Design and Technology
Early Years Foundation Stage
In our EYFS, D&T is taught through our play-based learning. The children are able to utilise new skills with the help of an adult such as making moving objects using split pins, using lolly pop sticks to make masks and to make 3D models with resources such as art straws, match splints and tape. Technology is a big part of Understanding the World within Development Matters. Therefore, the children have access to an array of technology such as computer screens, computers, remote control toys and interactive games. D&T is taught holistically throughout the year, and it links in with each topic that we do. The children have permanent access to a workshop, where they can design and make their own models. Similarly, this also applies in the construction areas, where they are able to design a product and make it using wooden bricks/ Duplo/ Mobilo.
Key Stage 1
Using the skills applied from within the EYFS, the children within Year 1 and 2 are able to use what they know and build on these skills. The children within Key Stage 1 are asked to design a purposeful product using computer software. For example, to design a healthy sandwich or to design a finger puppet based on their current topic.
They are introduced to new skills such as stitching, using textiles such as felt, to cook and measure ingredients with the help of an adult and to add colour for a purpose.
Once the children have made their product, they then need to evaluate their performance against their design, stating what worked and what they would like to improve in the future. The children are also able to talk about what they like about other children’s products in order to take inspiration for the future.
Key Stage 2
Finally, within Key Stage 2, the progression of skills continues, as they are introduced to new and important skills within D&T. Key Stage 2 is able to focus on the safety of using various objects when designing and making products, such as glue guns, knives for cooking, saws for cutting and using ovens and hobs. The children are asked to implement appropriate safety measures before using these objects, and to consider the dangerous hazards if the objects are not used sensibly and maturely.
The children are asked to design a product, however, they are asked to continually refine their product as they go in order to achieve the planned effect. The children are introduced to skills such as nailing, sanding, drilling and filling objects in order to achieve their design and to make their object secure and safe to use, for example, no sharp edges or corners. Similarly, when making a food product, the children are reminded to use their knowledge of microorganisms from their science lessons in order to understand how to store food correctly and the importance of cross contamination. They are reminded when designing a food product of the importance of washing some foods before using them, and also the length of cooking time.
Furthermore, the children are introduced to electronics and the idea of making a working circuit. They are asked to design a circuit and to then use mechanisms such as bulbs, batteries, wires, switches and buzzers.
Finally, the children are asked to evaluate their work against the great influencers of D&T. Likewise, this is similar to Key Stage 1, as the children are asked about how they would like to improve their design against the designs of others with clear justification regarding their decision.
Key Links – Click on the links below to find out more
https://www.foundationyears.org.uk/files/2012/03/Development-Matters-FINAL-PRINT-AMENDED.pdf – Development Matters
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=C3Vbn-5e0zg – 30 most influential designers of all time
Design and Technology After School Club
At various times of the year, an after school club is held for children in order to enhance their D&T skills further. In 2017, a 6 week after school club was held for children in Year 3 and Year 4. The children were able to design a Christmas stocking, make the stocking using materials such as felt, sequins and glitter, and then evaluate their product against retailed Christmas stockings in order to see how effective they would be. The children were reminded of various stitching techniques, cutting techniques, and gluing techniques through the use of a glue gun with the help of an adult.
Keep your eye on the school newsletter to find out when a D&T after school club is happening next and encourage your child to get involved!