'Have nothing in your house that you do not know to be useful, or believe to be beautiful' - William Morris
At MHA, we want our children to become confident, independent problem solvers, who view challenges with curiosity and a ’what about trying…’ mindset - both at school and in their wider life beyond.
When presented with practical problems, our children will be able to combine their skills and prior knowledge to come up with a range of possible solutions, and then use their experience and understanding to focus in on what they consider to be the best design choice. They will have the practical and technical skills needed to put that idea into practice - and the means to overcome whatever barriers may present themselves.
Children will be given opportunities to explore new materials, tools, mechanisms and designs, and will be encouraged to explore all of these to find both their potential and their limitations. Each unit of work will have a clear, practical goal as its outcome, accompanied by design criteria against which finished products can be tested and evaluated. Our children will also learn how to use these materials and tools safely and responsibly.
We follow the ‘Design, Make, Evaluate’ approach to the teaching of DT, as outlined in the National Curriculum Programmes of Study document. The technical skills which we teach encompass the following areas: Construction (mechanisms and movement/ structure), Materials for Purpose (Textiles) and Cooking and Nutrition. In EYFS, Design and Technology falls within the 'Expressive Arts and Design' area of learning. Here, children are taught different methods and techniques and are provided with open ended resources for them to practise and experiment with during their free time.
During DT sessions, children are encouraged to be inquisitive, and we encourage questions to deepen children’s understanding of product and product design. They will evaluate existing products to inform their designs and will be encouraged to draw increasingly detailed designs and make prototypes to refine their designs before creating their final piece. Whilst making their products, adults will guide them through the technical skills they will require, modelling good practice and highlighting safety considerations.
Through the evaluation stage of our ‘Design, Make, Evaluate’ approach, children are encouraged to reflect upon their final products, considering how they could have altered their design or techniques to impact the overall appearance and usability of their product. Our children learn how to take risks and become resourceful, innovative, enterprising and capable citizens, all essential skills to develop as they prepare to take their place as adults in society.