“Children have real understanding only of that which they invent themselves.”
~ Jean Piaget ~
Our practical and exciting Design and Technology curriculum engages all children enabling them to become designers by teaching them the skills to bring their imaginative ideas to life. Our Design and Technology curriculum gives children an insight into how products are made and how they are used around us in our everyday lives. By the end of their learning journey at New Milton Infant School, children will have been exposed to a range of opportunities and life skills such as sewing and cooking, all with a cross-curricular approach, linking their Design and Technology learning to other subject areas such as Science, Computing and Art. Our aim is to encourage children to experiment, take risks, persevere and have ownership of their learning .We nurture a self and peer evaluative approach so children are able to improve their learning within a supportive environment, promoting self-belief and respect. We want Design and Technology to prepare our children, to give them the opportunities, responsibilities, and experiences they need to be successful in later life. The high quality education at our school that is underpinned by the school vision and values, provides all children with the foundations to understand how Design and Technology contributes to the creativity, culture and wealth of the wider world.
In the Early Years Foundation Stage children begin to learn the skills that will support them as they continue their Design and Technology journey in Key Stage One through the Expressive Arts and Design element of the Early Years curriculum:
- Explore, use and refine a variety of artistic effects to express their ideas and feelings.
- Return to and build on their previous learning, refining ideas and developing their ability to represent them.
- Create collaboratively, sharing ideas, resources and skills.
Teaching and learning also supports children in their physical development as they learn to use tools competently and safely. Adults model skills and techniques, such as different ways of joining materials and children are given the opportunity to explore and gain confidence in these new techniques independently during their continuous provision. The classroom environment encourages this by providing children with tools and resources they can easily choose as they create. Adults observe, support and encourage children where appropriate as they develop the characteristics of effective learning during the creation process.
In Key Stage One children continue their learning journey in Design and Technology by following the cycle of design, make and evaluate. Our carefully planned curriculum is sequential to provide opportunities to secure knowledge. Each part of this cycle plays a pivotal role in our children’s learning and enables them to achieve and be successful. All of our children will have a clear idea of who they are designing and making their product for and the functionality of it. They are given the time to experiment with existing products and various tools, techniques and materials and use their findings to inform their next steps, particularly in the design and making process. Whilst our teachers model new skills, exploration is also vital, particularly for our children with additional needs who may need this valuable time to consolidate previous skills. Children for whom English is an additional language will be exposed to new vocabulary prior to a class activity to allow them time to explore and understand new terminology.
As with all high quality teaching, effective questioning helps our children to think carefully about their task and provides opportunity to challenge our more able pupils. Discussions are a valuable part of our approach to teaching and we encourage our children to evaluate their final products honestly. For SEND children who may find writing challenging, we provide other ways for them to evaluate their learning. For example, this could be pictorially or verbally. This helps ensure all learners have the same equal opportunities to achieve.
Our rigorous Design and Technology curriculum provides opportunities for all children to experiment with various tools and mechanisms that feature in existing products in the world around us. The children have constant opportunities to embed this learning through the Design and Technology cycle of learning, allowing them to make the best possible progress from their individual starting points, embedding new knowledge from EYFS through to Year 2. They learn the importance of choice and how best to approach a task in order to achieve the desired outcome. By developing our children’s knowledge and skills in Design and Technology, we are helping them become reflective individuals with a sound knowledge of valuable life skills that can use beyond school and into adulthood.
Children's skills and knowledge are assessed by the class teacher throughout lessons through open ended questioning and through a summative assessment which is completed termly. This informs the Design and Technology coordinator of any further areas for curriculum development, pupil support and/or training requirements for staff.
The expected impact of our Design and Technology curriculum is that children:
- Produce unique, creative work, exploring and recording their own ideas and bringing these to life through practical tasks.
- They will have an awareness of a broad range of products that they might use or come across in their everyday lives.
- Have a better understanding of the process that goes into creating a product. E.g. food preparation, designing etc.
- Meet the end of KS1 expectations outlined in the National Curriculum for Design and Technology.
- Evaluate other designers' products and work and use subject-specific language to describe their ideas.