At TAB, we believe that design and technology should be an inspiring, inventive and practical subject, where pupils should be given the opportunity to design and make products through the use of their creativity and imagination. We also value the importance of the pupils’ development in their understanding and appreciation of relevant environmental and social issues associated with the subject, and seek to incorporate these into the curriculum wherever possible.
As part of this scope, we also recognise the need for pupils to acquire a broad range of subject knowledge, and as such believe that the pupils’ learning should link implicitly with other subject disciplines such as art, mathematics, English and science. We hope that through their learning in design and technology, pupils will be further enabled to develop into resourceful, innovative and enterprising citizens.
Learning in design and technology may be categorised into four different strands: technical knowledge, designing, making and evaluating. The curriculum within the school has been devised so as to encourage progression in the application of these skills from one year group to the next. Where relevant, lessons are linked to the topics being studied in other subjects.
At TAB, we are very fortunate to have the use of two workshops where design and technology lessons can take place – one equipped for the lower school, and one for the upper school. In years 3 and 4, lessons are taught by class teachers, whereas in years 5 and 6 these are taught by two specialist technicians. The whole-school curriculum and organisation of the subject is overseen by the design and technology subject leader.
Designing, making and evaluating are skills which apply to all units of work in design and technology, and as such are developed progressively through the different year groups in the school. Various aspects of technical knowledge are likewise built upon, although at times these are taught discretely so as to allow the pupils the chance to master the relevant skills before applying them independently. For example, in year 3 the pupils will learn how to accurately measure, mark, cut and join wood; in year 6, the pupils will have the opportunity to design and make their own motorised vehicle, applying and developing these skills when building a chassis.
We also recognise that communication is an important part of the subject. Pupils are expected to produce high quality written work, using subject-specific terminology when communicating their ideas.
Assessment of pupils’ knowledge and understanding in design and technology is ongoing. Conversations with pupils, teachers’ questioning and marking of pupils’ work are examples of ways in which individuals are assessed. As a result, lessons and resources can be adapted to allow inclusion of all pupils. Objectives and expectations are made clear in lessons and we aim to foster a learning culture where pupils feel comfortable to ask if they are having difficulty or would benefit from further explanation or challenge.
As a school, we currently offer two after school clubs which relate to design and technology:
Safety in design and technology is an area of great importance at TAB and teachers complete regular safety inductions in line with West Sussex County Council policies. We encourage the children to take an active role in considering safety during practical activities - discussing risks and how to use equipment safely.