Design and Technology at St Nicholas CE Primary School
At St Nics we aim to provide children with a DT education that is relevant in our rapidly changing world. We want to encourage our children to become problem solvers who can work creatively on a shared project. Using the Cornerstones curriculum, design and technology is planned as a meaningful part of a wider project, to ensure children see the practical application of DT skills.
The use of the Cornerstones curriculum also ensures the progression of skills, as it builds upon the children’s previous knowledge through a project-based approach. Our DT curriculum provides children with opportunities to research, represent their ideas, explore and investigate, make a product and evaluate their work. Children will be exposed to a wide range of media including textiles, food and woodwork; through this, children will develop their skills, vocabulary and resilience. As our children progress through the school, the Cornerstones curriculum ensures the children revisit techniques to help them to progress within the different areas and consolidate skills and knowledge.
Linked to our art curriculum, we think it is important that children study a range of designers and architects, both past and present, and that in particular we think it is essential they should learn about a range of diverse creatives who reflect the society and world in which we live, so we have incorporated within our art and DT curriculum.
We have a clear and comprehensive scheme of work in line with the National Curriculum. Whilst the EYFS and National Curriculum forms the foundation of our curriculum, we make sure that children learn additional skills, knowledge and understanding and enhance our curriculum as and when necessary. Children have access to key knowledge, language and meanings to understand DT and to use these skills across the curriculum. In DT children are asked to solve problems and develop their learning independently. English, Maths and ICT skills are taught during discrete lessons but are revisited in Design Technology so children can apply and embed the skills they have learnt in a purposeful context. Our DT projects sit within cross curricular Cornerstones projects, which aim to help children see connections between subjects and work on meaningful projects that have practical applications.
Within food technology, in particular, we have attempted to bring meaning and purpose around cooking through such activities a whole school Mantle of the Expert project where each class focussed on a country from around the world and created food from that region to share with the school and a recent Family Tree project, where families were encouraged to talk about and explore favourite family recipes in order to create a whole school St Nics’ Favourite Family Recipes book. The aim was to explore the meaning behind family recipes, whilst encouraging conversation around this, developing cooking skills at home, whilst exploring family food traditions.
Our DT curriculum is developing to provide well thought out lessons and topics that demonstrate progression. In addition, we measure the impact of our curriculum through the following methods: reflection on standards achieved against the planned outcomes using the Cornerstones assessments, pupil discussions about their learning, which includes discussion of their thoughts, ideas, processing and evaluations of work. As designers, the aim is for children to develop practical skills and attributes they can use beyond school and into adulthood, understanding the importance and meaning behind these.