Design and Technology is a hands on subject which makes it very popular with some children. As Prue Leith said, ‘Tell me and I forget; show me and I may remember; let me do it and I learn.’ Learning through making works!
James Dyson says, ‘Design and technology is about making things that people want and that work well. Creating these things is hugely exciting: it is an inventive, fun activity.’ At St Aidan’s children would agree. They enjoy designing and making their own products.
In the Foundation Stage, Designing and Making is part of the Knowledge and Understanding area of development and learning. Children are encouraged to build and construct using a wide range of objects including recycled materials, bricks and construction kits. They are taught simple techniques like folding and gluing and how to use basic tools such as scissors, rolling pins, hole punches etc.
In KS1 pupils further develop their own ideas, plan and make products and evaluate them. They are taught about the working characteristics of materials, and how mechanisms can be used in different ways, eg. wheels and axles, joints that allow movement. Work units include playgrounds in Year 1 and puppets in Year 2.
KS2 pupils work on their own and as part of small teams on a range of designing and making activities. These include:
- working with food – eg. making sandwich spreads;moving monsters – which introduces pneumatic control mechanisms;
- money containers – using textiles;
- lighting up – which focuses on electrical control;
- moving toys – which introduces movement using cam mechanisms.
Through studying design and technology the children develop their thinking skills, financial capabilities, enterprise and entrepreneurial skills and an understanding of sustainable development. In St. Aidan’s the children use recycled materials wherever possible and are taught good food hygiene and about healthy diets.