At Mount Stewart, we encourage our pupils to creatively design, engineer and make products that solve real-life and relevant problems
Design and Technology is about providing children with the opportunity to use creativity and imagination to design and make products considering their own and others' needs.
Design and Technology is a way of learning, which spans and links the whole curriculum. A primary school has its roots in imaginative play, art, and science. We want all children at Mount Stewart Schools to think innovatively, question and explore the practical world around them, and develop a positive and passionate approach to their learning through creative design.
DT is taught through our blocked approach. This ensures that key skills are taught, and that progression in skills is evident from Reception through to Year 6. We use the CUSP (Curriculum with Unity Schools Partnership) curriculum scheme of work to support our planning in D&T. We aim to help our children at Mount Stewart develop: enjoyment and pride in their technological and creative abilities; a keen and passionate interest in creating functional and user-focused designs and products; communication, cooperation and collaboration skills; confidence, perseverance and the knowledge to critically self-reflect and evaluate their design decisions, making valuable connections across the curriculum. We want children to challenge themselves with innovative and bold design, applying an iterative, problem-solving approach alongside critical thinking to show a deeper understanding of the design process.
The development of Design and Technology proficiency at Mount Stewart is achieved through opportunities and experiences across a broad curriculum using the National Curriculum for Design and Technology, attached below.
At Mount Stewart, we aim to ensure that all pupils:
We help our children at Mount Stewart develop:
These key disciplinary skills are realised through design projects that explore and use a variety of mediums and materials such as textiles, construction, sheet materials, mechanisms, computer-aided design (CAD) and cooking and nutrition.
Following an iterative design process is key to enabling children to evaluate and adjust their designs and products. We achieve this through various approaches such as allowing the children to explore existing designs and products; well-structured lessons allowing time for exploration, discussion, practise and research; designing a product for a specific audience or 'client' in mind; cross-curricular links that would enable children to make connections between subjects and with real-life situations and problems that may need a design solution; whole school Design and Technology weeks aimed to support children working collaboratively, such as planning, designing and making the perfect Mount Stewart town for Brent Council exploring the use of free-standing structures, or constructing a functional, eye-catching bag for JD Sports (KS2), our local Sainsbury's (KS2) or Welsh Harp (KS1).
Recently, due to an in-depth school-wide review of all subjects taught at Mount Stewart, the Design and Technology curriculum continues to be developed, improved and reviewed to offer the most up-to-date, exciting, and challenging lessons for all children.
All Mount Stewart teachers are now members of STEM and the Design & Technology Association (DATA) and have access to design industry professionals, experienced design educators and a wealth of design and technology training that can be disseminated throughout the teaching staff. Through a considered curriculum, teachers can ensure that children at Mount Stewart build upon the skills and knowledge acquired in KS1, gaining confidence and a deeper understanding as they progress through KS2, equipping them with the vital skills they will need going into KS3 and beyond.
To assess that children have learnt more and remember more as they move through the design process, assessment for learning is embedded deeply across the school and can be seen in all year groups and in all lessons, meeting the needs of all children. Pupils regularly share their design decisions through teacher-led and peer-based discussions. Children can demonstrate their understanding and develop their technical design skills demonstrating various points in the design cycle in working sketch/design books, reworking ideas and evaluating prototypes. Pupils complete assessments at the end of a design project to gauge their understanding and assess their progress. This also provides teachers with vital information that can develop and improve the learning experience for all children at Mount Stewart.