What is taught in Design Technology?
At Poppleton Road we teach the following aspects of Design and Technology through a range of independent and collaborative learning opportunities for our children:
When are specific skills and knowledge taught?
Each year group follows clear ‘Progression of Knowledge and Skills’ planning documents for Design and Technology across the academic year. These are linked with the cross-curricular topics and build upon the children’s learning from previous years. Our children’s DT projects are shared and celebrated on displays in school and in our class Showcase books, as well as on class Seesaw and Twitter pages.
Every class at Poppleton Road cooks at least once each half term, often including ‘Stay and learn’ sessions to involve parents when we are able to have visitors into school. We strive to foster community links through our DT projects, for example when cooking for the local food bank during the 2021 Lockdown.
How do we teach Design and Technology?
Design and Technology requires pupils to apply knowledge and skills to solve practical problems. Therefore, children at Poppleton Road are taught through hands-on experiences using real life scenarios that allow them to be creative and to design with intent and purpose. This helps our children to learn practical skills that they will be able to use throughout their lives. We are committed to teaching the children about how things work and how they are made by allowing them to investigate products and making links with industry. Children use their creativity and ingenuity to design products for different users with cross-curricular links, for example, building toys with pulley mechanisms in Year 1, linked with a history topic. We particularly recognise the close relationship with the STEM subjects of Science, Technology, Engineering and Maths and foster these relationships. Our children are taught to use materials and tools safely in the making process and are encouraged to think critically when evaluating the suitability of their designs and products. We also have links with external providers and visitors, such as a smoothie bike, which inspires our children to become passionate about cooking healthy meals.
Why do we teach Design and Technology?
The different strands of Design and Technology appeal to a range of learning styles and promote independence and healthy life choices for our children. As stated in the National Curriculum, ‘high quality Design and Technology education makes an essential contribution to the creativity, culture, wealth and well-being of the nation’ and so is highly valued in our school. We also believe that promoting a balanced diet and equipping our children with competent cooking skills is essential. As part of our cooking and nutrition education for example, our Pupil Passports state that our children will grow and cook with something they have planted in their class allotment. Furthermore, one of our ‘Big Ideas’ is for every child to be able to prepare a simple and healthy meal by the time they go to secondary school. At Poppleton Road, we want to develop engineers of the future by helping our children to recognise that design is a process involving key transferable skills including investigating, researching and problem-solving. We hope that this inspires pupils to pursue Design and Technology, either though further study or as future career.