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Design and Technology at St Mary's

Building Bridges
"O Lord, you are our Father; we are the clay, and you are our potter; we are all the work of your hand."  Isaiah 64:82

Our vision

At St, Mary’s, we value the creative curriculum. We believe Design and Technology can have a powerful and positive effect on children, helping them to become confident, creative learners who are able to express their individual interests, thoughts and ideas. We inspire children to use their creativity and imagination to design and make products that solve real and relevant problems within a variety of context considering their own and others’ needs, desires and values. We encourage children to learn from and be inspired by the work of great designers and designs throughout history, providing opportunities for children to critically reflect upon and evaluate other’s designs and the overall effectiveness of the product before evaluating their own. As pupils progress, we support them to be able to think critically and develop a more rigorous understanding of design and technology.
Through DT work in the classroom, the children at St, Mary’s have the opportunity to develop their skills in mechanisms, structures, textiles, mechanical systems, electrical systems and cooking and nutrition. These areas are developed continuously throughout the school from nursery through to year six and the children have the opportunity to revisit skills from previous years before learning new ones. Developing skills in design and technology supports children not only in DT projects, but across the curriculum. We encourage children to express individuality in their work, explore ideas, be inventive and take risks. When children leave St, Mary’s, we expect them to have a wide range of well-developed skills in the six areas of our curriculum that they can then build on and develop further as they continue in their education.

How we plan and teach Design and Technology

At St, Mary’s, DT is taught every other half term with key skills alternating in each year group. Teachers plan sequences of lessons across the half term that will build on and develop the children’s skills culminating in a final piece. The skills and knowledge that children will develop throughout each DT unit are mapped across each year group and across the school to ensure progression. Children design products with a purpose in mind and an intended user of the products. Food technology is implemented across the school with children developing an understanding of where food comes from, the importance of a diverse and healthy diet and preparing a range of traditional and modern dishes from different cultures and countries.

The teaching of DT follows the design, make and evaluate cycle, with technical knowledge and relevant vocabulary shared at each stage. The design process is always linked to real life, relevant contexts to give meaning to the learning. When making their products, the children are given choice and a wider range of tools and materials to choose from. When evaluating, the children are taught to evaluate their own products against the initial design criteria to see how well it has met the needs and wants of the intended user and to identify any changes that could be made.

DT within EYFS, links with expressive art and design where children develop a curiosity and interest in tech world through investigating, talking and asking questions about familiar products developing confidence an enthusiasm through frequent exploration. Children develop construction skills to build and construct objects and we provide activities for exploring joining, assembling and shaping materials to make products. Throughout this learning process, children will extend their vocabulary through talking about and explaining their designing and making activities.

How we evaluate Design and Technology

We measure the impact of our DT curriculum through monitoring children’s understanding, knowledge and skills by the class teacher throughout lessons. This assessment is then used to inform differentiation, support and challenge required by the children. The use of floor books from Nursery to reception and project folders from Year 2 to Year 6 allow teachers to monitor this progression throughout the year groups. The design, make, evaluate journey is recorded in the books, which should include research, notes, designing, photos of the making process and finished product and then the peer and self-evaluations of the work. In EYFS, Interactive Learning Diary is used to monitor children’s understanding, knowledge and skills by the class teacher throughout lessons.

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