Short of curriculum time for Design and technology?
It can be especially daunting to fulfil all aspects of the curriculum in a broad and balanced way whilst upholding a high standard of teaching and learning, but it is possible. Below are some suggestions to help you maximise your D&T lesson time.
The design and technology curriculum homes in on the four main aspects of the design process, as well as a focus on cooking and nutrition:
- Design – generating, developing, modelling and communicating design ideas, using traditional and digital techniques
- Make – selecting and using a range of materials, ingredients and equipment to perform practical tasks
- Evaluate – exploring, investigating and analysing products; as well as a wider-world appreciation for key events and individuals in the field
- Technical knowledge – essential understanding of systems such as electrical and mechanical; application of computing to program, monitor and control products
- Cooking and nutrition – key principles in food such as healthy, balanced diets and seasonality
By taking an iterative approach through the steps above (Design, Make, Evaluate), it will ensure that pupils’ learning is focused upon designing for purpose and the expressing and planning of ideas which are underpinned by technical knowledge and understanding.
It’s important to give children time to reflect upon their ideas as they work through the projects, to identify and address any misconceptions and reinforce new concepts. It’s through this journey that children will harness and demonstrate their richest learning, as it’s not always demonstrated solely in the final outcome.
Teaching Design and Technology in three half-terms with Kapow Primary:
- Food: Fruit and vegetables (Lessons 1 – 4)
- Mechanisms: Moving storybook (Lessons 1 – 3; omit Lesson 4)
Note: Use the Storybook template (see Resources) for all pupils in Lesson 2 to save time.
- Structures: Constructing a windmill (Lessons 1 – 3; omit Lesson 4)
- Textiles: Puppets (Lessons 1 – 4)
- Mechanisms: Wheels and axles (Lessons 1 – 4)
- Food: A balanced diet (Lessons 1 – 4)
- Mechanisms: Moving monster (Lessons 1 – 4)
- Structures: Baby Bear’s chair (Lessons 2 – 4; omit Lesson 1)
- Textiles: Pouches (Lessons 1 – 3; omit Lesson 4)
Note: If time allows, provide the children with some additional fabric to decorate their pouches as an extension task.
- Mechanisms: Fairground wheel (Lessons 1 – 4)
- Food: Eating seasonally (Lessons 1 – 4)
- Structures: Constructing a castle (Lessons 2 – 4; omit Lesson 1)
- Textiles: Cushions (Lessons 1 – 4)
- Digital world: Electronic charm (Lessons 1 – 4)
- Mechanical systems: Pneumatic toys (Lessons 2 – 4; omit Lesson 1)
- Structures: Pavilions (Lessons 1 – 4)
- Food: Adapting a recipe (Lessons 1 – 4)
- Textiles: Fastenings (Lessons 1 – 4)
- Electrical systems: Torches (Lessons 2 – 4; omit Lesson 1)
- Mechanical systems: Slingshot car (Lessons 2 – 4; omit Lesson 1)
- Food: What could be healthier? (Lessons 1 – 4)
- Mechanical systems: Pop-up book (Lessons 1 – 3; omit Lesson 4)
Note: If time is particularly tight, utilise the Jack and Jill book and moving parts template in Lesson 2 (see Resources), consider limiting the way in which you demonstrate the book for pupils with a greater understanding of mechanisms.
- Digital world: Monitoring devices (Lessons 1 – 4)
- Electrical systems: E-greetings cards (Lessons 2 – 4; omit Lesson 1)
- Structures: Bridges (Lessons 1 – 4)
- Food: Come dine with me (Lessons 1 – 4)
- Mechanical systems: Automata toys (Lessons 1 – 4)
- Digital world: Navigating the world (Lessons 1-4)
Note: You could complete lesson 5 as an assembly or celebratory event – Lesson 5: Product pitch.
- Electrical systems: Steady hand game (Lessons 2 – 4; omit Lesson 1)
- Structures: Playgrounds (Lessons 1 – 3; omit Lesson 4)
Note: Skip the surrounding landscape and focus on getting the playground structures fixed to the base in Lesson 3.
N.B. Before beginning a new unit, establish a solid expectation and routine of health and safety standards for both children and staff to follow. Refer to our Design and technology Risk assessment for further guidance.
Differentiated Evaluation templates are available for pupils to reflect and evaluate their projects. The four different versions offer a range of options depending upon time scales and pupils’ abilities. Space has been provided for drawings, diagrams or photographs of their final outcomes and they can be edited to adapt them to your requirements.
Use this handy design challenge sheet as a homework task to help encourage children to think outside the box beyond your usual Design and technology time. You could focus this activity on solving a particular problem, or even something fictional, or make it more personal to the child and allow them to develop designs ideas for something of their choosing.