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St Robert Bellarmine Catholic Primary School

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Design & Technology

Design & Technology at St Robert Bellarmine

 

Design and technology is an inspiring, rigorous and practical subject. Using creativity and imagination, pupils design and make products that solve real and relevant problems within a variety of contexts, considering their own and others’ needs, wants and values. They acquire a broad range of subject knowledge and draw on disciplines such as mathematics, science, engineering, computing and art. Pupils learn how to take risks, becoming resourceful, innovative, enterprising and capable citizens. Through the evaluation of past and present design and technology, they develop a critical understanding of its impact on daily life and the wider world. High-quality design and technology education makes an essential contribution to the creativity, culture, wealth and well-being of the nation.

Intent

At St Robert Bellarmine, we believe that high-quality design and technology education provides opportunities for children to become independent and creative problem solvers.  DT lessons will allow 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’ wants, needs and values.  They will also be required to draw upon disciplines such as mathematics, science, engineering, computing or art to support them in designing and making their own products. Pupils are encouraged to take risks and show resilience, overcoming problems they may encounter by being resourceful and innovative. They are also provided with opportunities to evaluate both past and present design and develop a critical understanding of products and their impact on life and the wider world. 

Planning meets the aims of the National Curriculum for Design and Technology and covers the required skills outlined in the Programme of Study.  The curriculum is progressive and allows pupils to build on and apply a repertoire of skills, in order to make high-quality products for a wide range of users. One topic every year is planned so that pupils are able to understand and apply the principles of nutrition and learn how to cook. Planning also ensures the design and technology process is based on the six key principles of a genuine DT experience and they are evident in each project that pupils undertake.  

The six key principles are as follows: 

  • User,
  • Purpose,
  • Functionality,
  • Design Decisions
  • Innovation
  • Authenticity

 

We intend to provide all children, regardless of ethnic origin, gender, class aptitude or disability, with a broad and balanced design and technology curriculum. 

 

Implementation

In ensuring high standards of teaching and learning in DT, we implement a curriculum that is progressive throughout the whole school. Planning for DT is a process in which all teachers are involved to ensure that the school gives full coverage of, ‘The National Curriculum programmes of study for Design and Technology 2014’ and, ‘Understanding the World’ in the Early Years Foundation Stage. 

Lessons are based on six key principles to ensure that all pupils have the opportunity to engage in genuine DT experiences.  They are outlined in further detail below. 

  • User.  Pupils have a clear idea of who they are design and making their products for, considering their needs wants, values, interests or preferences. Their intended uses are themselves, others and sometimes imaginary or story based characters. 
  • Purpose. Pupils are able to clearly communicate the purpose of their products they are design and making. 
  • Functionality. Pupils design and make products that function effectively in order to fulfil the users’ needs, wants and purposes. 
  • Design Decisions. Throughout the process pupils make their own design decisions, demonstrating their creative, technical and practical expertise. 
  • Innovation. When design and making, pupils have scope to be original in their thinking and respond to open-ended starting points for their learning. 
  • Authenticity. Pupils design and make products that are believable, real and meaningful to themselves and others.  

 

Through evaluation of existing products, pupils generate ideas for their own designs. Organisers and Think Charts (Lane Clark) are used, where appropriate, to support pupils in this process, enabling them to critique existing products in detail.  Pupils also evaluate their own and other’s products against design criteria, identifying elements that have been successful and suggestions for improvements. 

Particular attention is given to the development of vocabulary by including key words on the front of design booklets and making them explicit in lessons. This enables the children to articulate their ideas clearly and precisely, assisting them in making their thinking clear, both to themselves and others. 

 

Impact
The impact and measure of DT teaching at St. Robert Bellarmine is that children develop the creative, technical and practical expertise to participate successfully in an increasingly technological world. 

Pupils also develop skills through each topic, meaning that they can progress successfully to the next stage in their learning (e.g. from one year to another) and between key points of transition (such as between primary and secondary school). 

Assessment is crucial in improving learning. Formative assessment is used to inform teachers of on going progress and allows for timely adjustments or intervention to be made that reflect the learning needs of all children in our school. Feedback is continually given to children, which leads to better outcomes in DT. In line with our school assessment policy, summative assessment in the form of teacher assessment is carried out at the end of each topic to inform the overall progress made by each child on a yearly basis.

We want the children to be passionate about DT and understand its importance in our world and for our future. High quality design and technology education makes an essential contribution to the creativity, culture,  wealth and well-being of the nation. 

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