Design and Technology
Why is Design and Technology so important?
At Winnersh Primary School, we believe that learning Design and Technology skills is important because it:
- provides a motivating context for learning across the curriculum
- provides a space for creativity and innovation
- teaches about sustainability and enterprise
- promotes problem solving and decision making
- supports collaborative working
- makes children realise that they can create functional products for themselves
How do we teach Design and Technology?
At Winnersh Primary school we have decided to teach our design technology units through three dedicated DT weeks. We have broken the strands up into:
- Mechanisms, materials and structures
- Food and nutrition
Across these units children learn a range of skills through a variety of creative and practical activities. During the course of each DT week all the children from Foundation to Year 6 will design, make and evaluate their product. They will be taught the knowledge, understanding and skills needed to produce their final designs.
At each stage (except EYFS) the DT projects are built around a project booklet, to ensure that each stage of the process is addressed. These booklets can be modified by each year group, for instance to include detailed written steps in the higher age groups, or a photo of the class-agreed steps in the lower ages. Diagrams and photographs are included, to illustrate the plans, process and completed product. Each child has a folder in which they store their booklets, so that as they move through the school they can remind themselves of the skills that they mastered in previous years and keep a record of their progression.
The Textile week is in the Autumn term, with a focus on Christmas decorations. Through the school, children develop skills in handling fabrics, designing pattern pieces and hand stitching, continuing to think about making 3D decorations, considering strength and flexibility. They also consider appropriate safety requirements for their user.
The Mechanisms week is in the Spring term, with a focus on vehicles. The children move from using toilet rolls and cardboard (with required strengthening), to constructing wooden vehicles, learning to use saws and fixings safely. The projects include joints and levers to make more complex products.
The Food and Nutrition week is in the Summer term, and is part of the school’s Healthy Week. The projects start with using to learn knives safely and hygienically to cut up selected fruit, move through making pizza to planning and making whole meals such as root vegetable soup accompanied by a bread roll, as well as planning Tudor banquets with tartes of cheese and jam tarts. Y6 look at designing and making granola bars, from market research to packaging to designing, making and evaluating their own bars.
As the children move through the school and can trace their own progression, they realise that they are able to achieve pleasing results in creative activities, which gives them a lifetime’s grounding and confidence in both everyday practical activities and potentially opens a route into entrepreneurial and design-based careers.
What should children be able to do by the end of primary school?
- Use research and develop design criteria to inform the design of innovative, functional, appealing products that are fit for purpose and aimed at particular individuals or groups
- Generate, develop, model and communicate their ideas through discussion, annotated sketches, cross-sectional and exploded diagrams, prototypes, pattern pieces and computer-aided design
- Select from and use a wide range of tools and equipment to perform practical tasks eg cutting, shaping, joining and finishing accurately
- Select from and use a wide range of materials and components, including construction materials, textiles and ingredients, according to their functional properties and aesthetic qualities
- Investigate and analyse a range of existing products
- Evaluate their ideas and products against their own design criteria and consider the views of others to improve their work
- Understand how key events and individuals in design and technology have helped shape the world
Understanding and Preparing Food
- Understand and apply the principles of a healthy and varied diet
- Prepare and cook a variety of predominantly savoury dishes using a range of cooking techniques
Understand seasonality, and know where and how a variety of ingredients are grown, reared, caught and processed