‘Love your neighbour as yourself’ (Gospel of Mark Chapter 12 verse 31).
Design and Technology (D & T) is an inspiring, rigorous and practical subject. It encourages children to learn to think creatively to solve problems both as individuals and as part of a team. It enables each child to develop spiritually, morally, socially, culturally, physically and intellectually, the possibilities are endless. At St Katherine’s, 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. They acquire a broad range of subject knowledge and draw on disciplines such as science, technology, art, literacy and mathematics. Children will also develop the life skills and knowledge associated with food, nutrition and cookery. They will have 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.
Our children understand how design reflects and shapes our history, and contributes to the culture, creativity and wealth of our nation. It is important that we convey that the effects of design technology have a global impact on our environment and the people, plants and animals that inhabit our Earth. How designers and engineers tackle problems, develop designs, use their knowledge of materials and technology has consequences for generations to come.
Through a broad and balanced design and technology curriculum, children will learn from other cultures, respect diversity, co-operate with one another and appreciate what they have. We achieve this by providing a strong SMSC curriculum, with our curriculum ‘drivers’ (Spirituality, Diversity, Environment, Possibilities) and Christian Values (Friendship, Trust, Thankfulness, Hope, Wisdom, Love, Courage and Koinonia) placed at the heart of all that we do at St Katherine’s. It is paramount that design and technology is purposeful and relevant to all our children.
The teaching of Design and Technology across St Katherine’s follows the National Curriculum and the use of Design and Technology Association's (DATA) 'Projects on a Page' documents to support planning. At St Katherine’s D & T forms an important part of the curriculum and is taught in all year groups through at least one project per term from each strand (Design & Make and Food & Nutrition). These are, taught as a block so that children’s learning is focused throughout each unit of work.
Key skills, knowledge and vocabulary for D.T is mapped across the school to ensure progression between year groups. The aim is to help teachers to plan activities, which build on children's previous learning and to ensure an appropriate level of challenge.
Key Stage 1 & 2
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 work in a range of relevant contexts e.g. home, school, leisure, culture, enterprise, industry and the wider environment.
When designing and making, the children are taught to:
- use research and develop design criteria to inform the design of innovative, functional, appealing products that are fit for purpose, 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
- select from and use a wider range of tools and equipment to perform practical tasks (for example, cutting, shaping, joining and finishing) accurately
- select from and use a wider range of materials and components, including construction materials, textiles and ingredients, according to their functional properties and aesthetic qualities
- 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
- 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
Early Years Foundation Stage (EYFS)
In our Nursery and Reception, we encourage the development of skills; knowledge and understanding that help children make sense of their world. The ‘Characteristics of Effective Learning’ and objectives set out in the EYFS Development Matters document underpin our curriculum from three to 5 years old. This learning forms the foundations for later work in design and technology. These early experiences include:
- asking questions about how things work and why
- using different media and materials to express their own ideas
- using what they have learnt about media and materials in original ways, thinking about form, function and purpose
- making plans and construct with a purpose in mind using a variety of resources
- developing skills to use simple tools and techniques appropriately, effectively and safely
- selecting appropriate resources for a product and adapt their work where necessary
- cooking and preparing food adhering to good health and hygiene routines
We provide our children with a range of experiences that encourage exploration, observation, problem-solving, critical thinking and discussion. These activities, indoors and outdoors, attract the children’s interest and curiosity.
The intended impact of the D & T curriculum at St Katherine’s is that the majority of children in each year group are working at or above the expected level for their age. Throughout the project, the class teacher will continuously assess the children and at the end make a judgement linked to set criteria.
In addition, it is intended that the children:
- are inspired by the D & T curriculum and have a thirst for learning more
- show progression in their skills, knowledge and understanding
- can talk about their learning and use technical vocabulary correctly
- as designers, will develop skills and attributes they can use beyond school and into adulthood
- as chefs, apply the principles of nutrition and healthy eating and understand that cooking is a crucial skill for life