‘‘Design is not just what it looks like and feels like. Design is how it works.’ Steve Jobs
At Courtwood Primary School the Design and Technology curriculum is designed to inspire our children to think like designers, engineers, chefs and architects and to learn the skills needed to make products that solve real and relevant problems within a variety of contexts. Design and Technology is a fun, inspiring, rigorous and practical subject which encourages our children to be innovators and risk-takers.
At Courtwood we offer our children a broad and balanced curriculum which prepares them for life beyond primary education. Design and Technology can be found in many of the objects children use every day and is a part of children’s immediate experiences. The curriculum combines skills and knowledge to enable children to tackle real and relevant problems, considering their own and others’ needs, wants and values. Children are encouraged to analyse, problem solve, extend their practical skills and develop their evaluative skills, both as individuals and as members of a team. Projects are often cross-curricular linking to other foundation subjects and topics, and drawing on disciplines such as mathematics, science, engineering, computing and art. Our Knowledge Organisers set out the key learning for the unit and support children in acquiring key information, technical understanding, vocabulary and awareness of a person of significance or interest in that area.
We follow the National Curriculum Programme of Study for history at KS1 and KS2. At Courtwood, our DT curriculum is designed around five key strands which are cooking and nutrition, textiles, mechanisms, structures and electrical systems (KS2 only). All strands are taught at least every two years and the children complete two or three different units each year, for example textiles, mechanisms and cooking and nutrition units one year, and electrical systems and structures units the next year. This structure includes EYFS, and ensures that learning is progressive and children are able to revisit, build-on and extend their previous learning and skills. The units are designed so that although there is a different theme/context for each (which may complement another curriculum Learning Journey), the skills build progressively and can be applied in each context. Vocabulary is taught explicitly to ensure that children learn both the key contextual topic vocabulary associated with the unit, as well as the academic vocabulary that ensures children can effectively develop skills such as evaluation, explanation and comparison.
Learning in each unit is planned around the Design – Make – Evaluate process to ensure there is a balance between developing children’s knowledge and understanding of product design, application of acquired Technical Knowledge and skills to their final outcome and also an opportunity to learn about great architects, designers, engineers and chefs. We are also able to support learning in DT with the use of our outdoor space: our Edible Playground is used to grow fruits, vegetables and flowers for use in cooking and nutrition units and our Wise Owl Woods are used to support development of practical skills such as building frame structures and evaluating effectiveness.
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