Design and Technology is all around us in every item that we use from a simple child’s toy or our clothing, to a mobile phone or computer. Through Design and Technology children at Great Missenden School explore the designed and made world we all live in. They are able to acquire and apply knowledge of design, structures, mechanisms and a range of materials including food to create functional products. They have opportunities to solve real and relevant problems by investigating, being innovative and testing and evaluating their ideas thus becoming resilient and resourceful learners and citizens.
At Great Missenden School we believe that taking part in Design and Technology inspires our children to be curious, to be creative, to develop practical skills and to engage with important issues such as sustainability and enterprise.
In September 2020 we introduced the ‘We Are Curriculum’. It has been built around a question-based approach to learning, links to key concepts and the discrete teaching of foundation subjects. We use carefully planned cold and hot tasks to highlight progression and use cumulative quizzing to embed key learning, knowledge and skills.
We want every child to leave Great Missenden ‘knowing more and remembering more’.
Design and Technology is taught discretely but staff make meaningful cross-curricula links with other subjects (e.g. Science, Geography, History) when appropriate. Prior knowledge is linked to new learning in order to deepen children’s learning.
Design and Technology is taught for at least two hours per week. This helps to ensure that sufficient time is allocated to revisit existing knowledge and experiences/experiential learning and to explore new areas and skills. We believe that by crafting our curriculum this way, we improve the potential for our children to retain what they have been taught, to alter their long-term memory and thus improve the rates of progress they make.
Participation in Design and Technology reflects Great Missenden School’s values in a number of ways.
Having a sense of community is fostered through the opportunity to create products for and to sell alongside local producers in our Seasonal Farmer’s Markets and Mini-Enterprise project. Trips within our local community to farms and a bakery enable our children to experience first-hand the seasonality and origins of food as well as the process by which ingredients become a finished product for sale which they are able to select and eat
We promote a knowledge and understanding of seasonality and sustainability in the production and consumption of food sourced locally, nationally and from around the world. Wider environmental issues and the children’s sense of responsibility for caring for the environment is explored through activities including those led by our eco-warriors.
The Design Make Evaluate ethos of Design and Technology gives our children opportunities to develop our school values of courage and respect; courage to try new ideas and techniques (exemplified through our Growth Mindset culture) and respect in constructively evaluating our own and others designs and products. The ability to research and analyse a variety of existing products both current and through time develops an understanding of and respect for the social, cultural, religious and ethnical diversity of their own country and the wider world.
To truly understand the impact of our Design and Technology curriculum you have to come and see us!
To measure impact, we have clear end points to the projects and assessment statements which are used by staff. Our staff are therefore fully aware of the expectations of all children. We use formative assessment in every Design and Technology session. This information can then be used to inform short-term planning as well as measuring progress.
Pupils of Great Missenden are Designers and Technicians. They enjoy exploring the designed and made world that we all live in, innovating and creating their own products. They are passionate when celebrating diverse cultures from around the world and can be relied upon to share their views and opinions on global issues.
Pupil Voice Impact Analysis
KS1 focussed on Textiles in their D&T. Year 1 made a felt fish toy and Year 2 created their own bunting.
Year 1: Sewing is … “absolutely awesome!” “pretty good, it’s relaxing”
Year 2: The children took great pride in their achievements …
“I love it, I love it, I love it!” “It’s perfecto!”
In LKS2, Year 3 designed a series of security features (booby traps!) for an Egyptian pyramid and Year 4 designed and made photoframes working to a budget.
Year 3: “It’s cool!” “The teachers make it really fun.”
“DT is awesome because you can make something that is your own and different to everyone else.”
“DT gives you confidence in yourself.”
Year 4: “It’s exciting and an amazing experience.”
“You can make it work no matter what.”
“Everyone helps me if I am stuck.”
“Even if you are not sure about anything give it a go.”
In UKS2, Year 5 worked in teams to design and make birdboxes working in collaboration with Mr Cook and the D&T department from Aylesbury High School. Year 6 made a cam toy and designed and made cushion covers which they marketed to their parents.
Year 5: D&T is “really creative.”
“We were working as a team to make something wonderful.”
“Fun, but it is very challenging.”
“You can try again and experiment to see what else would work.”
Year 6: The best thing about DT is “that you can create and do new things.”
“I know I am making progress because when we made stockings in Year4 I wasn’t very good or confident at sewing but now I feel more confident.”
“Before I could barely sew and now I am sewing a cushion!
Year 6 were asked what advice they would give to others designing and making a cam toy, we believe that much of their advice is transferable to any Design and Technology project.
News and Events
During the last Half Term the whole school took part in Design & Technology projects ranging from exploring textiles to a woodwork project involving Aylesbury High School's DT department.
Every child also had the opportunity to take part in a cooking activity and have a go at making Smoothies by pedal power!
Year 5 Design & Technology Day - Friday 2nd July
You may have noticed that there is a lot of construction work, including HS2, happening close to the school at the moment. Our Year 5 children have been thinking about the problems created by the loss of wildlife habitats due to this increased building activity in the local area. They decided that they would build bird boxes to encourage local birds back into the school grounds.
The students have researched existing products, considered the features required in their designs and also environmental factors such as sustainability. Working in groups they spent the day on Friday assembling the boxes.
We are very grateful to the Design & Technology department at Aylesbury High School who have worked with us on this DT project, planning, preparing materials and lending the school tools and equipment to work with. Mr Cook and Miss Plater joined us for our DT Day sharing their knowledge and expertise with the children.
Most year groups have now had the chance to go out in the allotment and polytunnels.
Year 4 History Makers are hard at work getting the polytunnel and cold frames ready for the new growing season.
The relaunch of the DT page on the Distance Learning section of the school website.
Ideas for design and technology activities that can be completed at home.
Year 6 took a day out from their usual curriculum activities to make cam toys following their own designs and using their own technical drawings.
A whole school design competition was held. The challenge was to design a remembrance poppy wreath or alternative. Congratulations to our winners!
A whole school competition was held to design a label for this year’s Growing Great Missenden apple juice bottles. Designs had to contain key information and be eye catching to entice buyers.
Well done to everyone who submitted a design and congratulations to our winner, Charlie in Year 1!