Design & Technology at Hillside
Subject Leader: Miss McCann
Subject Support Coach: Mr Frost
Link Governor: Mr Tunnicliffe
We are determined to stimulate the enthusiasm of every individual at Hillside, developing an enjoyment in learning about products and achieving success in their own creations. Design and Technology gives children the opportunity to develop skills, knowledge and understanding of designing and making products which solve real and relevant problems within a variety of contexts, considering the purpose and intended user. We aim to provide cross-curricular projects which develop knowledge and skills in other curricular areas. We feel it is vital to nurture creativity and innovation through design, and by exploring the designed and made world in which we all live and work
As Design and Technology lead at Hillside Primary, my role is to lead, develop and support DT across the school, to ensure all teachers have the subject knowledge, skills and resources necessary to deliver interesting and challenging projects. Within my role, I am also responsible to ensure that I am equipped to lead the subject effectively and confidently, providing training and support opportunities to staff. As a qualified facilitator, I also have the skills required to ensure that my knowledge is delivered effectively to staff in school. I am continually developing as a confident and knowledgeable subject leader, identifying areas within DT to further improve and am determined to develop a wider range of STEM opportunities and projects across the school.
It is essential that children engage in DT projects that are relevant to their other curriculum learning in a purposeful way, enabling them to design and make products for a purpose and an intended audience to meet a given design brief. Design and Technology at Hillside is taught through: investigate and evaluate activities, focused tasks and design, make and evaluate projects supported by subject specific knowledge and vocabulary, all of which become increasingly challenging as pupil progress through the school. (mapped out on the progression grid).
Curriculum and curriculum design
The objectives for Design and Technology in KS1 and KS2 are clearly set out for each year group in the EYFS Framework and the National Curriculum.
The national curriculum for Design Technology aims to ensure that all pupils:
- develop the creative, technical and practical expertise needed to perform everyday tasks confidently and to participate successfully in an increasingly technological world
- 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
- critique, evaluate and test their ideas and products and the work of others
- understand and apply the principles of nutrition and learn how to cook.
We teach Design and Technology in EYFS as an integral part of the topic work covered during the year. Ongoing design and make opportunities are planned from the objectives set out in the EYFS Framework, which underpin the curriculum planning for children age 3 - 5. Physical Development and Expressive Arts and Design ensures children develop their fine motor skills and use what they have learnt about materials in original ways, thinking about uses and purposes. They represent their own ideas, thoughts and feelings through Design and Technology activities.
The Design Technology curriculum is planned both progressively and through a cross-curricular approach to ensure the children are engaged in purposeful and relevant projects which support and enhance other curriculum areas. The units have been purposefully mapped out throughout KS1 and 2 to ensure the progression and development of skills, knowledge and vocabulary as each child moves through school.
Curricular links with Design Technology
There are many opportunities across all year groups for children to further develop their English skills through their Design and Technology learning. Collaborative learning is an integral part of the way that Design and Technology is taught at Hillside and children are encouraged to ask and answer questions and discuss ideas in pairs, groups and as a whole class, and we also provide opportunities for evaluative feedback to others. Children use their writing skills to write instructions, letters and evaluations related to their completed products.
Maths naturally has clear STEM links, and through their learning, children are using and applying mathematical knowledge in examples such as:
measuring ingredients during food projects, using a range of mathematical equipment to measure when constructing products, understanding the use of shapes within structures and using their knowledge of angles in levers and linkages.
Computing supports our teaching of Design and Technology wherever appropriate, particularly within KS2 during the design process when involved in computer aided design, including 2d and 3d designs on Purple Mash in EYFS and LKS2 and using word in upper KS2. The children use computing in a variety of ways such as research of products and recipes, and to support computer aided design. Programming and control also has clear cross curricular link with computing, when using the crumble controllers to program products.
As part of our curriculum planning, many DT projects now support the scientific understanding and concepts taught within in each year group. Examples of these links include: links with healthy foods when producing food projects, understanding materials when working with structures mechanisms and textiles in KS1. KS2 links include: understanding nutritional value of foods, reversible and irreversible changes and balanced diets during food projects, applying their understanding of circuits during the electrical systems projects and understanding the properties of materials when designing and making structures.
Design and Technology supports SMSC development by:
- Spiritual - allowing pupils the opportunity to exercise imagination, inspiration, intuition and insight through creativity and risk taking in analysing, designing and manufacturing a range of products.
- Moral - it raises awareness of the moral dilemmas by encouraging pupils to value the environment and its natural resources and to consider the environmental impact of everyday products.
- Social - by providing opportunities to work as a team, recognising others’ strengths and leadership qualities and working towards a shared outcome during some units, children develop social skills.
- Cultural - D.T. investigates how different cultures have contributed to technology, and it reflects on products and inventions on a local, national and worldwide scale.
Growth Mindset teaching supports our children in developing their can-do attitudes The learning completed during these lessons embeds the knowledge that children need to work hard, persevere and challenge themselves in order to achieve. DT reinforces the growth mindset of the children through overcoming challenges, learning new skills, making changes to products and working as teams to achieve success. By developing these essential life skills, children can see that, with perseverance and a positive growth mindset, they have the skills they need, and that they can grow their skills to succeed.
When approaching new units in DT, part of the teaching sequence allows children to identify and reflect on current products which have been designed and successfully made. During these initial stages of the unit, children are now beginning to identify specific roles in this process and are encouraged to find out more about the people and careers and occupations behind the finished products. With close links to STEM, virtual visits by STEM ambassadors support our work around careers and the opportunities available for the futures of our children.
Assessment in Design and Technology is carried out both formally and summatively in order to gain an understanding of the children’s achievements and the next steps for their progress. Children are assessed during units on both their subject knowledge and also their design and making skills. Assessments are carried out in various forms, including observing, questioning and discussing, as appropriate to the age of the children and the nature of the unit. A summative assessment system is used for Years 1- 6, which has been taken on board by staff and provides concise information about each pupil within school. These new assessments provide a continual ongoing picture of the progress of individuals in a way that is effective, relevant and manageable to all staff and allows tracking of each individual child’s progress as they move on their journey through Hillside.
At Hillside, we aim to offer additional experiences and opportunities to provide enrichment to the curriculum throughout the year. These have included:
- Curiosity club – a STEM based club for KS2 with at least 50% girls to encourage girls into STEM.
- Pudding competition – to design and make a dessert to be served up at the Platinum Jubilee party
- STEM day – Potterbots, a local initiative for a city wide involvement in designing and making a robot
- STEM ambassadors – virtual visits with Q and A sessions for children to learn about and ask about their roles
- STEM club – Crest awards being worked towards in an after school club
- Class visits – visits to science museums encourage STEM involvement
- Space Camp – overnight residential in school where children were involved in STEM projects to design and make a mars rover
Pupils show a love of DT, which is evident during their engagement during lessons and through their responses during pupil interviews.
‘I love how we get to use lots of tools when we make things in DT’. Year 2 pupil
‘I like DT because we can think up our own ideas and then make them into real things.’ Year 3 pupil
‘I really enjoyed learning how to use a saw, I’ve never used one before!’. Year 6 pupil
‘DT is my favourite, because everyone can see all your good ideas when you make them.’ Year 5 pupil