Design and Technology
The Design and Technology curriculum at Locks Heath Infant school provides our pupils with the opportunity to tackle problems of a practical nature and develop a range of tool skills. The cross curricular nature of Design and Technology offers a setting for children to apply knowledge and skills linked to other subjects, including science and history. Skills are developed using materials, tools and mechanics which are used to design and make structures, mechanisms, textiles and food products. Children work collaboratively – discussing their design ideas; working cooperatively to make their products; evaluating the own work and the products of others.
Curriculum progression is clearly set out in our Progression of Skills planning document, which has been carefully structured to allow frequent opportunities for children to practice and embed key skills and concepts. From Foundation Stage onwards we plan opportunities for our children to explore materials, practice their construction and design skills and express themselves creatively.
Much of our Design and Technology is taught in timetable blocks which may be used as a hook to a new project or an outcome to consolidate learning at the end of a topic. Each project requires between 8 – 10 hours and each year group has 3 projects per year. During Design and Technology days, children are fully immersed in the whole design process and get the opportunity to practice a range of skills and express their creative ideas in a supportive, safe environment.
We ensure that we meet the needs of all pupils, allowing them the opportunity to access the full and broad curriculum through carefully planned support and scaffolding as required.
From Foundation Stage through to Year 2, pupils are given opportunities to explore the use of materials and tools; to design and make products; to discuss how things work; and to discuss how they could be improved. They are presented with design problems, with specific design criteria, to solve. They may work independently or collaboratively as part of a team. Design and Technology is taught through areas of learning in accordance with EYFS documents and the National Curriculum for KS1 and KS2.
The areas of design and making covered by each year group are:
Food Technology – emphasis is on healthy eating and a progression of skills using a variety of cooking techniques.
Structures – emphasis is on using construction kits to see how components are combined together leading onto making a model of a playground with moving parts.
Mechanisms – this element is incorporated into the products made during the structures topic and includes: levers/sliders, chassis/axles/wheels.
Textiles– emphasis is on sewing skills in Year 2.
A strong focus for teaching is the use of correct technical vocabulary.
Design and Technology is monitored through a variety of strategies, including: planning and evaluation scrutiny, lesson observation and product scrutiny. Summative assessments take place throughout the year and teachers record the progress and attainment against the National Curriculum expectations. Teachers use this information to inform future lessons; ensuring children are supported and challenged appropriately. This data is analysed regularly to inform and address any trends or gaps in attainment. Information is also gathered through pupil questionnaires, which highlight both strengths and achievements and the knowledge and skills that require further work.
Final end of year assessments are made using criteria that have been developed in line with the National Curriculum to identify the level at which the child is working (Towards expectation, within expectation and Greater depth). Within D&T skills, children in Foundation Stage are assessed within 3 main areas of learning:- Expressive arts and design, Physical and Understanding of the world.
The teaching of the use of tools, cooking equipment and sewing equipment is progressive, building year on year. Teachers in the next year group are clear about what the children have experienced in the previous year and the knowledge and skills they have already achieved and those that they need to work on.
Cooking and Nutrition is usually incorporated into Healthy Eating Projects within Year 2 and continues from the skills the children have learnt in Early Years and Year1. A Cooking club after school is available to the Year 2 children. This focuses on teaching the skills of hygiene and using basic principles of cooking to begin to foster an enjoyment of both food and the art of cooking.