DT - Statement of Intent
At Elmtree Infant and Nursery School, Design and technology is an intricate part of our day to day lives and it is therefore important that our children are taught how this subject is of great importance, in our rapidly changing world. Children are encouraged to think creatively in order to solve problems and/or make improvements to existing ideas and products. It is through these methods that they can make positive changes to their own and others’ lives. At Elmtree School, every teacher is a teacher of SEND. As such, inclusion is a thread that runs through every area of the school. The teaching of Design and technology enables children to identify needs and opportunities, and to respond by developing ideas and eventually making products and systems. Through the study of design and technology, they combine practical skills with an understanding of aesthetic, social and environmental issues, as well as of functions and industrial practices. This allows them to reflect on and evaluate present and past design and technology, its uses and impacts. Design and technology gives children the opportunity to work and think both as individuals and as part of a team, which helps them develop and learn while demonstrating our key values of the school.
Through our Design and Technology curriculum we intend to:
give children the opportunity to take part in creative and practical activities
to understand the importance of design and technology in the wider world
to develop imaginative thinking in children and to enable them to talk about what they like and dislike when designing and making things
to enable children to talk about how things work, and to draw and model their ideas
to explore computing as a means of design
to encourage children to be analytical and critical when they are considering and analysing products
to encourage children to select appropriate materials, tools and techniques for making a product
to follow safe procedures when using equipment
to explore attitudes towards the made world and how we live and work within it
to develop an understanding of technological processes and products, their manufacture and their contribution to society
to foster enjoyment, satisfaction and purpose in designing and making things.
The Curriculum Leader works with the whole staff to develop a cohesive Design and Technology experience throughout the school. The Curriculum Leader will also:
support colleagues in their development and understanding of detailed work plans and implementation of schemes of work and in assessment and record keeping.
take responsibility for the purchase and organisation of resources for Design and Technology.
Monitoring whole school planning, to ensure progression and continuity.
Keep staff informed of developments or changes in the Design and Technology curriculum.
Evidence of children’s work will be recorded by pictures which will then be put into art folders.
Design and technology is a foundation subject in the National Curriculum. At Elmtree we use the National Curriculum as the basis for its curriculum planning. We have adapted the National Curriculum to the local circumstances of our school. We use the local environment and our topic plan as the starting point for certain aspects of our work. We carry out the curriculum planning in design and technology in three phases: long-term, medium-term and short-term. The long-term plan maps out the units covered in each term during the key stage. Our medium-term plans give details of each unit of work for each term. They identify learning objectives and outcomes for each unit, and ensure an appropriate balance and distribution of work across each term. Class teachers plan for individual design and technology sessions as part of weekly planning. The weekly plan lists the specific learning objectives for each lesson and detail how the lessons are to be taught. The class teacher keeps these individual plans, and the class teacher and subject leader often discuss them on an informal basis. We plan the activities in design and technology so that they build upon the prior learning of the children. We give children of all abilities the opportunity to develop their skills, knowledge and understanding and we also build planned progression into the scheme of work, so that the children are increasingly challenged as they move through the school.
The teachers at Elmtree use a variety of teaching and learning styles in design and technology lessons. The principal aim is to develop children’s knowledge, skills and understanding in design and technology. Teachers ensure that the children apply their knowledge and understanding when developing ideas, planning and making products, and evaluating them. We do this through a mixture of whole class teaching and individual or group activities. Within lessons we give the children the opportunity to work on their own and to collaborate with others, listening to other children’s ideas and treating these with respect. Children critically evaluate existing products, their own work and that of others. They have the opportunity to use a wide range of materials and resources, including computing.
In all classes there are children of differing ability. We recognise this fact and provide suitable learning opportunities for all children by matching the challenge of the task to the ability of the child. We achieve this through a range of strategies:
setting common tasks that are open-ended and can have a variety of results
setting tasks of increasing difficulty where not all children complete tasks
grouping children by ability and setting different tasks for each group
providing a range of challenges through the provision of different resources
using additional adults to support the work of individual children or small groups.
The school has a range of resources kept in the stock cupboard. Each class teacher is responsible for their safe use and return when they are finished with. Great care will be taken and safety procedures adhered to when the children are using saws and the glue gun.
A range of approaches will be used and incorporated into our Design and Technology activities. This will allow all children to develop their potential according to their age and ability.
The Foundation Stage:
We encourage the development of skills; knowledge and understanding that help reception children make sense of their world as an integral part of their school experience. We relate this development to the objectives set out in the Early Learning Goals. This learning forms the foundations for later work in design and technology. These early experiences include asking questions about how things work, investigating and using a variety of construction kits, materials, tools and products, developing making skills and handling appropriate tools and construction materials safely and with increasing control.
We plan according to the children’s interests and provide an enabling environment offering a range of experiences that encourage exploration, observation, problem solving, critical thinking and discussion.
Teachers assess children’s work in design and technology as they observe them during lessons. At the end of a unit of work teachers make a judgment using the school’s assessment materials which are linked to the National Curriculum levels of attainment. Children will be assessed on if they are developing, secure or exceeding these key objective and skills so their skills can be developed the next time they revisit the area of the subject. Children are also encouraged to make judgements on how their work can be improved. Teachers then use this to plan future work and to make an annual assessment of progress for each child, as part of the annual report to parents. This information is passed on to the next teachers at the end of the year.
The school’s Marking and Feedback policy allows children’s levels of independence to be evident, as instances where pupils have the most secure knowledge and skills can most easily be recognised when they’ve applied learning independently and in a range of ways, including across different areas of the curriculum. On occasions when such extended depth has yet to be developed, an expected core impact of our curriculum is that pupils are at least ready to move on to the next key stage of learning.