Design & Technology (DT) is an inspiring, rigorous and practical subject at Wardley. The curriculum allows opportunities for pupils to use their creativity and imagination, to design and make products that solve real and relevant problems within a variety of contexts, considering their own and others’ needs, wants and values.
Over the course of an academic year, pupils experience three design weeks. During these weeks the pupils are given a design brief. These exciting design briefs are given to the pupils to provide them with opportunities to learn how to take risks, become resourceful, innovative and enterprising. They are carefully planned units of work that allow the pupils to acquire a broad range of subject knowledge and draw on disciplines such as mathematics, science, engineering, computing and art.
The pupils begin all design projects by gathering background research and are taught how to effectively evaluate past and present design and technology and develop a critical understanding of its impact on daily life and the wider world. They also learn the importance of the target audience and the relevance of market research. The pupils learn how to write design specifications, developing their ability to plan for products that are fit for purpose.
The teachers at Wardley draw upon expert advice from the Design Technology Association to ensure the subject is delivered in creative and engaging ways, to develop pupils’ technical knowledge. This can span from learning how mechanical systems such as gears, pulleys, cams and levers function to preparing and cooking a variety of dishes using a range of cooking techniques.
Our subject intent for DT is that the children will show:
• 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.
• 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.
• A passion for the subject and knowledge of, up-to-date technological innovations in materials, products and systems.
To see what DT topics and skills are taught in each year group click on the teaching cycle tab.
Within each academic year, children will study three DT topics. Across the whole school, there are three key DT threshold concepts that the children will keep returning to in their DT work. The children are assessed by the teacher during each unit against the age related expectations for these key DT threshold concepts. They are:
- To master practical skills
- To design, make, evaluate and improve
- To take inspiration from design throughout history
Where does vocabulary fit in?
Just as in any other subject taught at Wardley, we know that vocabulary is an important aspect within any child’s academic development. New vocabulary for each topic and lesson is always introduced at the start of each term and more lesson-specific vocabulary is explained at the beginning of each class. Teachers provide a selection of vocabulary that we would expect to see included in children’s work. This gives all children direct access to the words that they need to produce high-quality writing and classwork.
How can we help at home?
The pupils at Wardley are very proud of their Design and Technology learning. After every Design and Technology topic, the pupils’ learning is shared via the school website, articles in the newsletter, after school galleries or even food market stalls! It is a great support to the children if you ask them about their creations and get them to talk to you about the design process behind them. For further information about the DT curriculum that your child is studying please contact your child’s teacher.