Woolsery Primary School: Design and Technology
In our school we follow the ‘Design, Make, Evaluate’ approach to the teaching of DT, as outlined in the National Curriculum Programmes of Study document. Through the study of design and technology, children combine practical skills with an understanding of aesthetic, social and environmental issues. Design and Technology helps all children to become informed consumers and potential innovators. Designa nd Technology assists children in developing a greater awareness and understanding of how everyday products are designed and made for the target audience in order to gain practical skills to solve problems in everyday life. We make extensive use of our Forest School programme to deliver much of the design and technology curriculum but also use more conventional approaches where there are sensible links to the wider curriculum.
During DT sessions (whether in Forest School or in the indoor classroom) , children are encouraged to be inquisitive about the way products work. We encourage both asking and answering questions in order to deepen children’s understanding of products and product design. They will use market research to inform their designs and, as they move up through the school, will be encouraged to draw detailed designs and make prototypes in order to refine their designs before creating their final piece. Whilst making their products, staff will guide them through the technical skills they will require, modelling good practice and highlighting safety considerations with the children. Through the evaluation stage of our ‘Plan, Make, Evaluate’ approach, children are encouraged to reflect upon their final products, considering how they could have altered their design or techniques to impact the overall appearance and usability of their product. Throughout a child’s school journey skills will be built on and revisited to ensure expertise are refined.
Skills prgression in the use of tools within our Forest School is shown below:
Evaluating the impact of design and technology can vary depending on the setting of the block of learning or lesson. Sometimes, evaluations take place orally at the end of Forest School sessions whilst sipping hot chocolate arounda camp fire, or in the yurt. At other times children use a more formal, written evaluation of work.
In all cases, children evaluate their products with feedback from their class teacher and other pupils against a success criterion.
In order to ascertain the impact of the intent statement above the subject leader needs to;
• Conference pupils of all ages regularly about their learning in DT, specifically the skills they have acquired within each unit.
• Study examples of planning, finished products and evaluations to elicit the quality.
• Look at teachers planning and children’s books and blog photographic records to measure how well children are being prepared for innovators of the future.
• Observing DT lessons by focussing on children’s acquisition of skills.