Design & Technology
Design & Technology at Mab Lane
Design & Technology Curriculum Rationale
At Mab Lane we are designers of the future! We want to inspire a love of design technology into our children. We are committed to providing an exciting and engaging curriculum, providing a wide range of activities and opportunities to all of our children. Design and technology prepares pupils to participate in tomorrow's rapidly changing technologies. They learn to think and intervene creatively to improve quality of life. The design & technology curriculum has been carefully crafted so that our children develop their design and technology capital. We want our children to remember their DT lessons in our school, to cherish these memories and embrace the DT opportunities they are presented with! Through this, our children will become autonomous and creative problem solvers and innovators!
The design technology curriculum promotes curiosity and a love and thirst for learning. It is ambitious and empowers our children to become independent and resilient – like in all curriculum areas. We want to equip our children with not only the minimum statutory requirements of the design technology National Curriculum but to prepare them for the opportunities, responsibilities and experiences of later life. Recently, we have started to grow a variety of vegetables in our school allotment and once grown, the children will harvest them and they will be used in our cookery lessons.
We want our children to be excited, thrilled and engaged in lessons and learn the skills across all areas of the design technology curriculum. We believe these opportunities pique their interests and passions and could inspire them for the future. We aim to give the children opportunities throughout the year to enter various competitions. Just last year, two students in year 6 won first and second place in designing a sustainable house of the future. We firmly believe that it is not just about what happens in the classroom, it is about the added value we offer to really inspire our children.
A complete audit of the design technology curriculum was conducted. On the back of the findings from this audit, the design technology curriculum has been carefully built and the learning opportunities and assessment milestones for each year group crafted to ensure progression and repetition in terms of embedding key learning, knowledge and skills. For example, the way design technology is taught at our school has been revamped and now follows a consistent structure. Initially, pupils take inspiration from design throughout history to help generate ideas for designs. They explore and practice the practical skills involved in the topic and then design, make, evaluate their final products. This approach is taken for every design technology topic. Pupils showcase this in new DT books and work is always tweeted online too.
In design and technology, we expect our children to demonstrate the following characteristics:
- Significant levels of originality and the willingness to take creative risks to produce innovative ideas and prototypes.
- An excellent attitude to learning and independent working and passion for the subject and knowledge of, up-to-date technological innovations in materials, products and systems.
- The ability to use time efficiently and work constructively and productively with others.
- The ability to carry out thorough research, show initiative and ask questions to develop an exceptionally detailed knowledge of users’ needs.
- The ability to act as responsible designers and makers, working ethically, using finite materials carefully and working safely.
- A thorough knowledge of which tools, equipment and materials to use to make their products.
- The ability to apply mathematical knowledge.
- The ability to manage risks exceptionally well to manufacture products safely and hygienically.
We empower our staff to organise their own year group curriculums under the guidance of our subject leaders. Teachers are best placed to make these judgements. Staff develop year group specific long-term curriculum maps which identify when the different subjects and topics will be taught across the academic year. The vast majority of subjects are taught discretely but staff make meaningful links across subjects. They link prior knowledge to new learning to deepen children’s learning. For example, in Year 4 when the children explore ‘Electrical Systems – Simple Circuits and Switches’ they also tackle electricity in science and ‘The Victorians’ in history where they look at the emerging popularity of electricity. Our children are taught the right, connected knowledge.
Our short-term plans are produced on a weekly and daily basis. We use these to set out the learning objectives for each lesson, identifying engaging activities and resources which will be used to achieve them.
In most subject areas we encourage staff to teach a weekly lesson however this is not the case for design technology. Design technology is taught weekly, in alternative half terms, to ensure curriculum coverage. We believe that by crafting our curriculum this way, it ensures that children are getting enough time to fully engage and see their projects through from start to finish.
We use both formative and summative assessment information in every design technology lesson. Staff use this information to inform their short-term planning and short-term interventions. This helps us provide the best possible support for all of our pupils, including the more able. The assessment milestones for each phase have been carefully mapped out and further broken down for each year group. This means that skills in design technology are progressive and build year on year.
Our staff use design technology formative assessment to systematically assess what the children know as the topic progresses and inform their future planning. This then informs summative assessment judgements for each topic.
Assessment information is collected frequently and analysed as part of our monitoring cycle. This process provides an accurate and comprehensive understanding of the quality of education in design technology. A comprehensive monitoring cycle is developed at the beginning of each academic year. This identifies when monitoring is undertaken. Monitoring in design technology includes: book scrutinies, lesson observations and pupil voice. All of this information is gathered and reviewed. It is used to inform further curriculum developments and provision is adapted accordingly.