At Leyland Methodist Schools, we have developed a Design and Technology (D.T) curriculum that is tailored to meet the needs of our learners. We want all of our children to have an understanding of how D.T can shape their futures – the next big invention will be from Leyland!
Through the delivery of our unique D.T curriculum, with it's focus on key skills, we encourage the children at Leyland Methodist Schools to develop into analytical, inquisitive, adventurous, creative and most of all perseverant learners. As they journey through our Design and Technology curriculum, the children will develop a rich vocabulary enabling them to talk about their learning in D.T with confidence, precision and fluency. The key knowledge is progressive and is revisited regularly within our units such as Resistant Materials, Textiles and Food Technology. For example, in KS1 we look at creating a stable structure for the Three Little Pigs as part of a topic on Resistant Materials. At KS2, this knowledge is revisited as children learn to work with more independence developing a structure that has a shell or frame that can be strengthened, stiffened and reinforced.
Our children view D.T as a fun and engaging subject which develops holistic skills they can use throughout their lives. Our units are taught in conjunction with Science, Computing and Mathematics through a series of relevant and inspiring STEM units.
Industry and technology have played a significant role in Leyland's history and therefore we aim to foster a passion in these areas and give our children opportunities to develop life skills to use within their own community.
D.T in the Early Years Foundation Stage
Our Early Years Foundation Stage is where the imaginative, creative journey for our children begins. When doing D.T at Leyland Methodist Schools, we inspire a love of creativity in the children through creating, encouraging and embedding the following key skills:
Explore – Our children will experiment and build with a range of construction resources alongside finding out about the properties and functions of different construction materials.
Design – Our children will talk about their ideas, choose resources, tools and techniques with a purpose in mind.
Make – Our children will make models and props using different construction materials, e.g. construction kits, reclaimed materials. Our children will also be given opportunities to experiment with different ways to build, construct and join resources alongside making props to use in their various role play activities.
Evaluate – Our children are encouraged to openly talk about what they like and dislike about their models/constructions/props but also encouraged to understand and explain why, and how they would change them if faced with the same task again.
Tools and equipment – Our children regularly use equipment and tools to build, construct and make simple models and props for learning and also are given opportunities to use tools and equipment linked to food preparation throughout the year.
Safety – Our children are taught to handle and use equipment appropriately and safely throughout all areas of the curriculum but this is particularly embedded when using tools and equipment to create props for learning.
D.T and the National Curriculum:
The National Curriculum Programme of Study provides the foundation of our D.T Curriculum at Leyland Methodist Schools and underpins all work that we do. Using this as a baseline, we have also undertaken a thorough Curriculum Needs Analysis, studying the characteristics of our learners here in Leyland to ensure that our curriculum fulfils their requirements. We now have a variety of topics that offer diverse and motivating learning experiences in D.T linked to other areas of the curriculum. To complement this, we have also developed a detailed Progression Document that maps out the key skills in learning throughout all aspects of D.T and shows what these skills look like at each level from Year 1 through to Year 6.
This progression document provides clarity for both teachers and learners alike – it signals clearly what the expected level of progress looks like at each Key Stage and therefore enables accurate assessments of children to be made.
Design gives children the opportunity to use and extend their understanding of creativity, research and risk-taking, while Technology allows children to analyse their designs, overcome problems and work to a brief in order to create a prototype that will lead to a final product. They can develop research skills through the study of pre-existing products and other resources. Through discussion with peers, they can improve speaking and listening skills, develop collaborative skills and begin to use critical analysis to justify their decisions. Their interpretation of the different briefs, combined with their own design choices – influenced through research and fact - can help to extend reasoning and justification skills while also allowing them to produce a unique response to a problem. During the making phase, children develop the skill of perseverance, due to the whole school iterative approach. Children are encouraged to reflect throughout the process; celebrating what goes well and come up with solutions for problems that may arise. Children work together to overcome such issues, through experimentation and risk-taking, to develop a sequence, which will work for them. The outcome is not the key, the journey is! In the evaluation phase, children will reflect systematically on their designs and product and ask evaluative questions highlighting the key points of their journey.
The final outcome will result in children producing a product to advertise, demonstrating how it meets the needs of the brief. This presentation may take the form of a poster, leaflet, point of sale display, radio advert and much more.
At LMS we believe that D.T offers the perfect opportunity to develop our children’s cultural experiences. The D.T curriculum is enriched and enhanced by the beneficial use of visitors and trips to enhance the learning and enjoyment of the children. We therefore aim to provide a programme of enrichment opportunities each year to elevate our curriculum to outstanding levels. These opportunities have included museum visits to Leyland Motors, a visit from Chester Zoo to look at animal habitats and a visit from a Fairtrade Foundation Representative to talk about the need and impact of Fair Trade. These experiences provide vital opportunities for our learners to see and understand what excellence looks like and gives them something to strive for within their own learning journey.
Finally, we also recognise the importance of celebrating and displaying the work of our inventors and pioneers here at Leyland Methodists and so we provide regular opportunities for their work to be shown throughout the year. At these Pop-Up STEM events, parents are invited in to see their children’s work displayed alongside other year groups and learn about what their child has been studying in D.T. While STEM week allows the children to experience a week of learning, similar to that of a working environment, with help from our STEM Ambassadors (professionals who work within a STEM career).
One of the key principles of Design & Technology at LMS is encouraging and promoting diversity for our learners. From understanding our children and their backgrounds, we are able to bring experiences and expertise to them which normally may not be available. For example, during our STEM week we invited women from traditionally male dominated industries to meet the children - as well as break the stereotypes!
Equality of Opportunity:
Our D.T curriculum is carefully planned to engage and excite all of our learners. Our long term and medium term plans map out the D.T Key Skills and ensure that they are covered across the teaching of the STEM units. With this in mind, providing a rich and varied D.T curriculum for our Pupil Premium children is vital. All visits out of school are funded through the Pupil Premium strategy for those who need it. Similarly, we have ensured that year groups with particularly high levels of vulnerable children have benefitted from workshops and educational experiences.
Miss S Dawson
(DT Subject Leader)
Within God’s love for everyone, Our school family is committed to serve by:
- celebrating everyone’s unique God-given talents;
- giving the best of ourselves for all the world;
- doing all the good we can together.