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Design & Technology - a visual journey through our curriculum

Design & Technology at Fairlop
At Fairlop, design and technology (D&T) is a practical subject that stimulates both intellectual and creative abilities. The aim of the school is to develop children’s understanding of how a design works, product analysis, and to develop their own confidence and ability to work through the design process. The curriculum also includes ‘cooking and nutrition’, which prepares children with essential life skills that they will need in later life, through the acquisition of cooking skills and an understanding of nutrition. As Fairlop Primary is a ‘Healthy School’, we ensure that children begin to understand and apply the principles of nutrition and healthy eating through PSHE and science lessons alongside the D&T curriculum. Through D&T activities, children learn to take risks, explore their creativity, use their imagination and become resourceful. This also allows children to develop an appreciation of quality, a sense of fine design, craft and technological applications and gain an awareness of needs of society, business and industry.

During D&T sessions, children are encouraged to be inquisitive about the way products work. We encourage both asking and answering questions in order to deepen children’s understanding of the product design. They will use market research to inform their own designs and, as they move up through the school, they will be encouraged to draw detailed designs and make prototypes in order to refine before creating their final piece. Through the evaluation stage of our ‘Design, Make, Evaluate’ approach, children are encouraged to reflect upon their final products, considering how they could have altered their design or techniques to impact the overall appearance and usability of their product.

In Key Stage 1, children build upon the designing and making skills they have gained in the EYFS. They generate ideas through drawings and templates to design appealing, functional products for themselves and other users. They are able to use range of materials and components to build their products. Finally, they evaluate their products and explore the strength and mechanisms of their product against success criteria. In Key Stage 2, children are challenged on their existing knowledge. At Fairlop, children are expected to explore through research and use mechanisms (for example, levers, sliders, wheels and axels) in their products. They are expected to develop design criteria to create a product which is innovative, functional, fit for purpose and aimed at a particular group or individual. When making their products, they are able to use a range of equipment to ensure their product is finished to a high standard. They are also expected to explore and evaluate a range of existing products as well as evaluating their own.

Curriculum links
Where relevant, the design and technology curriculum has been planned in line with the content of other curriculum subjects. The design and technology skills children acquire across the school are then applied to their cross-curricular topics, allowing children to use their design and technology skills to reflect on and explore curriculum content in greater depth. 

Design and Technology sketchbooks are provided for each child and will progress through the years with them. All design and technology work should be recorded in sketchbooks, with a clear date and learning objective/title. For the majority of design and technology units of work, there is a final piece to apply and showcase the skills and techniques focused upon in the unit, the sketchbook should reflect the journey of skills development leading to the final piece. Finished pieces or photographs of design and technology should be displayed in classrooms and corridors unless the overview specifically says the outcome is in sketchbooks.

Children should evaluate their work at the end of each unit, including considering:

  • Are they able to explore skills and techniques they have learnt?
  • Are they able to suggest improvements and alterations to their work and compare their final products with others?
  • Are they able to re-visit previously taught skills and techniques and say how they have used these in their final products?