Research and Development Project
iD&T:WM is a pilot project running in the West Midlands with 8 hub schools. Through their involvement with the programme, teachers will plan and deliver progressive and innovative materials which will enable schools to implement a D&T curriculum which embeds digital technologies and provide dedicated careers guidance to promote opportunities in manufacturing, engineering and creative industries.
The project also aims to raise the profile of the subject with wider stakeholders, in particular, senior leaders in school, employers and parents.
How does it work?
Working with dedicated Regional D&T Advisor Heidi Ambrose-Brown the schools have:
- Signed up to the D&T Association’s Secondary Self-Review Framework in order to work towards the Design and Technology Mark.
- Used the KS3 D&T Learning Planner and Assessing without Levels Teacher Guide to review their existing KS3 provision, by carrying out a long-term curriculum audit. This highlighted gaps and areas of weakness within each department.
- Started to fill the gaps by trialing some of the Key Resources curriculum materials with their pupils.
The schools will meet twice a term at local network meetings, and attend CPD to help them address any skills shortages within the department, highlighted by completing the KS3 curriculum audit.
To date, the twilight meetings have included:
- What does good D&T look like?
- Environment for learning – linked to the section within the Self-Review Framework.
Teachers are encouraged to network informally by visiting each other’s schools and sharing schemes of work.
Several teachers have taken advantage of The D&T Associations’ training events on Secondary Department Leadership and Delivering Relevant Textiles.
A bespoke course on Programmable Components using Crumble has been planned, plus further twilights will include CPD on mechanisms, an introduction to teaching Engineering, and tips for linking with industry.
Achievements so far
Teachers have started to use the Key Resource units in their lessons and the iD&T:WM team have been into schools to observe how the materials have been used. In each school, it was clear that teachers had used the content as a starting point and adapted it to meet the needs of their pupils. This is exactly what the Key Resource units were developed to achieve and in all cases observed, pupils were engaged in the activity and clearly made progress during the lesson.
“…the PowerPoints slides were a good guide. They made me think about the lesson, go away and research it more - to then expand upon the content as appropriate for my pupils.” Barrie Dolphin Southam College.
A survey will be taking place amongst year 8 pupils in the hub schools to determine their perceptions of D&T. This is important in the run up to GCSE options as we aim to increase the number of pupils continuing with KS4 D&T.
D&T Association publications will have articles that have been informed by the findings of the iD&T:WM project – such as a careers progression poster, relevant industry links and forthcoming external events useful for teachers.
Teachers from the hub schools will be helping to pilot an on-line learning platform that the D&T Association are developing. They will also be given guidance and support in setting up their own networking groups with surrounding schools.
Funding is currently being sought to continue the project in the West Midlands, and extend it to other regions in England.
If you would be interested in getting involved, or would like any further information, please email DandTWestMids@data.org.uk
Design and Technology (D&T) is the inspiring, rigorous and practical subject which prepares all young people to live and work in the designed and made world.
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