Subject Leader: Miss Whitman & Miss Bownes

Curriculum Champions: Finlay, Isabelle, Isla, Grace, Isla & Bonnie

What is it like to study Design and Technology at Witham St Hughs Academy?

At Witham St Hughs Academy, the teaching of design and technology involves the application of skills for life. Pupils develop an authentic creativity and understanding of practical, real-life problem solving. We believe that pupils should have an ownership of their learning and be given the freedom to explore and take appropriate risks. With consideration of something, somebody for some purpose, we allow the pupils to aim for an outcome that is tailored to them and follows a real-life brief.

How is Design and Technology planned?

The curriculum at Witham St Hughs Academy is coherently planned and sequenced and designs learning opportunities to allow pupils to expand and build sufficient knowledge and skills. Every pupil has a right to be exposed to a broad and balanced curriculum and to understand the impact design and engineering has on their world. In addition, the design and technology curriculum includes cooking and nutritional skills to support an understanding of where food comes from and food preparation, cooking and nutritional values. The curriculum is planned and taught using a progressive methodology to inspire the pupils and engender a positive relationship with food.

Disciplinary & Substantive Knowledge

We believe that pupils need 4 key substantive elements of essential knowledge to excel in design and technology, which can be broadly categorised into: designing, making, evaluating and technical knowledge. Our curriculum is designed to teach each of these areas in every year group with knowledge and skills designed to build in a progressive and sequential manner.

Alongside this substantive knowledge, children also need the disciplinary knowledge to understand how we think and learn through DT. As they progress through the Academy, these skills develop to allow children to form their own ideas, opinions and approaches as innovators. In order to develop pupils’ substantive knowledge, teachers adopt subject specific pedagogy when teaching DT. We ensure we link the different skills to the many various industries linked to DT, in order to show children where these skills can help them in their wider life.

How is Design and Technology taught at Witham St Hughs Academy?

At Witham St Hughs Academy, we recognise the importance of encouraging pupils to think and intervene creatively to solve problems around them. We provide opportunities for discovery and challenge, and for pupils to take great responsibility for their learning. We want our children to understand how and why the things that surround them have been made and to learn the skills to make themselves. At Witham St Hughs Academy, children develop technical understanding, skills, learn about design methods and investigate their environment and everyday materials. We are committed to encouraging children to foster an enjoyment, satisfaction and purpose in designing and making. It provides first-hand experiences for children to explore attitudes towards the world and how we live and work within it. Through the four core principles of DT, children will have the opportunity to complete market research, design, create and evaluate their design. All units will focus on ensuring their creation is always designed with ‘someone, something and for some one’ principles.

Areas of learning are designed to carefully build knowledge and understanding over time, for example Y3 pupils learn about the technical skill of sewing a toy sloth for a gift, and then in Y6, pupils deepen their understanding of textiles by designing and stitching a pillow as a Christmas gift for the other classroom book corners. Teachers check regularly whether previously taught concepts have been remembered with well-structured lessons which prioritise recap at the start, and address any misconceptions pupils may have.  

What about experiences?

Within DT, each new unit lends itself for the opportunity to create exciting experiences for our pupils. We encourage learning to be for real events, for example our Year 5 pupils making a leavers picnic for their Year 6 peers. They used innovation to complete market research, design and then create. In EYFS children have the opportunity to develop their design skills daily through their discovery zone and creation station within each classroom. This allows children to develop fundamental language to explain what they want to create and how they intend on create this. Children in KS1 have the opportunity to attend a cooking club after school, developing a passion for nutrition and developing technical skills.

Where can I see Design and Technology around school?

You will see design and technology all around Witham St Hughs Academy. You can see children’s projects proudly displayed alongside fantastic photos from projects that children have attended.

You will see children’s designs being practically used in within the classroom like the Year 6 pillow designs. Design and technology is always seen in our EYFS classrooms in our discovery zones and creative stations.