Our Design Technology Vision - Intent

Design Technology at St Thomas’ Leesfield aims to develop the attitudes, skills and knowledge (ASK) necessary for creative learning. Creativity is an important aspect of the children’s curriculum enabling them to develop their own style and passion for learning.

At St Thomas’ Leesfield Primary School, we value and are dedicated to the teaching of Design Technology. We see this as a fundamental part of school life. We are committed to providing an ‘Arts Rich Curriculum’ which is full of practical activities to engage all of our children. We believe that by developing this  we can contribute to the appreciation of  design surrounding us, in buildings, products, technology and food. We see design technology as a means to support learning in a range of ways. We aim to use design technology to stimulate imagination and inventiveness, celebrate culture and diversity and offer a rich platform from which children can learn about a range of perspectives. The skills that are developed in these subjects can be transferred across the curriculum and thus aid learning for example development of fine motor skills will improve handwriting and problem solving improves science and maths.

Implementation

As a school and in accordance with the National Curriculum’s expectations, we aim to ensure that all pupils have opportunities to:

  • Produce creative and imaginative work, exploring their ideas and recording their experiences
  • Become proficient in manipulating simple tools safely, understanding properties of different materials and how they can be joined as well as basic design techniques
  • Evaluate and analyse creative works using the language of craft and design
  • Know about designers of a range of products and buildings, and understand the historical and cultural development of their art forms
  • Plan, design, build, critique, test and evaluate their own products
  • Use technology and computing effectively to participate successfully in an ever increasing technological world
  • To understand the principles of nutrition and learn how to cook

Class teachers are responsible for teaching design technology, although there will be times when professional facilitators will be involved in the teaching of the topic. We have worked with the Primary Engineering Project for a number of years to develop the children’s expertise. Children working at the ‘exceeding’ level in design technology are proud to have produced their work and show case their individual talents.

Classes are given design home learning to link with their topics when appropriate and the children always produce high quality pieces. This also gives the opportunity to work with their families to plan and design their pieces.

Each class, from Reception to Y5 take part in a ‘mini-business challenge’ topic week where the children plan, design and make a product to sell to family, friends and the community.  All children take part in this enterprise regardless of ability and recent examples include slime in Y2, soaps in Y4 and Christmas decorations in Reception & Y1

Our oldest children take part in the Oldham Year 6 Business Challenge to plan, purchase materials (using a loan, maximum £100) and make a product with all profits going to their chosen charity.  The children take part in a ‘Trade Day’ at our local Tesco Extra and compete with other Y6 businesses.  They are judged by ‘mystery shoppers’ on the quality and durability of their product, presentation of their stall, sales technique and profit margins.  This amazing opportunity encourages the children to develop business skills and an understanding of quality assurance during a real-life experience. There is also a ‘Dragon’s Den’ element to the competition which also helps to hone essential skills in our children including presenting to an audience and answering tricky questions under pressure.

We also take every opportunity to develop links with outside agencies and experts, through links with our Dovestone Learning Partnership (DLP) in order to enrich our Art and Design provision.

Impact

Our children enjoy the self-expression that they experience in Design Technology.  They are always keen to learn new skills and work hard to perfect those shown to them. Design Technology is often cross-curricular but is also taught in focused topics (to support the importance of the subject) and helps them to express ideas and show their knowledge and understanding in history, geography and science. The children are assessed on their skills using our ‘sticky learning’ process to help them to remember and make further progress building on the skills they have learnt.