Design & Technology
At Bishop Wilson we have adopted the Design & Technology scheme of work from Kapow.
At Bishop Wilson, we intend that children should master Design & Technology to such an extent that they can go on to have careers within Design & Technology and make use of design and technology effectively in their everyday lives. Through our D&T curriculum, children should be inspired by engineers, designers, chefs and architects to enable them to create a range of structures, mechanisms, textiles, electrical systems and food products with a real life purpose. Our children will be taught Design and Technology in a way that ensures progression of skills, and follows a sequence to build on previous learning. Our children will gain experience and skills of a wide range of formal elements of design and concepts of technology in a way that will enhance their learning opportunities, enabling them to use design and technology across a range of subjects to be creative and solve problems.
The Kapow Primary Design and technology scheme of work is organised into the following key areas:
- Cooking and nutrition
- Mechanisms and mechanical systems
- Electrical systems (Key stage 2 only)
- Digital world (Key stage 2 only)
Our Design and technology scheme includes opportunities for children to extend their cultural capital in relation to each of the key themes. Using our teaching resources, they learn about different designers and inventors. This increases children’s knowledge, deepens their thinking around design and may open up insight into different career pathways.
Cooking and nutrition
Children who follow our Design and technology scheme in year 2 learn about different food groups and how to balance them healthily. They are presented with a design brief for a wrap inspired by the broadcaster and chef Jamie Oliver and find out about his work on improving school lunches, health and nutrition.
Including information about Jamie Oliver adds context to the design brief. The lesson content expands cultural capital, as it is a starting point for pupils to research Jamie Oliver and other famous chefs. Some children may become interested in cooking and nutrition, or develop ambitions to become a chef, after hearing Jamie Oliver’s story.
There are cross-curricular links to PSHE, where children learn about healthy eating in more detail. This lesson might prompt pupils to reflect upon their own lunches and will give them some of the necessary tools to determine if they are healthy.
Mechanisms and mechanical systems
In year 1, children look at how car designs have changed. They learn about Henry Ford, how he revolutionised manufacturing methods to make cars affordable for everyone, and how this changed the world.
Cars are familiar to children, but this unit develops cultural capital by increasing their knowledge and encouraging more profound thinking about the design and manufacturing process.
Learning about Henry Ford adds authenticity to the concept of designing a car, as children will understand that this is a job done in real life by real people for a specific purpose. This unit may inspire pupils to find out where and how cars are manufactured now.
One approach to teaching Design and technology in primary schools is to use a production line, like the one Henry Ford developed to manufacture cars. Teaching Design and technology in this way saves time and resources and promotes teamwork.
Lessons about structures that implement cultural capital are featured in our Design and technology schemes of work for pupils in reception and year 5.
In the unit on boats, children in reception learn about the British-designed ocean liner and cruise ship Queen Mary 2 and its lead designer, Stephen Payne. This introduces them to the concept of design and justifies why they must design their boats before making them. This lesson extends cultural capital, as children gain insight into the design process by visualising a historically significant ship and its designer.
Year 5 pupils use their knowledge of bridges to reflect upon a famous design problem: the London Millennium Footbridge. They learn how it wobbled when it opened and deliberate about why and how they might fix it.
Learning about structural design problems demonstrates to children that even professionals can’t always foresee design issues; it emphasises the importance of design evaluation and improving the design process.
Children develop cultural capital by learning about a significant London landmark and its designers. Following this, children may research other famous bridges and consider why they have been designed in a particular way.
Year 6 pupils are presented with work by the British designers Vivienne Westwood, Stella McCartney and Burberry to open their Design and technology textiles unit.
Children learn about how each designer has their own unique selling point (USP) and brand values, which are represented throughout all their designs; Vivienne Westwood was hugely influential in punk style; Stella McCartney is a vegetarian who refuses to work with fur or leather; and Burberry uses signature patterns.
Learning about fashion designers develops cultural capital as children acquire knowledge and awareness of fashion design and designers. By exploring renowned fashion designers, such as Burberry with its recognisable colours and patterns, children begin to appreciate the distinctiveness that sets brands apart. This allows them to draw inspiration from the fashion industry for their own waistcoat designs.
Our year 4 electrical systems unit on torches provides information about the inventors of the light bulb and a structured discussion about evaluating and improving designs.
Children are asked to reason about the credit that goes to inventors when multiple inventors work on the same design concept. Thomas Edison is widely credited for inventing the lightbulb, but Dr John Clayton, Sir Joseph Swan and Lewis Latimer also played an important role in designing and improving the invention.
Pupils can understand how different inventors improve each other’s designs and relate this to the classroom, where they can peer review each other’s work.
The digital revolution is an important event in Design and technology, which pupils start learning about in year 3. They learn that, due to advancements in technology, we have gone from using mechanical and analogue electronics to digital technologies.
Children evaluate wearable technology, considering how designs have evolved and adapted to changing times. Pupils will already be familiar with some of the issues around wearable technology and are encouraged to consider other possible problems. They may also contemplate the difficulties people faced in the past with older versions of the same inventions and how they have since improved.
For the school’s approach to the assessment of D&T, please see the school’s Marking, Feedback & Assessment Policy (2023).