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.'
Our aims for Design & Technology
We have developed our curriculum so that each and every child at the Whiteoak Academies thrives by becoming:
- Knowledgeable & Curious
- Respectful & Compassionate
- Independent & Fulfilled
In support of our curriculum vision and aims, we have crafted our own Whiteoak Way for Design & Technology which is carefully and thoughtfully planned to inspire passion for design, including for a purpose or to solve a problem, and to ignite creativity and a love of inventing! We hope to create aspiring engineers, inventors, chefs and designers for the future while instilling lifelong practical skills!
As a family of schools, we aim to ensure:
- We provide experiences that nurture, nourish and encourage the future chefs, engineers, architects and designers of tomorrow, including by learning about key designers of the past and present from a range of cultures.
- There are a variety of carefully crafted activities that allow 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.
- An exciting Design & Technology curriculum with strong links to Science, Technology, Engineering and Maths (STEM) opportunities which mean that existing knowledge can be applied and used in the design process.
- We encourage an attitude of resilience as children take an evaluative approach to the design and make process, looking to make improvements to designs and reflect thoughtfully on the end product.
- Children produce quality products that give them a sense of pride and achievement to meet their own individual designs, that help them develop their knowledge and understanding of technology in the real world.
- The involvement of Design & Technology experts from businesses, both within our local community and in our family of schools, give children a sense of the purpose of DT in their everyday world, inspiring exciting career possibilities for the future.
Our Design & Technology curriculum has also been planned and developed using the National Curriculum which aims to ensure that all pupils:
- Use creativity and imagination to design and make products that solve real and relevant problems within a variety of contexts, considering their own and others’ needs, wants and values.
- Acquire a broad range of subject knowledge and draw on disciplines such as mathematics, science, engineering, computing and art.
- Learn how to take risks, becoming resourceful, innovative, enterprising and capable citizens.
- Through the evaluation of past and present design and technology, they develop a critical understanding of its impact on daily life and the wider world.
- Understand that high-quality design and technology education makes an essential contribution to the creativity, culture, wealth and well-being of the nation.
- Develop the creative, technical and practical expertise needed to perform everyday tasks confidently and to participate successfully in an increasingly technological world.
- Build and apply a repertoire of knowledge, understanding and skills in order to design and make high-quality prototypes and products for a wide range of users.
- Critique, evaluate and test their ideas and products and the work of others.
- Understand and apply the principles of nutrition and learn how to cook.
Lighthouse Schools Partnership - Design & Technology Intent Statement
Design & Technology in the National Curriculum
British Values and SMSC in Design & Technology
To help ensure that children leave school prepared for life in modern Britain, the DfE issued guidance to all schools on improving the spiritual, moral, social and cultural (SMSC) development of children through the promotion of fundamental British values.
Across our family of schools, we aim to develop a climate where the British values of democracy, the rule of law, individual liberty, mutual respect and tolerance of those with different faiths and beliefs are deeply embedded at every level and lived through our vivid vision, core values and curriculum.
As outlined in our aims and vivid vision, we seek to encourage our children to act with integrity and respect so that they embrace and celebrate diversity and understand our rich cultural history. Furthermore, we aim to empower our children to become humble, compassionate global citizens who learn how to live successful and happy lives where they are informed, courageous advocates of the things that matter to them. Underpinning this are the key concepts of being and belonging: being hopeful, considerate human beings who know they matter and that they can shape a positive future for themselves and others, understanding how they belong to their community, modern Britain and the world, recognising they can make a difference now.
At the Whiteoak Academies, Design & Technology plays a vital role in helping us to deliver our vivid vision by supporting the personal development of children and promoting fundamental British values. Our DT curriculum is crafted and designed to support and encourage our children to become global citizens who understand how evolving technology and design from across the globe contribute to the society we live in today. Being a British primary school, much of what we teach focuses on the United Kingdom and our British design history as well as learning about long-established British brands and their ethos. Children learn how brands market products to a specific audience, including how British brands use nationality as a core element of design. Local designers and producers from our home town visit to give a flavour of the technology occuring locally and ensure children can see how relevant their DT learning is to their local lives. We also examine the diversity of our modern British society and appreciate the evolving multi-cultural world in which we live.
We also celebrate designers and technologists from other countries and cultures, by enjoying the diversity of colour and pattern in textiles, and experiencing the range of delicious flavours and tastes from cuisine around the globe. By linking our food technology to our geographical topics where possible, children can gain a fuller picture of the cultural differences between their nation and other nations. Examples of this include tasting foods originating from other countries when creating their own recipes or exploring the history of bread making within different cultures. Recognising the cultual contrast of products, designs and food from other countries allows children to define their own sense of Britishness more clearly by recognising what constitutes traditional British design, products or cuisine. We also address food sustainability and an awareness of our responsibility to the planet.
Design and Technology is important to the future of our society as we develop mini inventors, technologists, chefs and entrepreneurs who will need to adapt quickly to our ever changing society as adults and can thrive in a modern world. By equipping children with resilience and determination to overcome problems and to think creatively, we can help them add positiviely to the society of the future from a global perspective. We also ensure learning about a balanced diet and nutritional health forms a crucial part of food technology to equip our children with information they need to live healthy lifestyles in the future.
Furthermore, as a family of schools, we recognise that Technology is ever- evolving and vital in the modern world. At the Whiteoak Academies, values are not assumed, instead through our DT curriculum and whole curriculum offer, British values and SMSC are developed and formed together through exploration, debate and critical analysis and understanding. Indeed, through our DT curriculum, our children are given the foundations to understand and appreciate diversity, fairness and a respect for democracy and democratic processes - for example, children survey target audiences when branding products and use a fair voting system to determine final designs based on which product would be more likely to sell.
Our pedagogical approach to the delivery of DT at the Whiteoak Academies is designed to make a genuine impact on the spiritual, moral, social and cultural understanding of our children; therefore, helping to promote British values and global citizenship. Through our DT curriculum our children are nurtured and supported to understand their rights and role within society in order to help them shape a positive future for themselves and others in an increasingly complex and dynamic world.
DT Long Term Plan