Design and Technology
Developing life skills and building confidence
Taught from Year 3 to 8 by specialist staff in a well equipped suite, the Design and Technology courses at Millfield Prep School aim to provide an opportunity for all pupils to develop vital life skills, as well as awareness and understanding of products and the needs of society. Our hands on approach in Design and Technology gives pupils a chance to develop a range of practical skills. The high satisfaction levels amongst pupils are testament to the value of the subject in raising self-esteem, as pupils feel that they have learnt skills useful to them and feel immensely proud when they have a finished product which they have made themselves.
A wide range of practical and design skills
We aim to develop pupils' understanding and skills in designing, planning and problem solving through a wide range of processes. Key aims of the courses from Years 3 - 8 are to raise pupil awareness of materials, develop individual and team working skills, teach pupils how to safely use a range of power tools, hand tools and equipment also improve their accuracy in measuring and making. From the start, technical vocabulary is introduced, we help pupils develop an enquiring mind and a knowledge of how things work.
A hands on approach to learning
From Year 3 to 5, a cross curricular approach is used when practicable. Y3 pupils initially make badges, model ships and such things as a wooden dice, small whiteboards, wooden vehicles and windmills. Y4 make model rooms, Round houses and Greek buildings, they also do some simple programming of electronic models. This develops in Y5 to making toys which include mechanisms and electric circuits, so learning how to solder is introduced at this stage. From Y6, pupils have the opportunity to design with thermoplastics and work with textiles, introducing the sewing machine to make kites. In Y7, textiles are taken further to include soft fabrics. They also study man- made structures and model their own bridge or tower design. They will develop their freehand drawing skills, designing and making a clock and a bird feeder or storage box. Y8 pupils take electronics further, including the use of LEDs eg coin cell torches and festive products. A PCB kit incorporating a microchip circuit is also taught. Computer Aided Design (CAD) and Computer Aided Manufacture (CAM) are also introduced in a toy or game project of their own design. Pupils begin to study Food Technology from Year 5, (please also see the Academic section on Food Technology).
Developing key life skills
Pupils are first taught Food Technology in Year 5, when they are introduced to the basic use of the kitchen as a workshop, being taught about the accurate measurement of materials, the appropriate selection of utensils, awareness of hygiene and safety standards, and food storage.
Learning about a healthy, balanced diet
Throughout life it is essential to maintain a healthy, balanced diet, and so topics covered in Food Technology lessons are essential for pupils' health and wellbeing. Pupils therefore gain an awareness of dietary goals in relation to healthy eating and nutrition, learn about different dietary requirements, gain knowledge of food groups such as carbohydrates and fibre and their importance, staple foods, vegetarians, food additives and of course the production of food products.
Building design and marketing skills
Pupils are also taught various creative skills, including designing, understanding and appreciating food products. Pupils create a design specification to plan a new food product using flow charts and product profiles. They also learn about labelling, marketing and promotion of food products, and develop strong analytical skills.