Design and Technology (DT)
At Greenlands Primary School all children, including SEN and disadvantaged learn the following concepts and themes through studying different aspects of DT throughout the school
Good buildings come from good people, and all problems are solved by good designs
- Stephen Gardiner
Why DT Is Important
Design and Technology gives children the opportunity to develop skill, knowledge and understanding of designing and making functional products. Using creativity and imagination, pupils design and make products that solve real and relevant problems within a variety of contexts, considering their own and others’ needs, wants and values. Ultimately, children learn how to take risks, become resourceful, innovative, enterprising and capable citizens, whilst utilising a range of communicative skills to express and present their designs.
National Curriculum Purpose of Study
Design and technology is an inspiring, rigorous and practical subject. Using creativity and imagination, pupils 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 mathematics, science, engineering, computing and art. Pupils learn how to take risks, becoming resourceful, innovative, enterprising and capable citizens.
Through the evaluation of past and present design and technology, they develop a critical understanding of its impact on daily life and the wider world. High-quality design and technology education makes an essential contribution to the creativity, culture, wealth and well-being of the nation.
What DT Looks Like At Greenlands
The teaching of Design and Technology (DT) at Greenlands Primary School is underpinned by the National Curriculum and the Greenlands Knowledge and Skills Progression Document. Knowledge and Skills have been arranged within subject specific themes. Vocabulary for each topic is identified and explicitly taught to address the recognised ‘word gap’ that exists for many of the children that attend Greenlands Primary School.
Each project has a key question which provides the focus for the project and gives it purpose. Children will share their learning for their DT projects at the Greenlands’ Design Fair which takes place at the end of summer term 1. The continued revision of whole school concepts and subject specific themes, alongside regular revisiting of previous learning will enable children to know more and remember more.
All DT lessons/activities are designed and planned to include all children through a range of approaches. Lessons are planned to facilitate the best possible outcome for all children within the class.
Concepts & Themes Running Through DT
- Technical Knowledge
- Evaluate (own ideas and products)
- Evaluate (existing products)
Whole School Overview
In reception DT enables children to make sense of the 'made world' in which they live. By making, changing and modifying (or designing) things for themselves, children come not simply to a greater understanding of their world, but to a sense of agency - of being able to change and modify their environment. Design and technology enables children to gain knowledge and understanding of their world. Design is not just about drawing, but about thinking. Creating a pizza or designing a new Lego structure require no drawing, but both involve some experience, some imagination and a willingness to change and modify ideas. Technology, on the other hand, is about doing - making something for a purpose. It involves putting ideas into practice and having an awareness of the possibilities and limitations of different materials. Children need to experience at first hand the consequences of the decisions they have made, rather than quickly being shown by an adult how to get it 'right'. Purposeful making involves creativity, imagination and fun - as well as making mistakes.
Key Stage 1
In year 1 children complete two projects. The first of these projects gives the children the opportunity to develop their understanding of structures. The exploration of different types of lunch boxes gives children the experience and information to draw on when developing their own ideas. The children create their ideas following the design criteria, given at the beginning of the project, and go on to create models from reclaimed materials. Children gain a basic understanding about how structures can be made stronger, stiffer and more stable. The second project teaches children about peeling, zesting, cutting safely and applying these skills when preparing healthy dishes. Children will learn key information about healthy eating and where their food comes from.
In year 2 children complete two projects. During the first of these projects children will learn all about different fabrics. They explore and become familiar with the names of different fabrics and learn how to choose and manipulate fabrics to create different effects; they will also learn how to join fabrics in a variety of ways. Running stitch will be introduced during this unit. Finally, children get the chance to apply all of these skills to help them create their own fabric face which they will evaluate. The second project gives children opportunities to develop their understanding of mechanisms. Children listen to and role play different Traditional Tales and then learn how sections of the stories can be made into a moving picture. Following instructions on how to make different types of mechanisms, such as levers, wheels and sliders, gives children experience and information to draw on when developing their own ideas. They sketch a design based on their ideas and then create a moving picture. Children evaluate their finished product.
Key Stage 2
In year 3 children complete two projects. During the first of these projects children are given opportunities to develop their understanding of mechanical systems. Following instructions on how to make different types of lever and linkage mechanisms gives children experience and information to draw on when developing their own ideas. They sketch a design based on their ideas, make a prototype, and then create their ‘Lever and Linkage Poster’ using the context of recycling. Finally, children will evaluate their finished product. During the second project children learn about working with food. Children will gain an insight into the history of bread production, then investigate and evaluate existing bread products. They will create design criteria which will be referred to when designing, making and evaluating their own bread product. Children use a range of skills and techniques using simple kitchen tools and measuring equipment, they will learn how to knead dough correctly and the technique of proving bread.
In year 3 children complete two projects. Children are given opportunities to enhance their knowledge and understanding of electrical systems. They develop their understanding about series and parallel circuits and different types of switches. They will be given the chance to apply their knowledge about electric circuits in a purposeful way by designing and making a battery operated light which will be controlled by a homemade switch. Children will decide upon the design criteria for the light by considering who will use it, where it will be used and what for. Finally, children will complete a detailed evaluation of their final product. During the second project children learn where and how a variety of ingredients are grown. Firstly, children will learn how to plant seeds and care for their plants so they yield produce that can be used in their cooking. They learn how to cook with the ingredients they are growing; following recipes and using different kitchen equipment. The lessons take into account the appropriate safety and hygiene rules.
In year 5 children complete two projects. Children develop their understanding of more complex free standing structures and how they can be strengthened and reinforced. Children will gain knowledge and understanding about how to join and shape materials. Children will then apply these skills, using an iterative design process, to create their marble runs. Finally, children will test and evaluate their marble runs against design criteria. During the second project children learn about the importance of buying seasonal food. Children learn where, when and how a variety of ingredients are grown, reared, caught and processed. Children will then have the chance to sample some spring seasonal food before designing their own balanced seasonal meal. They learn how to cook with the seasonal ingredients following their own recipes and using a wide range of preparation and cooking techniques. Finally, children evaluate their product against their design criteria. Children learn appropriate hygiene rules for handling meat and fish and safe preparation skills.
In year 6 children complete two projects. Children are given opportunities to further develop their understanding of mechanical systems. Children learn about controlling movement with a cam mechanism as part of an automata animal. They develop their designing skills through using information sources to research ideas about animals which are then incorporated into the design criteria and designs. They make a simple cam mechanism to formulate an understanding of how different shaped cams can be used to produce different movements. Children extend their making skills by developing techniques in cutting, shaping and joining to combine components and by selecting tools and equipment to measure and cut wood and card accurately. Through these activities they gain an understanding of the working characteristics of the materials and components and how they can be combined to create more useful properties. Peer assessment is used to improve designs and evaluate final products. During the second project children are given the chance to discover the exciting and diverse choice of food available around the world. The first part of the learning provides an opportunity for children to learn where in the world a variety of ingredients flourish. They build on their understanding of the Eatwell plate, placing different ingredients into the correct food groups. This develops a deeper understanding that although food can be extremely varied, it still comes under the same basic food groups. Children then have the chance to learn some basic and advanced cooking techniques, they apply these skills when making some traditional dishes from different countries.