Our curriculum is ambitious, diverse and research driven
At Hunsbury Park Primary School, we base our teaching and learning of Design and Technology through a spiral curriculum format where children are able to revisit topics and skills covered throughout their time in Hunsbury Park Primary School. We can then use these foundations to build upon and progress further with the additional aid of retrieval opportunities, based on research about changes to long term memory. We have personally tailored our units of work to ensure children within Hunsbury Park Primary School have the opportunities to be fully exposed to and experience all skills and learning outlined within the National Curriculum, as well as ensure we are meeting the needs of our diverse community of children. This is achieved through mixed year groups running over two-year cycles which show rigorously planned retrieval, expectations and progression through each year group and phase created by the expertise of the Subject and Curriculum Lead. This promotes an ambitious curriculum for our children and a highly consistent way of teaching that supports all practitioners in delivering D&T to the highest standard.
By creating an overview, which we have built in order to tailor learning for our children further, this heavily supports their learning, knowledge and skills which also allow us to interlink key concepts with other key subjects. This ultimately strengthens and extends learning through a cross-curricular approach where it is appropriate to do so. We intend for our children to be able to apply skills and knowledge from other subjects which may not necessarily be topic or subject specific but use areas like Art, Maths or Science where children will need to rely on adapting their current everyday skills to tackle a problem as well as using practical abilities to develop their fine motor skills further.
By using a research-based approach to teaching where learning is revisited, retrieved, schemas are strengthened and developed further, Design and Technology then offers children a creative and safe environment to develop important life skills. This includes using tools, machines, working with materials or textiles, bringing their own ideas and designs to life through construction, building or sewing, and cooking dishes with an emphasis on healthy eating being in the kitchen and also during Forest School sessions. Ultimately, this allows us to encourage the children’s development of interpersonal skills and further supports the embedding of our Golden Threads – our School Values – as well as our Key Concepts, making learning purposeful, highly focused and continually revisited so skills can build unit after unit.
These experiences will then provide a solid foundation to equip children with the skills needed throughout their educational journey and of course into their adult lives. Therefore, we aim to inspire all learners by generating curiosity and by providing children with the opportunities to tackle practical problems, take risks, react and assess potential unsafe situations, be independent thinkers, as well as develop the skills to be able to work and co-operate successfully as a team.
In Design and Technology, we implement a clear structure that follows a similar sequence across all phases differing in skills taught, purpose and context to ensure there is a full coverage of the National Curriculum objectives. This ultimately allows children to follow the process of researching, planning, designing, creating prototypes, creating/constructing, testing and then evaluating (Design, Make, Evaluate). D&T is taught so that 3 full units are completed each year, allowing sufficient time to fully immerse children within their learning so that they are able to explore this process in depth. These units may be stand-alone units; however, where appropriate, we link them to History and Geography learning in order to deepen and extend our children’s knowledge in these areas. For example, we learn to cook Polish food in Phase 2 due to our diverse school community with many Polish families. This links to our learning in Geography, comparing geographical features in Poland and England, giving the children further understanding of another aspect of what life is like in Poland.
We also base our teaching and learning of D&T by focusing on 3 Key Concepts across the school in all phases.
Our Key Concepts that drive our approach to Design and Technology are:
- Master Practical Skills – I am a designer because I explore a range of techniques, tools and materials to make products.
- Design, Make, Evaluate and Improve – I am a designer because I use creativity, experience and critical evaluation to design new products that consider the user or are made for a given purpose.
- Take Inspiration from Designs Throughout History – I am a designer because I evaluate and improve on existing designs and consider the work of inventors to create my own.
These key concepts are introduced in early KS1 and are reviewed throughout each 2-year cycle across all phases in D&T. Within these key concepts, which are broad areas, we target our teaching of D&T through our HPPS focused lenses which specify an area within each key concept depending on the content or skill being taught. These are revisited, built upon and strengthened throughout each year so that skills are taught and can be applied and embedded and learning is able to be consolidated. This enables children to develop strong schemas around these lenses, hooking new learning onto what has been taught and learnt previously. This is driven by our desire to be informed by research about what helps children move learning into their long-term memories.
Our Lenses for each Key Concept are:
- Master Practical Skills
- Technical Knowledge
- Practical Knowledge
- Design, Make, Evaluate and Improve
- Design Process
- Technical Knowledge
- Practical Knowledge
- Take Inspiration from Designs Throughout History
- Design Inspiration
All Design and Technology topics are initially chosen in meetings with SLT with the Curriculum Lead and developed further with the Subject Lead where termly overviews are created. The topics chosen are linked where appropriate with areas and knowledge being taught in other subjects to make learning as relevant and meaningful as possible to the children in a ‘hands on’ way and so that links are understood on a deeper level. These opportunities are explicitly planned in to allow this.
Units of work are carefully organised over the course of each key stage so children will experience projects based on food technology, structures, sculpting, textiles (linked to Art) mechanisms and electrical systems (linked to Science) and designing through the use of computing. The skills and knowledge have been allocated to phases to ensure progression and coverage and these will be adapted and revisited where necessary by teachers, following our research on retrieval practice. Planning and work are then monitored by the Subject Lead. As well as the dedicated D&T subject sessions, there is continuous provision within EYFS where children may choose to follow an interest in Design and Technology through their ‘Independent Learning Time’.
Design and Technology is taught in a safe environment where, if needed, risk assessments are completed and these risks are shared with the staff and children to make them fully aware of the possible dangers and how to keep themselves and others safe. Teachers model and demonstrate skills and support the children in all teaching and learning, encouraging children at an appropriate level to their needs. If practitioners need additional support or guidance, it is sort from the Subject Lead.
Objectives are made clear to all staff in many ways across Hunsbury Park Primary School. Staff are expected to know and understand their D&T curriculum map taken from LTM and know how to use the detailed written overviews provided to them to create MTP, matching the needs of their children. Support is given to all staff if they need additional guidance in following this, however, these have been written in great detail to make the teaching of D&T as clear and succinct across all classes within the same phase and then across the school. Staff also use our Hunsbury Park Primary School progression end points to aid planning, delivery of D&T and assessment of the children beginning at their starting point in the initial stages of each topic. This is then matched where appropriate to the lessons taught throughout each topic.
The D&T policy is available to all staff so that expectations and intentions are clear. Curriculum overviews are also readily available to enable a good insight into what and how the children are being taught D&T. All documents are also available on the D&T Padlet for staff to access. For parents, the intentions for teaching D&T at Hunsbury Park are posted on our school website, alongside and overview of what is taught in each year group. Each term, curriculum forecasts are sent to parents, containing more detailed information about the units of work for that term.
We encourage progression as children move through the school by careful sequencing of D&T. This is led by our key concepts and more specific teaching into each lens which are reviewed and built upon constantly. Teachers complete pre and post assessments to guide their teaching and reflect on how the children have progressed with the guidance of clear end points to establish where the children’s learning journey has been before and where they are headed towards, even being in different key stages. The children are able to compare topics and final pieces across their learning journey and at the end of each topic, always complete an evaluation to recognise for themselves if they have been successful in applying the skills that they have been taught and moving their learning on to what improvements can now be made. Children work towards a success criteria which is constructed as a class in the initial stages of the topic, once research has been carried out by the children. These are carefully thought out by the class teacher after the pre-assessments. Suggestions are also given in overviews to guide teachers and ultimately provide children with a clear understanding of what needs to feature in their final products, making evaluating much more focused. Books are also used to follow and document the children’s learning journey in D&T. This not only allows the Subject Lead to track progression and the quality of teaching in D&T across the school but gives teachers the ability to monitor the progression across their phases. The design, make, evaluate journey is recorded in the books, which should include (where relevant) research, notes, designing, photos/drawings of the making process and finished product. Finally, the peer and self-evaluations of the work are evident in books and teacher feedback given being mostly verbal due to the nature of D&T. Assessments of this progress is then tracked on Insight after each topic with our Hunsbury Park Primary School end points being used to clearly guide this.
Staff undertake ongoing CPD through the subject lead who attends training or where support is needed in school for different skills being taught. This is shared as emails, in person on a 1:1 basis or in staff meetings, if appropriate. There are also many shared planning opportunities to make the teaching and learning of D&T as clear and high quality as possible.
There are many D&T resources across school falling into the categories of needlework, cookery, woodwork and construction.
Teachers track how well the children are learning the content by reviewing and providing feedback during and after each lesson, verbally or written. Formative and summative assessments are used so teachers are then able to steer teaching in subsequent lessons/units or target children who need further support or extending. Through the use of summative assessment, final pieces provide a great deal of information to gauge how well the child has progressed in that particular area of D&T. Pupil voice of groups of children from each class also provides a clear view of what the children have taken from their D&T units and how well they have engaged with them, as well as if they can retrieve previous learning from topics. Another method of making this judgment is through learning walks, planning and book scrutinies across all classes and phases to identify successes and where phases or members of staff need support.
Children are prepared for the next stages of education well as objectives have been cross referenced with Design and Technology aims for KS3 and KS4. This has ensured that the content covered in KS1 and KS2 is a good foundation for future learning. Our end points also provide a clear and easy to follow guidance to where the children should have already been on their learning journey and where we will need to get them to as teachers in the next stage of their education. Work in books show that objectives are being taught well and that pupils are applying their skills and knowledge to tasks independently.
SEND AND DISADVANTAGED PUPILS
D&T forms part of the school’s curriculum policy that provides a broad and balanced education for all pupils, whatever their ability and individual need. Staff strive to meet the needs of all pupils with special educational needs, disabilities, special gifts and talents, and of those learning English as an additional language. The curriculum enables all pupils to have access to the full range of activities while studying D&T.
We provide planning support through consulting children wherever possible, about the type and level of support they require. Children have access to specific and generic aids in order for them to complete tasks. Children who have sensory needs or are averse to handling certain materials (such as clay or sand paper) are provided with plastic gloves in order for them to feel comfortable in taking part. Support from additional adults is planned to scaffold children’s learning, allowing them, increasingly, to work independently. When appropriate, all tasks are differentiated by outcome, support and by the small steps taken to reach the end goal or towards mastering a skill.
How Does D&T Promote British Values?
At Hunsbury Park Primary School, children follow the rule of law by developing an understanding of the importance of safety rules when using tools. Individual liberty enables children the freedom to express themselves through the design process and in the creation of a wide variety of products. Children are taught about tolerance of faiths and beliefs when they are encouraged to evaluate products from a range of times and cultures as well as their own. This enables children to appreciate that design ideas originate from other cultures.
Children are also expected to be able to take turns during discussions, resolve difficulties or make decisions, for example, when choosing materials for making a product. Design Technology also promotes the opportunity to offer supportive comments in evaluations that will improve learning outcomes in a way that is thoughtful and kind.
Children have the right to make their own choices but are encouraged to take the views and opinions of others into account. Opportunities are presented, enabling children to understand the value of compromise. During lessons, pupils are expected to listen to and consider the ideas and opinions of others. This teaches them mutual respect and acceptance of the democratic right to have an opinion and to understand that the ideas of others are as valid as their own.