How Design Technology is taught at Church Lench CE First School
Design Technology in all classes is usually taught in block sessions over a few days or weeks depending on the knowledge and skills that need to be covered. Often DT links with a text or topic in the curriculum, in particular Art, Science or Literacy. There are occasions when the nature of a Design Technology topic links very strongly with the science curriculum and these two areas will be taught together so that children are able to make valuable links between Science and Design Technology. However the skills are always taught discreetly in each subject. Other subject areas also link closely with Design Technology in particular Mathematics where measuring accurately is essential.
Teachers usually start with a stimulus, often a book, and then follow the processes of investigating, designing, making and evaluating. For example in Class 2 children when the children were learning about the Stone Age, the book 'UG' by Raymond Briggs was introduced and read. Ug and his parents are living in the Stone Age and that means stone blankets, stone cold food, an even colder cave and, worst of all, hard stone trousers!
The children were given the task of designing a pair of trousers for Ug that would be comfortable and suit his stone age lifestyle! After designing the trousers the children spent time finding out the most suitable fabrics and joining techniques to make the trousers. This then led to making the trousers and following their designs using the correct equipment and materials.
There are many essential skills that are also practised during all the processes of Design Technology including resilience, perseverance, responsibility and compassion. Children are encouraged to help and support their peers at all times and this is one area in which it is always evident! Children are asked to evaluate their designs and creations independently and with peer support. This enables children to learn by mistakes and practise and how skills and techniques can be refined.
In Class 1 children continually have access to a variety of craft materials as Understanding the World and Expressive Arts and Design are 2 of the 7 areas of the Early Years Foundation Stage. There are many opportunities to create models using a variety of materials and fixing equipment such as card, paper, hole punches, string, staples, glue, tape and a range of scissors.
At Church Lench CE First School children also learn about famous inventors and designers including engineers, chefs, fashion designers and artists.