At the Ridgeway School, Design Technology is taught from Nursery to Key stage 4 taking account of pupils’ levels of understanding and how old they are. In the Early Years this is taught through the Creative and Knowledge and Understanding of the world areas
As a subject Design technology enables pupils to consolidate their learning from subjects such as Maths, English and computing, as they are required to use skills including Counting, Shape, Space and Measure, Using and applying, using symbols, reading, sequencing, noticing changes in materials, working together etc.
There is strong focus on the Thinking skills curriculum which encourages independent learning. For example, pupils are asked to explore using their senses, plan, link, imagine and reflect on and review their work.
Design Technology is usually delivered within other lessons including Core subjects and Art. Recently, as part of the Curriculum topic themes and focus weeks pupils have had the opportunities to work together to build Eiffel towers for French Focus day, create poppies for a Remembrance day display and dragons to go with the topic of Myths and Legends.
At the earliest stages pupils experience design through a sensory approach and are able to express likes and dislikes and make choices. Pupils are provided with a range of construction materials including recyclables, (junk modelling), and commercial products, such as Duplo with which to create simple models. There is a strong emphasis on the development of fine motor skills as pupils increase in dexterity and are able to make models using items of different sizes and shapes. Some pupils have the opportunity to use tools in a more formal way. Design technology is part of the Science Faculty and once a year there is a Science Curriculum Week with a specific focus and theme.
Design technology is not assessed as a subject in its own right but the progress pupils make is reflected in assessment using COMPAS in the Core subjects, Thinking skills and Engagement.
We realise the importance of engagement (attention and focus) and we acknowledge that deeper learning can only occur when pupils are fully engaged and have resources matched to their personal learning styles.