Glasshoughton Infant Academy

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Design Technology Curriculum Aims at GIA

At Glasshoughton Infant Academy experiences are at the heart of all learning where children have ‘hands on’ learning opportunities through real life objects, visitors or visits. Children are immersed in thematic learning based on an interleaving curriculum where new knowledge is taught, learned, remembered, revisited and applied by children ‘being’, for example being a Scientist or a Designer.

At Glasshoughton Infant Academy we believe that language development is vital for all children. We have high aspirations and support them to ‘be’ in their learning. The experiential and interleaving approach ensures that language is used by all stakeholders, including parents. Children develop good comprehension of the words they are using and are able to use them in context and accurately as part of their real learning.

Retrieval practice is planned for across every subject and year group in the form of “speak like an expert.” Every lesson children are expected to retrieve learning previously taught to move learning from the short term to the long-term memory.

We are a ‘talk rich’ school: talk is central to our curriculum and to the way our pupils learn. Children learn through talk. We believe oracy (the ability to communicate effectively) is a central means of extending pupils’ linguistic, social, emotional and cognitive development; it is key to the progress and attainment of all pupils across all areas of the curriculum.  

At Glasshoughton Infant Academy we aim to develop and encourage children’s natural creativity so that they can become confident and enthusiastic designers and technicians.  We believe that children should be given the opportunity to discuss and respond to a variety of craft, design and technical forms linked to their everyday learning.

To Create

It is essential that the Design Technology curriculum is organised in such a way that it provides learners with the opportunity to learn expected behaviours and be successful in their learning so that we can deliver our mission and aims.

Strategic Intent

The breadth and depth of the curriculum is designed to:

Aspirational high achievement culture

We have developed two curriculum drivers that shape our curriculum, bring about the aims and values of our school, and respond to the particular needs of our community:

  1. Aspirations – which help pupils to know their future possibilities and build aspirations for their lives.
  2. Experiences – The school provides memorable experiences which help children to engage actively in their learning by providing real ‘hands on’ experiences, supported by exploration and investigation to make links and sense of their learning, supplemented by shared experiences provided by visitors and visits to the wider community, to link to the wider world.

Coherently planned academic curriculum

Underpinned by our two curriculum drivers our academic curriculum sets out:

Cultural Capital

Cultural capital is the background knowledge of the world pupils need to infer meaning from what they read. It includes vocabulary which, in turn, helps pupils to express themselves in a sophisticated, mature way.


The curriculum is designed for all children to maximise their potential through carefully planned and targeted teaching, where assessment for learning provides vital intelligence on what the next steps need to be for individuals to succeed in their learning. Pre-teaching and Same Day Intervention are two strategies that are consistently applied across school to support children to experience success. The developmental progressive curriculum is designed to maximise individual needs, strengths and their next steps are use to build upon to ensure no child, including those who are pupil premium or disadvantaged fall behind. Home learning is planned in line with the progressive and developmental curriculum in school. Sticky knowledge and vocabulary are an integral part of the home learning so that children do not fall behind whilst at home.

Sustained Mastery

Nothing is learned unless it rests in pupils’ long term memory. This does not happen, and cannot be assessed, in the short term. Assessment therefore answers two main questions: How well are pupils coping with the curriculum content? And how well are they retaining previously taught content? This is assessed throughout the lesson on a daily basis through assessment for learning where children’s understanding of key concepts is revisited, feedback is given and acted upon and has it been remembered is checked in future learning. “Speak like an expert” is a feature at the beginning of every lesson whereby every child is expected to retrieve previous taught knowledge and skills. Children are expected to use subject specific vocabulary to communicate their understanding and shift learning the long term memory.

The impact of the curriculum is assessed at 3 assessment points:

This will support teachers to highlight clear next steps for individuals and support leaders in school in their professional dialogue around progress, CPD, subject knowledge, outcomes and lines of enquiry to follow. Impact of the curriculum is triangulated through skills, knowledge and the ability to communicate the learning.

Curriculum Implementation

The curriculum is further enriched and boosted through the wide variety of after curricular activities that are available for the infant children including sports clubs, craft and creative clubs, cooking club, computing and coding club. All children are invited to attend the clubs through an open invitation and specific children, including our most identified vulnerable children are contacted individually to ensure they have had involvement in at least one of our clubs. 

The Curriculum

We have a very broad Primary Curriculum covering 12 subjects meeting all the national curriculum requirements.

The teaching and learning of Design technology encompasses: –

Sequential learning sequences with clear planned learning objectives for all Design Technology lessons allows children to build on prior knowledge and skills both at school and as part of home learning.  A progressive curriculum ensures that current learning opportunities are based upon children’s previous learning, knowledge they have retained from previous lessons or the previous year group and links to year group expectations.

‘Sticky knowledge’ is carefully planned for each lesson across the curriculum, linked to the learning objective, and is progressive across a sequence of learning. This ensures that children are explicitly clear about what they are learning during each session and how previous learning will help them to develop new knowledge and skills. Children’s learning is communicated to them clearly to allow them to develop an understanding of why they are being taught what they are being taught at that particular time; how previous learning will help them and what the learning intentions are at the end of the sequence. ‘Sticky knowledge’ also provides children with the correct vocabulary and terminology needed in order to effectively communicate their learning. This is also an integral part of home learning to ensure children do not fall behind whilst at home.

A variety of strategies are taught at GIA in order to allow ALL pupils to become successful designers, not all children learn in the same way. This ensures that no children, including pupil premium and disadvantaged are left behind and achieve their full learning potential.  The use of carefully planned remote learning opportunities which reflect the teaching within the classroom will ensure no child is left behind and therefore ensuring we, as a school, are narrowing the gap for all pupils and ensuring the diet they receive in the classroom is mirrored in the diet they receive during remote learning. Through the use of Class Dojo teachers are able to celebrate the children’s learning and communicate learning experiences with parents.

Additional support is provided for children who are not meeting their targets through bespoke small group intervention led by highly skilled professionals. This is monitored through pupil progress meetings and SMART targets to ensure the impact of the intervention is as anticipated in a timely manner. 

Suspended learning – When the normal lesson timetable is suspended, take place during the year.  These days allow children to learn in different ways such as off site, with external providers or using different curriculum approaches.   These days’ cover subjects such as Staying Safe, British Values, hook days/trips/visitors etc

Curriculum Impact

Children are tracked throughout the year ensuring they are on track to reach the national expectations within the subject, focusing on a triangulated approach of knowledge, skills and communicating their learning both verbally and in written form.

The impact of the curriculum is that by the end of the year, the vast majority of children have sustained mastery of the content, that is, they remember it all and are fluent in it. Some children will have reached a greater depth of understanding where they can apply their learning.

Children are clear about their learning and can communicate in a variety of different contexts and for a variety of purposes and audience as a scientist. Children can confidently communicate their learning as a designer verbally and in the written form, using accurate vocabulary.

A developmentally progressive curriculum, whereby children build upon they prior learning and knowledge, ensures that no child, including pupil premium and disadvantaged, are left behind. All children have the tools to reach their full learning potential.