What is taught in Design Technology?

At Poppleton Road, we teach the following aspects of Design and Technology through a range of independent and collaborative learning opportunities for our children:

Design

  • Clearly communicate what the children intend to do and how they are to do it through a variety of ways including: drawing, talking, modelling, using technology, sketching;
  • Solve real problems through the design of purposeful, functional, appealing products based on design criteria and for a given audience;

Make

  • Recognise the importance of choosing the most suitable tools for a task;
  • Make informed, confident choices about the suitability of different materials (including ingredients) to complete different tasks successfully – to fulfil the design criteria;
  • Learn the practical skills necessary to use tools safely and effectively, linked with our ‘Safe’ school rule;

Evaluate

  • Appreciate the value of good design;
  • Discuss their own work and that of others confidently;
  • Evaluate and improve their own work and that of others;
  • Understand how key events and individuals in design and technology have helped shape the world;

Technical Knowledge

  • Apply their knowledge and understanding of structures, mechanical and electrical systems and computing in their products.

How do we teach Design and Technology?

Design and Technology requires pupils to apply knowledge and skills to solve practical problems within a relevant and real life context. We provide our children with the opportunity to experience hands-on learning, incorporating creativity and investigation together to design with intent and purpose. This helps our children to learn practical skills that they will be able to use throughout their lives. Through investigating products and making links with industry, we are committed to teaching the children about how things work and how they are made. Children use their creativity and ingenuity to design products for different users with cross-curricular links, evaluating their finished product. We recognise the close relationship with the STEM subjects of Science, Technology, Engineering and Maths and foster these relationships where possible. We also have links with external providers and visitors, including our school catering company, which inspires our children to become passionate about cooking healthy meals.

When are specific skills and knowledge taught?

Each year group follows our clear ‘Progression of Knowledge and Skills’ planning document for Design and Technology across the year, with termly sequences of lessons. These are either taught in six discrete DT lessons over the half terms in which DT is taught, or blocked out in full DT days. DT projects are often linked to our half termly Geography or History Learning Drivers, and build upon the children’s learning from previous years. Our children’s DT projects are shared and celebrated in the children’s workbooks, Seesaw accounts, displays in school, and in our Class Learning Journey books.

Every class at Poppleton Road cooks at least once each term, sometimes during ‘Stay and learn’ sessions to involve parents too! We strive to foster community links through our DT projects, for example when cooking for the local food bank during the 2021 Lockdown.

Why do we teach Design and Technology?

The different strands of Design and Technology appeal to a range of learning styles and promote independence and healthy life choices for our children. As stated in the National Curriculum, ‘high quality Design and Technology education makes an essential contribution to the creativity, culture, wealth and well-being of the nation’ and so is highly valued in our school. We also believe that promoting a balanced diet and equipping our children with competent cooking skills is essential. As part of our cooking and nutrition education for example, our Pupil Passport states that our children will cook with something that they have planted in their class allotment. Furthermore, we want to ensure that every child is able to prepare a simple and healthy meal by the time they go to secondary school. At Poppleton Road, we want to develop engineers of the future by helping our children to recognise that design is a process involving key transferable skills including investigating, researching and problem-solving. We aim to inspire our pupils to pursue Design and Technology, either though further study or as a future career.