Design and Technology (DT)
At St Joseph’s Catholic Primary School we fully adhere to the aims of the National Curriculum and are committed to providing a high-quality Design and Technology (DT) curriculum for all our pupils. We want our pupils to develop a sense of awe and wonder about the subject and to recognise its importance in our everyday lives. We hope they will develop the creative, technical and practical expertise needed to perform everyday tasks confidently and to participate successfully in an increasingly technological world. We want all our pupils to build and apply a repertoire of knowledge, understanding and skills in order to design and make high-quality prototypes and products for a wide range of users. They will be provided with opportunities to plan, critique, evaluate and test their ideas and products and the work of others. Also to understand and apply the principles of nutrition and learn how to cook. We believe that all pupils, regardless of their abilities, should have the opportunity to access a high quality DT curriculum and be provided with a rich and varied learning experience. We feel that in doing this, it benefits the pupils in two ways: it gives our pupils the knowledge and skills to inspire and motivate them for their further studies beyond Key Stage Two and it helps to form part of their long term memory so they can retrieve and build on their understandings over time.
At St. Joseph’s we use the National Curriculum’s statutory requirements as the basis and drive for our medium and long term plans. Class Teachers are responsible for the delivery and planning of their DT units and lessons which are overseen by the Leader of the Arts. Class teachers plan and deliver DT in a creative and progressive way, making links with other subjects when and where appropriate, e.g. English, Mathematics, History, Geography and especially Art and Design.
During the planning process our Class Teachers also use our DT progression in skills document which has been created by our school’s Leader of the Arts. This document helps to develop the appropriate artistic skills over time and ensures consistency across the years and key stages. Skills are revisited throughout the year to ensure our pupils consolidate, embed and develop these over time. The progression in skills document is used during the planning and implementation stage, alongside the statutory framework, to provide our pupils with the right balance of knowledge and skills needed to provide them with a high quality DT curriculum.
We are a member of The Design and Technology Association and make good use of the expertise available through them, by accessing their materials and resources to enhance our pupils’ learning experience.
There are three core activities our pupils engage with in DT in both Key Stages 1 and 2:
- Activities which involve investigating and evaluating existing products
- Focused tasks in which children develop particular aspects of knowledge and skills
- Designing and making activities in which children design and make ‘something’ for ‘somebody’ for ‘some purpose’
In a typical DT lesson, our pupils are provided with time to:
- review and consolidate previous knowledge
- discuss objectives, key vocabulary and success criteria
- identify and develop (build on) their DT knowledge and key skills
- experience an appropriate level of challenge according to their ability
- take part in independent as well as collaborative tasks
- self-evaluate and review their learning and that of others
The impact of our DT curriculum means that, by the end of Key Stage 2, students are able to:
- effectively plan, build, critique and evaluate their own products against design criteria
- use a variety of materials and building techniques within their designs
- work either collaboratively or independently on their projects
- use the skills they have learnt in DT and apply them to their other subjects
- understand the world around, the mechanisms that exist behind a variety of products and their purpose
- express themselves in their designs and in their products
- understand the purpose, use and how to safely use a number of different tools
- use their skills for making and designing within a wide range of purposes
- understand the increasingly technological world around and use it to support them in their work
- investigate and evaluate existing products to help understand how they work and their purpose
- make DT become part of their working memory and long term memory
Although we do not formally assess our pupils in DT, we do evaluate their work within lessons and across units and this information is used to plan subsequent lessons and next steps.
All children will have their work shared with the wider school community throughout the year with the highlight being our exhibition at the end of our Art and Design and Design and Technology week.
Children take part in self and peer assessment exercises as well as receiving verbal feedback from their teacher and may then have time to improve their work as appropriate. This ongoing dialogue supports the development of skills, helping children know what they need to do to improve a technique. Parents receive a summative assessment in their end of year report.
The Leader of the Arts has begun to compile an evidence bank of examples of work across the key stages to demonstrate skill progression across the year groups, to support teachers in their expectations of their class, and to inspire the children by sharing aspirational artistry.
Success is celebrated through class displays, videos of work shared on our school Youtube channel, and an annual whole school exhibition. The exhibition presents finished pieces resulting from our annual Art and Design and Design and Technology week which includes trip to museums.
Teachers are encouraged to take their classes to local museums and galleries for inspiration. This is an additional way to also increase our pupils’ cultural capital.