D&T Subject Leader: Mrs Wiltshire
At Gade Valley we follow the ‘Design, Make, Evaluate’ approach to the teaching of D&T, as outlined in the National Curriculum. We intend to provide all children with plenty of opportunities throughout each key-stage to develop the technical skills of construction, mechanisms, textiles and cooking and nutrition through an engaging and practical curriculum.
In addition, the school aims to develop the children’s use and understanding of technical vocabulary associated with this subject. This is so that the children can articulate the skills that they have applied, the equipment that they have used and describe the materials and features of the product that they have made.
We aim to carefully monitor and evaluate progress through the use of a bespoke skills and knowledge progression map for each year group. This map will be used for planning and assessment to ensure that pupils are acquiring the appropriate D&T skills and knowledge.
Each class teaches at least one D&T topic per term and children are encouraged to be consistently reflective and experimental throughout their learning. When designing their product, children will research and refine their ideas through detailed designs and prototypes. During the making process, teachers model technical skills and highlight good practice and safety skills. Finally, in the evaluation stage children will be considering what worked effectively and how they can improve the impact of the overall appearance and usability of their product.
In addition to the regularly taught design and technology lessons, we provide many meaningful links for the children to demonstrate the skills that they have learnt. For example, Year 1 link their learning about inventors in history to the mechanical systems they make. We also hold plenty of competitions throughout the year, such as designing a Christmas/ Easter scene and the Gade Valley Children in Need Bake off. We regularly collaborate as a whole school to take part in cross-curricular days such as ‘Take One Country’, ‘The Boat Race’ and the ‘Enterprise project’ whereby the children had to design and make a product to sell.
All D&T lessons include the Gade Valley Principles of Teaching and Learning, which are a set of non-negotiables for each lesson, for example, AFL techniques will regularly inform teaching and learning. Throughout D&T lessons, children are also encouraged to develop their core skills of literacy and maths. In the Early Years, D&T opportunities are provided throughout expressive arts and design activities during daily busy fingers and child-initiated learning sessions.
By the end of the academic year the large majority of children should have achieved the expected level or above for their age. In addition, it is the intended impact that the children are inspired by the design and technology Curriculum and want to learn more. We hope that the children will use their D&T skills in everyday life and be able to reflect upon what they have learnt throughout the year.
Up to October 2021, the following measurable impact includes:
- In the 2020/2021 academic year, the large majority of pupils achieved age related expectations or above.
- Pupils voice (in Key Stage 1) says that most pupils:
- are excited for D&T lessons, particularly the practical elements.
- feel challenged in lessons.
- feel that teachers and support staff give clear explanations and provide appropriate support.
- In the autumn term 2019, all pupils took part in a D&T enrichment day.
- In the spring term 2020, all pupils took part in another D&T enrichment day focused on cooking and nutrition.
- There have been many opportunities for children to go on school trips and develop links with the wider community. Some of these include visits to Pizza Express, Frogmore Papermill and the Tesco Healthy Eating initiative.