Design and Technology

Curriculum Intent

The teaching of design and technology at Laurel Avenue Community Primary, is designed to aid teachers to help pupils build a design and technology schema within their long-term memories. Rather than memorising isolated facts, building a strong technical schema enables pupils to organise knowledge in a meaningful way.

As a school we map
​• Breadth of study - the topics the pupils will study
Threshold concepts - the big ideas in design and technology that pupils will explore through every topic (master practical skills, design, make, evaluate and improve and take inspiration from design throughout history).
• Milestones - the goals that pupils should reach to show they are meeting the expectations of the curriculum.
Milestones are the goals that pupils are aiming for; through developing a strong schema based on knowledge, vocabulary and tasks pupils progress through the milestones.
Within the design and technology curriculum, we use 4 knowledge categories that enable pupils to identify common themes and make links throughout design and technology projects. The knowledge categories are: technical knowledge, practical knowledge, design inspiration and design process.
Pupils with SEND are given full access to the design and technology curriculum. Teachers use a range of strategies to enable all pupils to become successful designers including:
• Discrete teaching of vocabulary to ensure all pupils access and use technological terminology
• Pre-teaching where appropriate for example: sharing texts with a pupil prior to the lesson
• Dual coding to help pupils efficiently learn key concepts
• Thinking maps and mind mapping to enable pupils to organise and memorise key knowledge.

Curriculm Implementation

Our curriculum design is based on evidence from cognitive science; three main principles underpin it:
• Learning is most effective with spaced repetition.
• Interleaving helps pupils to discriminate between topics and aids long-term retention.
• Retrieval of previously learned content is frequent and regular, which increases both storage and retrieval strength.
In addition to the three principles, we also understand that learning is invisible in the short term and that sustained mastery takes time.
Our content is subject specific. We make intra-curricular links to strengthen schema.
Continuous provision, in the form of daily routines, replaces the teaching of some aspects of the curriculum and, in other cases, provides retrieval practice for previously learned content.
Through the use of ‘Know Its’ taken from the topic webs, pupils are given opportunities to periodically revisit knowledge gained within current and previous milestones and relate it to current learning.

Curriculum Impact

Formative Assessment
Pre-unit diagnostic assessment.
Verbal Feedback – the vast majority of feedback is in conversation with the pupil, allowing misconceptions to be spotted and effectively addressed at an early stage.
Summative Assessment
End of unit assessment - assessed against Key Stage Milestones.
Proof of Progress (POP) tasks against the milestones.
Our curriculum distinguishes between subject topics and threshold concepts.
Subject topics are the specific aspects of subjects that are studied. Threshold concepts tie together the subject topics into meaningful schema. The same concepts are explored in a wide breadth of topics. Through this ‘forwards-and-backwards engineering’ of the curriculum, pupils return to the same concepts over and over, and gradually build understanding of them.
Each Threshold Concept is explored within different contexts so that it has tangibility and meaning. Breadth of contexts ensures that pupils gain relevant knowledge and can transfer this knowledge.

Long Term: Curriculum Map

DT Overview

Subject Topics

Knowledge Progression: Milestones

KS1: Milestone 1

Lower KS2 : Milestone 2

Upper KS2: Milestone 3

Vocabulary Progression

DT Policy

Curriculum Drivers