Do you ever stop to think about the everyday things we use daily, and how they’ve come about? An electric toothbrush, hairdryer, toaster, writing pen or mobile phone perhaps? How have these amazing things been created from first ideas into workable products that are constantly being evaluated and evolved? And what about those yet to be been invented?
Here at Pokesdown Community Primary school, we recognise our children are the future inventors full of amazing ideas and imagination, and ensure they all receive a design and technology curriculum that allows them to exercise their creativity through planning, designing, making and evaluating their thoughts- from making a practical puppet theatre in year 3 to creating an effective wet weather cape for Peter Rabbit in Year 1.
We ensure creative opportunities exist throughout a pupil’s school life at Pokesdown. Our designers are taught to use visual representations including: connecting ideas and designing sketches of a new sandwich for Paddington in Reception, annotating pictures of a pneumatic moving animal model in year 2, through to more detailed exploded diagrams of a working fairground ride in year 5.
Choosing appropriately from a range of tools, materials and techniques, with the criteria for a product at the forefront, our inventors are encouraged to take risks and experiment. They will often make a mock-up or a prototype to check all is well before creating their full scale production and modify accordingly. Year 6 have a trial run of baking their own mince pies before running a café for local residents, whilst Year 4 create a full scale model of their myth masks to help them iron out any potential hitches for when they follow their design in their final chosen material.
Food technology is a branch of DT Pokesdown children really love, especially as they get to sample their products! Learning about choosing the right local and international ingredients, including herbs and spices, whilst recognising the impact of using items in season on costings are addressed in our varied range of food tech projects. Will chilli with chocolate in Year 3 pass the taste testing for Willy Wonka and which will prove to be the most popular type of pastry in Year 6?
We ensure children are also inspired by key events and individuals in Design and Technology who have helped shape our world and equip them with the relevant technical vocabulary specific to their task. Pupils are given regular opportunities to be able to discuss the processes involved and encourage them to constantly assess their work and that of others so they can adapt and improve where necessary, culminating in a final evaluation process which we believe is an integral part of their learning.
At Pokesdown, D&T is taught as part of our Integrated Curriculum either as a lead or an application subject and links in well with all of our school Learning Values. Having learnt the key skills, children are able to design and make products linked to their projects.
In outcomes where D&T is the lead, the children demonstrate a high level of understanding and produce high quality work. As well as this, D&T allows children to apply the knowledge and skills learned in other subjects, particularly Maths, Science and Art giving them motivation and a real meaning for all their learning.
These skills when taught progressively, are vital to perform everyday tasks confidently and to prepare our pupils to successfully participate in our ever increasingly technological world.