Design and Technology
“The important thing is to create”
At St Joseph’s we believe that our role is to support the development of the whole child in all that we do at school; offering them rich and meaningful experiences that will help them build a secure foundation for their learning. We recognise that D&T is a vital part of this development and has a significant and valuable role in the taught curriculum.
Fostering our children's creativity and engagement is an essential element in their ability to succeed; we know it improves their motivation, well-being and achievement not only academically, but also socially, emotionally and culturally.
We recognise that D&T supports the development of children’s resilience, independence and risk-taking as children are encouraged to explore the different techniques and apply this in their own work. We want our D&T provision to enable pupils to develop a natural sense of creativity, wonder and curiosity about the world and allow them a means to express and communicate this for themselves.
At St Joseph’s, we offer an inspiring and practical approach to a varied Design and Technology curriculum where our pupils develop a deeper understanding of technical and creative design to construct purposeful products. They acquire a broad range of skills and knowledge to design, create and evaluate ideas, whilst gaining an increased understanding of the technological world. Our Design and Technology curriculum incorporates knowledge from the wider curriculum areas such as RE, Maths, Science, History, Computing and Art. Each year, children also build upon their knowledge of nutrition and basic cookery skills, applying principles of understanding the importance of a balanced and varied diet. The breadth of practical tasks offered to our children prepare them for secondary education, as well as aiming to provide them with useful life skills.
D&T is taught as discrete lessons (usually as a double lesson spanning the whole afternoon) over three half terms (half of the year). All classes have a timetabled session in the designated art and D&T room. Where possible, cross curricular links are made in addition to this throughout the year especially in RE, Maths, Science, History, Computing, Maths and Art.
The D&T curriculum is taught following the National Curriculum, through a knowledge and skills based approach. The skills and knowledge that children will develop throughout each D&T topic are mapped across each year group and throughout the school to ensure progression.
The emphasis on knowledge ensures that children understand the context of the D&T work, as well as the designers that they are learning about and being inspired by.
The emphasis on skills means that children are given opportunities to practise and develop mastery in the key processes of D&T: design, make, evaluate and technological knowledge. The key skills have been broken down into specific year groups to ensure there is coverage and progression across the school and children can build on their prior learning year on year.
In every lesson, we strive to challenge all children to grow from their starting point, supporting and scaffolding tasks to help every child achieve.
Throughout the year, children are given the opportunity to work with a range of resources and materials, exploring the effects they can make and how they can be combined to create new effects.
Children are also offered wider opportunities to explore D&T through attending workshops at the National Gallery online, visits from local professionals, visiting local galleries such as the Stanley Picker Gallery and Orleans House Gallery and making pizza at Pizza Express.
We believe that celebrating all areas of success are important therefore we encourage children to bring in work they complete at home. Their D&T work is shared during whole school assemblies to inspire others. This work is displayed around the school to boost self-esteem and pride in their learning.
Throughout the year, children are given the opportunity to take part in competitions that are run by the local authority, charities and design organisations. These have been thoroughly enjoyed by the children who have historically achieved some success.
We organise an annual ‘Summer Exhibition’ to celebrate the children’s work each year. We invite members of our extended community to enjoy the work and give the children feedback.
Information gathered through book monitoring and class observations by the subject leader show that the school is in the early stages of D&T development. Pupil voice interviews show that the children enjoy D&T and take pride in the work that they produce. The children are beginning to talk confidently about techniques, different media and designers. We are currently looking at the development of sketchbooks to support children’s planning and thinking before producing a piece of work. These books are kept as the children progress through the school so that we can track their progress over the years.
Progress and attainment are measured against National Curriculum expectations of attainment and skills using Target Tracker Assessment statements. These are informed by teacher, peer and self-assessment and evaluations 'Are you pleased with your work?' 'What did they do well?' 'How could this be improved even further?' Children are encouraged to use technical language when evaluating their own or other people’s work. We assess D&T using the I Can statements, which also help children become more articulate at talking about the skills covered within each year group.