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Design and Technology: Intent

At St Andrew’s, we intend that children are prepared for life beyond primary education, including the use of Design and Technology in everyday life and careers in science, technology, engineering and mathematics. In our community, STEM careers are very common, particularly with our link with MUST (Malawi University of Science and Technology) and the wide range of trades and commercial engineering companies in our county. We have a responsibility to provide a strong foundation in Design Technology skills to open doors to further education and careers in this area. 

Our curriculum ensures a progression of skills, following a sequence which builds upon prior knowledge whilst encouraging creativity and imagination. Children re-visit knowledge and skills from both prior DT lessons, and from other curriculum areas, such as maths, PSHE and science. 

Our teaching focus is on the design process rather than the final outcome. Children will learn that no matter how successful the final outcome is, they will have developed important knowledge and skills during the design process which they can build on in their next project.    

Our sequence of lessons is carefully designed to give sufficient time for investigating existing products, exploring and practising skills, designing, making and finally evaluating the design process. 

To ensure our children develop an understanding of the process of design an agreed school wide format is used for designing and evaluating. Inbuilt into every topic is the opportunity to practice skills, to make mistakes and learn from them, creating a culture where children are not afraid to do so. The evaluation stage is very important to us as it is here that the children reflect upon the skills they have learnt, what improvements they could make and ways they could apply the skills they have learnt in other contexts. 

Teachers teach with confidence because they always create a prototype themselves to experience the process first, identify misconceptions and think critically about the small steps our children need to take on the design journey. This also ensures we consider the design choices we give our children and think carefully about how we can encourage creativity, problem solving and resilience. 

Details of our Design Technology curriculum:

  • DT is blocked once each term for Years 1-6.

  • Continuous provision is used in the EYFS to teach DT.

  • Topics (Textiles, Food, Mechanisms, Structures) are on a 2 year cycle, excluding electrical systems. This has been placed according to coverage of electricity in science topics to ensure these year groups have built a prior knowledge of electrical systems. 

  • More time has also been given to mechanisms projects to provide coverage of the aims set out in the National Curriculum. 

Next steps:

  • Progression of knowledge and skills to be written.

  • CAD unit to be introduced.

  • Possibly change the design brief for Year 3 moving pictures to make it more progressive from the Year 1 unit. 

  • Improve the quality of design and evaluation outcomes by introducing high quality teacher models. 

  • Introducing Could I be a…? to promote and encourage STEM careers for all children.

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