Design & Technology

Subject Leader Maxine Tyler

At Great Dunham, we believe that through DT, children will have the opportunity to design and make products that solve real and relevant problems within a variety of contexts (linking to current issues where possible), considering their own and others’ needs and wants. They will acquire a range of practical life skills such as cutting, folding, strengthening and joining accurately.  Pupils will develop the ability to plan ahead, using self-made design criterias, find creative solutions to practical problems and adapt when things don’t go to plan. The attitudes they will learnt in DT will give them the tools to become resourceful, innovative, enterprising and capable citizens. Jobs in STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering and Science) are the future, and we aim to provide all pupils with the tools to take their learning into their everyday, adult lives.

Pupils will also learn about cooking and nutrition as a part of our DT curriculum: children will develop a wholesome, open-minded approach to food and begin to acquire the skills to prepare healthy meals for themselves and others.

Where possible, DT units will link to the term’s project in order to provide a real-life context. DT units are planned on a 2 cycle basis where all of the skills are taught through a range of units across the key stage. This should provide pupils with the skills and knowledge they need to apply their learning to new projects and units as they move through the school and beyond. Pupils will be encouraged to explore different design features and solve problems they come across independently through trial and error. Pupils will be encouraged to learn from their mistakes and reflect on them during the evaluation process.

Every unit of work will give children the opportunity to design, make, evaluate and learn new technical skills, and build on their learning from previous year groups.  Throughout their time at Great Dunham, pupils will use a range of materials; such as, timber, textiles, computers/ electrical technology, food and sheet materials. The pupils’ skills and independence will be built on as they move through the school. Progress across year groups is ensured by following the progression map. Technical skills such as cutting, joining, folding and sewing are taught progressively, systematically and explicitly. Various materials, components and mechanisms are introduced at appropriate age points.   The designing and evaluation processes become more comprehensive and less scaffolded as children move though the school.

The skills learn in DT are applicable to many other curriculum areas and vice versa.  Children should be reminded of the specific techniques learnt in DT when using skills such as cutting or folding in other curriculum areas.  Connections to science learning should be made whenever possible, including links to animals including humans (nutrition and diet), properties of materials, forces and electricity.  Mathematical knowledge is often applicable to DT, such as the ability to accurately measure and mark out.  Several units specify that computers are used for control or design purposes. There are also links to life skills where pupils learn the key aspects of a healthy lifestyle and how to be safe when using technology.

When pupils leave Great Dunham, they will be independent, practical problem solvers, who are resilient and able to think of ways to improve their work and build on the skills. They will be reflective learners, who are not afraid of making mistakes. They will have a range of skills that they can take with them to secondary school and into their adult life, be it through work or setting up their own homes in adulthood. They will have the knowledge they require in order to maintain a healthy lifestyle and balanced diet. They will have the key skills required in order to plan and prepare healthy meals for themselves and the people around them.