Welcome to the fascinating subject of design and technology!
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. They acquire a broad range of subject knowledge and draw on disciplines such as mathematics, science, engineering, computing and art. At West Rainton pupils learn how to take risks, becoming resourceful, innovative, enterprising and capable citizens. 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. High-quality design and technology education makes an essential contribution to the creativity, culture, wealth and well-being of the nation.
As part of their work with food, pupils are taught how to cook and apply the principles of nutrition and healthy eating. Instilling a love of cooking will also open a door to one of the greatest expressions of human creativity. Learning how to cook is a crucial life skill that enables pupils to feed themselves and others affordably and well, now and in later life.
Leadership and intent of design and technology at West Rainton
As the leader of design and technology, I am committed to supporting all of our pupils, in their developing creative journey, throughout their primary school years. You can read my full pen profile for my role as design and technology lead here:
How design and technology supports and promotes our overarching curriculum key drivers:
We want our pupils to be inspired by our provision, and to ignite strong aspirations and high expectations of themselves and their future. Promotion of strong attendance is fundamental in this. Through the use of visits, visitors and enriching experiences, we will build knowledge and understanding of career possibilities as well as a hunger to embrace new and exciting opportunities. We will ensure we plan regular opportunities for children to develop self-belief and to see the benefits of taking risks and overcoming challenge. Our pupils will be supported to light up future pathways to fulfilling lives of employment choices, prosperity and future happiness. In design and technology this is achieved through the engaging and enriching opportunities on offer. Providing opportunities for the children to be creative, investigative and curious. Allowing the children to make mistakes but more importantly, to learn from them, creating strength and resilience. Encouraging the children to be innovative, through research and inviting businesses into school to inspire them into a range of career pathways.
Skills for learning and life
We want pupils to leave our school with a bank of knowledge and a skillset specific to each individual subject, whilst also making transferable connections across other areas of learning and life. Fundamental to this, is a curriculum rich in core skills of language, vocabulary, communication, literacy and numeracy. Our pupils will be taught to be inquisitive, follow a line of enquiry to reach answers, and to recall and present their learning in a vibrant range of ways. Opportunities to develop resilience, organisation, leadership, teamwork, adaptability, patience and initiative are all interwoven into our subjects and wider school life in order for our children to adjust to new learning situations. In design and technology this is promoted through providing opportunities to work as part of a team, to develop their leadership skills. They are also encouraged to use their own initiative and develop patience, perseverance and resilience. The process of developing a plan (designing), creating (making), testing and evaluating are all fostered within D&T lessons.
Equally as important to us is the development of the whole child. Feeling safe, happy and valued is a fundamental right of all pupils. Our inclusive-rich ethos provides the backdrop to our personal development and wellbeing provision which is skilfully interwoven into all that we do. All pupils are supported to develop a strong understanding of the importance of good physical and mental health, whilst also learning a whole range of factors and influences that can have a negative impact on us. Making, nurturing and maintaining healthy relationships, both on and offline, equips children with the strength and security to recognise what they want and need in life. We believe a strong understanding of e-safety forms a crucial part of being a healthy, well-rounded 21st century global citizen. Design and technology provides experiences for children to enjoy on a more practical basis, promoting mindfulness and mental well-being. It is an opportunity for them to be able to interact with their peers and share ideas and opinions. It develops the children’s understanding of how to work with tools and equipment safely. Through the ‘food and nutrition’ strand of the subject, they learn the principles of where food comes from, nutrition and healthy eating as well as life skills in cooking for themselves and others.
Knowledge of the world
When our pupils leave us at the end of Y6, we want them to feel so proud of themselves as people that they have the personal strength and self-confidence to find their place as positive global citizens. Through our carefully-planned provision, our pupils will experience a diverse and inclusive-rich experience that allows them to bank cultural capital as well as developing a secure understanding of the importance of equality. As well as a secure knowledge of British values, our pupils will have their minds and horizons broadened through diverse social, moral, spiritual and cultural experiences. Pupils will be regularly encouraged to revisit and extend their world-view, fostering tolerance, sensitivity and empathy to interact positively with others. The design and technology curriculum map is carefully tailored to introduce a wide range of creativity, skill techniques, culture, wealth and well-being over time. Year 6 are given the opportunity to create a business enterprise that will often be linked to a project or an idea developed through the subject over the primary age phase.
Long-term planning: During discussions with individual class teachers, and considering the needs of the children within our class structure each year, the design and technology leader creates an updated curriculum map for this subject, as well as a progression of skills map, which can be found on the school website. This approach is particularly important during years where there are mixed age classes, to ensure complete coverage of all objectives and to make sure that topics are not duplicated.
Medium term planning within each unit or work; learning objectives, design and technology activities, assessment opportunities, the vocabulary to be taught and used, safety issues, how information and communications technology and resources should be used. Planning is uploaded to the staff shared area on the school network for monitoring purposes.
You can see the full subject policy and curriculum mapping for design and technology here:
How design and technology is taught at West Rainton Primary School
Children at West Rainton Primary pupils are taught design and technology for 60 minutes per week – this is alternated, on a half termly basis, with the teaching of art and design. In addition to being taught as a discrete subject, design and technology is also taught as a cross curricular subject, wherever appropriate across all key stages. All pupils have their own sketchbook in which to plan and develop their design and technology activities, before completing their final piece of work.
As part of our provision on offer, pupils with special educational needs are planned for very carefully in school. This is an important part of the DT curriculum, as we strive to ensure that all of our pupils fully understand what they are being taught. This may involve greater explanations about what they learn, and simplified tasks to ensure that pupils with SEND gain as much as they can from the learning on offer. In fact, quite often our pupils with more diverse needs enjoy the freedom and ownership of the more creative subjects. Our provision across the curriculum was highlighted when we were awarded the inclusive ‘Centre of Excellence’ award in late 2020. It is crucial for us that our pupils with SEND make progress, and move on from where they are in their learning journey. This provision may look very different to our other pupils, through differentiation and modification of the curriculum. Our decisions are made in consultation with the SENDCo, Mrs Firth, who advises and supports members of staff with their provision.
The impact of design and technology at West Rainton
Our broad and balanced design and technology curriculum offers opportunities to support the social development of our children through the way we expect them to work with each other in lessons. Our groupings allow pupils to work together, giving them the chance to discuss their ideas and feelings about their own work and the work of others.
Through their collaborative and co-operative work across a range of activities and experiences in design and technology, our pupils develop respect for the abilities of other children and a better understanding of themselves. In addition, pupils develop a respect for the environment, for their own health and safety and for that of others. Our ultimate goal, in the teaching of design and technology, is to nurture pupils resilience and to adopt a can-do attitude when planning, creating and adapting their work.
Possible careers involving this subject are:
Construction and Building Services