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At Barnes Primary school, we pride ourselves in the outstanding teaching of real Design and Technology. All children are given the opportunity to design and make products that solve real and relevant problems considered in context. In other words, in every project we are designing something, for somebody, for some purpose. Units of learning follow a consistent and structured approach which ensures that children evaluate existing products, practise related skills, and design and make real products. Great care is taken to ensure that skills are taught in a logical sequence, allowing children to build on skills already learned. In every project, the user is placed firmly at the centre of thinking, allowing children to arrive at an understanding of the designed world and their place within it. Central to our teaching of Design and Technology is the principle that in working iteratively, all children develop a range of skills and characteristics (including resourcefulness, resilience, innovation and a willingness to take risk) which are fundamental to success not only at school but also in life.

We’ll be honest: we worry that this subject doesn’t get sufficient time. So, teachers plan the activities that must be covered during the course of the year very carefully. To ensure that there is sufficient focus on this subject area we organise special ‘Solve a Problem’ weeks, when the children spend quality time designing, making and evaluating products. The week beginning Monday 14th October 2019 was specifically designated for design technology work.

Pupils in reception built animal homes for the animals in our forest school. They worked with wood and children learnt how to use tools and equipment safely. Pupils had the chance to test different materials to discover which worked the best. They left the homes they made out in the forest school area for the winter and checked on whether animals chose to use them and how they were affected by the weather conditions.

Year 1 made an ideal bedroom for a lego character. The children designed and made furniture to fit in their ‘shoebox bedrooms’. Some of their designs can be seen on this page.

Year 2 designed and made a bread product that could be sold in Thomas Farynor’s bakery, to raise money for the people who lost their homes in the Great Fire of London. Children were very excited about the fact that they could make their own bread.

Year 3 designed and made an apron suitable to wear during art or cooking lessons. Pupils developed their own design by personalising it and designing and creating an organisation pocket to use in art and cooking lessons.

Year 4 designed and made their own individual morse code machines, inspired by their Second World work relating to their visit to HMS Belfast. The children investigated how morse code machines worked, exploring different types of switches, then creating machines that could transmit morse code messages to each other.

Barnes Bear was bored of his bedroom and wanted some space-themed decor! So Year 5 children used their textile and stitching skills to fulfil his wishes.

Linked to their learning theme ‘Dangerous Earth’, Year 6 designed and made a mechanical toy for a child who has been affected by a natural disaster.”