At Woodland Primary School we use a topic based creative curriculum as a way of achieving the outcomes set by the national curriculum for Art, Design, History, Geography, Music, English and Science in our mixed age classes. We want a curriculum which extends beyond the classroom and into the world around, one that enables children to understand who they are and the world in which they inhabit and which ultimately gets children excited to learn and prepared for the future that awaits them.
At Woodland Primary School we recognise the vital role of Design and Technology in nurturing creativity and developing practical and critical thinkers, lifelong skills which will help our children through the next steps of their education and beyond into their chosen careers. We believe that learning Design and Technology well allows children to realise career goals in professions which rely on creativity, perseverance, innovation and a range of technical skills (e.g. entrepreneurs, engineers, architects, chefs etc.) We encourage children to use their creativity and imagination to design and make products that solve problems within a variety of different topic contexts considering their own and others’ needs and values.
Our Design Technology curriculum is based around our carefully selected topics, children make meaningful links between other subjects as they carry out their design projects. We are involved with local museum and business initiatives which often help bring a cross curricular, real-life context to our design technology curriculum. (Shoe design/ Poppies for Bowes Museum exhibition, Take £5 initiative, Summer Fair Make and Sell) For instance, we are currently working with GSK, based in Barnard Castle using science and technology to design and test different types of toothpaste and cleaning products, we will extend our learning further to include designing and creating packaging and an advertising campaign for our new products. Through further experiences and creative thinking skills activities, children delve deeper into their understanding whilst developing new skills for a range of purposes.
All staff are committed to engage, inspire and challenge pupils within the Design Technology curriculum. Our school cook regularly takes children in small groups to teach cooking skills and techniques. Cooking activities are topic based and the principles of nutrition are discussed and investigated. Children have the opportunity to explore different foods and cuisines and also to design and cook their own delicious inventions. For example during our Roman topic we looked at, cooked and tried many traditional recipes, came up with our own pottage and pizza recipes, then created our own Roman cookbook and celebrated at the end of the topic with our very own Roman Feast!
Regular Lego based topic days are also loved by our children; where a Lego expert will set topic based Lego design challenges for all children from Nursery to Y6. KS2 children are challenged to make their models move, working with gears and motors using Lego-Technic.
Topic workshop or celebration days are planned termly for the whole school to show parents and the school community the learning that has been achieved within the topic, with children showing and explaining their skills, designs and models to their parents and peers.
We use a progression of skills throughout school that teachers use to monitor progress. Work is evaluated through regular questioning, designs and models produced and assessment against the objectives. Teachers use this information to inform future lessons, ensuring children are supported and challenged appropriately. As children progress throughout the school they develop their ability to think critically and develop a more rigorous understanding of design technology, ensuring their products fit given criteria and problem solving where necessary.
Our children will leave Woodland Primary having had the opportunity to work collaboratively and individually on a wide range of topic-based design technology projects. They will have a positive attitude to problem solving and design projects with a knowledge of techniques and technology and an understanding of how these skills can help them in other subjects, everyday life and career opportunities in the future.