Design & Technology
Design and Technology
- Year 2 have been learning about wheel and axle mechanisms in DT week.
Design and Technology at London Fields Primary School
Design and technology is an inspiring, rigorous and practical subject at London Fields. The curriculum allows opportunities for pupils 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. Pupils acquire a broad range of subject knowledge and draw on disciplines such as Maths, Science, Computing and Art. Pupils learn to take risks, becoming resourceful, innovative and enterprising. 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.
Our Design and Technology Curriculum develops essential characteristics of designers:
- Significant levels of originality and the willingness to take creative risks to produce innovative ideas and prototypes.
- An excellent attitude to learning and independent working.
- The ability to use time efficiently and work constructively and productively with others.
- The ability to carry out thorough research, show initiative and ask questions to develop an exceptionally detailed knowledge of users’ needs.
- The ability to act as responsible designers and makers, working ethically, using finite materials carefully and working safely.
- A thorough knowledge of which tools, equipment and materials to use to make their products.
- The ability to apply mathematical knowledge.
- The ability to manage risks exceptionally well to manufacture product safely and hygienically.
- A passion for the subject and knowledge of up-to-date technological innovations in materials, products and systems.
Design and technology is an inspiring, rigorous and practical subject at London Fields. The curriculum allows opportunities for pupils 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.
Over the course of an academic year, pupils experience three DT weeks. During these weeks, carefully planned units of learning allow the pupils to acquire a broad range of subject knowledge and draw on disciplines such as mathematics, science, engineering, computing and art.
Exciting design briefs are given to the pupils to provide them with opportunities to learn how to take risks, become resourceful, innovative and enterprising.
The pupils begin all design projects by gathering background research and are taught how to effectively evaluate past and present design and technology and develop a critical understanding of its impact on daily life and the wider world. They also learn the importance of the target audience and the relevance of market research. The pupils learn how to write design specifications, developing their ability to plan for products that are fit for purpose. This may include visiting local businesses and design firms to support and influence their designing stage.
How Design and Technology is taught at London Fields Primary School
The Design and Technology curriculum is designed to help pupils form a Design and Technology schema within their long-term memories.
Schema theory states that all knowledge is organised into units. A schema is, therefore, a conceptual system for understanding knowledge.
Our Design and Technology schema is a way of organising Design and Technology semantic and procedural knowledge in a meaningful way; it is an appreciation of how facts are connected and the ways in which they are connected. It is distinct from information, which is just isolated facts that have no organisational basis or links.
Big Ideas help form the basis of the schema. Big Ideas are key concepts that underpin the subject. There are three Big Ideas in Design and Technology:
- Taking Inspiration from Design (Appreciating that designers take inspiration from existing products -natural or manufactured- and use them as starting points for their design)
- Mastering Practical Skills (Demonstrating the skills needed to make high-quality products)
Designing, Making, Evaluating and Improving (Understanding the design process of ‘think, make, break, repeat’)
Each Big Idea has facets of knowledge (knowledge categories) which help to strength the schema. Learning knowledge in each of the categories allows pupils to express and demonstrate their understanding of the Big Idea.
These Big Ideas are returned to over and over again so the pupils gradually build understanding of them.
Click here for more general information about the curriculum.
Design and Technology Trips, Visitors and Workshops
We strongly believe that trips, visitors and workshops are highly valuable for developing a deep understanding of the Big Ideas in Design and Technology and bringing the subject to life. We are extremely fortunate to be based in London with a wealth of cultural opportunities at our fingers tips and easy accessibility to some of the country’s most prestigious design venues. We are constantly looking for new experiences that will enrich the learning of our pupils. Previous enriching experiences have included:
- Visits to the Design Museum
- Visits to local design workshops
- Visitors from design studios leading design workshops and sharing their own design experiences
- Practical workshops at the E5 Bakehouse
Design and Technology at Home
There are lots of ways in which you can support your child with their Design and Technology learning.
- Visit Design venues and events (many of the big galleries have free exhibitions you can explore!)
- Check our website for Design and Technology Competitions and recommendations for family Design and Technology themed outings
- Talk about design in the world around you- What is the product? What is the product’s purpose? Who is the intended user? Which features make it a successful design? How would you improve this design?
- Ask your child about their Design and Technology learning-they will have lots to tell you! (After each topic a slide show will be on the website documenting their learning journey so you can get your child to talk through their learning using the slide show.)
- Encourage your child to design and make things at home! Remember to celebrate the ‘break’ stage in the design process-the stage where your child evaluates and changes their design to improve it, like all good designers do!