Design means different things to everyone. It is a verb, it is a how, it is a way of doing things, a way of thinking creatively. It involves taking ideas and turning them into practical reality, creating a physical object, critical for successful innovation. This is important for the future prosperity and economic health of the UK.

“DT is logical, creative and practical and gives opportunities for students to apply what they learn in other subjects like Maths and Physics directly for a career” Sir James Dyson.

Our aim is to equip students to be excellent practitioners, being skilful and knowledgeable to ensure we are creating designers for the future.

When students arrive in Technology the three elements of Trivium are key to the student’s success. As they all have a range of experiences and skills, and it is our role through KS3 to develop understanding and application. This is achieved by knowledge building and skill based activities, which creates a foundation, built on each year through years 7, 8 and 9. We build on the technical grammar aspects of the subjects, embedding it so it becomes natural and rhetoric, whilst developing skills and knowledge which accumulate and develop dialectic. Students who are willing to attend workshops and are willing take risks will become the most resilient, proactive and be extremely successful.

As teachers we have identified the key aspects of being a master Design Technologist at different age ranges and measure the students against this, modelling to students what an excellent practitioner looks like. Our transition to a level free KS3 has also meant that we continue to dedicate time to enhancing theoretical and practical skills over an extended period; an example is in Year 9 where students apply their dialectic skill to choose a project from a choice of four design briefs enabling them to self-manage, be independent, as well as experimenting and developing a reiterative design process, learning how failure improves their resilience as well as the finished product.

At KS5 we continue to work on preparing students for higher education and their career; we have built in additional independent learning opportunities by encouraging students to develop their contextual understanding through additional reading, designing, testing, and visiting shows. We also use independent projects to develop research techniques, assimilation and writing styles. Pre-reading preparation of new topics is an essential part of independent learning and ownership of the learning process. Examination practice is an essential part of KS5 developing their rhetoric of the knowledge and skills learnt through the key stages.