Design and Technology
Design and Technology
Design and Technology is an inspiring, rigorous and practical subject. Design and Technology encourages children to learn, think and intervene creatively to solve problems both as individuals and as members of a team. At Howitt Primary Community School, we encourage children to use their creativity and imagination, to design and make products that solve real and relevant problems within a variety of contexts, considering their own and others’ needs, wants and values. We aim to, wherever possible, link work to other disciplines such as mathematics, science, engineering, computing and art. The children are also given opportunities to reflect upon and evaluate past and present design technology, its uses and its effectiveness and are encouraged to become innovators and risk-takers.
Design Technology in the Early Years
In the Early Years Foundation Stage, design and technology forms part of the learning children acquire under the ‘Understanding the World and Expressive Arts and Design' branches of the Foundation Stage curriculum, although the children will also use other skills and knowledge within all of the 7 areas of learning.
Your child will learn through first-hand experiences. They will be encouraged to explore, observe, solve problems, think critically, make decisions and to talk about why they have made their decisions. Here are some of the typical learning experiences your child will have:
Constructing: Learning to construct with a purpose in mind, some children use scissors, glue, string and a hole punch to make a bag to store travel brochures they collected during a field trip.
Structure and joins: Following a visit to their local high street, some children make a church tower out of small wooden bricks.
Using a range of tools: Through this, your child will learn about planning and adapting initial ideas to make them better. For example, a child might choose to use scissors, a stapler, elastic bands and glue to join bits together to make a toy vehicle. But they might then modify their initial idea by using masking tape.
Cooking techniques: Some children take turns stirring the mixture for a cake and then watch with fascination as it rises while cooking. They will practise stirring, mixing, pouring and blending ingredients during cookery activities.
Exploration: Children will dismantle things and learn about how everyday objects work. For example, a child might dismantle a pepper grinder and discover how it is put together and the materials different parts are made of.
Discussion: Your child will be given opportunities to discuss reasons that make activities safe or unsafe, for example hygiene, electrical awareness, and appropriate use of senses when tasting different flavourings. They will also learn to record their experiences by, for example, drawing, writing and making a tape or model.
Key stage 1
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]. When designing and making, pupils should be taught to:
- 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
- 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 product
Key Stage 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, school, leisure, culture, enterprise, industry and the wider environment]. When designing and making, pupils should be taught to:
- 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.
Cooking and nutrition
As part of their work with food, pupils should be taught how to cook and apply the principles of nutrition and healthy eating. Instilling a love of cooking in pupils will also open a door to one of the great expressions of human creativity. Learning how to cook is a crucial life skill that enables pupils to feed themselves and others affordably and well, now and in later life. Pupils should be taught to:
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.
Design Technology at home
Early Years Design and Technology at home
Encourage your child to try out these activities to improve their DT skills:
- Get your child to sort objects by different criteria. You could do this by getting them to help to set the table or organise shopping items to be put away.
- When talking to your child, look for opportunities to notice and discuss materials around them – utensils in the kitchen, tree barks on a walk, soft furnishings in the bedroom.
- While speaking, use the language of designing and making, for example words such as ‘join', ‘build' and ‘shape'. And use evaluative and comparative language – ‘longer', ‘shorter', ‘lighter', ‘heavier' and ‘stronger'.
- Encourage and support the use of a range of tools, such as scissors, hole punch, stapler, glue spreader, rolling pin, cutter and grater.
Key Stage 1 & 2
If you’d like free design and technology activities to do with your child at home, this blog could be for you. You’ll find a variety of exciting ideas and projects for your little designer.
Click on the link below:
The blog from Twinkl includes different projects, step by step guilds, videos and links to resources.
Design and Technology KS1 / KS2: I Want to Design
In this series of short films the designers from CBBC's I Want My Own Room pass on their top tips and design know-how to provide children with ideas and inspiration to get creative.
Click the link below: