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At Harris Academy Beckenham we want to create a diverse curriculum which is intrinsically linked to and fully embodies our learning ethos: Resilience, Resourcefulness, Reflectiveness and Resilience.
Our intention is to inspire our students with a love for all things D&T to allow them to become confident individuals with inquisitive minds who will have the courage, skills and knowledge to thrive in the 21st century.
From a very young age children teach themselves how to draw, paint, build or fix things when they are broken without being shown or taught these skills. Through the delivery of our Design Technology curriculum students are better prepared to deal with tomorrow’s ever changing world.
D&T encourages children to become independent, creative problem-solvers and thinkers as individuals and as part of a team - making positive changes to their quality of life. It enables them to identify needs and opportunities and to respond to them by developing a range of ideas and by making products and systems.
We wish to instil a curiosity within our students which means they will ask questions and seek answers when creating new ideas, acquiring new skills and draw on disciplines such as mathematics, science, engineering, computing and art. We challenge students with engaging design briefs and instil a sense of curiosity within the students by enabling them to create work of their own inspired by well know designers, architects or engineers such as Philippe Starck, Charlotte Perriand, Zaha Hadid to name a few.
Finally, developing our students’ sense of appreciation for the design/creative industry supports them in finding their own identity as young designers, enabling them to develop a greater sense of self- awareness and affirming their own ideologies or perception of what design really is. Design and technology offer children a chance to use creative thinking and activity within a defined purpose and tangible outcome. It can be found in many of the object’s children use each day and is a part of children’s immediate experiences.
Key Stage 3
During Year 7 students are taught as part of a ‘carousel’ system, where classes of students rotate around the D&T staff and classrooms every ten weeks. In Design and Technology students are given the opportunity experiment, gain confidence and new skills through project based learning.
Each project allows access to a range of different practical learning opportunities with a focus on Health and Safety, outcomes and processes. All units aim to raise the students’ sense of achievement by creating finished products of high quality. Students gain understanding on the importance of accuracy and practice to create outcomes values by them. Working in a confined space together, sharing tools and equipment means that students need to be considerate and aware of health and safety implementations. D&T creates a big sense of team work allowing students to create together, help each other and take inspiration from each other.
Food Preparation and Nutrition is an exciting and creative course which focuses on practical cooking skills to ensure students develop a thorough understanding of nutrition, food provenance and the working characteristics of food materials.
Key Stage 4
At Key Stage 4 we also have a varied offer for our examined options ensuring that we are inclusive for all students who wish to follow a design technology or hospitality-based route. Extending the project based approach from KS3, students:
- Design and make products for key events and individuals that have influenced the world of Design Technology are teaching focuses that are to be covered.
- The use of computer programmes and applications are also a key focus to be utilised by children in their design of their products.
The GCSE course in year 10 and year 11 is taught by subject specialists to enable students to look at the design problems we can solve. And in doing this we will look at learning outcomes not projects. We want students to be able to define design problems for themselves and address the solutions to them. The designing activities undertaken will enable our students to consider the needs of individuals and society within both our own community and the wider world.
We give our students opportunities to use a wide range of materials and processes and to work both independently and as part of a team.
We will know the impact of the curriculum we have planned through the delivery of a high-quality education, quality assured through qualitative and quantitative measures such as:
- Attainment and Achievement outcomes. The final measurable outcomes achieved by the students that we teach will be a clear indication of the quality of our Design and Technology curriculum. This can also be used as a measure of the standard of teaching and learning within the subject.
- Assessments. Assessment of children's learning in Design Technology is an ongoing monitoring of children's understanding, knowledge and skills by the class teacher, throughout lessons. This assessment is then used to inform differentiation, support and challenge required by the children. Summative assessment is conducted termly to inform the teacher of progress or skills and knowledge still to be embedded.