Design & Technology
Design & Technology - The Whiteoak Way
'Design is not just what it looks like and feels like. Design is how it works.'
Steve Jobs, co-founder of Apple Inc.
At the Whiteoak Academies, we believe that Design and Technology is one of the most inspiring, creative and inventive subjects in our programme of study. We aim to provide experiences that nurture, nourish and encourage the future chefs, engineers, architects and designers of tomorrow.
Design and Technology is a subject that allows children to believe in their own abilities as they take a product from the designing stage on paper, through evaluation and testing, to realising their product in 3D using an exciting variety of technologies and techniques. Whether the requirement is to move, light up, be structurally sound or taste delicious, pupils will gain such joy from inventing original ideas and then constructing these themselves using textiles, woodwork, electrical circuits or food technology. Strong links to Science, Technology, Engineering and Maths (STEM) opportunities mean that existing knowledge can be applied and used in the design process.
As a family of schools, we recognise the exciting opportunity presented by DT as a subject in which children have the chance to develop their own original ideas to create authentic designs for a real purpose. Our curriculum is designed to be coherent and progressive, building from Early Years to Year 6, ensuring that our children gain an increasingly complex set of skills across different technologies and an increasingly sophisticated designing ability as criteria becomes more specific with each passing year, while always enabling pupils to put their own creative stamp on designs. Understanding the stories behind well-known inventions and every day objects sparks creativity and imagination in our pupils.
As part of their learning on cooking and nutrition, pupils will be taught how to cook and apply the principles of good nutrition. Cooking is a vital life skill and learning how to feed themselves and others will be necessary and useful in their future lives as global citizens and members of the community. Pupils understand what constitutes a healthy varied diet, recognise the origins of food and gain a love of cooking that will instil a passion for life, opening a door to true human creativity.
In order to help maintain and celebrate the integrity of the subject, we intend to provide an ambitious Design and Technology curriculum which seeks to teach children the skills required to be an excellent designer: how to design for a particular purpose and to test, refine and develop their designs by evaluating against a specific set of criteria, including meeting health and safety guidelines. We also strongly believe that community links are an important part of designing for a purpose to ensure a real life context for the problems they are attempting to solve.
Visits to the local area and visits from local businesses enthuse children’s learning by bringing to life the challenge of design. We seek the expertise of our pupils’ parents and families in design and manufacturing occupations to provide real life knowledge and skills and technology experts provide expertise, resources and inspiration. Finally, it is our intent to build a DT curriculum that ignites children’s imaginations and allows them to think critically as they bring their designs to life in a fun practical way.
'You can't use up creativity. The more you use, the more you have.'
Maya Angelou, author, poet, civil rights activist.