Rationale for Design Technology at Pondhu Primary School
At Pondhu Primary School our curriculum aims to give children the knowledge, skills and understanding to achieve their full potential academically, socially and emotionally. We aim to give the children the necessary skills to prepare them for life in modern British society. Our curriculum reflects both the context of the school and the experiences of the children. This encourages the children to be aspirational, to fulfil their potential and reach the highest of expectations that we have of them.
Design and Technology is an inspiring, rigorous and practical subject which aims to fulfil a need. Design and Technology, and our delivery of it, encourages children to think and intervene creatively to solve problems both as individuals and as members of a team. Through our delivery of DT, we aim to develop behaviours associated with teamwork in design and technology. At Pondhu, we encourage children to persevere and use their creativity and imagination to design and make products that solve real and relevant problems within a variety of contexts, considering their own and others’ needs, wants and values and the needs and values of the society in which they live, including their local communities. This includes creating products which reflect our locality.
We strive to ensure that all children meet their full potential in DT through providing support, guidance and explicit teaching of DT skills which can then be applied to wider projects. Through our structured progression of skills teaching, we equip pupils with the skills, knowledge and vocabulary of a designer that will equip them for their present and future lives. We aspire to all children being passionate about DT and having aspirations with their designs as we believe that each and every child can become a future designer, creator or inventor! We ensure that DT offers challenge and is inclusive and accessible to all; we offer support and differentiation to ensure this. Broader experiences are given to the children beyond the classroom through opportunities offered at extra-curricular Design Technology clubs which we realise are not only educational but also key to children’s well-being.
We aim to, wherever possible, link work to other disciplines such as mathematics, science, engineering, computing and art. The children are also given opportunities to reflect upon and evaluate past and present design technology, its uses and its effectiveness and are encouraged to become innovators and safe risk-takers who think critically.
At Pondhu we follow the Kapow DT curriculum delivering units every half term, in line with the National Curriculum, to ensure we build progressively on the knowledge, understanding and skills needed to engage in an interactive process of designing and making. The children work in a range of relevant contexts (for example home, school, leisure, culture, enterprise, industry and the wider environment). Our DT curriculum encourages and equips children with both the broad and technical vocabulary associated with DT and an understanding of the knowledge, processes and skills involved in designing, making and evaluating.
Key skills and key knowledge for DT have been mapped across the school to ensure progression between year groups. This also ensures that there is a context for the children’s work in Design and Technology; that they learn about real-life structures and the purpose of specific examples, as well as developing their skills throughout the programme of study. Design and technology lessons are often taught as a block of learning so that children can consolidate and build on their skills in a given discipline within DT.
The children are taught to:
• use research and develop design criteria to inform the design of innovative, functional, appealing products that are fit for purpose, aimed at particular individuals or groups.
• generate, develop, model and communicate their ideas through discussion, annotated sketches, cross-sectional diagrams, prototypes, pattern pieces and computer-aided design.
• select from and use a wider range of tools and equipment to perform practical tasks (for example, cutting, shaping, joining and finishing) accurately.
• select from and use a wider range of materials and components, including construction materials, textiles and ingredients, according to their functional properties and aesthetic qualities.
• investigate and analyse a range of existing products.
• evaluate their ideas and products against their own design criteria and consider the views of others to improve their work.
• understand how key events and individuals in design and technology have helped shape the world.
• apply their understanding of how to strengthen, stiffen and reinforce more complex structures
• understand and use mechanical systems in their products
• understand and use electrical systems in their products
• apply their understanding of computing to program, monitor and control their products
We ensure the children:
• develop the creative, technical and practical expertise needed to perform everyday tasks confidently and to participate successfully in an increasingly technological world.
• build and apply a repertoire of knowledge, understanding and skills in order to design and make high-quality prototypes and products for a wide range of users and critique, evaluate and test their ideas and products and the work of others
• understand and apply the principles of nutrition and learn how to cook. Children will design and make a range of products. A good quality finish will be expected in all designs and activities made appropriate to the age and ability of the child
We believe that DT is experiential. We see skills develop and children take pride in and see the purpose of their design and making. We have ex-Pondhu pupils who go on and use DT skills both locally, here in Cornwall, and further afield in their careers and hobbies. Within our local community, there are a number of past pupils now working in the construction and design industry. The firm foundations and early DT experiences offered at Pondhu equip children for secondary and further education and prepare them for the working world.