Design and Technology
Linking together the themes from Cornerstones and the key objectives from The National Curriculum, our aims for DT ensure that all pupils:
- develop the creative, technical and practical expertise needed to perform everyday tasks confidently and to participate successfully in an increasingly technological world
- build and apply a repertoire of knowledge, understanding and skills in order to design and make high-quality prototypes and products for a wide range of users
- critique, evaluate and test their ideas and products and the work of others
- understand and apply the principles of nutrition and learn how to cook
At St Joseph’s Catholic Primary School, the intention is to provide a DT curriculum which will enable each child to reach their full potential by gaining a firm understanding of what DT is through designing, making, evaluating and building their technical skills, vocabulary and knowledge. This takes place through a variety of relevant and engaging projects, which build links across the curriculum.
We endeavour to develop a curiosity for the subject, as well as an understanding and acceptance of the validity and importance of all types of DT including food technology. We seek to ensure children know where their food comes from and can use ingredients sourced from our allotment in cooking healthy meals. We aim for children to be able to use these to express their ideas and apply new skills in their own designs and have the opportunity to learn how to improve these essential skills during the process, evaluating how they can improve further next time.
We are committed to ensuring children understand the value and importance of DT in the wider community, and are able to use their DT skills, knowledge, and experiences to involve themselves in DT, in a variety of different contexts, throughout their lives. Children should show an understanding of how other subjects such as maths, science, English and health education are a crucial part of this subject.
The DT curriculum (which is delivered by class teachers using topic based sessions within the Cornerstones curriculum) ensures children design, make, evaluate, and build their technical skill, vocabulary and knowledge. This is embedded in a range of classroom activities, allotment activities as well as taking place in special workshops or trips throughout the year.
DT is taught by classroom teachers who lead the children through the designing, making and evaluating process throughout a range of activities linked to the Cornerstones topics taught. Children are taught to:
- design purposeful, functional, appealing products for themselves and other users based on design criteria;
- select from and use a wide range of materials and components to apply skills previously taught in their own design;
- explore and evaluate a range of existing products as well as their ideas and products against design criteria;
- explore and use different mechanisms and systems
- understand and apply the principles of a healthy and varied diet;
- prepare and cook a variety of dishes using a range of cooking techniques;
- understand seasonality, and know where and how a variety of ingredients are grown, reared, caught and processed.
In the classroom children learn how to follow the design process to design, make, and evaluate a product. In doing so the children understand the process that can be applied to create or improve a design or object and are able to make their own designs and have them evaluated by others.
In the classroom children also learn about food, and the principles of a healthy and varied diet. Having the opportunity to source ingredient from our allotment, they learn where food comes from, understand seasonality and where ingredients are grown, and are given opportunities to use these skills to create a range of healthy foods with their peers. This allows them to build on their knowledge of different foods as well as develop some fundamental cooking skills which they can develop throughout their time at school.
In addition to these opportunities, the DT curriculum is further promoted and enhanced through workshops and special activities, which take place linked to the Cornerstones topics where appropriate. They also have the opportunity to build on their cooking skills with the PE network’s healthy eating workshop and our weekly year 4 & 5 education gardener, in which they can spend an extended period focusing on healthy eating and the growing, harvesting process to deepen their understanding.
Whilst in school, children have access to a varied programme, which allows children to discover areas of strength, as well as areas they might like to improve upon.
As the teaching sequence in each DT topic culminates in an end product, teachers are able to assess the children’s acquisition of key skills and how they have applied their prior learning in their own design. Teachers also assess the children’s evaluation stage to see if they are able to identify what they would do differently next time to improve on their product against the set criteria.