanying visuals for each word to ensure accessibility to all.  This approach also means that children are able to understand the new vocabulary when it is used in teaching and learning activities and apply it themselves when they approach their work. 

Once children know the new vocabulary for the unit and how it relates to previous learning, the pupils are asked what they already know specifically about the new topic.  This provides the teacher with an insight into the children’s ‘starting points’ for the topic, to enable the use of assessment to inform planning.  At the end of the topic, there is a review of the key knowledge and vocabulary.  The teacher is then able to consolidate any of the key knowledge which is identified at this part of the process as not yet being secure. 

 

Impact 

We ensure that the 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 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 it’s impact on daily life and the wider world.  

 

Design and Technology