Mrs Zoe Trenerry
‘To engage, motivate and inspire pupils to draw on their creative and curious minds to design, develop and produce a range of products with a defined purpose and tangible outcome whilst using their own experiences of success to evaluate their innovations.’
At Heamoor School, we ensure Design Technology is fully inclusive to all children and we recognise that D&T can be the beginning of a very exciting career for some of our pupils. We provide children with the opportunities to design their own ideas and as well as with a purpose in mind which will inspire and captivate the endless possibilities within Design Technology for our future generation. Children learn of developing, planning and effective communication during the design process, to work with tools fit for the purpose of a particular product as well as assembly and combining a variety of materials in order to create a product that resembles their initial design specification.
A high-quality Design Technology education engages, inspires and challenges pupils equipping them with the confidence to work both individually and as part of a team to use their desire to build, make, craft and construct not only ideas that they have generated themselves but following a design brief too. All pupils are encouraged to think critically about their own work and to be reflective and evaluate their work at different stages of production within key stage 2, or through the use of teacher support in the lower key stage. This enables pupils to have the skills required to solve problems and overcome challenges, not just within D&T but within the rest of the curriculum and in future life too.
At Heamoor School we feel passionate that children are offered a variety of creative and practical activities throughout their D&T curriculum including an awareness of the importance of having a healthy, balanced diet as well as preparing them for living in a modern world where technology is rapidly changing and advancing. We pride ourselves in nurturing children’s curiosity across several different topic based projects throughout the year. Pupils are encouraged, through a safe environment, to take risks along the way, whilst generating and applying their own ideas to their final tangible outcome where they are capable of becoming young designers, engineers, problem solvers and enterprises of the future.
Within the Early Years Foundation Stage, all pupils are taught design technology through expressive arts and design where they have regular opportunities to be imaginative and explore using different media and materials. Children enjoy experimenting with colour, design, texture, form and function as well as representing their own ideas, thoughts and feelings through design and technology. Pupils are encouraged to develop these skills through both adult led inputs and continuous provision opportunities. These skills develop as they become more confident throughout the year, creating their own designs and products with minimal support.
The importance of learning these new skills are underpinned by the three prime areas outlined in the ‘Statutory framework for the early years foundation stage’:
- Communication and language
- Physical development
- Personal, social and emotional development
These prime areas are fundamental in ensuring children have a broad and balanced education while being crucial for laying the foundations for pupils to develop curiosity, engagement for learning and to ultimately prepare them for Key Stage One.
In KS1 children are encouraged to explore, experiment and test ideas before designing and making their first product through practical and hands on activities when possible. Teachers plan creative lessons linked to class topics enabling a range of D&T activities to take place. This was supported recently when KS1 children designed and created their own house for one of The Three Little Pigs. First, they had to generate ideas for their own design, before thinking about what tools and materials would be suitable to create such a product. They then had the opportunity to evaluate their designs and those of others, testing their durability with water. Within D&T lessons, pupils have the opportunity to learn the principles of nutrition, healthy eating and how to cook. These life skills will stay with our pupils forever. Within KS1 pupils used their developing skills to make traditional Cornish pasties to celebrate St Piran's day. All pupils were encouraged to follow basic safety and hygiene procedures throughout their cooking lesson. They smelt delicious!
As our children move onto KS2, they continue to record their work in their project books, making sure they have a clear journey from the design and planning stage, through to the creation stage and finally an evaluation of their work. D&T work is often documented through photographs of pupils work. As pupils develop the skills within D&T even further, pupils are encouraged to use their project books as a self-assessment tool, reflecting and evaluating on their previous work, thinking about how they can make changes and keep improving. Children are encouraged to take risks and experiment and then reflect on why some ideas and techniques are successful or not for a particular project, an important skill to have, not just now, but in later life too.
Similarly to KS1, in KS2, teachers plan creative lessons linked to class topics. Whilst learning about ‘The Romans’, pupils took on a tricky challenge to design and make their own roman sandal suitable to wear to a Roman bath. Both classes spent time looking at traditional dress and what the Romans wore. Then they designed their own sandals, using sketch and pencil. Once they were happy with their design they had to look at different materials and choose the one most fit for purpose. Once the sandals were made, the next challenge was to test it for fit and purpose ensuring it also resembled their original design. Finally, pupils spent time evaluating their sandals against their original designs.
When children take part in D&T lessons, they develop their capability to create products of a high standard through skills and understanding of how to work with tools appropriately and safely in order to create the desired outcome. By learning how to work safely and applying protective measures, our pupils have the toolbox they need to be well equipped to manage risks when they arise. At Heamoor School, we offer a safe environment to do this, where pupils have access to the materials they need and enjoy, whilst being supported by their class teacher.
D&T is showcased throughout the year through our links with the local community. One of the highlights for both the staff and pupils is being part of the annual Golowan Festival Parade, where we create a themed creation, which is made traditionally from withies for the structure and then covered in papier-mâché, before being painted. We also enjoy creating a whole school themed window display, which usually sits pride of place at the top of Market Jew Street for all of the children and their families to go and visit during the Christmas period. These whole school projects, provide a fantastic opportunity for the children to plan, design, create and promote their own creativity.
Mrs Trenerry works closely with Mrs Osborne (SENDCO) to ensure D&T is inclusive to all of our children in school, so that every child at Heamoor School can access art and thrive and develop in confidence.