The 2014 National Curriculum identifies Design and Technology as 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. They acquire a broad range of subject knowledge and draw on disciplines such as mathematics, science, engineering, computing and art. 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.
Design and Technology at Caedmon
Design and Technology provides children with the opportunity to explore ideas in the following four areas:
Throughout these four strands, the processes of good design are followed. Planning, creating, evaluating and improving are key to ensuring that final pieces of work are of a high quality and meet the needs to fulfil a design brief or solve a problem.
At Caedmon, Design and Technology sits alongside other subjects as part of our Topic lessons. Class teachers develop activities which allow children the chance to develop their skills in the key processes (plan, create, evaluate and improve) and apply them to projects that will further develop their understanding of the broader curriculum. For example, children studying Ancient Egypt may learn about shadufs, exploring the need for them during this period in history, analysing the mechanics of their design and sourcing materials and plans to create their own (mini) working version. Where possible, CAD (computer-aided design) software, such as Sketchup is used to support learning for older children, such as when developing Greek structures.
Occasionally, Design and Technology is explored in its own right, such as through the annual school STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering and Maths) week. Previous projects have included one class researching and designing their own brand of trainers and working together to explore how we can develop strong structures adapted to fulfil a specific purpose (for instance, an extension of St. James' Park). The portfolios from our most recent STEM week are proudly on display in the school hall if you have the opportunity to visit - feel free to have a look.
Design and Technology is not considered a 'core subject' like Maths and Literacy. Children are taught skills from the National Curriculum and the Non-Core Skills Passport. Teachers will use questioning, observation and outcomes of work to assess these skills. Teachers use informal assessments to inform their planning and to plan next steps for children.