Design Technology
Intent

At West Bretton School, our design technology curriculum is based on an engaging cross-curricular approach. Our curriculum has been designed and inspired by listening to pupil voice through the West Bretton Passport, which encompasses life skills and experiences.

We want our children to become the engineers, architects, designers and chefs of the future. The children will be equipped with the strategies and expertise needed to perform everyday tasks confidently, as they progress through school and beyond. We want our children to be inspired and engaged to explore, design and make high-quality products, whilst giving them an enjoyment of witnessing their designs come to life.

We feel it is important for the children to understand the associated risks and give them the confidence to self-assess, manage their own risks and promote the problem-solving strategies required in daily life. Our children learn about the significant individuals in design technology, who have shaped our world today.

 

Implementation

At West Bretton School, we focus on one specific area of design technology each term. Our curriculum is based on a two-year cycle, in line with our topics, to ensure that children draw upon their cross-curricular knowledge to inform the design process. Over the two-year cycle, there is a focus on woodwork, textiles and food technology, which includes planning and preparing a nutritionally balanced meal. We provide ample opportunities to learn about the importance of good nutrition as part of a healthy lifestyle.

By designing the curriculum in this way, the skill progression ensures that understanding is embedded over the course of our children’s time at West Bretton School.

Each project is carefully designed, made and evaluated to ensure the children consider all aspects of the process. The children are continuously developing their technical knowledge and key vocabulary, which is built upon in other areas of the curriculum. This technical knowledge includes:

  • Exploring and using mechanisms in their products
  • Building structures and exploring how they can be made stronger, stiffer and more stable
  • Understanding and using electrical systems in their products
  • Applying their understanding of computing to program, monitor and control their products.
 
Design

When children begin a project, there is always a purpose and a user in mind. This approach helps the children to focus on design criteria throughout the process. During the designing stage, the children develop their communication skills to discuss ideas, sketch and annotate their innovations.

The children develop research skills to inform their projects, where they look at existing products from a range of sources, including significant designs that have shaped our world today.

 

Make

Throughout school, from Foundation Stage through to Year 6, we use real-life tools, which help children to learn actively, think critically and also be creative, whilst problem-solving and assessing any risks. This provides children with the responsibility of being trusted to use these tools and also to be independent; all of which are vital parts of child development.

The children learn to be able to select from a range of tools and equipment to perform practical tasks, such as cutting, shaping, joining and finishing. As the children progress through school, they develop the confidence and ability to use the tools more independently and with a greater degree of accuracy.

The children learn to select from a wide range of materials and components, including construction materials, textiles and ingredients. In Key Stage 2, the children consider the functional and aesthetic properties throughout the make.

 

Evaluate

The evaluation stage helps the children to critically analyse their product in a constructive way, which enables them to identify their strengths and areas for development. At our school, we encourage the children to evaluate the work of others in a positive and supportive way.

We want our children to continually evaluate and adapt their designs against their set criteria throughout the process. As well as improving their product, the children will develop problem-solving skills, perseverance and resilience.


Impact

After each project, the children at West Bretton School, have a greater knowledge and understanding of how their learning in design technology impacts their daily life. This leads to the children becoming more skilled, confident and independent in design technology.

At West Bretton, we provide a holistic approach in our design technology curriculum, which enhances the children’s personal development. When the children leave our school, they will be well-equipped to use a variety of techniques in a wide range of contexts, which prepares them for later education and adult life.

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Saturday 28 May 2022