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Design Technology

At Woodlea, we believe that Design Technology has an important place in our curriculum. Leyland is a town that is built on the success of the automotive industry (Leyland Motors) and internationally important firms such as BAE and Jaguar Landrover have facilities in the North West. In fact, both firms provide fantastic career pathways for local young people. Therefore, Design and Technology should be a key part of any curriculum. 

Our curriculum is based around investigation and experimentation with structures, mechanisms, textiles and food. The skills that are taught in each year group build upon those taught in previous years. All of our units begin with looking at existing designs and their designers, for example when looking at bridges children will look at the work of engineers / designers such as Isambard Kingdom Brunel, Sir Norman Foster and Santiago Calatrava. Children then progress onto learning the skills and techniques needed in realising their design before moving on to the build process. 

Throughout the process, children are encouraged to follow an ‘iterative’ process of evaluating what is working well and what needs to improve to make their product fit for purpose.

Lockdown DT challenges

Children at Woodlea have been working hard to complete design challenges inspired by the James Dyson foundation ‘challenge cards’. The week 1 lockdown challenge saw children make a marble run, they didn’t quite manage to make their runs last 1 minute but they have shown real ingenuity, problem solving skills and an iterative design process.

Marble run

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Year 5 - Textiles

Children in year 5 looked at money holders to make a drawstring purse that an Anglo-Saxon may have used. They learnt how to do a variety of stitches and learnt how to make a working drawstring.

Year 5 - Mechanisms: exploring fulcrum, load and effort

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Year 5- Mechanisms: using levers and pulleys to design a lifting device.

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Year 6 - Structures: building bridges

After being tasked with trying to make a strong bridge using only 3 sheets of flip-chart paper and some tape, year 6 children learnt about how to strengthen card structures using a variety of techniques such as lamination, bracing and corrugation. They also learnt different ways of joining art straws. They put these techniques to use in designing stronger bridges made only from thin card and art straws. Many children chose to combine a variety of strengthening techniques to great effect, as the photos show: Jack’s corrugated and rod-reinforced bridge had strength in all directions. Unfortunately, COVID19 happened and the projects were never finished.