Design & Technology
"Enjoy failure and learn from it. You can never learn from success."
Design and Technology Subject Leader - Mrs E Jamieson
Design and technology is an inspiring, rigorous and practical subject. Using creativity and imagination, pupils design and make products that solve real and relevant problems within a variety of contexts, considering their own and others’ needs, wants and values. They acquire a broad range of subject knowledge and draw on disciplines such as mathematics, science, engineering, computing and art.
Through this exciting subject, children learn how to take risks, becoming resourceful, innovative, enterprising and capable citizens. Through the evaluation of past and present design and technology, they develop a critical understanding of its impact on daily life and the wider world.
There is a high degree of technical knowledge involved in Food and Design – in knowing how to use materials safely, in understanding the routines such as measurement and design to maximise materials and effort, and in learning manual skills. Teaching children to take a careful, informed approach is key.
We study key designers and barrier breakers across the discipline so that children can see how design is an iterative process and that fresh perspectives and originality have shaped the world.
Children learn to evaluate and reflect on their own work – learning from mistakes, seeing how to improve, and building their own plans. This allows them to take on projects independently.
Our curriculum is designed in a spiral structure to allow children to revisit food, textiles, structures and engineering, and mechanisms in increasingly challenging ways to develop their skills and expertise.
Key Stage 1
In Cycle A’s autumn term, children embark on a mini-project that allows them to explore structures, leading up to designing and creating their own shelter. The spring term is dedicated to an extended project on machines and motion, where they explore the concept of "mechanism" while assembling and testing wheels and axles before moving on to explore sliders, levers, and linkages. In the summer term, children focus on food sources as they engage in the a food project that introduces food preparation techniques and the concept of design briefs to craft a supermarket snack.
In Cycle B, during the autumn term, children take part in a food project focuses on food sources but also allows them to try simple cooking techniques. In the spring term's building project, children explore cutting, joining, and reinforcing wood for the first time. Lastly, the summer term introduces a textiles project, where children develop their knowledge of textiles, learning to sew a basic running stitch, work with pattern pieces, and incorporate straightforward embellishments.
Lower Key Stage 2
In Cycle A, children start with a food project that expands on the learning in Key Stage 1, focusing on the concept of a balanced diet and creating nutritious meals. In the spring term's automaton project, children expand their knowledge of mechanisms as they explore cams and utilize various joining and finishing techniques to craft automaton toys. The summer term's project sees them further enhancing their comprehension of structures, utilizing triangles and braces for improved stability. They embark on designing and constructing a greenhouse, drawing insights from science learning regarding opacity, transparency, and plant requirements to inform their design.
Cycle B also begins with a food project to deepen students' understanding of food from Key Stage 1, focusing on food safety and preservation technologies before embarking on the creation of packaging for a nutritious snack. In the spring term's textile project, children continue to explore textiles, studying the works of William Morris, and subsequently designing, embellishing, and completing a fabric sample. In the summer term's building project, they build upon their knowledge of mechanisms, studying the six simple machines and applying this understanding to construct a prototype for a lifting or moving device. They also explore and utilize electrical systems and IT monitoring and control for the first time in the science project on electronics.
Upper Key Stage 2
In Cycle A, children advance their understanding of mechanisms through an exploration of pneumatic systems. They gain insights into the forces at play and construct a prototype for a functional pneumatic machine. In the spring term's cookery project, students continue their exploration of food and nutrition, discovering the significance of seasonal foods and the advantages of eating in harmony with the seasons. During the summer term, their focus shifts to structures in a project on architecture. They explore the history of architecture and develop innovative techniques to enhance structural strength and stability. This includes utilizing computer-aided design tools and honing their fabrication skills to create scale models. Furthermore, they investigate the electrical conductivity of materials and apply this knowledge to crafting products with integrated circuits in their science project.
Cycle B’s autumn term introduces children to the realm of processed and whole foods. They craft healthy menus from unprocessed ingredients. In the spring term's engineering project, students consolidate their expertise in structures, refining their techniques for joining, strengthening, and working with electrical systems while taking on a bridge-building challenge. In the summer term's textile project, they expand their textile knowledge, learning new stitching methods for fabric joining and utilizing pattern pieces to create a variety of products.
The teaching supports the key concepts of design technology – namely designing, making, evaluating and technical knowledge.
In line with best practices, the teaching of design and technology frequently aligns with broader topics in the curriculum. This deliberate alignment allows students to integrate newly acquired knowledge into increasingly intricate conceptual frameworks. For example, their work in electronics in science moves between the STEM subjects, focusing on theory and application. Equally, work in physical computing supports the creating and design of intelligent products and this is best explored through our use of LEGO Education resources in the classroom.
How families can support
It is so valuable to talk about how items around the home are made, what they are made from and issues of sustainability around their manufacture. There are also many places in the local area that will be of interest to budding engineers and designers:
- Eureka! The National Children's Museum (Halifax): Eureka! is an interactive museum designed specifically for children. It's a great place for kids to explore hands-on exhibits related to science, technology, and design.
- Magna Science Adventure Centre (Rotherham): This science adventure center has interactive exhibits that cover everything from physics and engineering to technology and design. It's both educational and fun.
- Thackray Medical Museum (Leeds): This museum offers a unique look at the history of medicine and medical technology. It can be a fascinating trip for kids interested in design and technology in the medical field.
- National Coal Mining Museum (Wakefield): This museum provides a chance to explore the history of coal mining and the technology involved. Kids can learn about mining tools and equipment used in the past.
- The Royal Armouries Museum (Leeds): For kids interested in design technology related to armour and weaponry, this museum displays an impressive collection of arms and armour throughout history.
- Bradford Industrial Museum: This museum showcases the industrial heritage of Bradford, including textile machinery and printing technology. It's an excellent opportunity for kids to see how design and technology have evolved.
The following books may also inspire young chefs, engineers, or designers:
- "The Great British Bake Off: How to Bake" by Linda Collister - Age Range: 7-11. This cookbook, based on the popular TV show, offers a fantastic introduction to the world of baking. Kids can learn about the art and science of making delicious treats.
- "DKfindout! Engineering" by DK - Age Range: 7-11. This book provides a comprehensive overview of engineering, from the basics to more advanced concepts, in a kid-friendly way. It's a great introduction to the field of design and technology.
- "Usborne Beginners: Engineering" by Struan Reid - Age Range: 5-8. This book is tailored to younger readers and covers various aspects of engineering, making it an excellent choice for introducing young children to design and technology.
- "Edible Science: Experiments You Can Eat" by Jodi Wheeler-Toppen - Age Range: 8-12. This book combines science experiments with food. It's a fun way for kids to explore scientific principles through hands-on activities involving food and cooking.
- "The Daring Book for Girls" by Miriam Peskowitz and Andrea J. Buchanan - Age Range: 8-12. While not exclusively about design and technology, this book encourages girls to explore a wide range of interests, including crafts, activities, and projects that touch on engineering and creativity.
- "Kitchen Science Lab for Kids: 52 Family-Friendly Experiments from Around the House" by Liz Lee Heinecke - Age Range: 7-12. This book offers food-related experiments that can be done at home, sparking children's interest in both cooking and science.
- "The Way Things Work Now" by David Macaulay - Age Range: 9-12. This comprehensive guide to machines, engineering, and technology is beautifully illustrated and filled with explanations, making it suitable for older primary age children.
- "My Amazing Body Machine: A Colorful Visual Guide to How Your Body Works" by Robert Winston - Age Range: 7-10. While primarily focused on the human body, this book introduces engineering concepts related to the body's design and functionality.
- "Marvellous Machines" by Jane Wilsher - Age Range: 6-9. This interactive book introduces young readers to the world of machines and technology. It includes pop-ups and flaps for an engaging reading experience.
- "Design Dossier: Graphic Design" by Libby VanderPloeg - Age Range: 8-12. This book introduces the basics of graphic design in an accessible way, showing how design principles can be applied to various projects.