At St Oswald’s, we encourage children to enjoy school and their learning opportunities to strive to reach their full potential. We embed within our ‘Touch the Future’ curriculum an exciting Design Technology curriculum that encourages children to love thinking creatively, learn to solve problems and develop their own ideas, in addition to having appreciation and respect for other people’s ideas. This is in line with our school Mission statement to Love, Learn, respect, and Appreciate.
Mrs. J. Foy, DT Lead
Design Technology is an inspiring and practical subject that develops the children’s ability to investigate, analyse, design, make and evaluate as part of a whole process; it utilises a range of materials (natural and man-made and recycled). This provides children with many new learning experiences and personal goals.
At St Oswald’s, our DT curriculum offers children a chance to use creative thinking, within a defined purpose and tangible outcome. We are committed to nurturing children’s curiosity and creativity, as well as preparing them for life in a constantly changing society, within our modern world. We build children’s knowledge and skills in DT so they learn and know more, remember and apply their knowledge and skills, revisit and improve.
At St Oswald’s, we put our DT curriculum into practice, ensuring that it is building on the children’s prior knowledge. This makes sure that there is smooth progression throughout the year groups from EYFS to Y6, continually boosting the children’s skills enabling them to have confidence to be creative.
The DT topics have been planned to inspire and include children of all ability levels. Long term plans clearly map out the knowledge and skill areas covered each term for each year group.
These areas include structures, textiles and food in all year groups and in addition in KS2 mechanisms and electrical systems.
The plans ensure an appropriate balance and distribution of knowledge and skills to be taught each term showing progression from our very creative EYFS class to a very knowledgeable and skilled Y6 class. Each topic is broken down into lessons with specific lesson objectives. These objectives build on developing key skills to inspire the children’s own confidence.
For example, in EYFS the children will design and then make props like masks or hats for story-telling and role play. They will evaluate their own creations and discuss ways they can be improved. Over their years at St Oswald’s the children will build on their knowledge and skills until in Year 6, when they will design and make more complex construction, for example waistcoats. Using their own years of experience they can not only use their creative skills to design but also the knowledge they have gained evaluating their own work, in order to, design and improve their choice of design. With the vocabulary on their Knowledge Organiser to help, they can also evaluate their finished product well.
Here is an example of a Year 6 design for a Waistcoat, within textiles.
Each child has a knowledge organiser for each topic to recap vocabulary within a skill area and introduce new vocabulary appropriate to the new skills being taught.
Having a tangible outcome gives the children a specific purpose to their task.
We measure the impact of our curriculum by monitoring each individual child’s progress using teachers’ formative assessment.
As the subject leader, I monitor a selection of children’s work during year-group DT lessons. This also gives me the opportunity to evaluate pupil voice, listening to the children talk about what they designed and why they designed and constructed it in the way they did. I can evaluate the vocabulary that the children use to ensure it is matching the curriculum plans and also to evaluate the children’s understanding of new skills learned.
At St Oswald’s our children love to talk about what they have learned. As Teachers, we want them to talk passionately about their new skills; how and why they made their creations; and to be proud of their own work.
Evaluating their own work is not as easy initially, as evaluating the work of a friend but children’s self-evaluation skills develop well. Peer evaluations help to develop this skill. We encourage all evaluations to be honest, respectful, helpful, and constructive and for the children to show appreciation. This, in itself, is a skill that enables the children to evaluate their own work and appreciate their own fabulous creations.