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Design Technology

Design and Technology is an inspiring, rigorous and practical subject. Design and Technology encourages children to learn to think and intervene creatively to solve problems both as individuals and as members of a team. At Hunton & Arrathorne, we encourage children to use their creativity and imagination, to design and make products that solve real and relevant problems within a variety of contexts, considering their own and others’ needs, wants and values. We aim to, wherever possible, link work to other disciplines such as mathematics, science, engineering, computing and art. The children are also given opportunities to reflect upon and evaluate past and present design technology, its uses and its effectiveness and are encouraged to become innovators and risk-takers.

Children take part in two ‘DT Days’ per term with the entire day devoted to the subject; in the Summer Term this always has a ‘Food & Nutrition’ focus.

We believe that Design & Technology should be inclusive to all. It should allow children to manage and take risks and develop their understanding of design processes – from research, initial designs, prototypes and final products.

We teach Design & Technology through ‘Project Days’ which are dedicated off-timetable from the rest of the curriculum and usually last two days. We hold these days twice a year. We believe that the exclusive time to focus on D&T projects allows children to gain a sufficient understanding and see links between other curriculum areas. We time these ‘Project Days’ to allow visits and visitors to offer a broader range of experiential learning for our children. Often, our visit days culminate in a ‘Celebration Event’ where parents are invited to view not only the finished product, but also the entire making stage.

To support our teaching of Design Technology we follow the Design Technology Association’s ‘Projects on a Page’ planning. This ensures that the substantive concepts of user, purpose, functionality, design decisions, innovation and authenticity are key features.

Key skills and key knowledge for Design Technology have been mapped across the school to ensure progression between year groups. This also ensures that there is a context for the children’s work in Design and Technology; that they learn about real life structures and the purpose of specific examples, as well as developing their skills throughout the programme of study. Design and Technology lessons are also taught as a block so that children’s learning is focused throughout each unit of work. We utilise our community and specialists within our local area to enthuse children and ensure they see how Design Technology is used in their everyday lives.

As Lifelong Readers, we want to inspire our children to ‘read as designers and technologists’. We have a carefully planned and sequenced reading spine to further engage the children and provide them with high quality texts in line with their current unit of work in Design Technology. Please see a sample of our core texts for the subject attached.

We ensure the children:

  • develop the creative, technical and practical expertise needed to perform everyday tasks confidently and to participate successfully in an increasingly technological world
  • build and apply a repertoire of knowledge, understanding and skills in order to design and make high-quality prototypes and products for a wide range of users and critique, evaluate and test their ideas and products and the work of others
  • understand and apply the principles of nutrition and learn how to cook. Children will design and make a range of products. A good quality finish will be expected in all design and activities made appropriate to the age and ability of the child

Children learn how to take risks, becoming resourceful, innovative, enterprising and capable citizens. 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. High-quality design and technology education makes an essential contribution to the creativity, culture, wealth and well-being of the nation.

Our Design & Technology work is celebrated and assessed for impact through: 

  • Annual reporting to parents
  • Use of the school assessment tracker
  • Shared discussion with staff after ‘Project Days’
  • Whole school displays
  • Examples of the D&T process on social media and the school website
  • Pupil questionnaires