Design & Technology (DT)
"Good design begins with honesty, asks tough questions, comes from collaboration and from trusting your intuition". - Freeman Thomas (automobile designer 1957-present)
Subject Leader: Geraldine Summers
Link Governor: Andrew Rankin
At Christ Church, DT lessons are exciting and inspirational. Children are given real problems to solve and are encouraged to create individual solutions so that all responses are unique but valid answers to a need. They are taught in three strands - mechanical, textiles and food tech with every year group covering each across the year.
Most DT is taught in a cyclical manner with each series of lessons beginning with children identifying a problem, then they explore existing products to use them as a springboard for creating their own solutions, before selecting the best one in order to create a prototype. On completion, the prototype is tested and assessed against the criteria before refining and retesting as needed.
Some of our topics, which vary from the model above, look at issues in the wider world such as sustainability and work towards creating innovative products that support our belief in looking after the world God created.
What Children Learn
We ensure that our DT lessons are accessible to all children, regardless of academic ability and use multi-sensory approaches to learning - some of our favourites are:
- Creating earthquake proof buildings in Y4
- Making a sustainable snack for a Viking raider in Y5
- Re-purposing clothing into new outfits in Y6
DT is taught by the class teacher throughout our school and is planned using the National Curriculum. Much thought is given when planning DT lessons to ensure children are supported with vocabulary, concepts and implementation to enable each learner to achieve the lesson objective. Challenge, to stretch minds further, can also be found in how the lessons are structured and differentiated.
Our learning is organised to ensure that knowledge and skills build on previous study, allowing for regular recall of prior learning. These schemes of work are linked to the year group’s current overarching topic or singular curriculum subject. A variety of DT skills will be taught within each series of lessons which, just like the knowledge and understanding of design and inclusion of client requirements, are built up over time so that children are familiar with them all as they make their journey through the school. They include designing, planning, developing and communicating ideas as well as specific skills relating to food, textiles, mechanics, electricals, sheet materials and evaluation.
The children in the Nursery have free access to a range of resources in order to create. The children are taught to join materials together using glue or tape. The children take part in regular cooking experiences, including learning to spread butter and jam to make a tasty jam sandwich.
In Reception, the children learn to design and create using a range of materials. The children are given motivational problems to solve and are allowed to explore a range of mediums and materials in order to solve the problem. For example, during our exploration of the story Goldilocks and the Three Bears the children were given the problem of Baby Bear needing a new chair. The children were given the chance to explore materials, colours and textures in order to create their own individually unique chair for Baby Bear. The children take part in regular cooking experiences, including making Gruffalo Crumble!
- Autumn The children learn about mechanics through their exploration of moving pictures linked to their work on The Nutcracker.
- Spring The children work with textiles to create a present for Mother’s Day.
- Summer This term the children use fresh fruit and vegetables in their food tech unit to create a product that will help them keep cool during these warmer days.
- Autumn Y2 starts food tech in which the children create healthy snacks for Bob to take with him to the moon.
- Spring Linking to their work on literacy, Y2 make puppets in their textiles unit.
- Summer Moving vehicles is the theme for this term in mechanics.
- Autumn The children explore textiles in depth as they consider how to proof and adapt clothing to support a person in a cold climate.
- Spring The mechanical topic this term is linked to literacy where children need to construct something to allow a book character to cross the river.
- Summer The children have great fun sampling, making and refining cheese in the food tech unit.
- Autumn Linking to their geography topic on rivers, Y4 look at the impact on those from pollution - especially the textile industry - and create natural dyes in the textile unit.
- Spring Again linking to their geography topic, Y4 examine the structure of buildings around the world and create earthquake proof buildings in mechanics.
- Summer With Easter being eagerly anticipated this term, Y4 create sweet treats to give to our local elderly residents in their food tech unit.
- Autumn Y5 begins a history linked project whereby the children create a money container for King Henry VIII in textiles.
- Spring The spring term kicks off with Food tech and links to the Life Skills and gardening sessions the children have taken part in. They plan and grow their own vegetables to then make a soup based product from their crop.
- Summer For their final project, Y5 explore the fascinating engineering tools of levers and pulleys to create mechanical devices which wards off intruders to an Egyptian tomb.
- Autumn In their final year at Christ Church, the children begin Y6 with textiles as they think about the impact on the environment of textile manufacturing and this, along with a link to WW2 and the ‘Make do and mend’ mentality leads to repurposing old clothing into new items.
- Spring Linking to the Victorians, the children explore cams in the mechanics unit and create an eye-catching display for a Victorian shop owner.
- Summer In their final term, the children link food tech to the Mayans and create tasty chocolate inclusive produce to sell and raise money for leavers activities.