DESIGN AND TECHNOLOGY (D&T) AT ROBIN HOOD
Design and Technology at Robin Hood Primary School helps to develop children’s skills and knowledge in numerous areas of the curriculum. It encourages children to embrace their creativity and also links well to subjects such as Science, Mathematics, computing and art and design. Design and Technology ultimately gives the opportunity to develop skills, knowledge and understanding of designing and making functional products.
Through D&T we encourage children from a young age to think about and engage in designing, building structures, developing mechanisms and discover a range of materials and mediums, including food, thus building up critical life skills. Through design and technology, we encourage problem solving as well as working safely and confidently in different environments. It encourages children to actively evaluate both their own and their peers’ work and strive for high standards. As a school, we believe it is vital to nurture creativity and allow children to express themselves through different forms.
THE INTENT OF OUR DESIGN AND TECHNOLOGY CURRICULUM
At Robin Hood Primary School design and technology is fully inclusive. We base most of our planning on the Plan Bee scheme of work which differentiates for all ages and abilities. Our aims are to: fulfil the requirements of the National Curriculum for design and technology, and provide a broad and balanced curriculum regardless of age, gender or ability. Design and Technology at our school helps to develop children’s skills and knowledge in numerous areas of the curriculum. It encourages children to embrace their creativity and also links well to subjects such as Science, Mathematics, computing and art and design.
Our intent is to provide the opportunity for children to learn and play whilst applying learnt skills and to develop new ones. DT is inspiring and practical and engages both / all genders and gives them the ingenuity to produce products for a purpose. It encourages pupils to ‘think outside the box’ and encourages both working as an individual but also as a team too.
Our intent is to provide the children with different strategies to make their designs and models more practical and structures more stable. They learn how different mechanisms work or electrics and batteries are used in their designs. They will also link their maths skills into using computer programming to control a product.
By learning through experience they will pick up different terminology and therefore become more articulate about the skills used and the methods applied. They will be able to develop their vocabulary and discuss the elements and features of different products they have made and materials they will use in the future.
The aims of teaching design and technology in our school are:
- Develop creative, technical and imaginative thinking in children and to develop confidence to participate successfully in an increasingly technological world. It enables children to understand how everyday things work.
- Encourage children to select appropriate tools and techniques when making a product, and stay safe whilst doing so.
- Understand the process of making things and appreciate their value to our industry and economy
- Enjoy their learning and want to share their experiences with their family and friends because they are proud of what they have achieved
- Be self-analytical and be able to give advice and feedback personally and to their peers
- To understand the importance of nutrition and why a healthy, balanced diet is so important.
- Understand how key events and individuals in design and technology have helped shape the world.
Embedded in our curriculum is the exploration of the work of designers and artists from a vast variety of backgrounds and circumstances. Children learn about key figures and their design work and become increasingly more familiar with designers from around the world as they progress through school..
We encourage the children to showcase their new found expertise in the form of an art gallery. This encourages them to speak productively and positively about the work they have produced. We believe cultural awareness is developed at a young age through creating, investigating, making and doing.
HOW OUR DESIGN AND TECHNOLOGY CURRICULUM IS IMPLEMENTED
At Robin Hood Primary School, we split the terms between DT and Art and have full drop down days, with subjects alternating each half term. The time dedicated to DT ensures that each topic can be delivered to a high standard and children can create important and useful products.
To ensure high standards of teaching and learning in design and technology, we ensure DT is taught as part of a termly topic, focusing on knowledge and skills stated in the National Curriculum. At Robin Hood we ensure that design and technology is given the same importance as the core subjects, and as a result follow a scheme set out by Plan Bee – which covers every aspect of design technology in every year group.
Through a variety of creative and practical activities, we teach the knowledge, understanding and skills needed to engage in a formulaic process - planning, designing and making.
Each year group focuses on three topics throughout the year and each topic will focus on a separate set of skills. As children progress through the school, they are presented with opportunities to develop these skills, as similar topics are revisited and built upon.
In Early Years, the children develop essential basic skills in design and technology which prepares them for their transition into Year 1. This is by the teacher creating many opportunities for the children to carry out D&T related activities across all areas of learning and in areas of provision – both indoor and outdoor.
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 competently and appropriately, which incorporates both fine and gross motor skills
- Build and construct with a wide range of objects, selecting appropriate resources and adapting their work when necessary.
- Select the correct tools for the task in hand and use them appropriately.
- From Year 1 upwards, the children will engage in three DT units a year which will involve the children exploring, researching, designing, making, and evaluating.
The children will explore products linked to their project. They will do this by:
- Assessing the material/s that have been used to make it,
- Looking at the different features of the product.
- Establishing how the product is constructed, and assembled, and analysing if it is fit for purpose.
- Discussing what could be done to improve this product
The children will carry out research regarding the product that they are going to make so that they can use this research to support the design of their product.
Technical Knowledge / Skill
Children will be expected to apply their understanding of how to strengthen and reinforce more complex structures to enable them to be more stable. Throughout the years they will develop their use of mechanical systems in their designs and understand and use electrical systems if needed. By the end of Year 6 they should be able to apply their understanding of computing to program, monitor and control their products.
The children will draw/sketch their design and annotate this with information about their design such as, what features they have included in their design. They will research and develop their ideas to ensure the design is innovative, functional, and appealing for their target audience they will be expected to communicate their ideas through discussion and drawings
Children will select from and use a wider range of tools and equipment to create their practical tasks. They will have researched and sourced their materials prior to the making of their model.
The children will not only evaluate the effectiveness of their product but also the skills that they applied. They will compare their design to those already on the market and therefore evaluate their ideas and products against their own design criteria. They will decide if their product is functional and practical for the needs addressed in the designing stage.
THE IMPACT OF OUR DESIGN AND TECHNOLOGY CURRICULUM
Within design and technology, we encourage children to embrace the technological changes in society through time. We aim to encourage children to become creative problem-solvers, both as individuals and as part of a team.
Through the study of design and technology, children combine practical skills with an understanding of aesthetics, practicality, and desirable goods as well as of functions and industrial practices. We encourage children to reflect on and evaluate present and past design and technology, its uses and its impact, looking at past and present designers.
Children learn not only how to take risks, but they become resourceful, innovative, and are full of wonder and self-belief. High-quality design and technology education makes an essential contribution to the creativity, culture, wealth and well-being of the nation.
Each topic ends with all children creating a final product; these products are a fantastic way for children to demonstrate the skills they have learnt, and an achievement that all children, teachers, parents and carers are proud of.
Every lesson builds on the child’s previous learning and the skills taught throughout school are progressive and differentiated – depending on age and ability. We encourage the children to talk about what they have enjoyed / found difficult / have felt proud of throughout each topic – we ensure that we listen to the children’s voice and evaluate each topic at the end of each term by liaising with children and teachers.
DESIGN AND TECHNOLOGY CULTURAL CAPITAL
Cultural capital is embedded in our curriculum. It is engrained with the exploration of the work of designers from a vast spectrum of backgrounds, genders, ethnicities and beliefs. Cultural awareness is developed through creating, investigating, making and doing. This journey gives our students a voice to their thoughts and feelings about and responses to the world around them.
At Robin Hood Primary it is essential that children are able to experience high quality Design and Technology experiences and they can answer some fundamental questions about diverse cultures and how designs can be aesthetically pleasing. Design and technology creates a sense of awe and wonder and is developed from a young age – even though the toys the children play with. Through teaching, we provide children with the opportunity to discuss choices we make and the effect they have on the world around us. It helps them to become self-reflective and analytical of their own and their peer’s designs, whilst also showing respect, admiration and understanding.
As a school, we believe it is vital to nurture creativity and allow children to express themselves through different forms.