Design & Technology
At Thanet Primary we are all designers!
Design and Technology Curriculum Intent
Design and Technology encourages children to learn to think and intervene creatively to solve problems both as individuals and as members of a team. At Thanet, we encourage children to use their creativity and imagination to design and make products that solve real and relevant problems within a variety of contexts, considering their own and others’ needs, wants and values. We believe that high-quality design and technology lessons will inspire children to think independently, innovatively and develop creative, procedural and technical understanding.
We aim to, wherever possible, link work to other disciplines such as mathematics, science, engineering, computing and art. The children are also given opportunities to reflect upon and evaluate past and present design technology, its uses and its effectiveness and are encouraged to become innovators and risk-takers.
Within each unit of design and technology, children are taught and immersed in four phases of learning; Research, Design, Make, Evaluate. Alongside this, children develop the technical knowledge required within different elements of design, such as sewing and the knowledge they require to make healthy choices when cooking and eating.
Through design and technology work in the classroom, children at Thanet have the opportunity to develop their skills in mechanisms, structures, textiles, mechanical systems, electrical systems and cooking and nutrition. These areas are developed continuously throughout the school from The Early Years Foundation Stage through to Year Six and the children have the opportunity to revisit skills from previous years before learning new ones.
Technical knowledge and relevant vocabulary is taught through every unit and revisited as children progress through the school. This ensures that children gain an understanding and can deploy abstract design terms, such as 'prototype' and 'specification' within their work.
Design and Technology Curriculum Implementation
From the beginnings of design and technology teaching in our EYFS, we endeavour to instil a sense of creativity in our pupils, allowing their understanding to develop through organised play in a creative area. They safely use and explore a variety of media, materials, tools and techniques, experimenting with colour, design, texture, form and function.
Design and technology lessons are rich in resources, vocabulary, questioning and content, enabling children to develop mastery of the aims of the National Curriculum. Units of design and technology are further enhanced by focus weeks and days when children are encouraged to master practical skills, design, make, evaluate and improve their creations.
Cross-curricular outcomes in design and technology are specifically planned for and these are indicated on the knowledge organiser for each unit of work. Real-life problems are always used as a stimulus for design lessons, helping to foster the skills required for achievement in later life.
Rationale for sequencing in Design and Technology
The DT curriculum at Thanet has been developed so that children gain the knowledge and skills in design, making, evaluating and technical knowledge through the four distinct concepts. These are Food Technology, Structures, Mechanisms and Textiles. All units of work from Year 1 to Year 6 are linked to one or more of these concepts ensuring knowledge and skills build progressively as children move through the school. Knowledge is taught and reinforced consistently and all units build on previous learning taught in earlier year groups.
Children in EYFS develop practical skills and techniques using a range of materials. As children progress into Year 1 they learn to identify and sort foods into different groups. Children build on their prior knowledge of cutting, peeling and chopping to create a simple cold dish safely and hygienically. In Year 2, children further explore the concept of a balanced diet and how we should eat five portions of fruit and vegetables a day. As children move into KS2, pupils discover when and where fruits and vegetables are grown and learn about seasonality as they now begin to prepare and cook healthy food. In Year 4, pupils learn to adapt recipes for nutritional value and look at budgeting to ensure their creation is affordable. This is extended further in Year 5 whereby pupils adapt a recipe to create a healthy meal before creating a healthy, three-course meal within a set budget in Year 6.
Food Technology is taught in every year group due to the context of our schools and community. Understanding healthy eating and nutritional value is seen as essential knowledge for our children due to increasing obesity rates locally.
In Year 1 children begin their learning journey into developing structures by first finding out how to create a stable structure and gain an understanding of how structures can be made stronger and stiffer. This knowledge is extended in KS2 with an exploration of how shape can strengthen more complex structures for a set purpose e.g. a building that can survive an earthquake and a bridge that can take an increasingly heavy weighted object. Through gaining knowledge in this concept, children are able to evaluate, refine and develop their ideas.
Children begin by learning about simple mechanisms such sliders to create movement in Year 1. As they progress into Year 2, children learn the terms: pivot, lever and linkage; pupils design a linkage mechanism to develop a toy. These initial ideas and concepts are further developed in KS2 through units based on pivots and cam mechanisms.
Children in EYFS experiment and play with threads, fibres and fabrics, allowing children to select their own materials for a specific purpose. At the beginning of Year 2, pupils are introduced to sewing. They make their own template, accurately cut their fabric and sew a basic running stitch to create simple puppets. This basic knowledge is built on in Year 3, as pupils move onto cross stitch and appliqué. By Year 5, pupils are challenged to apply their prior knowledge and skills to design a waistcoat using patterns and a range of sewing and decorating techniques.