Design and Technology gives children the opportunity to develop skill, knowledge and understanding of designing and making functional products. At QCPS, we feel it is vital to nurture creativity and innovation through design, and by exploring the designed world in which we all live and work.
The Design and Technology syllabus is designed to make full use of cross-curricular links. Learning activities are sequenced to ensure progression. In the Pre-prep, the key aims include developing creativity and to produce work, which gives them both enjoyment and satisfaction, and which reaches a level appropriate to their ability.
The girls develop ideas through talking, handling materials and where appropriate, drawing and recording. Through whole class research, they develop an understanding of the uses of technology in our society.
In the Prep, QCPS aims to develop the girls’ capability to create high quality products through combining their designing and making skills with knowledge and understanding. Also, to explore values about attitudes to the made world and how we live and work within it.
All Design and Technology lesson content includes careful differentiation to address any specific learning needs. Specific activities involve product analysis; in which pupils examine the designs and makings of others, and focus on practical tasks; short tasks with a specific teaching point to develop a technique, skill, and understanding of a process.
Within classes, pupils are taught individually, in groups or as a class. Planned activities are relevant to specific age groups and provide the girls with the opportunity to design and test their product. Examples include: to design a balloon car to travel the furthest, design a paper bridge to hold the most weight and to design a free-standing marshmallow and spaghetti tower.
Cooking and nutrition play a key role in our teaching. Our aim is to encourage the girls to eat a balanced and varied diet through developing their understanding of where food comes from and the key principles of nutrition. With great enthusiasm, the catering team introduce the girls to blind fruit and vegetable smoothie tasting, where the girls use their senses to investigate! The girls broaden their understanding about the seasonality of different products, and where and how ingredients are grown, reared, caught and processed. At lunchtimes, the girls are always encouraged to ‘eat a rainbow!’
All year groups from Reception to Form V enjoy in-school cookery workshops to gain valuable learning about the ‘eat well plate’. Recently all pupils visited a nearby Pizza Express to learn all about cooking and good food, while also having lots of fun! Everyone had the chance to knead the dough, to create the perfect base. The girls discovered just how important fresh ingredients are to a pizza’s flavour by tasting their own creation. Becoming a junior pizza chef was definitely a recent highlight!
Evaluating individual, peer and group work during and at the end of a task is an important part of all Design and Technology. QCPS believes it is important to give pupils the opportunity to redesign or adapt their plan to improve an initial design.
As a school, we are continually researching new and exciting ways to introduce the pupils to products and inventions, the diversity of materials and ways in which design can improve the quality of our lives.
Head of Art and Design