We use the National Curriculum for Design and Technology, following the ‘design (including researching), make, evaluate’ format to ensure that children have opportunities to think about what makes an effective product, develop skills, and think critically about their products.
Design: Children design products with an intended user in mind for a specific purpose. They research existing products and evaluate the benefits and drawbacks of them. The children create their own design criteria informed by their research and think about the materials they will need. Designs are completed at an age-appropriate level throughout school, including; verbally, making annotated sketches and making prototypes. Children develop their design skills as they progress through school by re-drafting their designs. They also develop the ability to work cooperatively as part of a group by creating collaborative designs and by collating ideas from individual designs.
Make: Children are taught knowledge of D&T, technical language and have opportunities to practise skills (e.g. making levers, cutting, joining etc.) before making their products. They have access to a wide range of tools and materials. They have opportunities to make individual products and to work as a group to develop collaborative products.
Evaluate: After completing their product, children evaluate their work. This is done through discussion in the younger year groups with children developing the ability to evaluate against their original design criteria as they grow older. They also get opportunities to improve their work after evaluating the strengths and weaknesses of their product.
Teachers ensure that D&T is differentiated from art by explaining that D&T is a product that is made for an intended user for a specific reason. E.g. castles made for year 2 children to present their drama performance, tiger food designed for the tiger in ‘The Tiger Who Came To Tea’ to eat when he goes to Sophie’s house for a tea party.
Children in each year group undertake at least one project in each of four areas; structures, mechanisms, textiles, cooking and nutrition.
Design and technology areas (including construction, craft, and critical thinking areas) are available for children to access in both EYFS and KS1. Children can access challenges in these areas or can work independently or as part of a team.
Work scrutiny, subject monitoring, lesson observations, and pupil interviews are regularly carried out by the subject leader to ensure a high standard of teaching and learning. Children’s enjoyment of design and technology, vocabulary used, opportunities for challenge, questioning, and the frequency of taught lessons are considered and next steps are identified.
Children are taught about real-life designers and the impact that their products have had on society.