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Design and Technology

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Rationale What is the evidence base for selected strategies and curriculum choices?

Developing self-efficacy in our learners:

In the DT department, we recognise that our learners come to us with a wide range of backgrounds and barriers to learning. We aim to support our learners to develop self-efficacy in the kitchen during practical DT Food lesson, as part of key practical components of the WJEC Preparation for work qualification and GCSE Textile Design lessons.

Self-efficacy can be defined as “people’s judgements of their capabilities to organise and execute courses of action required to attain…” (Bandura, 1986, p. 391). In terms of our learners at Woodlane, this means, we want pupils to be equipped to respond positively to the question “Can I do this?”.

This is promoted through the following steps:

  • Tasks that are challenging but achievable (carefully planned recipes that focus on skill progression over time).
  • Peer support and modelling, with pupils in Key Stage Three supporting each other to complete recipes.
  • Specific verbal feedback during cooking sessions that views mistakes as useful learning opportunities, celebrates success and sets goals.
  • Pupils self-assess all of their recipes to reflect on their learning, recognising what they did well and what they could do even better next time after reflecting on their learning.
  • Pupils are given opportunities in the kitchen to solve problems themselves before adult intervention.
  • Sharing teacher self-efficacy stories, for example, skills that the teachers have had to work hard to develop over time.
  • Pupils are given starting points in Textile Design which enables them to explore independently from an initial idea into a personal journey.
  • Pupils are taught key skills and techniques at the beginning of the course to which they choose to adopt and develop as their work progresses; pupils choose the techniques most suited to their ideas.
  • Pupils are given quality exemplar material to inform their ideas and projects.
  • Specific feedback at key points of individual projects supports pupil’s autonomy throughout personal portfolios of work.
  • Projects are themed around pupil interests and kept broad to allow pupils to self-govern next steps and problem solve how they can expand their ideas.

Linnenbrink, E.A (2003) states that” Students who positive and relatively high self-efficacy beliefs will be more likely to be engaged in the classroom in terms of their behaviour, cognition and motivation”.  


Using effective verbal feedback in practical lessons:

At Woodlane, we use a range of feedback methods as part of our feedback and marking policy. Within the DT department, as it is a practical-based subject, we place a particular emphasis on effective use of verbal feedback. Velda Elliott, et al., (2020) states that it…”is possible to tune spoken feedback to the student based on their understanding in the moment, that it focuses on next steps”. This is particularly valued during practical sessions as the impact is immediate and can result in a markedly different outcome for the pupil.

Education Endowment Fund (2021) report exploring Teacher Feedback to Improve Pupil Outcomes, suggests that effective feedback:

  • Links back to learning objectives and links back to prior learning.
  • Is appropriately timed.
  • Defines action points for pupils to work towards.
  • Gives pupils opportunities to work towards these action points.
  • May be supported visually (through modelling or through showing previously completed work for example)
  • Is succinct and clear.

As part of the GCSE Textile design course timely verbal feedback is instrumental in ensuring pupils can refine their skills in order to progress through the specification of the course. Pupils rely on verbal feedback in the form of coached conversations and commentated demonstrations to improve their understanding of how to improve their work.

Intent – What is Woodlane aiming to achieve through its D&T curriculum?

  • To develop their creativity through a variety of innovative and practical activities.
  • To engage in an iterative process of designing and making.
  • To get the understanding and skills to work in a range of domestic and local context for example, the home, health, leisure and culture) and industrial contexts (food and fashion).
  • Select from and use specialist tools, techniques, processes, equipment and machinery precisely.
  • To select from and use a wider, more complex range of materials, and components, considering their properties
  • To ensure all pupils leave Woodlane with a Design and Technology qualification which reflects the best of their ability. 

Implementation – How is the Woodlane  DT curriculum delivered?

Curriculum Delivery

  • Pupils have full access to the Cooking and Nutrition element of the National Curriculum which is differentiated to meet pupils’ learning needs and styles.
  • The Food Science curriculum is designed to be challenging, appropriate to each pupil’s stage of development.
  • The Food Science Curriculum offers opportunities for cross-curricula learning, to ensure pupils make significant personal development, including:
    • Creative lessons in nutrition and digestion linked to Science
    • Pupils will have the opportunity to participate in hands on cooking at least once per week
    • SaLT strategies/Word Aware integrated in to teaching
    • Development of Maths through the use of standard units in cooking
    • Food theme day
    • Nutritional education through assemblies
    • Cooking competitions including the tri-borough Young Chef of the Year and in school MasterChef competitions
    • After school cooking club
    • Educational visits;
  • The KS3 Food Technology curriculum is taught through 1.6 hours contact time per week in Years 7 and 8 and 2.5 hours in Year 9, averaging 8% of curriculum time.
  • The KS4 Food Technology GCSE and the WJEC Preparing for Work qualification are taught through 2.5 hours contact time per week in Year 10 and 1.6 hours in Year 11, averaging 10% of curriculum time.
  • The Design and Technology curriculum is designed to build and expand on previous skills and subject knowledge, over a 5-year period.  It also plans for opportunities for repetition to embed knowledge, increasing the chance of information recall and to integrate new knowledge into larger ideas. 
  • We offer two qualifications, which are selected to appropriately challenge, based on each pupil’s stage of development, including:
    • Food Preparation and Nutrition AQA GCSE
    • Preparing for work Entry level 2 and 3 WJEC
  • It is important for us that pupils learn healthy habits, nutritional information and are informed to make the right choices we also aim for pupils being independent when preparing food.
  • We provide additional extra-curricular activities after school, including:
    • Cooking Club
    • Parent/Child cooking workshops
    • Theme Days


Teaching and Learning

  • Our pupils are taught by specialist teachers from Year 7 to Year 11.
  • Our Design and Technology Food Subject Leader is well qualified, possessing an Agricultural Engineer degree, with deep knowledge in areas as Food Microbiology, Biochemistry, Agricultural and Food Industries providing her with understanding of food properties, composition, nutrition, and food industry.
  • The Design and Technology curriculum is differentiated broadly into 3 levels of challenge, ‘all’, ‘most’ and ‘some’.  Further differentiation and personalisation is implemented when required.  
  • Design and Technology homework is provided on a standardised format and is differentiated to provide the appropriate level of challenge.
  • Cooking parent-pupil workshops are delivered every year to enable parents to best support their child and work in partnership with the school.
  • In Design and Technology we have a 3 tiered approach to supporting a pupil’s learning, including:

Universal – this is the teaching your child will receive from the Design and Technology subject teachers and will include adaptations to match learning needs.  All classes:

  • Are supported by a teaching assistant (TA);
  • Have a maximum of 12 pupils per class to ensure there is a high level of support available from the teacher and TA;
  • Are multi-sensory;
  • Are dyslexia friendly;
  • Integrate speech, language and communication support;
  • Are supported either directly or indirectly by speech and language therapists.

Targeted­ – it may be appropriate to consider making additional short term special educational provision to remove or reduce any obstacles to your child’s learning.  This takes the form of a graduated four part approach of a) assessing your child’s needs, b) planning the most effective and appropriate intervention, c) providing this intervention and d) reviewing the impact on your child’s progress towards individual learning outcomes.

Specialist it may be necessary to seek specialist advice and regular long-term support from a specialist professional in order to plan for the best possible learning outcomes for your child.


  • Pupils collate Pupil Achievement Books, where they showcase their best work and progress over time in Food Design and Technology.
  • Our bespoke Flight Path is used to track the progress of pupils in Design and Technology and determine expected outcomes from different starting points.
  • Design and Technology teachers use a range of formative and summative assessment procedures to assess progress and attainment, including:
    • Daily marking;
    • Self/peer assessment;
    • Completing practise exam questions
    • Practical tasks
    • Informal/formal examinations;
    • B-Squared etc.


Impact – What difference is the DT curriculum making on pupils?

  • The vast majority of pupils meet or exceed their expected progress in Design and Technology.
  • The vast majority of pupils meet or exceed their expected outcomes in Design and Technology (external qualifications).
  • The vast majority of pupils leave Woodlane with at least one formally recognised Design and Technology qualification. Many pupils meet mainstream entry requirements at post-16 where they study a range of different qualifications and subjects following high achievement in Design and Technology at Woodlane. Pupils who move on to post-16 provision are often able to join a mainstream environment following successful completion of the GCSE or WJEC Preparation for Working Life Design and Technology qualifications.
  • Food Design and Technology curriculum is embedded into subjects such as Science, PE and Maths through the learning of ratios, proportions, statistics, rates of changes and nutrition and digestion.
  • Pupils are well-prepared for the next stage of their education.
  • Analysis of Design and Technology outcomes and pupil progress indicates that there is little statistical significance between key groups.  Where any small differences are identified strategies are implemented swiftly.
  • Functional skills and life-skills are embedded in the Design and Technology curriculum and are personalised for each pupil.

* Please see annual SEF/SIP for further details.