At Collis Primary School our immersive Design Technology curriculum provides all children opportunities to be creative and design in a varied way, with meaning. We encourage children to become independent, creative problem solvers and thinkers both as individuals and as part of a team. We encourage children to evaluate their designs, material choices and final product and also identify successes and possible development points. Design Technology is a way for children to use their imagination and creativity, testing their own ideas, taking risks, to gain self-confidence and resilience. Our DT curriculum is shaped by our school vision: to enable all children to encounter challenge and have the courage and determination to find a solution. We aim to foster creativity through the design and make process.
Collis has a clear skills and knowledge progression and a well thought out, whole school, yearly overview of the DT curriculum which is problem focused. Each unit explicitly teaches technical knowledge and vocabulary. This allows for progression across year groups in all areas of DT (textiles, structures, food, computer control, mechanisms and electrical systems). This ensures that skills and knowledge are built on year-by-year and sequenced appropriately to maximise learning. The topics are well planned and resourced providing children with a hands-on and enriching experience. Teachers plan collaboratively using the DT progression grid when creating their medium term plan. DT is mostly taught half termly, however some topics lend themselves to teaching in blocks and may be taught over the course of a week. Work is evidenced in design and technology folders showing children’s progress.
The design process should be rooted in real life, relevant contexts to give meaning to learning. The children design and create products against design criteria that consider function and purpose. With the exception of Cooking and nutrition, all teaching of DT should follow the investigate, design, make and evaluate cycle. Children are encouraged to have their own ideas focussing on the process not the end product. A range of skills are taught (cutting shaping joining, finishing) to help children succeed in the design and make process while ensuring that health and safety issues related to the tasks are undertaken. Opportunities are provided to make models and prototypes to practise skills.
In year 2, every child practiced
their running stitch on a prototype puppet
before making their final project
Pupils are introduced to specific designers, architects, engineers, chefs, nutritionists, etc. helping to engender an appreciation of human creativity and achievement and increase the cultural capital from which they can draw in the future.
In Early Years, DT is developed through continuous provision. DT is accessible in both our creative and construction areas within the classroom, where the children thrive by carrying out challenges set by the teacher. Depending on the children’s engagement and learning, the teacher will either revisit the challenge or move the children’s learning forward by setting a new challenge.
Example of progression in Mechanical (Golden thread ‘System’)
Year 1 Year 2 Year 3
Mechanical System Mechanical System Pneumatic System
Moving Picture Fire Engine Moving Monster
Year 4 Year 5 Year 6
Electronic System Mechanical System Mechanical and
Torch Cam Toy Electrical System
If you were to walk into DT lessons at Collis, you will see:
Some examples of Pupil Voice
Year 2: ‘I enjoyed making the book different to other books by using flaps, wheels and levers.’
‘I try to do my best to solve the problem before asking for help.’
Year 3: ‘Making soup was fun and it was yummy.’
Year 4: ‘I learned how to saw wood and cut food with a knife.’
Year 5: ‘You make it more than once so that you can edit it.’