In February the D&T community were almost in despair at the publication of the consultation Programme of Study for design & technology. After the initial wailing and gnashing of teeth senior figures from industry beat a path to the minister’s door with the result that she asked for advice. The advice was heeded and the resultant publication five months later is such a significant improvement that it is almost beyond recognition compared with the original proposals. Learning how to cook is still there and this will annoy those who argue that this should reside in PSHE but this is my only caveat. You can download the Programme of Study for design & technology D&TNCjuly2013. As I think you’ll see …
The purpose of study statement reads well and is suitably aspirational.
The aims relate strongly to the aspirations of the purpose statement.
The subject content requires iterative designing and making, and identifies design, make, evaluate and technical knowledge as matters to be taught. The same framework is used for all key stages. The identification of contexts for designing and making is welcome and becomes more demanding with the move from Key Stage 1 to Key Stage 3.
In many ways this new programme of study repeats material that appeared in the National Curriculum of the previous administration but I have to admit that this new programme of study is clearer and through this clarity more demanding. It is now imperative that the community of practice responds to this demand and develops schemes of work that enable teachers to meet the challenge of the aspirational purpose of study statement. And of course a key requirement here is the availability of sustained and substantial professional development. Not short one off sessions after a long days teaching but a sequence of significant activities over time which taken together provide the opportunity to develop, implement and evaluate approaches to teaching and learning that meet these new requirements.