Our Lady of Grace Catholic Infant School

Our Lady of Grace Catholic Infant School

Design and Technology

At Our Lady of Grace Catholic Infant School, the Design and Technology Curriculum intends to inspire and nurture pupils’ creativity and innovation, giving them the opportunity to develop skills, knowledge and understanding of the design process, and to apply this through the creation of functional products.

Pupils explore the practicalities of design, making direct reference to structures, mechanisms, and a variety of materials and foods; they are encouraged to consider important issues and implications to inform the choices they make when designing for purpose.

The children design purposeful, functional, appealing products for themselves and other users based on design criteria. They  generate, develop, model and communicate their ideas through talking, drawing, templates and  mock-ups .

The children select from and use a range of tools and equipment to perform practical tasks [for example, cutting, shaping, joining and finishing]. They select from and use a wide range of materials and components, including construction materials, textiles and ingredients, according to their characteristics. Children also  explore and evaluate a range of existing products as well as evaluate their ideas and products against design criteria . The children develop technical knowledge an build structures, edxploring how they can be made stronger, stiffer and more stable products. They explore and use mechanisms [for example, levers, sliders, wheels and axles], in their products.

 As children progress, they begin to think critically and develop more rigorous understanding of design and construction in order to evaluate and adapt their creations, basing their reflections in part on the design, structures and designs  observed in the world around them. As their knowledge deepens, so too does their confidence to experiment, invent and create their own works of design.

Children  learn how innovations in design and technology have shaped our history, contributing to the culture, creativity and wealth of our nation. They discover how past inventions have often offered a solution to relevant problems within a range of contexts and society; it is through evaluation of past and present design and technology that they develop a critical understanding of the impact this has had on daily life and the wider world.

Children, in turn, draw upon their own creativity and imagination to design and make products that also attempt to solve real problems, considering their own and others’ needs, wants and values.

Children draw on disciplines such as Mathematics, Science, Computing and Art to both enhance the design and making process and demonstrate and reason about the decisions they have made. It is crucial that Design and Technology is recognised as a subject of its own and so links are not made to other areas of the curriculum unless these links are of benefit to both subject areas.

The curriculum has been developed to focus and build on the process of design, making and evaluating, providing pupils with the opportunity to apply these skills in the contexts of construction, textiles (forming a crossover with the Art and Design units) and cooking and nutrition (again forming a crossover, this time with the Science .With a careful and consistent progression of skills and knowledge, pupils learn to make the necessary connections to piece their learning together throughout their learning journey.

As children progress through the Design and Technology Curriculum, explicit links and connections are made to support pupils to continually build upon the knowledge and skills they have accumulated in previous year groups.

EYFS: We teach Design and Technology in nursery and reception as an integral part of the topic work covered during the year and as set out in the Early Years Foundation Stage Framework under expressive arts and design which underpin the curriculum planning for children aged three to five. We encourage the development of skills; knowledge and understanding that help pupils make sense of their world as an integral part of the academy’s work. This learning forms the foundations for later work in Design and Technology. These early experiences include asking questions about how things work, investigating and using a variety of construction kits, materials, tools, and products, developing making skills and handling appropriate tools and construction material safely and with increasing control. We provide a range of experiences that encourage exploration, observation, problem solving, critical thinking and discussion. These activities, indoors and outdoors, attract the pupil’s interest and curiosity.

KS1: Children work within a range of contexts, stating what products they are designing and who their target audience is. They describe the purpose of their design and how the product will work. Generate ideas based on their own experiences and knowledge of existing products. Select from a range of equipment, materials, tools and components according to their functions and characteristics. They are taught to follow procedures for safety and hygiene to measure, mark out, cut and shape materials. Children explore a range of products to find who they are for, how they work, and how and where they are used. Discover the materials products are made from and evaluate what they like and dislike about products. Explain their own design ideas and what they are making. Children make judgements about their products and ideas against design criteria, suggesting how their products could be improved.