Design & Technology – curriculum information

Design and Technology is a popular, yet essential subject for all our pupils here at Ganton School. Life for a special needs child is all about challenges and through innovative, enterprising experiences, students here learn to take on those challenges, take risks, become resourceful – and with careful guidance, build ‘Resilience’ to tackle problems they face, not ‘Reliance’ on the support systems around them.

Knowledge and understanding is experienced and gained within exciting and purpose built projects, which in turn helps to develop cross-curricular skills, used across a full range of essential subjects, such as numeracy, literacy and communication- showing how design technology is an integral part of the school day. Pupils with special educational needs make better progress in D&T than in most other subjects. This is because designing and making usable products gives pupils a real sense of achievement. They benefit from experiencing their own progress and taking responsibility for their own learning. They enjoy the practical application of their ideas. Plus, their personal engagement and with the task, comes an improved attention span, patience, persistence and commitment.

The ‘Units of Work’ we have created, run over a 2 or 3 year cycle and ensures continuous, consistent whole school approach. Each key-stage ‘End Of Terms Goals’ are used in the themes, ensuring that the skills the students are learning, naturally flow right throughout the year groups. The teacher is then free to teach the theme full of fundamental problem solving activities, woven in such a rich and structured way, as to give every opportunity of realising a child’s maximum potential, whilst accommodating challenge to our pupils of all abilities.

It is the aim of the D and T curriculum that when students leave us, they have thoroughly explored, imagined and made in a range of projects that leave them with ‘skills for life’. It’s these life-skills that allow every student the opportunity to go on to explore, prepare and then plan for their own independent adulthood.

D&T curriculum for the Sensory Explorer

In D and T sensory explorers will have multiple opportunities to engage a range of activities, and learn learning through play in order to experience how different object can lead to cause and effect. Each student will learn via exploring different materials and processes rather than producing an end outcome, For example, knowing that a pen or paint brush can be used for Mark making, using cutlery with some level of independence when eating, knowing that a chair is designed for them to sit on in order to rest, knowing that there are a range of foods can be eaten or that some materials feel different to others. Within the sensory exploration section each student will engage with different mediums and explore the current theme through this. This enables each sensory explorer to navigate the theme through a medium in D and T that suits them, processing like and dislikes and making informed choices.

D&T curriculum for those who are preparing for independence.

Pupils who are preparing for independence will begin to have more exposure to formal elements of a D ant T curriculum. At this stage pupils will be encouraged to build on previous knowledge and use some increased levels of accuracy and skill to make an end product. For pupils in this phase learning opportunities should be focused around better preparing students to be independent when using a number of different tools/ resources. Pupils who are preparing for independence will be encouraged to make choices and continually assess risk when it comes to using resources. There will be an emphasis on the process that can be linked to preparation to adulthood for example, know what foods may be healthier to eat or understating that some tools are sharp and therefore could be dangerous

D&T curriculum for those who are able to plan for independence

Pupils who are planning for independence will focus on creating products that follow some sort of design brief. At this stage lessons may look more formal in that pupils will be encouraged to design, make and evaluate their work. Pupils will draw on knowledge to navigate a number of different mediums in construction, cooking and textiles. Pupils will be encouraged to seek solutions to problems with increased independence with a view to building resilience. Pupils will experience tools knowing that they are to be used for a purpose. There will be a focus on students understanding that their choices can impact design and will try to evaluate their own and others work with this in mind.

Planning for independence

  • Knows how to organise writing to articulate and communicate to others for example complete a simple form, write a simple letter, give an instruction, and share information
  • To have independence, initiative and originality to be used to develop creativity
  • To have a passion for and commitment to being creative and expressing ideas
  • To have the ability to think and act like creative practitioners by using knowledge and understanding to inform, inspire and interpret ideas, observations and feelings
  • To be able to reflect on, analyse and critically evaluate their own work and that of others
  • To have a creative curiosity to find out more about the world around them
  • Demonstrates skills for employment such as ability to follow instruction, work as part of a team, complete a task unsupervised
  • To know and apply mathematical knowledge in real life context, eg time, money and measures.
  • To calculate risk and overcome barriers as they arise as independently as possible
  • Know and use the correct equipment safely, at the correct time, and in the correct place to keep clean including body, hair, teeth and clothes

Preparing for independence

  • Knows how to uses communication system independently to answer questions, make choices and engage with chosen others but requires support for more complex language exchanges
  • Confidently takes turns to use language in 1:1 and small groups to ask and answer questions, share information and express opinion
  • To know what I like and that I can pursue it
  • To have a passion for being creative and expressing ideas
  • Adjusts routines such as times, clothes, behaviour in readiness for work related learning and is able to complete structured activities with support
  • Links mathematical concepts to real life context.
  • To know the risks linked to functioning in community
  • Recognises risk and works with an adult to minimise risk

Sensory Explorers

  • Communicates a need for attention eg reaching out, vocalisation
  • Make a simple choice from limited number of options eg objects, drink, activity
  • I can access creative activities and amenities e.g. museums, art galleries
  • I get enjoyment from creative activities
  • Responds positively to changes in the environment
  • Tolerates changes to routines
  • Eating and Drinking

Further information:

‘Pupils take part in a strong work experience and work-related learning programme.’…

OFSTED comments

‘Pupils run the school shop and staff cafeteria, enabling them to use their literacy and numeracy skills in a practical setting.’…

OFSTED comments

‘The school council is
especially active and members are particularly proud of the role they played in improving school meals..’…

OFSTED comments

‘Staff use signing, symbols, photographs and objects of reference to communicate effectively with those pupils who need additional support to ensure that they are fully engaged in their learning.’…

OFSTED comments

‘The curriculum offers a wealth of enrichment activities which are highly valued by
pupils and parents and carers.’…

OFSTED comments

‘There is a strong emphasis on personalisation of the curriculum, the development of pupils’ communication skills, independence skills and preparation for life after school.’…

OFSTED comments

‘Leaders have introduced a new approach to assessment. This enables leaders to check pupils’ progress from their starting points more effectively.’…

OFSTED comments

‘Leaders use the pupil premium funding effectively.’…

OFSTED comments

‘Pupil Premium is targeted to improving pupils’ communication skills through investment in specialist equipment and software.’…

OFSTED comments

‘Leaders have continued to develop the school’s curriculum since the last inspection.’…

OFSTED comments

‘Pupils say that they enjoy their lessons and take great pride in their work.’…

OFSTED comments

‘Based on the evidence gathered during this short inspection, I am of the opinion that the school continues to go from strength to strength.’…

OFSTED comments

‘Pupils take part in local and
regional accessible sporting activities.’…

OFSTED comments

‘Pupils respect each other, display good manners and work together successfully.’…

OFSTED comments

‘Leaders have carried out a detailed review of the curriculum pathways for pupils.’…

OFSTED comments

‘Pupils, including disadvantaged pupils, are making strong progress from their varied starting points in reading, writing and mathematics.’…

OFSTED comments

‘Pupils spoke
enthusiastically about learning outside of school and their visits to local museums, the Humber Bridge, local cafes and to the cinema.’…

OFSTED comments

‘Pupils rise to the challenges that you set, and their learning is rarely disrupted.’…

OFSTED comments