Design & Technology
At Westgate Primary School all children, including SEN and disadvantaged learn the following concepts and themes through studying different aspects of DT throughout the school:
- Learning about the designed and made world and how things work
- Design inspiration from a range of designers
- Design skills for a range of purposeful, functional products
- Making functional products for particular purposes and uses
- Knowledge and understanding of materials and components, mechanisms and control systems
- Understanding how to evaluate and improve the quality of the product to maintain a high quality
- Health and safety
- Electricals and Electronics
- Food technology
Design and Technology is an inspiring, rigorous and practical subject. It encourages children to learn to think and to work creatively to solve problems both as individuals and as members of a team. At Westgate, we encourage children to use their creativity and imagination, to design, make and evaluate products that solve real and relevant problems within a variety of contexts, considering their own needs, wants and values and those of others. We aim, wherever possible, to link work to other curriculum areas such as maths, science, computing and art. The children are 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.
Design Technology is taught in blocks within the main curriculum topics particularly history and science. DT skills are connected by using the subject knowledge within each of these areas as inspiration. For example, children in year 6 develop their Science understanding of electricity, levers and pulleys when using mechanics and electronics to design and create a theme park ride.
By connecting our British Values through the teaching of DT, we explore issues that affect us all in our lives and this helps inform decisions that will shape our future. An example is the right to have a different opinion and the need to respect the views and opinions of others when discussing different designs and creations.
In Year 1 children learn to use basic construction skills using a range of materials as this is a familiar concept, where children can use their understanding to build simple houses, linking this to their learning about homes in history. This builds on learning from EYFS where children create their own models using reclaimed materials. Children then connect their learning in science with food technology where they learn about different fruits and vegetables, using them to create simple dishes and learning how to clean and chop the food safely. This also links to previous learning in geography as the children prepare a picnic to take to the local park which was explored during Topic 1. This learning continues to connect with science as the children use basic textile skills to create bunting for a nature walk around the local park.
Children in Year 2 begin by learning about simple mechanics to make a moving picture using sliders and levers. The inspiration for their design comes from their work about Ancient Egypt. Then they further develop their understanding from Year 1 by connecting their learning of construction skills to make a model with a simple winding mechanism as part of their science learning about minibeasts. This enables the children to further explore how materials are joined together to make a finished product.
The children begin in Year 3 by reconnecting with their learning from Year 1 about healthy eating. The children develop their understanding further by learning how to combine and mix ingredients together which connects to their science understanding of states of matter as well as their historical understanding as they prepare soups using recipes from the Roman period. Wheeled chariots are also made as part of the work linked to the Romans topic and this further develops their understanding of mechanisms by using wheels and axles. Their prior learning about construction is developed further and applied through the making of environmentally friendly packaging to transport plants. This connects with their science learning about plants and improving the environment.
In Year 4, learning about textiles connects with the history learning through the making of a Viking purse to keep rune stones in. Their understanding of mechanisms from Year 2 is further developed as the children learn about different pulley systems. These are used to design and make a mechanism that can rescue someone stranded on the side of a cliff, which again links to the geography focus from Topic 2 and the need for systems to keep us safe from their science topic. Linking to their learning about electricity in science, they apply their understanding to create a model lighthouse to protect ships approaching a dangerous coastline.
In Year 5, learning about textiles connects the learning from Years 1 and 4 as children work together as a class to create a stitched patchwork to illustrate an historical event. Food technology is further developed from Year 3 through the setting up of a healthy sandwich shop connected to their science. Designing and creating the packaging for the sandwiches continues to develop their construction skills and their understanding of materials.
In Year 6, the children connect all their previous learning in order to work independently to apply their understanding of mechanisms, electronics and construction. They connect all the previous learning in order to design, plan and create a simple theme park ride.