Design and Technology
"Design is a funny word. Some people think design means how it looks. But of course, if you look deeper, it's really how it works." Steve Jobs
At Our Lady’s RC Primary School, our aim in Design & Technology is to provide children with an engaging, exciting and empowering curriculum which equips them for today and tomorrow. Our Design & Technology curriculum is designed to be aspirational, ensuring that pupils leave with an appreciation of design and technology in every aspect of human life, with a view to working together to create a better world for future generations by learning how to take care of, respect and value our planet - under the teachings of Pope Francis’s Laudato Si, children “care for our common home” which is the overarching theme for our curriculum.
We have created a curriculum for Design & Technology that strives to prepare children to deal with tomorrow’s rapidly changing world. The children at Our Lady’s are encouraged to think about the future and link their learning to our local area which we see as a key expedient for embedding learning and making it relevant to our children. Manchester holds many key prospects for our children especially in the area of Design Technology. Not only is it home to some of the best Universities in the UK but we are proud that the first ever computer was built here which is something that is celebrated and discussed in our classes. We aim to promotes activities and challenges which encourage children to become independent, creative problem solvers, as individuals and part of a team.
Our Design & Technology curriculum has been planned with the wider new whole school curriculum in mind and has been specifically tailored to meet the unique context of our school. It is designed to be broad and balanced, providing all pupils with the opportunity to master their learning and deepen their knowledge, making sense and giving purpose as to why we learn about design technology. Teachers create links with our English, science, art, history and computing lessons, and in turn, allow the children to even more deepen their understanding of how our world, and the components within it, work.
The Design & Technology sessions provided in our school will have a focus on a design process – where children will focus on ‘designing, making and evaluating’ their ideas. We recognise the importance that Design & Technology has to prepare children to deal with tomorrow’s rapidly changing world. Our curriculum encourages children to become independent, creative problem solvers and thinkers as individuals and part of a team. It enables them to identify needs and opportunities and to respond to them by developing a range of ideas and by making products and systems. Through the study of Design & Technology, children will combine practical skills with an understanding of aesthetic, social and environmental issues, as well as functions and industry. This allows them to reflect on and evaluate past and present technology, it's uses and impacts.
In Design & Technology we have clearly defined expectations of children’s learning to enable children to learn, recall and utilise the knowledge, concepts and skills that will enable them to achieve ambitious outcomes and inspire them for adult life, identifying practical value in all their learning opportunities. We want our pupils to refer and view themselves as engineers, food technologists or whatever career path their skill leads to. Assuring they can view the skills they are devolving has a place in the wider world.
It is the intent of Our Lady’s for Design & Technology to be taught in all year groups through at least one topic per term. Technology projects are often made cross curricular - linking to other subjects taught with a particular emphasis on linking to our Science lessons.
Statutory requirements for the teaching and learning of Design & Technology are laid out in the ‘Physical Development’ and ‘Understanding of the World’ sections of the Statutory Framework for the Early Years Foundation Stage (2021) and in the National Curriculum in England: Key Stages 1 and 2 (2014).
Children are encouraged to 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 varied and healthy diet and how to prepare this. In turn, we further develop this with our science curriculum of healthy foods and to our Eco-Schools' programme where children will have first-hand experiences with cultivating and producing foods. We recognise Design and technology is a crucial part of school life and learning and it is for this reason that as a school we are dedicated to the teaching and delivery of a high quality Design and Technology curriculum; through well planned and resourced projects and experiences.
Design & Technology also embeds our school Learning Powers. It is an inspiring, rigorous and practical subject, requiring creativity, resourcefulness, and imagination. Pupils design and make products that solve real and relevant problems within a variety of contexts. It is very cross - curricular and draws upon subject knowledge and skills within mathematics, science, history, computing and art. Children learn to take risks, be reflective, innovative, enterprising and resilient. Through the evaluation of past and present technology over time they can reflect upon the impact of Design & Technology on everyday life and the wider world.
The assessment of children's learning in Design & Technology is an ongoing monitoring of 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.
Summative assessment is conducted termly by class teachers across each year group of the school to inform the subject leader of progress or skills and knowledge still to be embedded. Design & Technology is also monitored by the subject leader throughout the year in the form of book monitoring, looking at outcomes and pupil interviews to discuss their learning and understanding and establish the impact of the teaching taking place. EYFS pupils' progress and attainment is tracked using the Early Excellence Assessment tracker system, telling us whether each individual child is below expected, at expected or above expected attainment for their age.