At Northgate our primary intent is to have an engaging and inspiring curriculum with high ambition for all pupils. We aim to inspire creativity in our children; we want them to question why things happen and the way things work. Design & Technology is about creative problem solving through the practical application of scientific and mathematical principles .
The 2014 National Curriculum for D&T aims to ensure that all children:
- Design and technology is an inspiring, rigorous and practical subject.
- Using creativity and imagination, pupils design and make products that solve real and relevant problems within a variety of contexts, considering their own and others’ needs, wants and values.
- Through the evaluation of past and present design and technology, they develop a critical understanding of its impact on daily life and the wider world.
At Northgate our curriculum is based on the National Curriculum and the Cornerstones Curriculum. This develops both knowledge and skills. Design and technology develops children’s skills and knowledge in design, structures, mechanisms, electrical control and a range of materials, including food. Through our Knowledge Organisers, we ensure our curriculum is taught in a logical progression, systematically and explicitly, building on previous learning and skills for future learning.
At Northgate we use D&T to provide the opportunity for the children to develop practical skills, knowledge and understanding of designing and making functional products. We feel it is imperative that we nurture creativity and innovation through design. We want all children to have the opportunity to explore the designed world in which we all live.
Two key areas that we focus on include education around the designed world and how things work and learning to design, make and evaluate functional products for specific purposes and audiences. Children obtain and use knowledge and understanding of materials and mechanisms, control systems, structures. They look at existing products and ensure that they are always using up to date health and safety / food hygiene. We also use design and technology lessons to encourage the development of children’s skills through collaborative working and problem-solving.
At Northgate we actively encourage children to be creative and innovative as well as to think about important subjects such as enterprise and sustainability.
- Our whole school approach to the teaching and learning of design and technology comprises of; the class teacher plans and teaches D&T for three half terms of each year. Knowledge organisers show progression in teaching and learning.
- Design units are planned to link, to the Cornerstones curriculum. Where these units have discrete links they are then fitted in appropriately.
- Knowledge organisers show development in teaching and learning and provide teachers with the key knowledge, skills and vocabulary of each unit. This ensures it that is taught in the previous and following year group. Teachers can use this to recap and build on prior learning/ skills successfully.
- Lessons are planned so that children are given the opportunity to explore the material and equipment choices and elicit which they will use. They can also explore which ones would/wouldn’t not work and why. Following this they then have the chance to make a proto type. This helps them to secure their ideas and make any necessary major changes whilst still in the planning stage. Children then finish their plans, make their product and go onto the evaluation stage. During the evaluation stage children test their designs and look at successes as well as improvements. Teachers ensure that they use precise questioning throughout this process.
- Teachers use a range of formative assessment tools to check pupils’ understanding.
- During our technology week children work together in mixed year groups. This enables the younger children to learn from the older children and it provides the older children with the opportunity to reinforce skills with the opportunity to focus on technology all week.
D&T at Northgate allows children to be creative, whilst solving real life problems. They learn about the effect of products on the environment and people. They learn practical skills and apply knowledge from a variety of subjects. In turn this broadens their minds about the world and about people.