Design and Technology is an inspiring, rigorous and practical subject. At Springfield, we value the creative curriculum and believe that it can have a powerful and positive effect on children, helping them to become confident, creative learners who are able to express their individual interests, thoughts and ideas.
We encourage the 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 aim to make links to designs and designers throughout history, providing opportunities for children to critically reflect upon and evaluate others designs and the overall effectiveness of the product before evaluating their own. As pupils progress, we support them to be able to think critically and develop a more rigorous understanding of design and technology.
Through DT work in the classroom, the children at Springfield 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 foundation stage through to year six and the children have the opportunity to revisit skills from previous years before learning new ones. We encourage children to express individuality in their work and to keep their own personalised sketchbooks where they can explore ideas, be inventive and take risks. When children leave Springfield, we expect them to have a wide range of well-developed skills in the six areas of our curriculum that they can then build on and develop further as they continue in their education.
How we plan for and teach DT
At Springfield, DT is taught every other half term with key skills alternating in each year group. Teachers plan sequences of lessons across the half term that will build on and develop the children’s skills culminating in a final piece.
The skills and knowledge that children will develop throughout each DT topic are mapped across each year group and across the school to ensure progression. The teaching of DT across the school follows the National Curriculum through the use of Design and Technology Association’s ‘Projects On A Page’ documents. Children design products with a purpose in mind and an intended user of the products. Food technology is implemented across the school with children developing an understanding of where food comes from, the importance of a varied and healthy diet and how to prepare this.
The teaching of DT follows the design, make and evaluate cycle, with technical knowledge and relevant vocabulary shared at each stage. The design process is always linked to real life, relevant contexts to give meaning to the learning. When making their products, the children are given choice and a wide range of tools and materials to choose from. When evaluating, the children are taught to evaluate their own products against the initial design criteria to see how well it has met the needs and wants of the intended user and to identify any changes that could be made.
How we evaluate learning in DT
The impact of our DT curriculum can clearly been seen in the children’s sketchbooks which pass on with them to the following year group. At the beginning of each unit, a detailed overview outlines the main learning objective alongside the skills that the children will build on and those which will follow. The opportunity to evaluate and reflect on the learning is planned for towards the end of the unit to enable the children to see how their learning is progressing and where they need to take it next. On completion of the unit of work, key assessment targets are identified and the children are able to self-assess against them. Class teachers then use the children’s research and preparatory work, along with the final piece in order to make a judgement as to whether each child is working towards, at or above the expected level.
For more detailed information about DT learning in each year group, take a look at our DT subject overview here: DT at Springfield