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Design technology is taught as a distinct subject here at The Elms School.
From reception to Year 6 pupils have opportunities to work with materials shaping them into a variety of items of use. We look at various products to work out their purposes and effectiveness, questioning designers' decision making. Motivation to engage in the practical nature of the subject is enhanced by the dedicated Design workshop equipped with child-sized tools and work benches. Pupils from Year 3 and above have weekly lessons in the workshop space with a specialist Design Technology Teacher who leads them through a range of projects appropriate to age and stage. Skills acquisition and the processes of planning, measuring, marking out materials before finally assembling products are the primary concerns throughout the Junior School phase, allowing pupils to build solid foundations for their transition into the Design Technology Department at Trent College.
Design Technology is given a high priority in recognition of the fact that as a subject it builds on skills and achievements made in other subject areas and the contribution that it makes to them. Language and literacy is developed through discussion using specific vocabulary, mathematics is a fundamental foundation stone where pupils are taught to measure with accuracy, calculate material use and older pupils consider price implications too. Social skills are constantly brought into play as pupils develop ideas together, test out mock-ups and prototypes of their designs and consider the users of their planned ideas. Design criteria agreed upon by the pupil-designers is reflected upon at the culmination of each project allowing for the development of self-evaluation and problem solving skills. Science has a major role in respect of the analysis of the properties of materials and how they can be effectively shaped by design workers; the mechanics of simple devices with working parts.
Each project builds upon the last, providing a broad balanced range of activity over the entire Junior School phase. Pupils learn how to work with new and well established materials and also how to prepare some food items too. We have two specialist Food-Technology facilities at our disposal. Sustainability is always made an issue of resulting in the use of many recycled products, reducing waste and reusing materials.
We love to show off our work too at the end of the sequence of lessons. Regular displays are to be seen in the school foyer and classrooms building on the pride we have and the enthusiasm we encourage.
Young designers learn skills here that will last a lifetime!