In the Early Years Foundation Stage, Design and Technology forms part of the learning children acquire under the Specific Area of ‘Understanding the world’. This area includes learning about the following:
The world – children know about similarities and differences in relation to places, objects, materials and living things. They talk about the features of their own immediate environment and how environments might vary from one another.
Technology – children recognise that a range of technology is used in places such as homes and schools. They select and use technology for particular purposes.
Expressive arts and design also includes learning about Design and Technology and involves the following:
Exploring and using media and materials: children sing songs, make music and dance, and experiment with ways of changing them. They safely use and explore a variety of materials, tools and techniques, experimenting with colour, design, texture, form and function.
Being imaginative: children use what they have learnt about media and materials in original ways, thinking about uses and purposes. They represent their own ideas, thoughts and feelings through design and technology, art, music, dance, role-play and stories.
Here are some of the typical learning experiences your child will have:
Constructing: Learning to construct with a purpose in mind, some children use scissors, glue, string and a hole punch to make a bag to store travel brochures they collected during a field trip.
Structure and joins: Following a visit to their local high street, some children make a church tower out of small wooden bricks.
Using a range of tools: Through this, your child will learn about planning and adapting initial ideas to make them better. For example, a child might choose to use scissors, a stapler, elastic bands and glue to join bits together to make a toy vehicle. But they might then modify their initial idea by using masking tape.
Cooking techniques: Some children take turns stirring the mixture for a cake and then watch with fascination as it rises while cooking. They will practise stirring, mixing, pouring and blending ingredients during cookery activities.
Exploration: Children will dismantle things and learn about how everyday objects work. For example, a child might dismantle a pepper grinder and discover how it is put together and the materials different parts are made of.
Discussion: Your child will be given opportunities to discuss reasons that make activities safe or unsafe, for example hygiene, electrical awareness, and appropriate use of senses when tasting different flavourings. They will also learn to record their experiences by, for example, drawing, writing and making a tape or model.
How to help at home
Encourage your child to try out these activities to improve their DT skills:
- Get your child to sort objects by different criteria. You could do this by getting them to help to set the table or organise shopping items to be put away.
- When talking to your child, look for opportunities to notice and discuss materials around them – utensils in the kitchen, tree barks on a walk, soft furnishings in the bedroom.
- While speaking, use the language of designing and making, for example words such as ‘join’, ‘build’ and ‘shape’. And use evaluative and comparative language – ‘longer’, ‘shorter’, ‘lighter’, ‘heavier’ and ‘stronger’.
- Encourage and support the use of a range of tools, such as scissors, hole punch, stapler, glue spreader, rolling pin, cutter and grater.
Autumn Term 2018
Our topics for this half term will be colours and harvest. We will be investigating colours through a variety of activities including colour mixing. Our colour mixing is on display for everyone to see.
Our topics for this term is ‘All About Me’ and ‘Celebrations’. We have been spending time in the cookery room making healthy fruit salads and sandwiches. We have been completing self-portraits, and drawings of our families. The children have had access to creative resources in the making area and messy activities such as using dough, plasticine and finger painting. We have been creating firework and bonfire pictures, making Diva lamps, winter pictures and Christmas cards.
Here are some observations of children designing and making;
A child was busy filling and mixing in the sand when I asked her what she was doing. She told me that she was making a Diwali cake. I asked her what she was going to put in her Diwali cake and she told me lots of colours and some flowers.
A child was playing in the sand pit and told me she was making apple crumble. I said I really liked apple crumble and asked if she liked it too. She said she did and that she had made it with her Grandma. I asked her what ingredients she had used and explained that ingredients were all the different foods you put together to make something. She said flour, sugar, butter and eggs. I said that you don’t usually use eggs for a crumble and asked if she would like to look at a recipe. We found one on the iPad and found out the ingredients were flour, sugar, butter and fruit. I said that the method in a recipe would tell you how to make the crumble. We found a dish and pretended to put the apple in the bottom. She was stirring her crumble and I explained that you need to rub the butter into the flour and sugar and modelled how this would be done using the sand. She then had a try and topped her apple with the crumble.
Key Stage One
During our ‘Winter Wonderland’ topic we made snowman biscuits. The children made a melted snowman biscuit by following a recipe. When they had finished they tasted and evaluated it.
The children discussed as a class whether they liked their biscuit or not and gave reasons why. They then recapped the steps for making their biscuit.
This term our topics have been ‘Medieval Norwich’ and ‘Night time’. In Design and Technology we have designed and made a medieval shield.
We then painted our shields using the design and these are displayed proudly in our Year 2 corridor.
The children worked in teams to build a throne.
Design and Technology – Summer 2018
The children in reception have been learning new skills and have practised these skills in their free flow learning. All children in the EYFS have continued to enjoy daily access to creative resources and have been encouraged to develop their ideas and adapt their creations when necessary. Their work has included designing and making their own clothes for dolls this half term.
During STEM day the reception children read the book ‘Dinosaur Police’ by Sarah McIntyre. This story is about a T-Rex who ate pizza from a pizza factory that was meant to be for a town fair. The children then investigated the ‘crime’ and saw dinosaur footprints that had been left in their classrooms. They also decided to make some pizza for the town fair because the T-Rex had eaten it all up!
As part of their ‘Our Planet and Beyond’ topic, year 1 enjoyed designing and making their own Moon Buggies and vehicles. The children used junk modelling resources to bring their designs to life and used dowels and wheels to make their moon buggies move.
During Family Learning Week, the children in year 1 also made their own piers after learning about the Norfolk coast. They followed criteria that their piers had to meet during their work. One of the criteria was the pier being as long as a ruler and able to hold 10 counting people.
As part of their ‘Habitats and Environments’ topic, the year 2 children designed and created minibeasts with a learning partner. They used their knowledge of invertebrates to combine features they felt would make a ‘super minibeast’.
During our ‘Norfolk’ themed Family Learning Week, year 2 also enjoyed learning about famous houses in Norfolk, including Sandringham House and Blickling Hall. The children got the opportunity to design their own stately homes using features that they had seen during their work and research. They then created their designs whilst working in groups and using junk modelling resources. Everyone worked hard to think about how to join their materials together before sharing their work with their the rest of their classmates.
The Nursery children visted the Resources Room for the first time. The children really enjoyed making gingerbread men together, which was part of a class reward. The children followed a recipe and got the opportunity to add ingredients and decorate their own!
Children in Reception classes have continued to have access to a variety of modelling resources and have been developing their ideas based on their own interests. Some of their work has inlcuded building sledges during the snowy weather and a fire station, linking to their topic ‘People who help us.’
The Reception children have also made chocolate crispy cakes. They carefully used the scales to weigh the correct amount of each ingredient and practised stirring their mixture before putting it into the cake cases.
During Book Week, Year 1 enjoyed making vegetable Gruffalo Crumble alongside their Julia Donaldson learning. This recipe used lots of healthy ingredients and made the whole corridor smell amazing. The children enjoyed chopping the vegetables themselves and measuring the correct amount of each ingredient before tasting the finished product. Lots of the children really enjoyed this dish!
During their Air, Land and Sea topic work, Year 2 have been learning about the importance of eating healthily. They have explored the main food groups of carbohydrates, fruit and vegetables, protein, dairy and fats and have designed their own healthy sandwiches. The children tried to include as many of the different food groups as they could when completing this task.
At the end of this piece of work, the children made and tested the sandwich they had designed. Some of the children discovered some very interesting sandwich combinations!
Year 2 have also used junk modelling resources to create their own baskets. They did this having to meet two criteria: all designs had to have a handle and they needed to hold tomatoes. The finished baskets had to transport tomatoes without the fruit being squashed. The children really enjoyed testing their creations. After the testing, the children discussed what went well and what could be done next time to make the baskets even better.
Reception watched the story of The Very Hungry Caterpillar, and talked about healthy and unhealthy food. They talked about the importance of staying healthy, and how the caterpillar needed to eat lots of healthy food to help him grow big and strong to turn into a butterfly. All the children made their own fruit salad; they were asked to cut up their own fruit carefully with a knife, and add it to their cup. They were very good at trying new things just like The Very Hungry Caterpillar!
During Harvest open afternoon, the year one children enjoyed making their very own apple crumble. Learning to cook is an important skill and the children would be able to replicate this recipe at home. They were extremely proud of what they had made. It smelt amazing and we’re sure it tasted just as good!
During year 2’s ‘Medieval Norwich’ topic they have designed and made a drawbridge suitable for a castle. They all had the same materials to use for their designs and had to discuss each design in their teams before they started to make their bridge. We tested out their bridges using weights and discussed why some people’s designs were stronger than others and what they would change about their design if they were to do it again.
Within our federation, we provide opportunities for each child to design, create and use their own ideas and experiences to further their learning in Design and Technology. Concepts of design form part of the Early Years Foundation Stage curriculum, and Design and Technology continues to be a foundation subject within the National Curriculum for Key Stage One and Two (Year 1 to Year 6).
As children progress through the federation, they develop increasing independence and broaden their thinking about the design processes, including creating and refining their own ideas. There is a particular focus on researching, planning, designing and evaluating their idea and product, with an opportunity to improve it based on their evaluation. These skills are transferable to other subjects.
Design and Technology is taught through cross-curricular links relating to the topics taught throughout the year. There is a clear focus on raising standards in Design & Technology skills in line with the new curriculum. Children are encouraged to work independently and can select a range of equipment and tools to use. They are supported to test their ideas and persevere when things become more challenging.
To enable a wide range of experiences in line with requirements, cooking facilities have been developed to ensure all children access high quality food technology facilities on a regular basis. The school provides a budget to give children a wide variety of culinary experiences and allow them to learn the principles of a healthy and varied diet.
Before Easter, Year 4 cooked African food as part of their topic. They needed to follow detailed instructions independently and use a range of kitchen tools such as graters, knives and measuring equipment. The ‘red red stew’ was a traditional Ghanaian dish and could form part of a varied and nutritious diet.
Year 5 researched the history of the Mayan mask and then as part of D&T, created their own. The masks were made using recycled materials such as milk bottles and straws, which were then strengthened by papier-mâché and decorated with feathers and beads. The children used their own designs to create some imaginative pieces and evaluated their finished products.
As part of their residential trip to Holt Hall, Year 6 learned to gather forest resources to build their own campfire, as well as cook on it. After lighting their fire using traditional camping methods, children first chopped up and baked apples on their fires before learning how to gut and prepare fish – which many children did independently. Year 6 also designed their own tea using ingredients from Holt Hall’s herb garden and evaluated their creations.