Design and Technology

The intent of our Design and Technology Curriculum is to provide pupils with a relevant, coherent and progressive knowledge of the design process and instil appreciation of the work of a range of craftspeople and vocational pathways. There are five threads to our programme of study: cooking and nutrition, forest school, textiles, mechanisms and electronics. At Eden we strive to deliver a broad curriculum that includes learning within the classroom, by taking part in thematic workshops and whole school specialised drop down days and outdoor learning to inspire and enrich their educational experiences and build upon their cultural capital. We encourage our students to use creativity and imagination and engage in an iterative process of designing and making products that solve real and relevant problems within a variety of contexts. For example, by taking part in STEM based projects during Drop Down days that also link to global issues such as, poverty, global warming, environmental concerns, developing cleaner and greener energy and sustainability. We also draw on disciplines such as Mathematics, Science, Engineering, Computing and Art so children have the experience of being resourceful, innovative and enterprising.

The Cooking and Nutrition Curriculum instils a love of cooking in all pupils and explores healthy eating, nutrition and Food Science. Learning how to cook is a crucial life skill for pupils now and in later life. We suitably challenge them by offering a range of recipes from the UK and around the world, through exploring a range of cooking techniques and experimenting with unfamiliar ingredients.

Throughout their time at Eden, we aim to encourage independent learning through practical participation. The department ensures that our students have a wider understanding of environmental impacts of our choice of foods to prevent food waste. Our pupils learn about multicultural foods and experience how different cultural foods influence our everyday food choices. This enables our pupils to have a clear understanding of different religions and ethical beliefs and how these have influenced our western lives. The department has a strong focus and drive to develop independent learners and promote high standards of academic achievement through making and evaluating dishes. The department has a strong belief that all of our pupils should be independent, enabling them to develop personal responsibility and self-motivation and to consider the needs of others. This equips our pupils with the knowledge and cultural capital to succeed in life.

Implementation

To ensure high standards of teaching and learning in Design and Technology, we implement a curriculum that is progressive throughout the whole school focusing on the knowledge and skills stated in the National Curriculum. At Eden, we ensure that Design and Technology is given the same importance as the core subjects, as we feel this is vital in enabling all children to gain ‘real-life’ experiences and to provide maximum opportunities to embed deeper learning. We maximise opportunities to construct, build, trial, test and evaluate Design and Technology products outdoors through forest school.

Forest School is delivered to KS2 and KS3 on a rotational basis each half term. Forest School is a child-centred, inspirational learning process that offers opportunities for holistic growth through regular sessions. It is a long-term program that supports play, exploration and supported risk taking. It develops confidence and self-esteem through learner inspired, hands-on experiences in a natural setting. There is a particular focus on developing fine and gross motor skills, encouraging individual and team design with natural resources and developing a mastery of skills with advanced tools and knives. There is a cross curricular link with whole school thematic drop down days to ensure each group has one outdoor session of focused Design and Technology to make, create and evaluate the effectiveness of a product or project. There are also close links to Cooking and Nutrition as pupils are encouraged to forage for ingredients, use outdoor cooking appliances, whittle cooking utensils / foraging tools and prepare food using the fires they have built. At KS4 we build upon the knowledge pupils have gained from these programs and challenge them further through more advanced STEM activities during drop down days and introduce more complex tools and technical resources.

We follow the National Curriculum for Cooking and Nutrition from KS2 to KS3 and introduce BTEC vocational options at KS4. Pupils are taught how to apply the principles of a healthy and varied diet following the guidance from the Eat well Guide. They begin by preparing and cooking a wide diversity of predominantly savoury dishes and focus on food origins and seasonality and how this can be applied to menu choices. Pupils gain an extensive knowledge of where and how a variety of ingredients are grown, reared, caught and processed. KS2 pupils also transfer their knowledge and skills of gardening and growing vegetables in our sensory garden by cooking with fresh ingredients in our school kitchen. In order to develop the cultural capital of our students we often include tasting sessions in our practical lessons so they are aware of taste, texture and smell and how to season and combine ingredients; adapting and using their own recipes in later stages of Key Stage 3. We also have opportunities to enrich pupil’s cultural experiences through school trips. For example, Our BTEC pupils visit a local Tapas restaurant as part of their Spanish cuisine unit and take part in a workshop delivered by a Sushi chef for our food presentation unit. KS2 and KS3 visit a local dairy farm to develop their understanding of the production of milk, cheese and ice cream and also visit the Eureka Science museum to develop their understanding of food digestion, oral health and healthy eating.

Impact

Forest School encourages pupils to lead their own learning based upon their interests, which is allowed to develop over time, occurring intrinsically through play and exploration. This allows them to develop their confidence and resilience by taking part in unexpected activities that can change as the session progresses. The hands-on approach focuses on the process of learning rather than a finished product and allows for skills to be revisited and mastered and for learning to become embedded as a result. Adults at our Forest School are facilitators and through careful observations and by developing relationships with the individuals in our groups, we sensitively provide experiences that support the learning and development of each pupil. This enables pupils to develop their independence, assertiveness, team building and communication skills. Forest School respects, values and celebrates the unique. We believe in the true potential for every child to achieve and provide obtainable, yet challenging experiences that promote risk-taking, independence, self-regulation, self-esteem, creativity and resilience. All of which contribute towards the ‘hidden curriculum’ aims for our SEMH setting.

At Eden we embrace opportunities for learners to discuss ethics, beliefs and values and we embed this into our creative subjects as well as the academic. We want our pupils to form and justify their own opinions about the economic and environmental impact of the food, design, technology and construction industry and inspire them to be responsible, eco-conscious consumers. We encourage the use of recyclable and natural resources during our Design lessons and focus on economising with ingredients and budgeting in Cooking.

In Cooking and Nutrition pupils build upon their fundamental skills gained from KS2 and begin to develop a mastery of these in Year 7 through to Year 9 through regular retrieval practice and assessment. Theoretical knowledge continues to develop throughout the key stages, informed by AQA GCSE Food Preparation content so pupils continue to be equally challenged as they enter their BTEC study. Pupils in Key Stage 3 will be competent in a range of cooking skills and will acquire a broad range of subject knowledge in relation to Food Science. The curriculum allows for creativity, innovation and problem solving which encourages them to make informed choices about food, diet and value for money. It also allows pupils to work in partnership with their peers in the practical lessons and peer feedback allows them to develop their confidence within the kitchen environment and refine their cooking skills. Pupils regularly take part in ongoing formative assessments throughout practical lessons and develop their confidence working under pressure during summative assessments. This pathes the way for them to access BTEC Home cooking Skills in KS4.

In KS4 pupils study BTEC Level 1 and 2 pathways . Pupils will build upon their prior knowledge of food health and safety gained from KS3, to inform their further study into professional food hygiene and safe food preparation. The course also aims to develop awareness of global issues such as, food poverty, consumerism, food waste, ethical purchasing and the environmental effects of meat production which closely links to PSHE and Geography.

These qualifications are recognised throughout the world of work and further study. Due to their GCSE equivalency they also boost the opportunities of students focusing on the Eden vocational pathway, to access college courses. The Careers available to pupils upon completion of their study include but are not restricted to: kitchen porter, chef, waiting staff, restaurant work, baker, farming, food scientist, nutritionist, teaching and travel and tourism.

Curriculum Maps

“Eden is a life-transforming school where we provide the best education for young people who have complex social, emotional and mental health needs.”

Jen Ashworth, Headteacher