Design and Technology

INTENT - At Cullercoats Primary School we offer all our children a wide breadth of creative experiences and provide opportunities to develop a range of valuable, lifelong skills. The children are taught to critically design effective products for specific users. We use appropriate tools safely and effectively. In all areas of Design and Technology the children are encouraged to consider the effectiveness of their designs at all stages and the requirements of the product in relation to who they are designing for. Every child will have the opportunity to learn and extend their understanding, experience and application in the use of technology in as wide a variety of situations as possible. We make good use of our plentiful school garden, greenhouse and expansive orchard to support (and supply where possible ingredients for) the food technology aspects of the curriculum which also have great cross curricular links to science and healthy living.

IMPLEMENTATION - From the beginning children create products from a widening range of materials, progressing from simplified tools to more sophisticated equipment as they face further challenges in design and greater stimulus from the introduction of new materials.

There are five strands to the Cullercoats Design and Technology curriculum: Mechanisms, Textiles, Structures, Electrical Systems and Food Technology. Each phase of the school will teach every one of these strands,  building on the techniques and strategies from the previous phase and developing more and more skills in each of these areas. In each phase the designing and evaluating will become more thorough and the use of tools will advance in complexity. As they move through the school children will be given greater opportunity to use C.A.D, Computer Aided Design, through programs such as Google Sketchup, Tinkercad and Lego Mindstorms. They will be given opportunities to explore processes in their local environment, making excellent use of our nursery planters, school garden, greenhouse, vegetable beds and apple orchard.  Pupils will also extend their knowledge of a history or geography topic or a Talk4Writing text through Design and Technology lessons. Our locality enables the school to draw upon a wide variety of DT examples. Local building materials that have been used over time along with a rich history of innovation in the area from our coal mining, fishing and shipbuilding past. Structures such as the Swing, Tyne and Millennium Bridges, along with the expansion of wind farm technology and the Nissan Factory enable technology through the ages to be explored. Our Year 6 pupils visit Nissan to experience the Monozukuri Caravan which engages pupils in 21st Century automotive manufacturing.

IMPACT - Pupils will have an understanding and an appreciation of the design process. They will have experienced working iteratively and have a desire to always improve on what they have produced. Through our Design and Technology curriculum pupils will have built up strong interpersonal skills such as perseverance, team working and have a strong sense of pride in their work and capabilities. Pupils will be able to express themselves creatively and with a strong technological vocabulary. Through the use of increasingly complex tools, including ICT, pupils will have safely developed useful, valuable,  lifelong skills and be ready for  the secondary school curriculum. We measure the impact and progress of our Design and Technology curriculum through continual summative assessment and discussions with children about their learning (pupil voice).

One of the ways in which the impact of our Design and technology curriculum can be seen is through our hugely successful Lego Robotics programme, which has led to us national finals on numerous occasions and even a National Award for Core Values in February 2020; (we are so far the only North East primary school to ever reach this stage) IET First Lego League -City Shaper, England & Wales Final University of the West of England Bristol.

NEXT STEPS - Create links with locally based companies and industries to give an insight into their work, their links to STEM and potential career links for the future.

At present, we are in discussions with other subject leaders to further develop our assessment of Design and Technology using Target Tracker.