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Design Technology (DT) is an important part of the curriculum for Fairfield pupils.

Design Technology helps children to make direct links to the everyday world around them, gaining an understanding of how things work and the process of designing with a purpose in mind.  It builds on their early childhood experiences of investigating objects around them.  They explore how familiar things work, talking about, drawing, and modelling their ideas using construction kits or components.

DT teaches children how to plan, make, adapt and evaluate.  Activities are carefully planned and age appropriate to be challenging but achievable.  They make link to their creative curriculum topics in each year group. They provide opportunities or children to both work together and to make their own individual response.

We aim to build on their understanding of, materials and their properties, and also shape and form. Through short focused practical tasks, they learn new skills, techniques, and understanding of the underlying principles of mechanisms, structures, circuits and nutrition.

DT projects develop pupils’ manipulative skills – measuring, marking, cutting, and shaping a range of materials.  Assembling, combining and joining components together.  Gaining in experience and confidence they can begin to make informed choices of materials to use and appropriate methods for joining.

Working through a design and make project is a valuable way of fostering thinking and problem solving skills. involving children generating ideas for products, thinking about who will use them and what they will be used for.  Pupils need to use their prior knowledge and experience in the design stage, planning and sequencing tasks.  They may need to adapt and refine their work during the make process to complete the tasks and arrive at their end product.

Children are involved in setting the design criteria and evaluating their own product against these criteria.

Design and Technology topics fall into four broad categories:

Movement and mechanisms Designing and making a product with a specific mechanism.  This has links with their learning in science, for example, understanding forces, pulleys and electrical circuits.

StructuresBuilding frame and shell structures thinking about strength and support and joining techniques. It incorporates building from 2D to 3D and the use of nets.

Textile products Shaping and joining textiles to fulfil a function while expressing their creative ideas for an individual and pleasing product.

Food TechnologyUnderstanding food safety and hygiene rules when producing food; learning food preparation skills including spreading, mixing, peeling, grating, cutting and combining ingredients to make a product; expressing their own choices and preferences in their food product. Food technology links to their science learning and understanding of different food groups and the importance of a balanced diet for a healthy body.

Food Technology / Cookery room

We have a purpose designed Food Technology room that all children (from Kindergarten through to Year 6) use for the food lessons with age appropriate activities and including using the cookers and ovens for the older children. Food links very well to their geography and history creative curriculum projects and we enjoy food from around the world and well as understanding how food was made in the past and how that differs from the way food is produced today.

Enrichment opportunity

Fairfield has entered the 3M and Echo Young Innovators Challenge each year and achieved some amazing entries. The children really enjoy the challenge and get involved in research, designing and making their products and putting together a presentation for the judging.