The intention for our curriculum across all DT disciplines, is to provide a challenging and enjoyable experience, full of opportunity to explore new ideas and concepts, to inquisitively question the established conventions and seek out innovation whilst using terminology accurately. We aim to embed our students with the necessary skills and knowledge to develop young people that are agile and adaptable in their working practices and ethics, disciplined and self-motivated to strive for the highest possible standards, and committed to their own learning and development as well as that of those around them. At Whitelands, we won’t just do DT the way it has always been done, or do things for doing its sake, we will ensure our students have a well-rounded conceptual understanding of the subject. This is inclusive of using a wide range of modern machinery and programmes so that they fully understand the Design and Making process in the modern world.
Our curriculum is academic and ambitious:
At Whitelands we have the same high ambitions for all of our students, we therefore have embedded the SEN 6 repertoire of strategies into our curriculum design to ensure that any student with a low reading/numeracy age or has a mild learning difficulty can still access the challenging curriculum and succeed.
Not only do students get to ‘make’, they are also learning the academic terminology and how to ‘make’ successfully. They are then provided with ample opportunity to practice and develop their skills.
Our curriculum is broad and enriching:
Design and Technology is taught in small mixed-ability groupings. Students have exposure to a wide range of Design and Technology disciplines, with staff having complimentary subject specialisms. Students experience Design and Technology for a three-year KS3 so that they can have as much exposure to a variety of opportunities, skills and equipment as possible.
DT at Whitelands will use a wide range of creative and practical opportunities (whether through standalone skills focussed lessons; or via sequenced projects) to teach our students the knowledge, understanding and under-pinning skills that are vital for them to engage in an iterative process of designing and making. Students will be taught and encouraged to think critically and to extensively utilise research and exploration to create depth and variety in their design capabilities, while also incorporating an awareness of cultures and user needs/ requirements.
Our DT students will similarly be taught to rely heavily on the analysis of the work of past and present professionals and others, to develop and broaden their contextual understanding of the industry as a whole, while we also aim to provide opportunities embedded within the curriculum to visit external agencies.
We promote core literacy in our curriculum:
We will support the school’s core literacy by ensuring we are rigorous with vocabulary, grammar and syntax while also extensively utilising specialist DT language and vocabulary in our lessons, DNAs, Knowledge Organisers and home learning.
We deliver a values-based education:
By relentlessly focussing on these core aspects of DT, and allowing our students the time to be able to rationalise and practice what they have learned, we hope to achieve a thriving culture of informed risk taking, inquisitive exploration which leads to rich and extensive ideation and immersion within the iterative design process, with students that are enabled to produce the highest quality of outcome, but that also fully understand the context in which they have done so, and be able to relate their experiences to the modern world they live in.
We deliver a knowledge-rich curriculum:
Students will be taught the appropriate technical skills for each Key Stage (such as Isometric drawing in Graphics, finishing methods in Resistant Materials or Cutting techniques in Food), inclusive of specialist equipment and how to use it correctly, and given the time and opportunity to both understand and master those skills. This is essential for students to be able to put the theoretical and design elements of the subject into context. Alongside this, but also integral to it, will be the teaching of a wide range of materials and component/ ingredient properties and performance characteristics, this breadth of theoretical understanding forms a symbiotic relationship with the technical skills gained to produce a highly capable student.
To support our students in retaining and retrieving this understanding, students are regularly quizzed with increased time intervals in between through DNAs and home learning quizzes.