Design & Technology at St Leonard’s
We aim to deliver a knowledge-rich Design and Technology curriculum that enables a deep learning.
Hi, I’m Mrs Wilkinson and I’m the DT Subject Leader at St Leonard’s. I am dedicated to helping create and deliver DT curriculum that will help our children go on to be creative innovators, inventors and entrepreneurs. We have looked in depth at what high-quality DT looks like and how to guide children to designing, building and evaluating products of the highest quality. I have recently been working with my Year 4s on creating new torches and it was enormously satisfying to see their imagination in full flow as they built their skills and knowledge through each lesson.
What do DT lessons look like at St Leonard’s?
We have chosen a scheme called ‘Kapow’ to help build our DT curriculum. Having conducted careful research, we found that this scheme offered the best combination of progressive knowledge building with really high-quality outcomes. Having considered the DT skills and knowledge taught in Foundation Stage, we have been able to use this as the building block for Year 1, enabling our youngest children to enjoy early success in the subject.
Our lessons are built around 3 key themes: mechanisms (sliders and levers), structures and food. As children re-visit each theme over the course of their journey through the school, they build on their knowledge and skills to design and create ever more complex outcomes. For example, in Foundation, the children begin to develop their fine motor skills by handling scissors. They then make Christmas cards with simple levers in Year 1, a moon buggy in Year 2, a pop-up book in Year 3 and so on. By the time they reach Year 6, the children have acquired enough skills and knowledge to design a 3-course meal, make a waistcoat and create an electronic steady-hand game!
How do we make sure every child succeeds?
A key intent of our curriculum is to be inclusive, so our planning is carefully adapted to make sure it can be accessed by all of our children and they all have an opportunity to demonstrate their ability to design, make and evaluate.
We continually assess the children throughout our teaching and, if any are in danger of falling behind, we offer additional support. Furthermore, we assess at the end of each unit and address any misconceptions the children may have.
We recognise that cooking is a vital life skill and are always looking for new and engaging ways to enrich this part of the curriculum. For example, in September 2022, our Year 5 children took their cooking skills outdoors and created a seasonal soup over an open fire!