Design & Technology
Design and Technology Curriculum at Mount Stewart
Approach and Planning:
Mount Stewart's D&T curriculum, grounded in imaginative play, art, and science, is taught through a blocked approach using the CUSP curriculum. This approach ensures skill progression from Reception to Year 6. Our teaching of Design and Technology follows a blocked approach, ensuring a consistent development of key skills from Reception to Year 6, aligned with the CUSP (Curriculum with Unity Schools Partnership) scheme. This methodology allows us to cultivate in our students not just enjoyment and pride in their technological and creative capabilities but also a profound interest in crafting functional designs and products.
The curriculum fosters innovative thinking, questioning, and exploration of the practical world, aiming to develop students' creativity through design.
Design and Technology at Mount Stewart Schools is an immersive learning experience that intertwines with the entire curriculum, drawing inspiration from imaginative play, art, and science. Our approach is to ignite a spirit of innovation and curiosity in children, encouraging them to question, explore, and interact with their practical surroundings. We are dedicated to fostering a love for learning that is both creative and analytical.
Central to our goals is the development of essential life skills such as communication, cooperation, and collaboration. We emphasise building confidence, perseverance, and the ability to critically self-reflect and evaluate design choices. This holistic approach enables students to make meaningful connections across various subjects.
We strive to challenge our students to embrace innovative and bold design concepts, employing an iterative and problem-solving mindset. Through this, they demonstrate critical thinking and a deeper comprehension of the design process, reflecting the essence of Design and Technology as a pivotal element of our curriculum at Mount Stewart Schools.
- Design and Technology integrates the curriculum, drawing from imaginative play, art, and science.
- Aims to foster innovation, curiosity, and practical world exploration in children at Mount Stewart Schools.
- Encourages a passionate and positive approach to learning through creative design.
- Employs a blocked teaching approach to ensure skill progression from Reception to Year 6.
- Adopts the CUSP (Curriculum with Unity Schools Partnership) scheme for D&T planning.
- Focuses on developing enjoyment, pride in technological and creative abilities, and an interest in functional, user-focused designs.
- Enhances communication, cooperation, collaboration skills, and confidence.
- Teaches perseverance, critical self-reflection, and evaluative skills in design decisions.
- Encourages children to undertake innovative and bold design challenges.
- Promotes an iterative, problem-solving approach and critical thinking for a deeper understanding of the design process.
At Mount Stewart, key skills in Design and Technology are developed through diverse design projects using textiles, construction, CAD (computer-aided design), and cooking. An iterative design process is crucial, allowing students to evaluate and adjust their creations. This is achieved through exploring existing designs, structured lessons for research and practice, and designing for specific audiences or real-world problems. Cross-curricular links enhance learning, and special events like Design and Technology Week encourage collaborative projects, such as building a model town or designing functional products for local businesses. Following a comprehensive review, our curriculum is continuously updated, ensuring engaging and challenging lessons. Our teachers, now members of STEM and DATA, have access to expert resources and training, ensuring students progressively build skills and knowledge from KS1 through KS2, preparing them for KS3 and beyond.
At Mount Stewart, we aim to ensure that all pupils:
- Develop the creative, technical, and practical expertise needed to confidently perform everyday tasks and participate in an increasingly technological world.
- Gain an understanding of how significant designers have brought about change and the influence they have had.
- Build and apply a bank of knowledge, understanding, and skills to design and make high-quality prototypes and products for a wide range of users.
- Critique, evaluate and test their ideas and products and the work of others.
- Understand and apply the fundamental principles of nutrition and learn how to cook.
Inclusivity and Support:
The curriculum supports students to develop confidence and perseverance, encouraging them to make cross-curricular connections and solve real-life problems through design solutions.
At Mount Stewart, we have integrated a comprehensive assessment for learning approach throughout our design process to ensure that our students are not only learning more but also retaining their knowledge effectively. This approach is evident across all year groups and lessons, tailored to meet the diverse needs of every child. Our students engage in regular discussions, both led by teachers and amongst peers, where they articulate and share their design decisions. This interactive process allows them to demonstrate and develop their technical design skills at various stages of the design cycle, documented in their working sketchbooks. Here, they can iterate on their ideas and critically evaluate their prototypes. At the conclusion of each design project, pupils undergo assessments to measure their understanding and progress. These assessments are crucial, providing teachers with valuable insights to continually enhance and personalise the educational experience for each student at Mount Stewart.
- Assessment for learning is deeply integrated across all year groups at Mount Stewart.
- Students actively share and evaluate their design decisions in teacher-led and peer discussions.
- Demonstrations of understanding and skill development occur through working sketchbooks and design books.
- Regular reworking of ideas and evaluation of prototypes within the design cycle.
- End-of-project assessments are conducted to measure students' understanding and progress.
- These assessments provide teachers with essential feedback to enhance learning experiences.
When students leave Mount Stewart they will:
- A sense of enjoyment and pride in their technological and creative capabilities.
- A strong, passionate interest in creating functional, user-focused designs and products.
- Advanced skills in communication, cooperation, and collaboration.
- Confidence and perseverance, along with the ability to critically self-reflect and evaluate their design decisions.
- The capacity to make valuable connections across different areas of the curriculum, enhancing their overall educational experience.
Grace Arnold is our dedicated Design & Technology Lead at Mount Stewart, who brings a wealth of passion to our D&T curriculum, inspiring our students to innovate, create, and excel in their design endeavors.