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St Hugh’s children explore, research, discover, solve problems, create and learn. They take real pride in their ability to design and make and, just as importantly, they have fun doing it! The children are taught by teachers who guide and encourage them to explore their creativity.
Pupils are introduced to a range of skills and experiences appropriate to their age, ability and level of experience. Assignments are chosen to reflect the need for continuity and progression. Teachers initially concentrate on building up experience and expertise in a limited range of tools and materials and subsequently work towards extending that range as the pupil progresses through the school.
In Reception and in the Pre-Prep Department, we deliver the DT curriculum in an exciting and stimulating way. We provide a range of experiences that encourage exploration, observation, problem solving, critical thinking and discussion. These activities, indoors and outdoors, attract the children’s interest and curiosity. Design Technology skills are taught as a vital part of the cross-curricular topics introduced each term and as part of Forest School. Today’s camp builder is tomorrow’s architect!
In Middle School the children have specialist DT lessons which introduce them to Design and Make Assignments for the first time. There is progressive introduction to hand tools and further skills are introduced. The children will work with a variety of materials including wood and textiles . Teachers ensure that the children apply their knowledge and understanding when developing and presenting ideas, planning and making products and then evaluating them. We do this through a mixture of whole-class teaching, group activities and individual projects. Within lessons, we give children the opportunity both to work on their own and to collaborate with others. They listen to other children’s ideas and learn to treat these with respect. Children critically evaluate existing products, their own work and that of others.
Children in Upper School are taught by specialist subject teachers in our beautiful new bespoke Cannon Building. The DT department is well resourced and it provides a fabulous environment in which our children learn. They have access to our Art and Design library and to our own Art/DT IT suite which is equipped with the latest multimedia resources. We study the work of established designers when appropriate and use their work to inspire our designs. Just recently we have studied the work of Thomas Heatherwick, Vanessa Arbuthnott, William Morris and Joseph Conran. We aim to develop skills, knowledge and understanding of DT through Design and Make Assignments and through that to foster a love of the subject.
In Year 5 pupils are taught how to use the tools and machines that will enable them to cut, fashion , join and finish a variety of materials. In Year 6 we focus on the design process. By the time our pupils reach Years 7 and 8 they are familiar with the processes and tools needed to analyse and solve problems. Their tasks require them to work with increasing independence making decisions about realistic design and selecting the most appropriate materials and methods of construction for the task in hand.
We plan our Design and Make Assignments so that they build upon the prior learning of the children. We give children of all abilities the opportunity to develop their skills, knowledge and understanding and we planned progression ensures that the children are increasingly challenged as they move through the school.
At St Hugh’s we work hard to instil attitudes towards Design Technology through which the children can understand that when designing and making, there is never just one correct solution. The process of identifying a need, designing a solution, building an artefact, and testing and evaluating it, can be one of their most satisfying experiences. Children design and make a range of products. A good quality of finish is expected in all Design and Make activities appropriate to the age and ability of the child.
We try to ensure that their products have some relevant function or application and that they work!