‘Learning and growing side by side in God’s love.’
All learning at Eastry CEP School, including Art & Design, is propelled through our Christian vision:
‘Our school family is committed to sustaining and growing a nurturing, learning community. We strive to promote a welcoming and open ethos to ensure all feel happy, safe and respected. We value each member of our community as unique individuals where all are encouraged and inspired to fulfil their potential as God intended.’
At Eastry CEP School, we believe it is vital to nurture children’s creativity and innovation through design, exploring the designed, ‘made’ society in which we all live and work, and thus encourage them to think about and consider important issues within the school, wider community, and national and global settings. In nurturing that creativity, the children are taught the skills that not only enable them to develop their ideas but to turn them into reality, complementing their wider academic learning in maths, science, computing and art.
Echoing our school ethos and values, we believe design and technology plays an important role in transforming the way children look at the world around them; it enables them to learn about designing solutions in order to improve people’s lives, to make better decisions, and to have a greater understanding about the impact of products on society, the environment and the planet.
Following our core principle that all learning at Eastry CEP School should encompass the whole child, design and technology provides children with the opportunity to actively contribute to the creativity, culture, wealth and well-being of themselves, the wider community and their nation.
“The role of the designer is that of a good, thoughtful host anticipating the needs of his guests.” – Charles Eames
As a practical, valuable and engaging subject, design and technology lessons develop children’s skills, knowledge and understanding in design, structures, mechanisms, electrical control and a range of materials (including food), through a wide range of activities.
Through studying design and technology, children are able to build on their creativity, problem solving, planning, and evaluation skills. Since many projects are done via group work, they are also able to develop their skills in communication, collaboration and teamwork, reflecting on our school Christian values of compassion, welcoming, joy, respect and perseverance.
"I can do things you cannot, you can do things I cannot; together we can do great things." Mother Teresa
In line with our British Values of democracy, the rule of law, individual liberty, mutual respect and tolerance of those of different faiths and beliefs (whilst engaging with design and technology), children at Eastry CEP School design and produce products with the wants, needs and values of themselves and others in mind and draw on their disciplines acquired in mathematics, science, engineering, computing and art, in order to solve real and relevant problems. Through exploring design and technology, the children learn how to take risks, make mistakes and build resilience, whilst becoming resourceful, innovative, enterprising and capable citizens themselves.
Through evaluation of both past and present design and technology, the children develop a critical understanding of the subject’s actual impact on daily life, the environment and the wider world. This skill affords them the opportunity to begin applying value judgements of an aesthetic, economic, moral, social, and technical nature when designing their own products and evaluating the work of others.
“Design is not just what it looks like and feels like. Design is how it works.” – Steve Jobs
Within cross-curricular teaching through topic work at Eastry CEP School, we encourage the children to actively engage with this rigorous and practical subject in a safe, welcoming and happy learning environment. This gives them the opportunity to develop the creative, technical and practical expertise needed to perform everyday tasks with confidence, and to successfully participate in an increasingly technological world, preparing them for their future.
This cross-curricular teaching allows children to utilise their academic knowledge and understanding in an applied context. Through building their portfolio of skills, the children are able to design and make high quality prototypes and products for a wide range of users. As the children gain knowledge of the properties of materials and understand how materials behave in their natural state (and under certain conditions), it helps them to make sense of the world we live in and why materials have restrictions in their use.
As a balanced diet is key to healthy eating habits and provides children with the nutrients they need to grow, we understand the importance of teaching our children the principles of nutrition and the benefits to be gained from cooking. Cooking together has many mental health benefits and proves effective at curbing negative thinking and refocusing the mind on a creative process. Cooking and nutrition also benefits the children’s social-emotional development: hands on cooking activities help children develop confidence and skill, and following recipes encourages them to be self-directed and independent. It also teaches them to follow directions and develop problem-solving skills. We encourage cooking as a crucial life-skill (understanding the principles of a healthy and varied diet) and help the children understand where food comes from - whether that be grown, reared, caught or processed.
An important subject for everyone, design and technology can unlock creative and analytical skills; children learn to think creatively and develop their ability to problem solve through critiquing, evaluating and testing their ideas, products and the work of others.
We believe it is vital that children understand their lessons are meaningful with a real-life purpose, across the whole curriculum. The UK has a rich history of design and manufacturing innovations, and now boasts a sector that employs some two million people. There is currently a skills shortage in this sector, so it is vitally important to encourage and enthuse children in this inclusive subject so they do not miss the opportunities available to themselves and others from every socio-economic background.
The breadth of skills they can learn through design and technology can potentially help bolster this important economic contribution to industry in the future. At Eastry CEP School, we aim to help children see the significance of design and technology as a creative subject in the UK economy. According to The Creative Industries Council, The Design Council has estimated that the total contribution of the design economy (which includes everyone employed in design roles), is £71.7bn as measured by GVA, productivity, turnover and employment. It calculates that workers with a design element were 41 per cent more product than the average. Official government data states that, the value of exported design services from UK was estimated at £461m in 2017. This represents an increase of 278 per cent since 2010. However, the Design Council's report on 'The Design Economy' believes the contribution of design to the total export of goods and services from the UK is £34bn, equivalent to 7.3 per cent of total UK exports in 2013.
We aim to dispel with the myth that design and technology is a ‘filler’ for the timetable and instead believe it should be viewed as valuable cultural learning subject which has a significant impact on addressing the inequality of children in poverty, in education. It is important that children from every socio-economic background have access to the creative arts, design and technology and the opportunities provided in their respective creative industries.
All staff at Eastry CEP School value each child’s talents and design skills, thus enabling the child’s raised self-esteem so that they may feel valued as individuals and encouraged in their belief that they can succeed in their future aspirations.
“The best way to predict the future is to create it” – Abraham Lincoln
At Eastry CEP School, we aim to foster a love of the creative subjects in all pupils and see design and technology as a subject that integrates classroom learning with the worlds of industry, digital technology and design. We encourage the children to be curious about the world around them as we promote exploration and discovery, so that they might become engaged in the joy of actually creating and participating, develop a range of design ideas and build an array of applied technical skills.
We inspire the children to develop and share their ideas, experiences and imagination in order to have the courage to experiment with a range of materials and techniques in their creativity, with the aim of designing purposeful, functional and appealing products for themselves and other users, based on the design criteria.
Our Design & Technology lessons are delivered through the concept of a long-term class topic, giving us the benefit of being able to provide more meaningful real-world experiences for the children, such as having visiting designers, engineers and technologists into school, workshops and Inspire Days, or trips to museums and galleries, in order to inspire our children and unlock their potential.
As design and technology is an iterative process - requiring children to understand the importance of tweaking and improving their designs and makes in order to produce high-quality designs that are fit for purpose - the children are taught the knowledge, understanding and skills needed through a variety of creative and practical activities. They learn to generate, develop, model and communicate their ideas through discussion, annotated sketches, cross-sectional and exploded diagrams, prototypes, pattern pieces and digital design.
Exciting experiences and opportunities like those already mentioned, enable each topic to begin with a ‘hook’ so as to engage the children’s curiosity from the outset. They are then in a position to absorb themselves in lessons that interest and inspire them to experiment, invent, create and refine their designs before selecting the appropriate tools and equipment to make their products (according to its functionality and aesthetic qualities).
The children also need to be able to evaluate their ideas and products against the design criteria, take into consideration the views of others in order to improve their designs and understand how key events and individuals (in design and technology) have helped to shape the world, including the environmental impacts.
A key aspect of the design and technology process is the ability to investigate and analyse a range of existing products. It is important that we make the children aware of real-life examples where designers have begun their design project by looking at the work of other designers and existing products, and analysing the choices that have been made. Designers will study how well a product does its job, consider how successfully the product meets these criteria and decide what could be changed to improve it. The children should be encouraged to understand the importance of the designer being able to identify the features of a product that make it either a success or failure in order to appreciate the iterative processes required in their own work.
“Do not seek praise. Seek criticism.” – Paul Arden
Children at Eastry CEP School are afforded the opportunity to celebrate and share their work with their peers and teachers during lesson time, and with the wider school community during Celebration Worship, open afternoons and school-based performances. Our PTA have also been approached with a fund-raising opportunity to purchase and erect our own Eastry Art Gallery, sited on the school grounds. Aside from displaying and celebrating the children’s art work, their design and technology products would be on view and accessible (at the end of the school day) for parents to view their children’s work in a gallery style setting.
At Eastry CEP School, we are very fortunate to have invested in our own Forest School. Set in abundant outdoor areas, we are able to provide the children with opportunities to further their design and technology skills outside the confines of the classroom, expand their minds and unlock their creativity in a sustainable and well-managed woodland setting. In this holistic environment, the children continue to develop their gross and fine motor skills. Under the supervision and instruction of our qualified Level 3 Forest School Practitioners, children learn how to use tools such as hand-drills, peelers, knives and saws, in making creations of their own design, from suitable, naturally sourced materials. Empowered with the knowledge of how to use many tools (acquired through their attendance at our Forest School), the children are able to transfer these skills to their Design & Technology lessons, back in the classroom. This enables them to make more insightful decisions in selecting their choice of materials when planning their designs and the tools needed to make them.
We use question led planning in our Design & Technology lessons (as well as all other subjects in the school), ensuring continuity across the curriculum. This embeds learning that is enquiry based and encourages the children to experiment and explore their ideas, so that they can develop their analytical and evaluation skills, alongside the development of their creative skills, in line with the programmes of study for Design & Technology, in the National Curriculum.
This question led planning also enables our children to discover and learn about the work of individuals in the design and technology industry that have helped shape the world. At Eastry CEP School, children are provided with the opportunity to expand their technical knowledge in the following areas: understanding of how to strengthen, stiffen and reinforce more complex structures, understand and use mechanical and electrical systems in their products, and understand computing to program, monitor and control their products.
Through discovering different designers and design technologies, the children see positive representation of designers from diverse and multi-cultural or marginalised groups, allowing them to see that everyone is valued and respected, in accordance with our School, Christian and British Values. Children in our school also recognise the significance of modern artists, designers and crafters in the growth of the UK and world economy and see that there is opportunity and representation in this field for aspiring future designers in a wide spectrum of creative and technological industries.
“Where do new ideas come from? The answer is simple: differences. Creativity comes from unlikely juxtapositions.” – Nicholas Negroponte
Using the criteria and guidance of EYFS curriculum and National Curriculum, teaching is adapted to the needs and abilities of all our children, so that by the end of each stage they can apply and understand the matters, skills and processes specified in the national programmes of study.
Children’s knowledge, understanding and progress is measured using the criteria set out in the skills document. Children are assessed as emerging, expected or exceeding according to the skills taught in each topic.
Intervention comes in the form of pre-teaching, overlearning and reinforcement at the beginning of each lesson, giving each child every chance of success. We use data to evaluate which children would benefit from being pre-taught subject or topic-based vocabulary, or over-learning a particular skill.
In Early Years Foundation Stage, design and technology is explored through games and play. It is used to develop a child's imagination, creativity and their ability to use media and materials, through their physical development in how they move and handle tools (including their ability to understand that they need to be used safely), and in understanding the world through using technology. Children do this in range of ways including singing songs and making music, dancing, playing with colours, textures and design and playing with technological toys.
Key Stage 1
Through a variety of creative and practical activities, pupils should be taught the knowledge, understanding and skills needed to engage in an iterative process of designing and making. They should work in a range of relevant contexts (e.g. the home and school, gardens and playgrounds, the local community, industry and the wider environment).
Key Stage 2
Through a variety of creative and practical activities, pupils should be taught the knowledge, understanding and skills needed to engage in an iterative process of designing and making. They should work in a range of relevant contexts (e.g. the home, school, leisure, culture, enterprise, industry and the wider environment).
The subject of Design & Technology is a key in providing opportunities for children to develop their capability, combining their designing and making skills with knowledge and understanding in order to create quality products.
Design & Technology lessons cultivate creativity in young learners whilst stimulating their curiosity and imagination. The subject teaches them practical skills through learning about materials, processes and tools and builds their resilience and perseverance in solving real-life problems, potentially providing them with a rewarding future career. The children are able to recognise and make connections between their subjects as they apply previously learnt skills from the wider curriculum. Through using different materials, investigating and analysing existing products and the work of other individuals (in the design and technology industries), the children discover the effects of these products on society, communities, the environment and wildlife – for better or worse.
Pupil voice in Design & Technology, at Eastry CEP School, is fundamental in fostering a love for the subject across all age-groups, demonstrated by their enthusiasm and desire to participate in lessons. Parent voice shows support through online learning, e-learning platforms, questionnaires, open afternoons and parent’s evenings.
Our children leave Eastry CEP School understanding that design and technology provides opportunities for children to shine and take pride in their achievements; not only do they make a finished product to take home and show off, but they have experienced an inherent enjoyment in engaging in a subject which may hold possible value as a future aspirational goal: achieving a specific choice in higher education, gaining a rewarding career, and the opportunity to have a positive impact on society, the economy and the environment.
“The future belongs to a different kind of person with a different kind of mind: artists, inventors, storytellers-creative and holistic ‘right-brain’ thinkers whose abilities mark the fault line between who gets ahead and who doesn’t.” – Daniel Pink