Why we learn Design and Technology:

At St Mary’s Catholic Primary School, it is our aim for the D&T curriculum in our school to inspire the pupils to be creative, logical, problem solvers with the confidence to learn and explore through the use of a variety of materials, textiles and ingredients, equipping them with lifelong skills which will enable them to know that they can make a difference to the wider world.

At St Mary’s it is our intent to ensure children will:

  • be enthusiastic, inquisitive, lifelong learners: offering pupils the space to explore and interact with a wide range of resources and tools. Linking their learning to relevant life experiences that will enable them to understand how something develops from an idea to a prototype and eventually a final product.
  • be strong communicators: through the use of teacher modelled language and exposure to subject specific vocabulary. Pupils will participate in team building activities and shared projects using the subject specific vocabulary to explain and share ideas. Pupils will also be able to explain their reasoning and ideas constructively with others and be able to agree on a shared idea.
  • be well-rounded, independent and resilient learners with aspirations: through the achievements of their different topics within D&T, pupils will research and plan their project. By using methods of trial and error pupils will employ problem solving skills to ensure their final make is what they aspired it to be.
  • to develop and use their God given talents by being creative: Pupils will use their talents in a variety of different projects within D&T, focussing on using a wide range of tools and resources. They will plan and research to ensure they are solving problems logically using different mediums such as drawing, making, cooking and computing to create a finalised product that is best fit for the purpose for which it was designed.
  • be responsible citizens who are eager to make a positive contribution to their community and wider society: Through D&T our pupils will gain an understanding of where materials, textiles and ingredients come from. Pupils will be able to make informed decisions about healthy eating and nutrition with a focus on promoting less food waste. Pupils will understand the impact of recycling and have the skills to reuse resources appropriately.

How we teach Design and Technology:

At St Mary’s, we aim to deliver a Design and Technology curriculum that is engaging and inspiring, providing opportunities where pupils design and create products and solve real life problems in different contexts. We aim to provide a curriculum where pupils can make links with other areas of learning such as Mathematics, Science, Computing and Art. At St Mary’s, where possible, teachers will ensure the design brief is linked to another area of learning. When this is not possible, teachers will ensure it encourages pupils, sparking their imagination and eagerness to create or problem solve. Our curriculum allows pupils to become resourceful and innovative; they are given opportunities to use their critical thinking skills.

Teachers plan an engaging and progressive curriculum using the resources from Oak National Academy. Pupils engage in a variety of skill development projects across a broad range of areas such as construction, cooking, computing, and textiles. Teachers plan to teach two D&T topics over the course of a year, focusing on building the necessary knowledge and skills to support the pupils in their learning. At St Mary’s our pupils consistently build upon previous learning, allowing them to expand their understanding and knowledge of a topic. Pupils also revisit previous topics to ensure that there is clear retention of knowledge and skills and that these are being built upon year on year.

Pupils follow a design-make-evaluate structure to each topic. To begin, pupils explore in detail and understand the purpose of the product on which they are focusing. They will then focus on the skills required for making the product. Once they have explored this, pupils use the knowledge gained to design their product using the best fit materials or ingredients. After they have made their product pupils evaluate, allowing them to reflect on their design, whether it followed their design criteria, identifying what worked well and what could be improved upon.

At St Mary’s, we believe in ‘Quality First’ teaching for all pupils. The D&T curriculum has been planned by teachers and is inclusive to ensure that all pupils, including those with SEND, are able to access the content. At St Mary’s, we ensure that pupils take pride in their work and the products they have created in their lessons. Pupils record their learning in their Art and D&T sketch books and teachers display their learning within a whole year floor book, documenting the progress they have made and recording pupils’ views and thoughts about their learning. At the end of the year, the Art and D&T lead collaborate to organise an exhibition, where pupils showcase the products they have created throughout the year. Pupil’s families are able to attend the exhibition to see all their learning.

As a result…

At St Mary’s, we aim to achieve strong outcomes for all pupils across the school. The impact of the Design and Technology curriculum can be seen in the pupil’s sketch books and in the class floor books.  Pupils are given opportunities in their lessons to plan and develop their ideas, apply their repertoire of knowledge, understanding and skills when creating their products, and evaluate and test their products against their design criteria and whether it meets the needs of the audience.

Through the use of the expertise from Oak National Academy, teachers are able to deliver high quality lessons which focuses on skill development across the year. Learning activities in D&T lessons are planned to suit the needs of the pupils and help to develop their knowledge and skills. Teachers assess during their lessons to identify any misconceptions; learning activities are planned to address gaps in the pupil’s learning to ensure that the learning is secure. Teachers ensure that information is recapped in future lessons to keep the learning alive.

Each year group’s focus words or ‘buzz words’ have been developed by the D&T lead. In order to help the pupils progress from year to year, we aim to make sure that they have a solid understanding of these words each year. We encourage the pupils to apply these words during discussions with their peers

At St Mary’s, we use the displays around the school to showcase the pupil’s learning for each year group. These displays are a ‘working wall’ where images and pieces of the pupil’s work are added across the year. Through opportunities for pupil voice, pupils have developed the confidence and ability to share their knowledge. Quotes are placed on the displays to show this. The pupils take great pride in the fact that their learning is shared with other students at the school, and it’s a great way for other classes to see the learning taking place across the school. Additionally, pupils have the opportunity to share their work through the Art and D&T Exhibition which happens at the end of the school year. Pupils are able to share their work with their parents and guardians; their families are able to see the impact of the learning in D&T across the school.

Pupils leave St. Mary’s feeling confident in their knowledge and understanding of D&T.  They leave knowing how the study of D&T relates to other areas of their education in other topics. During their lessons, pupils have the opportunity to solve real life problems; this has developed their knowledge of the outside world, which also develops their understanding of how to be socially, morally and culturally responsible and aware. Through their learning, pupils develop an awareness of how to make positive contributions to the community and the wider world. They leave being pupils who are skilled, determined, resilient and respectful and conscientious of their environment and their impact towards it.