Our Vision for Design Technology
“Design is not just what it looks like and feels like. Design is how it works.”
Steve Jobs (industrial designer, co-founder of Apple)
“Design is thinking made visual.”
Saul Bass (graphic designer)
At Cranford Park Primary School, D&T provides children with engaging, practical and purposeful projects. Children are engrossed in practical tasks, showing enthusiasm and keenness to learn new skills. Skills progress as children move through the school and are used to produce quality items in the upper school. E.g. Sewing skills cumulate into a batik cushion. Children are confident in knowing which tool they need for a task and use these safely. They evaluate and amend plans as they go, being keen to always improve and make things work even better. A variety of suitable tools are available to manipulate materials at woodwork stations. Resources include mechanical items for children to explore, take apart and problem solve to find out how things work.
Construction equipment is available to all year groups, both indoors and outside on a larger scale. Outdoor learning opportunities for all year groups develop life and survival skills and provide further opportunities to apply skills learned through the curriculum. Children use their D&T skills and knowledge to build shelters, create structures and their own adventure playgrounds. A theme week provides further opportunities for children to study inventors and inventions from a range of times and cultures. Healthy Eating projects in each year group allow children to learn to prepare and cook healthy meals in our dedicated food technology space.
Liaison with our local secondary school allows for children to experience a wider range of mechanical equipment such as 3D printers and drills. Computer aided design supports upper school children to explore, design and edit designs on the computer, visualising their concepts and simulating them to see how they perform in the real world. CAM software is used to programme and control computer-aided machinery to automate the manufacturing process. Once the designs are finished in the CAD process, CAM software uses them to create instructions and operate the product.
We hope that we have the inventors of the future here at Cranford Park and so we encourage creativity and inventive thought. We support this by older children helping with the creation of projects around the school, such as an EY’s mud kitchen. Children explore and aspire to a variety of professions which use D&T skills. We enter competitions for inventions and engage with Young Enterprise projects within the local community; this also provides opportunities for children to deepen understanding of economic issues.
At Cranford Park CE Primary School, we provide children with real life contexts for learning D&T which are inspired by current curriculum themes, creating strong cross-curricular links. Using the D&T cycle of ‘design, make, evaluate’ the children develop skills and knowledge appropriate for their age and use an increasing range of tools and materials safely. Children use the task and real-life context to create a design brief, to understand who the end user is and the purpose of the task/product. They follow a series of steps to create specifications, research and evaluate existing products, learn new and build upon previously learnt skills, plan, design, make and evaluate their own product.
The skills of ‘design, make and evaluate’ are embedded in each D&T unit of work. In Early Years, the skills and knowledge linking to the Design and Technology curriculum are encompassed within the ‘Understanding of the World’ and ‘Expressive Arts and Design’ aspects of the Early Years Framework. During the children’s independent learning and play, children have the opportunity to explore resources that will begin to support them to Design, Make and Evaluate their work. They have access to many resources that support to facilitate their exploration; Lego, blocks, junk modelling, Mobilo, Sellotape, glue, hole punches, scissors and large construction resources. During independent learning and play, the adults encourage the children to talk about their ideas for their products, it’s use and make informal evaluations.
In KS1 and KS2, the units of work include mechanisms, structures, textiles and food and nutrition. These skills are taught alongside knowledge of existing products, role models in each area of learning and how to create their products. The skills and knowledge that the children learn are progressive throughout the school and these are built upon year on year. D&T lessons will cultivate skills such as creativity and problem-solving, encouraging children to think critically by equipping them with the tools to bring their ideas to life and allows them to work collaboratively with one another as well as independently. Through D&T, children will be inspired by engineers, designers, chefs and architects, to inspire them to create a range of structures, mechanisms, textiles, electrical systems and food products.