Florence Melly Community Primary School
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Design Technology at Florence Melly

Design Technology Curriculum Rationale

At Florence Melly we are designers and technologists! We want our children to love design technology. We want them to have no limits to what their ambitions are and grow up wanting to be architects, graphic designers, chefs or carpenters. We want them to embody our core values. We all believe that: “if you can DREAM it, you can do it”. The design technology curriculum has been carefully crafted so that our children develop their design and technology capital. We want our children to remember their DT lessons in our school, to cherish these memories and embrace the DT opportunities they are presented with! Recently, children in Year 4 were set an extra-curricular challenge of designing and building their own 3D volcano models as part of a cross-curricular DT and geography project. Things really did erupt as the children began their new ‘Mountains, Volcanoes & Earthquakes – Shake, Rattle or Roll’ topic in explosive fashion as they spent the afternoon in the hall making their volcano models erupt! Bringing design technology alive is important at Florence Melly Community Primary School. 

Curriculum Intent

The design technology curriculum promotes curiosity and a love and thirst for learning. It is ambitious and empowers our children to become independent and resilient – like all curriculum areas. 

We want to equip them with not only the minimum statutory requirements of the design technology National Curriculum but to prepare them for the opportunities, responsibilities and experiences of later life. For example, we have a wonderful school allotment where the children frequently visit, cultivate and harvest what they grow every year. The crops are often used to create jams in design technology and are sold as part of enterprise initiatives. Vegetables are used as part of our cookery lessons and the children harvest their homegrown vegetables and turn them in to soup to enjoy as part of ‘The Big Soup Share’. This event celebrates the work we do in our school allotment by harvesting our crops, whizzing them up into a delicious soup and sharing it out with others.

We want our children to use the vibrancy of our great city to learn from other cultures, respect diversity, co-operate with one another and appreciate what they have. We achieve this by providing a strong SMSC curriculum, with British Values and our core values placed at the heart of everything we do. This often feeds into the design technology curriculum. For example, in the autumn term the whole-school celebrated ‘Black History’ as a theme and some children used this as an opportunity to cook some delicious Jambalaya and made their very own King Cakes. The jambalaya was “amazing” and “the best thing ever” according to the pupils who couldn’t wait to take the recipe home!

We enrich their time in our school with memorable, unforgettable experiences and provide opportunities which are normally out of reach – this piques their interests and passions. For example, earlier this year some of our pupils took part in a very secret project over at Liverpool Football Club’s training ground. Through our partnership with the Red Neighbours initiative, pupils helped to design and produce gingerbread houses for the official LFC Christmas card. The children were guided by LFC nutritionist Mona Nemmer and had some very special helpers in the form of Jurgen Klopp and his first team squad. One Year 5 pupil said “I wasn’t expecting to meet any players, so when I saw them all, it was just brilliant. I won’t ever forget going to Liverpool FC for the afternoon.” We firmly believe that it is not just about what happens in the classroom, it is about the added value we offer to really inspire our children. 

Curriculum Implementation

In September 2018, a complete audit of the design technology curriculum was conducted. On the back of the findings from this audit, the design technology curriculum has been carefully built and the learning opportunities and assessment milestones for each year group crafted to ensure progression and repetition in terms of embedding key learning, knowledge and skills. For example, the way design technology is taught at our school has been revamped and now follows a consistent structure. Initially, pupils take inspiration from design throughout history to help generate ideas for designs. They explore and practice the practical skills involved in the topic and then design, make, evaluate and refine their final products. This approach is taken for every design technology topic. Pupils work in DT is also presented differently to other subject areas as teachers use floor books instead of individual exercise books. 

Design technology subject specific characteristics, which we expect the children to demonstrate, have been developed and shared with all stakeholders. These characteristics underpin all work in DT and form a focal point for display areas and provide a common subject specific vocabulary for staff and pupils. These characteristics are:

  • Significant levels of originality and the willingness to take creative risks to produce innovative ideas and prototypes.
  • An excellent attitude to learning and independent working and passion for the subject and knowledge of, up-to-date technological innovations in materials, products and systems.
  • The ability to use time efficiently and work constructively and productively with others.
  • The ability to carry out thorough research, show initiative and ask questions to develop an exceptionally detailed knowledge of users’ needs.
  • The ability to act as responsible designers and makers, working ethically, using finite materials carefully and working safely.
  • A thorough knowledge of which tools, equipment and materials to use to make their products.
  • The ability to apply mathematical knowledge.
  • The ability to manage risks exceptionally well to manufacture products safely and hygienically.

We empower our staff to organise their own year group curriculums under the guidance of our subject leaders. Teachers are best placed to make these judgements. Staff develop year group specific long-term curriculum maps which identify when the different subjects and topics will be taught across the academic year. The vast majority of subjects are taught discretely but staff make meaningful links across subjects. They link prior knowledge to new learning to deepen children’s learning. For example, in Year 4 when the children explore ‘Electrical Systems – Simple Circuits and Switches’ they also tackle electricity in science and ‘The Victorians’ in history where they look at the emerging popularity of electricity. Our children are taught the right, connected knowledge.

Our short-term plans are produced on a weekly and daily basis. We use these to set out the learning objectives for each lesson, identifying engaging activities and resources which will be used to achieve them.

In most subject areas we encourage staff to teach a weekly lesson however this is not the case for design technology. This was a notable change after the design technology audit. Each term, the whole-school has two deep-dive design technology days. This helps to ensure that the children see the whole process from start to finish – from existing products through to their finished product. We believe that by crafting our curriculum this way, we improve the potential for our children to retain what they have been taught, to alter their long-term memory and thus improve the rates of progress they make. 

Curriculum Impact

We use both formative and summative assessment information in every design technology lesson. Staff use this information to inform their short-term planning and short-term interventions. This helps us provide the best possible support for all of our pupils, including the more able. The assessment milestones for each phase have been carefully mapped out and further broken down for each year group. This means that skills in design technology are progressive and build year on year. 

Our staff use design technology formative assessment grids to systematically assess what the children know as the topic progresses and inform their future planning. These formative assessment grids then inform summative assessment judgements for each topic.

Assessment information is collected frequently and analysed as part of our monitoring cycle. This process provides an accurate and comprehensive understanding of the quality of education in design technology. A comprehensive monitoring cycle is developed at the beginning of each academic year. This identifies when monitoring is undertaken. The last design technology monitoring took place on 12th March 2019. Monitoring in design technology includes: book scrutinies, lesson observations and/or learning walks, pupil/parent and/or staff voice.

All of this information is gathered and reviewed. It is used to inform further curriculum developments and provision is adapted accordingly.

At Florence Melly Community Primary School, we are DESIGNERS AND TECHNOLOGISTS!

Key Documentation

Please use the links below which set out the vibrant Design Technology curriculum on offer to our pupils.

DT Curriculum Map  Flo Characteristics of a Technologist  Flo DT Curriculum Milestones
DT Curriculum Map   Characteristics of a Technologist   DT Curriculum Milestones

Latest Design Technology Activities

Check out just some of the wonderful activities our children get up to in Design Technology. Please visit our Twitter and Flickr feeds for more fantastic activities.

 Flo 41854031334_aabf604a67_o  Flo 42003283031_d5e05b0a61_o
Black History Inspired Cooking   60’s Inspired Fashion   Seafood Week…It was a bit fishy!
25093791497_8759988aed_o      
Cross Curricular Anglo Saxons   Year 4 Constructing Pylons     

Design Technology programmes of study: Key Stages 1 and 2

Purpose of study

Design and technology is an inspiring, rigorous and practical subject. Using creativity and imagination, pupils design and make products that solve real and relevant problems within a variety of contexts, considering their own and others’ needs, wants and values. They acquire a broad range of subject knowledge and draw on disciplines such as mathematics, science, engineering, computing and art. Pupils learn how to take risks, becoming resourceful, innovative, enterprising and capable citizens. Through the evaluation of past and present design and technology, they develop a critical understanding of its impact on daily life and the wider world. High-quality design and technology education makes an essential contribution to the creativity, culture, wealth and well-being of the nation.

Aims

The national curriculum for design and technology aims to ensure that all pupils:

  • develop the creative, technical and practical expertise needed to perform everyday tasks confidently and to participate successfully in an increasingly technological world
  • build and apply a repertoire of knowledge, understanding and skills in order 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 principles of nutrition and learn how to cook.

Attainment targets

By the end of each key stage, pupils are expected to know, apply and understand the matters, skills and processes specified in the relevant programme of study.

Schools are not required by law to teach the example content in [square brackets].

Subject content – Key stage 1

Through a variety of creative and practical activities, pupils should be taught the knowledge, understanding and skills needed to engage in an iterative process of designing and making. They should work in a range of relevant contexts [for example, the home and school, gardens and playgrounds, the local community, industry and the wider environment].

When designing and making, pupils should be taught to:

Design

  • design purposeful, functional, appealing products for themselves and other users based on design criteria
  • generate, develop, model and communicate their ideas through talking, drawing, templates, mock-ups and, where appropriate, information and communication technology

Make

  • select from and use a range of tools and equipment to perform practical tasks [for example, cutting, shaping, joining and finishing]
  • select from and use a wide range of materials and components, including construction materials, textiles and ingredients, according to their characteristics

Evaluate

  • explore and evaluate a range of existing products
  • evaluate their ideas and products against design criteria

Technical knowledge

  • build structures, exploring how they can be made stronger, stiffer and more stable
  • explore and use mechanisms [for example, levers, sliders, wheels and axles], in their products.

Subject content – Key stage 2

Through a variety of creative and practical activities, pupils should be taught the knowledge, understanding and skills needed to engage in an iterative process of designing and making. They should work in a range of relevant contexts [for example, the home, school, leisure, culture, enterprise, industry and the wider environment].

When designing and making, pupils should be taught to:

Design

  • use research and develop design criteria to inform the design of innovative, functional, appealing products that are fit for purpose, aimed at particular individuals or groups
  • generate, develop, model and communicate their ideas through discussion, annotated sketches, cross-sectional and exploded diagrams, prototypes, pattern pieces and computer-aided design

Make

  • select from and use a wider range of tools and equipment to perform practical tasks [for example, cutting, shaping, joining and finishing], accurately
  • select from and use a wider range of materials and components, including construction materials, textiles and ingredients, according to their functional properties and aesthetic qualities

Evaluate

  • investigate and analyse a range of existing products
  • evaluate their ideas and products against their own design criteria and consider the views of others to improve their work
  • understand how key events and individuals in design and technology have helped shape the world

Technical knowledge

  • apply their understanding of how to strengthen, stiffen and reinforce more complex structures
  • understand and use mechanical systems in their products [for example, gears, pulleys, cams, levers and linkages]
  • understand and use electrical systems in their products [for example, series circuits incorporating switches, bulbs, buzzers and motors]
  • apply their understanding of computing to program, monitor and control their products.

Cooking and nutrition

As part of their work with food, pupils should be taught how to cook and apply the principles of nutrition and healthy eating. Instilling a love of cooking in pupils will also open a door to one of the great expressions of human creativity. Learning how to cook is a crucial life skill that enables pupils to feed themselves and others affordably and well, now and in later life.

Pupils should be taught to:

Key stage 1

  • use the basic principles of a healthy and varied diet to prepare dishes
  • understand where food comes from.

Key stage 2

  • understand and apply the principles of a healthy and varied diet
  • prepare and cook a variety of predominantly savoury dishes using a range of cooking techniques
  • understand seasonality, and know where and how a variety of ingredients are grown, reared, caught and processed.