Design and Technology (DT) Intent
Alma Park’s Design and Technology (DT) curriculum begins in EYFS. This foundation in DT offers opportunities for young children to use their natural creativity and allows them to investigate, design and make so that they can learn a great deal about their world. The National Curriculum provides the skill and knowledge progression foundations that are then built on to provide a purposeful progression of knowledge, skills and vocabulary. This ensures that the National Curriculum end points are met.
Our pupils are given a breadth of experience to develop their understanding of themselves as individuals within their community and also as members of a wider global community and designers of the future. Pupils build on their knowledge and skills in different areas of DT, so that they can design, make and evaluate products including food technology. This ensures they can share their ideas and opinions to support learning across the entire curriculum, confidently and respectfully.
The DT curriculum gives pupils life skills to enable them to embrace and utilise new technology in a socially responsible and safe way. Alma Park follows the Design & Technology Association guidance including their projects on a page planning resource. This provides opportunities to combine the different strands of the DT National Curriculum requirements and ensures progression. By teaching DT in discrete lessons and with purposeful links to other curriculum areas if relevant, pupils develop imagination, creativity, resilience, problem solving and critical thinking skills. As a UNICEF Rights Respecting School DT is delivered in a safe and inspiring environment which nurtures children’s talents, allowing them to thrive so that when they leave Alma Park they are responsible, active citizens. DT at Alma Park promotes and encourages sustainability in various ways including: using seasonal fruit and vegetables when cooking, using recycled materials whenever possible and using computer added design (CAD) when possible to avoid excessive use of paper. Diversity is embraced by giving opportunities to study a range of diverse past and present designers. Lessons are modified to remove barriers so all pupils, including SEND and disadvantaged children, can meet the same objective.
At Alma Park we are always looking for opportunities to develop our curriculum and this involves seeking enrichment activities for our pupils using local community links.
Design Technology Implementation
Learning is the core purpose of our school and is central to everything that happens.
In Nursery and Reception, we follow the Statuary Framework for Early Years Foundation Stage document. This foundation in Design Technology is based on mastering basic tools, such as scissors, tape and glue. As well as using their imagination and developing skills to design and create their own models and small worlds.
In KS1 and KS2 the Design Technology curriculum covers all the requirements of the 2014 National Curriculum. Additional support for the curriculum has come from the DT Association. At Alma Park the National Curriculum has been refined to reflect the communities the children belong to. It is relevant, diverse and engaging. For example, children will study how to make food from different countries and produce structures after studying Sir Norman Foster (who lived in Levenshulme). SEND and social disadvantaged pupils can access the Design Technology curriculum by focusing equally on practical elements alongside book based activities. Activities are adapted to their needs.
Design Technology is delivered in discreet lessons, with meaningful links to other subjects. By teaching Design Technology this way, children are able to focus on the skills and knowledge related to Design Technology. It is therefore easier for them to recall past learning in this subject.
Long term plans, knowledge progression and skills progression documents are the building blocks of the subject. From these, medium term plans are created. Individual lesson plans are created by class teachers, these lesson plans take their objectives from the medium term. Lessons are structured to minimise cognitive overload, this is done by ensuring prior knowledge is secure and that lessons are not overloaded with new knowledge. Lessons which may be blocked, if this makes the learning more impactful and time efficient.
Children will present all work to their best standard. This fosters pride in their learning. The work will show the clear progression of children’s learning through the Key Stages. For example, building structures progresses from a single free standing structures in Year 1, then strengthening and stabilising structures in Year 3, finally building a wooden frame structure in Year 6. Lessons are teacher assessed against the learning objective. An end of topic assessment or evaluation is used to assess what knowledge the children have retained.
The outdoor environment and the local community are considered an opportunity for active learning for all our pupils. These can be used identify different existing products.
As well as our school based learning, we ensure learning is supported by relevant educational visits and visitors.
Our commitment to being a UNICEF Rights Respecting School is shown through our Design Technology curriculum. For example, children’s education should help them fully develop their personalities, talents and abilities.