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St Swithuns CE Primary School

Design and Technology

Intent

At St Swithun’s Primary School, the intent of our Design and Technology curriculum is to develop our children’s curiosity to solve problems and generate creative solutions. Through exposure to a wide range of products, children take on the role of developer, evaluator and critic, exploring how products can be developed or adapted for different users as well as creating and testing prototypes to give purpose to projects. Children need a hands-on approach that also gives access to other areas of the curriculum such as mathematics, science, engineering, computing and art.

STEM disciplines are considered key to this subject and, at its core, children will appreciate the relevance of designing ‘something’ for ‘somebody’ for ‘some purpose’.  

We aim for our children to become resourceful, innovative and capable citizens. They will be able to evaluate past and present design and technology, develop a critical understanding of the impact design and technology has on daily life and develop skills, knowledge and language so that they are able to contribute successfully to an increasingly technological world. 

Implementation

At St Swithun’s design and technology is taught in every year group as part of a termly topic through projects which focus on both knowledge and skills.

Through the support of the Design and Technology Association (DATA) scheme, Projects on a Page, children will experience an array of different progressive and linkable skills and techniques over the course their time at St Swithun’s. This ensures that children are constantly building upon previous learning and are able to expand their knowledge and understanding of problem solving, designing and constructing different products. Children will complete at least 1 of these projects a year, either having one lesson a week or a two to three day block to complete each project so children are fully immersed in the design-make-evaluate process.

Children are given a variety of real-life products to explore, expanding their knowledge of how they look and work, allowing children to evaluate products against their target market and purpose.  For each project, children follow the design-make and evaluate sequence, allowing them time to reflect upon their designs and think of ways that their products could be improved or adapted. Teachers support and model increasingly progressive construction and evaluation skills to enable children to create products of a high-quality throughout school.

Children are given a design brief to put the need for the product in context. Where possible, teachers link this to another area of their learning to inspire children’s imagination and eagerness to create and problem solve.

Safety is explained and modelled at the start of and throughout each product including food hygiene precautions.

In Saplings, the children develop essential basic skills in design and technology which prepares them for their transition into Year 1. Teachers create many opportunities to carry out design and technology related activities across all areas of learning. By the end of Early Years, it is expected that the children will be able to:

  • construct with a purpose in mind.
  • use simple tools and techniques appropriately.
  • build and construct with a range of objects, adapting their work when necessary.

From Year 1 upwards, the children will engage in three D&T units a year, which involve the children exploring, researching, designing, making and evaluating as well as improving their technical knowledge/skills. 

During Year 6, all children will take part in a food technology project over 3 weeks, focussing on hygiene, nutrition and cooking skills.

Design and Technology Milestones 

Impact

Through our design and technology curriculum, we strive to prepare children to take part in the development of tomorrow’s rapidly changing world. We aim to encourage children to become creative problem-solvers, both as individuals and as part of a team.

By the time children leave St Swithun’s School they will:

  • have fostered enjoyment and satisfaction in designing and making ‘something’, for ‘somebody’ for a ‘purpose’.
  • be able to talk about how things work and to develop their technical knowledge.
  • be able to apply a growing body of knowledge, understanding and skills in order to design and make prototypes and products for a wide range of users.
  • have an understanding of the cross-curricular elements within design and technology and the importance of how skills learnt in other areas of the curriculum can aid the design and make process, as well as in future life and learning.
  • select appropriate tools and techniques when making a product, whilst following safe procedures.
  • have developed an understanding of technological processes and products, their manufacture and their contribution to our society.
  • be able to critique, evaluate and test their ideas and products, and the work of others.
  • understand and apply the principles of nutrition and to learn how to cook.
  • understand how key events and individuals in design and technology have helped shape the world.