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Clock Gears

Design Technology

Exmoor National Park - learning partner
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We recognise that children are living in a highly developed technological society. They are constantly using and controlling a wide range of technology whether it be the use of a light-switch, calculator, computer system or photocopier. This is all part of their experience of life and one which they will use in the classroom. Design and Technology is about practical problem solving and using materials available to them to solve problems through planning and construction. At primary school level, we can instil attitudes towards Design and Technology in which the children can realise that in technology there is never just one correct solution. The process of identifying a need, designing a solution, building an artefact and testing and evaluating it is key in the learning process, particularly if it works and has a relevant function or application. Design Technology is important for pupils of all abilities as a subject which helps prepare them for the rigours and demands of adult life and acknowledges the two main areas of the subject, the Design and Technology capability and Computing capability.

Aims And Objectives
Design and Technology is an essential component of curriculum provision because it develops:

(1) Basic knowledge and identity of:

  • Materials (natural and man-made)

  • Forms and sources of energy

  • Sensing and control systems

  • Design (planning, organisation, aesthetics, presentation)

  • Evaluation


(2) Competence in:

  • Use of instruments, equipment, tools and systems

  • Application of instruments, equipment, tools and systems

  • Use of materials


(3) Awareness of:

  • Real life situations and issues

  • Impact of technology (past, present and future)

  • Conflicts of interests (personal, economic and environmental)

  • Aesthetic and social implications

(4) Attitudes should encourage:

  • Curiosity

  • Originality

  • Initiative

  • Co-operation

  • Perseverance

  • Open mindedness

  • Self-criticism

  • Responsibility towards materials, tools and environment.

Teaching and learning style
The school uses a variety of teaching and learning styles in science lessons. Our principal aim is to develop the children’s knowledge, skills and understanding. We do this through a mixture of whole-class teaching and individual / group activities. Teachers encourage the children to ask as well as answer scientific questions. The children have the opportunity to use a variety of secondary sources of information, where it will enhance learning as well as gaining first hand experiences, for example, the use of books, photographs, graphs, diagrams, models and IT.
Teachers may employ the following methods when delivering science sessions:

• Setting common tasks that are open-ended and can have a variety of responses
• Setting tasks of increasing difficulty (we do not expect all children to complete all tasks)
• Providing a range of challenges with different resources
• Using additional adults to support the work of individual children or small groups
• Incorporating high order questions that apply to scientific thinking to extend the most able children in science


This subject is a component subject within the Primary Learning Pathways Curriculum (and a core subject in the national curriculum). Teachers plan using the DT Progression (and rolling programmes) to produce medium term plans. Units may be enquiry or area led and links may be made to other subjects. Our units are typically designed to run half termly but may be shorter blocks or specific projects. Challenges, enquiry and investigation generally drive these projects. DT is taught through discreet (standalone) subject work and  may be blocked into days / sessions according to the project based approach.

Design And Technology In Key Stage 1 And 2
Through a variety of creative and practical activities, pupils should be taught the knowledge, understanding and skills needed to engage in an iterative process of designing and making. They should work in a range of relevant contexts [for example, the home and school, gardens and playgrounds, the local community, industry and the wider environment] to design, make and evaluate as well as increase their technical knowledge:

Key stage 1

• design purposeful, functional, appealing products for themselves and other users based on design criteria
• generate, develop, model and communicate their ideas through talking, drawing, templates, mock-ups and, where appropriate, information and communication technology
• select from and use a range of tools and equipment to perform practical tasks [for example, cutting, shaping, joining and finishing]
• select from and use a wide range of materials and components, including construction materials,
textiles and ingredients, according to their characteristics
• explore and evaluate a range of existing products
• evaluate their ideas and products against design criteria
Technical knowledge
• build structures, exploring how they can be made stronger, stiffer and more stable
• explore and use mechanisms [for example, levers, sliders, wheels and axles], in their products.

Key Stage 2

• use research and develop design criteria to inform the design of innovative, functional, appealing
products that are fit for purpose, aimed at particular individuals or groups
• generate, develop, model and communicate their ideas through discussion, annotated sketches,
cross-sectional and exploded diagrams, prototypes, pattern pieces and computer-aided design

• select from and use a wider range of tools and equipment to perform practical tasks [for example,
cutting, shaping, joining and finishing], accurately
• select from and use a wider range of materials and components, including construction materials,
textiles and ingredients, according to their functional properties and aesthetic qualities

• investigate and analyse a range of existing products
• evaluate their ideas and products against their own design criteria and consider the views of others to improve their work
• understand how key events and individuals in design and technology have helped shape the world
Technical knowledge
• apply their understanding of how to strengthen, stiffen and reinforce more complex structures
• understand and use mechanical systems in their products [for example, gears, pulleys, cams, levers and linkages]
• understand and use electrical systems in their products [for example, series circuits incorporating
switches, bulbs, buzzers and motors]
• apply their understanding of computing to program, monitor and control their products

STEM & Learning Opportunities
Much of our DT delivery is enabled and enhanced by our STEM partnership work. We are learning partners with the OGDEN trust and work closely with several local schools to enhance design technology opportunities the local area. Our STEM projects help curriculum coverage but also significantly raise the profile of and interest in this subject. STEM projects and events are coordinated at Subject Leader level. Examples include Space Detectives, Big Bang, Bloodhound and more. Along with this work additional experiences include construction clubs, specialist trips and design challenges etc.


Other partnership work includes habitat study work with Exmoor National Park. We are learning partners and use the moor to deliver first hand learning experiences. Understanding of materials, shelter and systems is enhanced through our visits and ranger contact.


Outdoor Learning

The school emphasises the outdoor learning environment and large elements of the DT curriculum are delivered through our well developed programme. The school outdoor learning area has been developed to assist with Shelters, construction and material work.

Design And Technology In The Early Years
Throughout the Early Years, activities and opportunities are planned where children can learn
through talk, play and their own life experiences.
Children in the Foundation Stage will experience a variety of activities including:
choosing and exploring a variety of materials such as fabric, card, paper, wood, boxes etc

learning how to use scissors safely and correctly exploring a variety of joining techniques such as PVA glue, Pritt stick, masking tape, elastic bands
tape, treasury tags, split pins, paper clips and string to join materials together
taking part in both cooking and non-cook food activities, learning about the importance of food hygiene having opportunities to explore creating models using a wide range of construction kits that fit together in a variety of different ways
having opportunities to talk about and explain how they will/have made their model and to discuss what they like/dislike about it
folding and shaping paper in order to create a range of structures

Cooking and nutrition

As part of their work with food and within our thematic approach, children are taught how to cook and apply the principles of nutrition and healthy eating. Learning how to cook is a crucial life skill and we add to the basics as part of our approach. Opportunities are taken both through direct (discreet) teaching and linked through other thematic areas.

Key stage 1
• use the basic principles of a healthy and varied diet to prepare dishes
• understand where food comes from

Key stage 2
• understand and apply the principles of a healthy and varied diet
• prepare and cook a variety of predominantly savoury dishes using a range of cooking techniques
• understand seasonality, and know where and how a variety of ingredients are grown, reared,
caught and processed

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