Intent - The vision
At Holy Trinity Pewley Down, children are encouraged to ‘Learn to Live’ and through our Design and Technology curriculum (DT), we aim to provide our students with opportunities to use their imagination and be creative when designing and making products that solve real and relevant problems. As stated in the National Curriculum, Design and Technology is ‘an inspiring, rigorous and practical subject’ and we enable children to work within a variety of contexts, considering their own and others’ needs, wants and values. We create an environment in which children are encouraged to problem-solve and safely take risks, becoming resourceful and innovative in their approach whilst strengthening essential skills in the designing, making and evaluating of effective products.
As part of our DT provision, we ensure that children are well-equipped with useful technical knowledge and vocabulary essential in supporting them when designing and making products. Children will learn how to build and strengthen structures made from a variety of materials, learn how to use moving mechanisms or electrical systems in their designs as well as explore different ways of selecting and joining materials when creating products. At HTPD, the teaching of a creative DT curriculum enables all children to gain ‘real-life’ experiences and encourages a ‘Zest for Learning and a Love of Life’.
Implementation - How we achieve our goal
To ensure high standards of teaching and learning in DT, we implement a curriculum that is progressive throughout the whole school, across seven years, allowing children to revisit and build upon their previous learning. DT is planned and taught as part of our topic-based approach, making real-life links to inspiring contexts, whilst our carefully mapped progression of skills (and coverage checker) ensures all learning objectives are covered.
When teaching DT, a variety of teaching approaches are used, based on the needs and interests of the children, as well as the teachers’ judgement. This all begins in EYFS, where topics are chosen by the children each year, allowing them to direct their own learning and explore the use of a range of building materials and fixings when creating products. By the end of Year 2, children will have begun to develop skills in needlework when creating sock puppets and felt dinosaurs, gained valuable wood working skills building toy cars and bug hotels and all whilst being immersed in the designing, making and evaluating process. This learning is continually built upon through the junior school with the children producing beautifully stitched Roman Bullas in Year 4 and wood framed Tudor Houses in Year 5 before taking part in their choice of project based around a Victorian ‘cottage industry’ in Year 6.
Through a variety of creative and practical activities, we teach the knowledge, understanding and skills needed to engage in an iterative process of designing and making. Children’s planning and evaluative work is captured in our topic books and also showcased on our website, Twitter and displays around the school to celebrate the exceptional work the children have created.
Impact - How do we know our vision has come to fruition?
Upon completion of Year 2, children will have laid the foundations for the learning ahead having become well familiarised with the design, make and evaluate process which is central to the DT curriculum. In addition, through the wide range of projects they have completed, they will have begun to develop their skill set and gained key knowledge crucial to their future learning in the junior school.
By the time children leave our school at the end of Year 6, they will have cultivated an excellent attitude towards learning both independently and as part of a group. They will have learned to use their time efficiently, utilising finite resources when acting as designers and makers with a thorough knowledge of which tools, equipment and materials to use. They will also understand the importance of conducting thorough research, showing initiative and asking insightful questions in order to develop a detailed knowledge of users’ needs before moving into the design phase. Above all, they will have developed a passion for designing and making allowing them to ‘embrace the future with hope and confidence’.
Year 5 have been working hard to design and build Tudor Houses as an end-of-topic celebration!