At St. Joseph’s, our intention for Design and Technology (D&T) as a subject is to enlighten our children to the fact that there is much more to D&T than just making and we seek to support them to understand the process that is required to create a product. We want our children to enjoy D&T due to the freedom it bestows upon them to be creative and make something – cultivating in them a sense of pride in their achievement.
To guide teachers in implementing D&T so that children are engaging in a process similar to what happens in industry, we make use of the planning resources produced by the D&T Association - ‘Projects on a Page’. These planners support teachers to deliver a five-stage process. Teachers are also urged to plan using the progression document for their Key Stage to ensure that age-appropriate progression is occurring.
- Pupils carry out investigative and evaluative activities (IEA) whereby teachers provide an existing product which the children are able to evaluate according to the criteria for their Key Stage, thus giving them something of a starting point for their own product.
- Pupils become more familiar with the technical knowledge required for the manufacture of their product. This comes in the form of a focused task (FT) in which the children learn a fundamental skill(s) required for the production of their design.
- Before designing their product, pupils identify the product, the user and the purpose/context and create a set of design criteria on which to base their design. They produce an illustrated design (or computer-aided where necessary) appropriate to their Key Stage as well as a method to produce the product.
- The pupils make their product, trying to adhere as much as possible to the design criteria and drawing on the skills they developed during the focused task. They may make changes as necessary.
- Pupils evaluate their product based on their design criteria, identifying and explaining any changes made and suggesting improvements if they were to make the product again.
Class teachers use the objectives for their Key Stage as set out in the National Curriculum although they may refer to the objectives set out the progression document produced by the D&T Association. In line with recommended practice and to fit into a busy curriculum, each year group from Years 1 to 6 completes one project per term according to those set out in the ‘Projects on a Page’ planning guidance.
The children are able to create a product/design having taken into account the end user, the purpose, the functionality, design considerations, innovation and authenticity. In addition to the five-stage process and principles, our children develop fundamental skills that they will use in their everyday life, such as correctly using a pair of scissors and preparing food, as well as more advanced skills, such as using a vice and a hacksaw to cut a piece of wood accurately and safely. Our children understand that what they design and make should be for somebody, for some purpose, so that they are in a position to participate successfully in an increasingly technological world.