Design & Technology
At St John and St James, we teach the National Curriculum for Design and Technology (D&T). We teach D&T in subject blocks in order to preserve the integrity of subject specific skills and knowledge. There is a focus on a key strand of D&T every term. The focuses are: food, textiles and construction.
D&T is taught through a series of STEAM projects. This means that each project encompasses elements of science, technology, engineering, art and maths. These subjects are carefully integrated into the D&T process to deepen children’s technical knowledge and encourage cross-curricular links. These links are strengthen by the D&T curriculum reflecting the current science units being covered by each year group. We make cross-curriculum links in this way to increase the exposure and relationship our children have with STEAM subjects. By engaging our children with STEAM subjects in action, we increase their science capital which better enables them to consider STEAM related subjects and careers. We add to our children’s science capital further by linking each D&T unit studied with a key designer. This means that our children have a real-life role model to look up to in the area being studied. All of this, along with the dedication of our teachers, ensures that we are inspiring the designers and engineers of the future.
At St John and St James, we understand the importance of making real-life links to learning and our D&T curriculum does this in many ways. Firstly, a project brief is given which details a real-life audience and purpose of a product for a given situation. This is also where children deduce a design criteria for their product. Secondly, children study a key designer, chef or craftsperson and their work exemplifies the techniques going to be studied. Thirdly, children apply science and maths in the understanding and making of their products in a real-life setting. This enables children to see STEAM subjects in action for a real purpose.
When children leave St John and St James, we expect them to have a sound understanding of the key skills and techniques required in D&T. They should be able to build simple structures, sew competently and cook a range of products. They should be competent designers, who are able to evaluate their own work and who are well-equipped to take part in the next stage of their education. They should be able to see and engage with links between STEAM subjects and D&T and be inspired to study
Children cover the strands of food, construction and textiles every year Each year builds upon the skills they developed in the previous year to ensure that they build a repertoire of techniques which increase in complexity.
There is a STEAM week every term where children have D&T lessons every afternoon and by the end of the week they have made and evaluated their final product.
Each unit has a comprehensive planning document which provides teachers with the following resources:
- a project brief
- children’s prior knowledge and skills
- resources needed
- suggested science and maths learning
- skills and knowledge to be developed in this project
- precise, tiered vocabulary
- a suggested sequence of lessons to support the learning in this project
We draw on the expertise of specialist subject organisations such as STEM learning, New Hamilton Trust units, QCA and the National Curriculum to support our curriculum planning
Children have cover sheets for each D&T strand in their science books which outline the main skills and knowledge. These are phrased as learning check statements. Children self-assess whether they fully or partially met the learning check statement using the schools marking policy. A written self-assessment is then made by the children which provides the children with an opportunity for a more detailed reflective response.
Teachers actively assess children throughout the practical processes of designing, making and evaluating their products and make judgments as to whether children are meeting year group expectations. Teachers can find the expectations for their year group on the cover sheets and on the STEAM curriculum map skills progression document. Using the school’s marking policy, teachers then assess whether children have partially or fully met the year group expectations in on the child’s cover sheets in their science book. A class overview of designing, making, evaluating and technical knowledge is also kept in the back of the STEAM floor book.
At the end of each academic year, class teachers use the information from the cover sheets and finished products in order to make a judgment as to whether each child is work towards, at or above the expected standard.