Case Study - Key Stage 2
This case study is an exemplification of good practice in the teaching of D&T at Key Stage 2.
Structures - Year Six
To design and make a bridge that would cross the local canal. The bridge needed to fit with the local environment and provided a much-needed short cut to the shops for the local community. The children were given the width of the canal and a minimum load of 1 kg to represent people crossing the bridge. Taught over two days in four 60 minute lessons over two days.
How the project was taught
The pupils from Victoria Park Primary School analysed pictures of bridges displayed on the whiteboard. They mind-mapped key features on their proforma.
The teacher led a whole range of Focused Practical Tasks to make different joints, e.g. T-joints, L-joints, roll tubes, columns and triangular joints. They investigated the strengths and weaknesses of each joints.
Pupils were reminded of the task, split into friendship groups and began to model an idea. They then allocated each team member a role: engineer, builder and materials manager, reporter. Each construction company began to make their model using the materials they had chosen. All the models were made from recycled materials as well as wood and card.
Once completed, pupils tested and evaluated their models, completing the school evaluation proforma.
Each group made a bridge structure and tested it. The reporter explained to the class how they had worked with each other, the materials and techniques used and why it was successful or otherwise.
Wood, PVA glue, string, plastic straws, newspaper, reclaimed materials.
If used properly, PVA/wood glue is more suitable than a glue gun when using wood (when using a glue gun, it is easy to snap pieces apart once dry, as you can't get the wood to dry flat as with PVA). However, if using glue guns, they must be supervised as they are high risk.