Design and Technology Rationale
The teaching of Design and Technology at Gilmour Infants aims to inspire pupils to design and make purposeful products that solve real and relevant problems in a variety of contexts. The Design and Technology curriculum provides pupils with the necessary skills, knowledge and technical vocabulary to successfully complete their learning objectives. Design and Technology fosters an entrepreneurial spirit offering pupils practical knowledge and skills that can be applied in real life contexts throughout their school life and beyond.
In the Foundation Stage children access Design and Technology through the Early Learning Goals of Expressive Arts and Design (Exploring and Using Media and Materials) and Understanding the World (Technology). Planning ensures that children are encouraged to think imaginatively and use what they have learnt about media and materials in original ways, thinking about their uses and purposes. They safely use and explore a variety of materials, tools and techniques to experiment with design, texture, form and function.
These skills are built upon in Key Stage 1 where children enjoy designing and making products for a specific purpose. In Year 1 children begin to understand and use mechanical systems to create moving pictures as an accompaniment to their wonderful story telling! They apply the principles of nutrition and healthy eating to design and prepare simple, delicious dishes for their peers, including lots of fruit and vegetables. They also design and make their own kites using a range of tools and equipment, selecting materials according to their functional and aesthetic properties.
In Year 2 children further develop their construction skills to design and create their own wheeled vehicles applying their knowledge of vehicle parts and functions. Their knowledge and application of nutrition and healthy eating is built upon by designing and making healthy pizzas using combinations of ingredients. They also develop their cutting and sewing skills by designing and making their own delightful Christmas decorations using textiles. As part of the overall process children in Key Stage 1 evaluate their finished products at the end of each unit to reflect upon what went well and what could be improved. These considerations are then applied to help them improve their next project.
At Gilmour Infants Design and Technology follows the National Curriculum programme of study for Key Stage 1, and this is backed up by the Plan Bee scheme of work which ensures full coverage of all objectives i.e. designing, making, evaluating, technical knowledge and cooking & nutrition. This includes medium-term planning for each unit of work as well as individual lesson plans. The medium term plans provide details for each unit of work, identifying learning objectives and outcomes as well as suggested activities and resources. Individual lesson plans are provided for each lesson and these are adapted by class teachers as appropriate. A long-term curriculum map sets out the units covered in each year group across the year.
The teaching of subject specific vocabulary is an integral part of each lesson to ensure that children’s knowledge and learning is both accurate and meaningful. Key skills and knowledge are built upon from Year 1 to 2 ensuring that all aspects of the Key Stage 1 curriculum are covered before entering Key stage 2. Within each unit of work there are opportunities for challenging more able children and units are accessible for all children regardless of individual needs or ability. Design and Technology is taught in each year group through one unit per term in a two-week block to ensure that knowledge and skills are embedded effectively, and projects have been selected to challenge and inspire pupils as well as to link to other subjects in the curriculum where possible.
A variety of teaching and learning styles are used in Design and Technology lessons and activities are differentiated appropriately according to the needs of each child. Teachers ensure that the relevant subject-specific vocabulary is taught related to each topic, and that this vocabulary is applied, along with children’s knowledge and understanding, when developing ideas, designing and making products and then evaluating them. This is achieved through a mixture of whole-class teaching and practical individual and group activities. During lessons children are given the opportunity both to work on their own and collaborate with others; and learning is shared through class discussions. Children critically evaluate existing products, their own work and that of others. They have access to a range of materials and resources, including ICT. Working walls and class floor-books display the learning journey, and work is recorded in an individual work-book where children have access to key vocabulary relating to each topic.
Design and Technology is assessed using ‘I can…’ assessment sheets with statements taken directly from the National Curriculum Programme of study. As each unit of work is covered, the related intended learning is considered, recognising children who are working at or beyond the expected level for Key Stage 1, as well as identifying children who need support.
Monitoring for Design and Technology includes lesson observations and/or learning walks, pupil voice interviews, book monitoring and a portfolio of children’s work to ensure full coverage of curriculum content and quality of children’s learning. This information is then used to inform further curriculum developments and provision.