Design and Technology at Alexander First School
We are determined to stimulate the enthusiasm of every individual at Alexander First School, developing an enjoyment in learning about products and achieving success in their own creations. Design and technology gives children the opportunity to develop skills, knowledge and understanding of designing and making functional products. We feel it is vital to nurture creativity and innovation through design, and by exploring the designed and made world in which we all live and work.
The Design and Technology (D&T) Subject Lead Team
The design and technology subject lead team at Alexander First School develop and support D&T across the school in cross curricular ways, to ensure all teachers have the subject knowledge, skills and resources to deliver interesting and challenging projects.
It is essential that children engage in D&T projects that are relevant to their other curriculum learning in a meaningful way, enabling them to design and make products for purpose to meet a given design brief. Design and technology at Alexander First School is taught through: investigate and evaluate activities, focused tasks and design, make and evaluate projects supported by subject specific knowledge and vocabulary, all of which become increasingly challenging as pupils progress through the school (mapped out on the progression grids).
We are continuing to develop a wide range of STEM opportunities and projects across the school as we believed links between STEM and design technology offer the greatest context in which pupils can learn purposefully.
The objectives for design and technology in KS1 and KS2 are clearly set out for each year group in the National Curriculum.
The national curriculum for design technology aims to ensure that all pupils:
Early Years Foundation Stage
We teach design and technology in EYFS, both as part of the topic work covered during the year and as continuous provision. Opportunities are planned using our CLPE anchor texts, Development Matters statements, all in line with the Early Years Framework, which underpins the curriculum planning for children age 3 - 5. Designing and creating their own work gives children ownership of their creativity and aids children to express themselves using different materials, tools and techniques, as they experiment with design, form and function.
Curricular links with Design Technology
There are many opportunities across all year groups for children to further develop their English skills through their design and technology learning. Collaborative learning is an integral part of the way that design and technology is taught at Alexander First School and children are encouraged to ask and answer questions and discuss ideas in pairs, groups and as a whole class, and we also provide opportunities for evaluative feedback to others.
Maths naturally has clear STEM links, and through their learning, children are using and applying mathematical knowledge in examples such as: measuring ingredients during food projects, using a range of mathematical equipment when constructing products, understanding the use of shapes within structures and using their knowledge of angles in levers and linkages.
Computing supports our teaching of design and technology wherever appropriate, particularly within KS2. The children use computing in a variety of ways such as research of products and recipes and understanding computer aided design.
As part of our curriculum planning, many D&T projects now support the scientific understanding and concepts taught within in each year group. Examples of these links include: knowing about healthy foods when producing food projects, understanding materials when working with structures, mechanisms and textiles in KS1. KS2 links include: understanding nutritional value of foods, reversible and irreversible changes and balanced diets during food projects, applying their understanding of circuits during the electrical systems projects and understanding the properties of materials when designing and making structures.
Design and technology supports SMSC development by allowing pupils the opportunity to exercise imagination, inspiration, intuition and insight through creativity and risk taking in analysing, designing and manufacturing a range of products. It raises awareness of the moral dilemmas by encouraging pupils to value the environment and its natural resources and to consider the environmental impact of everyday products. This has particularly strong links with our work on UN Sustainable Goals which are an urgent call for action by all countries - developed and developing - in a global partnership.
By providing opportunities to work as a team, recognising others’ strengths and sharing equipment, children develop social skills and D&T investigates how different cultures have contributed to technology, and it reflects on products and inventions.