‘Design Technology should be the subject where Mathematical brainboxes and Science whizzkids turn their bright ideas into useful products.’
- James Dyson
Design and Technology at Lingham Primary School
Why is Design and Technology important?
At Lingham Primary School, we want our curriculum to inspire our students and foster a real love for learning. Through design and technology, pupils are provided with the opportunity to develop as reflective learners while they work through the research, design, make and evaluate process for every project. They learn to appreciate the needs of others, the built environment and the likely impact of future technologies. Children are able to work collaboratively to solve problems and find solutions, teaching them to deal with uncertainty whilst developing communication, organisation and other practical life skills. They learn to work with a range of tools, equipment and materials, drawing on a variety of skills and disciplines, including mathematics, science, engineering, computing and art. Our Pupils gain an understanding of various foods and cooking techniques while learning about healthy eating and environmental issues within food production. They also explore the work of inventors, engineers and other product designers through our shared texts. Throughout their journey, our pupils will be supported to meet the requirements of the National Curriculum and the Statutory Framework for the Early Years Foundation Stage via inclusive, accessible and engaging learning opportunities.
How do we teach Design and Technology?
In order to maintain high standards of teaching and learning in Design and Technology at Lingham, we have implemented a bespoke curriculum that is progressive throughout the whole school. This is taught in timetabled half-termly blocks (three per year), where through carefully sequenced small steps, the children from Foundation Stage to Year 6 are given opportunities to explore products, learn and practice a range of skills and express their creative ideas through a combination of subject knowledge, skill building and design & make projects. The areas of Design and Technology covered through our curriculum are Food technology, Mechanisms (wheels and axles, levers and sliders, levers and linkages, cams), Structures, Electronics and Textiles. Further opportunities to explore and improve skills in Cooking and Nutrition are available to our pupils through ‘Cooking for the Homeless’ sessions. Our attached Progression of Skills document show how skills are developed across the year groups over the years.
The use of correct technical vocabulary is a strong focus in the teaching of Design and Technology at Lingham. It is taught during sessions and modelled through discussion to allow this language to be embedded in the children’s long-term memory. Safety is a key part of the learning, where students are taught how to conduct themselves in practical environments in order to keep themselves and others safe. Teachers assess all risks to ensure that safety and hygiene is maintained during all activities. In Key Stage 2, our pupils get an opportunity to learn about many key inventors, designers, engineers, chefs and manufacturers of ground breaking products during their design and technology lessons or via cross curricular links:
- Year 3 – Isambard Brunel and Gino D’Acampo
- Year 4 – Nikola Tesla and Margarete Steiff
- Year 5 – Steve Jobs and Paul Hollywood
- Year 6 – Thomas Edison, Vivienne Westwood and Jamie Oliver
How do we measure the impact of Design and Technology?
Our high-quality Design and Technology curriculum enables our pupils to combine practical skills with an understanding of aesthetic, social and environmental issues. This helps all children to become discriminating and informed consumers and potential innovators. Design and Technology is monitored and its impact judged using a variety of strategies. Formative assessment is used to gauge the pupils’ skills and knowledge throughout lessons by the class teacher and a summative assessment is completed termly at the end of every unit. This data is used to inform future lessons and to address any gaps in the attainment. Retrieval and recap activities are completed at the start of every lesson which challenges the children to think about their design and technology learning from previous years. These retrieval practices ensure that the children are constantly revisiting their prior knowledge and making it more permanent in their learning. These activities enable us to evaluate the overall effectiveness of our Design and Technology Curriculum, making improvements as appropriate, so that pupils leave ready for the curriculum at Key Stage 3 and for life as an adult in the wider world.
The Design and Technology curriculum overview is as follows: