At Willow Tree Primary School we intend to build a Design and Technology curriculum which is inspiring, engaging and practical. Design and Technology allows pupils to think creatively and at Willow Tree we encourage children to use their imaginations and provide opportunities for them to design products which provide practical solutions to real and relevant problems. We want pupils to develop the confidence to take risks through drafting design concepts, modelling and testing and to be reflective learners who evaluate their work and the work of others. We encourage children to use mistakes as a tool to further their design process, as making mistakes is essential to the learning process, especially within Design and Technology. Persisting with concepts and adapting ideas when faced with challenges, develops pupil’s resilience and promotes a growth mind-set, which is integral to our school ethos.
Willow Tree Primary School is in Salford, Greater Manchester, a city which is rich in culture, creativity and innovation. As such, we believe it is important that our pupils gain an understanding and appreciation of the design process which our city is built upon and is essential to our local history and culture.
Our intent is for all children to participate successfully in an increasingly technological world, whilst also promoting and instilling within them respect for our world, each other and everything in it.
For each year group, we enhance experiences for Design and Technology by linking projects and skills to topic-based work within other subjects of the curriculum, in a meaningful and purposeful context. Lessons incorporate a range of teaching strategies from independent tasks, paired and group work including practical hands on, computer based and inventive tasks. During DT lessons teachers use questioning to assess children’s understanding of what has been taught and any misconceptions are addressed and explained.
We provide opportunities for pupils to develop their skills in the following key areas.
Cooking and nutrition (food)
At Willow Tree, we pride ourselves on being a healthy school and promote throughout the school the importance of a healthy diet. We wish for children to develop an understanding of food, how it contributes to our well-being and where it comes from. Children will develop a food vocabulary by using taste, smell, texture and feel. They will follow recipes and instructions and begin to use scales to weigh out ingredients and also develop food preparation skills such as chopping, mixing and stirring. These will be built upon as pupils move up through the school to ensure progression in each skill. They will Select and prepare foods for a particular purpose and evaluate their product.
Children have the opportunity to build upon their designing and making skills steadily each year within structures. They will construct with a purpose in mind, using a range of materials and resources. They will learn how to join and strengthen frames. Pupils will gain an understanding of different tools and techniques and select them appropriately. They will develop their understanding of how to make purposeful products which fit the design brief and use trial and error to adapt where necessary.
Pupils will have opportunities to explore textiles and joining fabrics together throughout school. Throughout each key stage they will develop their cutting skills and explore different stitching techniques. Children will be encouraged to evaluate which stitching style will be most appropriate for a product and use their judgement to decide which tools and types of fabrics are required.
How things move is explored all the way through school starting in EYFS. In KS1 children begin experimenting with levers and sliders to find different ways of making things move. Moving into KS2 children use mechanical systems such as gears, pulleys, levers and linkages. They move onto incorporating a circuit into a model and use electrical systems such as switches bulbs and buzzers.
Each of these areas follow the 3 step design process outlined within the National Curriculum; Design, make and evaluate. Each stage is underpinned by technical knowledge.
The Design and Technology curriculum provides an opportunity for children to show clear progression into KS2 with the key skills they begin to engage with in KS1. This improvement of skills is represented in the complexity of the tasks and the expectation of quality and reflective techniques. Evidence of work will be recorded within children’s shared Art and D&T books, where children will record the steps of their design and making process and keep self-assessment records.
After the teaching of Design and Technology we ensure that Willow Tree children develop the creative, technical and practical expertise needed to perform everyday tasks confidently and participate successfully in an increasingly technological world. Pupils build and apply a repertoire of knowledge and skills in order to design and make high quality prototypes and products for a wide range of uses. They evaluate and test their ideas and products and the work of others.
They should leave school equipped with knowledge and a range of life skills that they can carry over into everyday life. The skills and attributes they develop will benefit them beyond school and into adulthood, these include: the ability to work with others productively, show initiative, manage time efficiently, show resilience, self esteem, assertiveness and confidence, develop social skills, communication skills and face challenges effectively in order to ensure well-rounded citizens who will make a difference in the wider world.
1. Begin to draw upon their own experience to generate ideas
2. Begin to correctly identify the materials needed
3. Begin to understand designing for a target audience
4. Begin to plan their ideas through drawings and templates
1. Begin to make designs using appropriate techniques
2. Begin to be able to select the correct tools for making their projects and materials
3. Begin to understand how to combine different materials to create items fit for purpose
4. Demonstrate awareness for theirs and others safety
1. Begin to evaluate their work against the design criteria
2. Begin to use reflective statements (I like this because,it could be improved by…)
3. Begin to encourage children to use on going reflection to make improvements to their designs
1. Children can confidently draw upon their own experiences and research to inform and influence their designs
2. Children can accurately plan and design their work, self-selecting from a range of appropriate templates/planning methods.
3. Children can tailor their designs for the specific purpose or individual they are designing for
4. Children are able to discuss their designs confidently with their peers
1. Children can draw upon a range of design techniques and choose those best for purpose
2. Children can confidently suggest and choose the materials and tools they will need for their projects
3. Children have a secure understanding of how materials can be used for different purposes
4. Children can produce their designs with accuracy and precision, using marking and measurements appropriately
1. More confidently evaluate their designs against the original design specification
2. Confidently use reflective statements to assess their work
3. Gather actionable points for improvement from others as well as their own reflections
4. Effectively record their evaluations using labels and/or other forms of recording.