Design Technology (DT) lessons at Whipton Barton Federation are an exciting new direction in our practical work, allowing the children a greater opportunity to use problem solving, engineering based techniques that can explore real world issues and try to find solutions for them in a classroom environment.
Each unit of work has its roots in a ‘real problem’, making the children test their understanding of the issue discussed in a practical, creative manner. Teamwork, prototypes, preliminary sketches, all are used in order to help the children with their problem solving. The curriculum is based around the topic areas taught within each year group, allowing the classes a chance to explore the subjects in greater depth and develop an investigative approach to their studies. We want our children to discover their practical potential and utilise engineering know-how in a creative and innovative way. Children in our Reception classes begin to develop their understanding of Design and Technology from the very beginning. Through the safe use of scissors, paintbrushes, playdough modelling tools and construction, children learn ‘the best tools for the job’.
Throughout the year, children have access to a well-resourced creative area where they design and make their own models; it is here they discover the joys of PVA glue compared to a glue stick or masking tape compared to sticky tape. In the Spring term of Reception they design, make and evaluate their own chairs for baby bear, selecting the tools they need to join their components together.
Key Stage One and Key Stage Two class teachers lead the lessons at school and guide the class through the tasks, demonstrating techniques and safety procedures to ensure every child in the class can feel their confidence grow and develop and no one feels left out or unable to be successful. The lessons progress through Research, Design and Make stages, and the skills learned in each section accumulate with the children utilising all of them in their final product design. Children are taught safe procedures at all times when using any tools, and safe working practices are used at all times.
Success in DT comes on different levels and due to the nature of the subject can take many forms. The joy of solving a problem and then seeing an idea come to life can be really rewarding, and then spending time to develop the idea further, creating a finished product to the highest level, is immensely satisfying and the children can display their work with pride to their peers. The children might be asked to show their work during a Celebration assembly, demonstrating the processes they went through to reach the final product, or they might be given a Headteacher Award and get the chance to show their success to Mrs Moretta. They might even have their work shared through our social media network! Using Design ideas and techniques, we aim to show that the creative side of engineering can be just as artistic as drawing or painting.
Design Technology touches on many areas, both practical and theoretical, and we want our children at Whipton Barton Federation to be successful and have fun with all the design work. Future Engineers and Designers have to start somewhere, and the classes at school are a great place to begin!