Time to review your curriculum?


This time of year is traditionally used as a time to review courses and plan for next year. A key part of that planning must be to consider Ofsted requirements both specific to D&T but also within a more generic teaching and learning focus. We may not agree with Ofsted criteria but it is the measurement tool that is used and therefore one we must take into account. 

A good starting point for anyone reviewing courses may be to look at the Ofsted criteria for D&T and evaluate their courses against it. This is not about making courses prescriptive and a ‘teaching to Ofsted’ exercise. Instead it is about looking at what the measurement tools are and how this can be made to fit in with the best D&T practice. This approach actually allows schools to be more creative and forward thinking as Ofsted boxes are automatically ticked off and are an integral part of everyday teaching without having to be worked at as an add on. The focus is then on maximizing the experience the students have. 

Take a look at this short video which summarizes what Ofsted are looking for in terms of teaching and learning from a generic point of view. http://www.ofsted.gov.uk/resources/how-ofsted-will-reach-judgement-quality-of-teaching . To get more specific take a look at the teaching and learning grade descriptors specific to D&T http://www.ofsted.gov.uk/resources/generic-grade-descriptors-and-supplementary-subject-specific-guidance-for-inspectors-making-judgemen . You may be used to looking these from the perspective of them being used as a tool to observe you but use them to look at teaching and learning from a different perspective. Try highlighting key words and identifying how this is embedded into your curriculum generally as well as in your daily routines. Use these keywords to help you plan your agendas for meetings over the year so you can celebrate what you are doing as well as flagging up areas for development. 

Continuing on the theme of review you will be aware of the fight to maintain D&T on the National Curriculum and hopefully you have signed the petition by the D&T Association as part of their ‘Believe in D&T’ campaign. No matter what happens next with the government review one thing that has become clear is the need to review D&T in schools to ensure that we provide a world class education. The D&T Association are now considering the vision for D&T in the future and have set up a new website focusing on looking to the future. You can have your say on what this should be by completing an online survey which can be found at http://www.dandtnewvision.org.uk/ and clicking on the link. The site also has other useful information including case studies of students who have done D&T in the past and who have gone on to successful careers. This might be useful when putting curriculum arguments forward to your senior leadership as well as being useful to use to promote courses to students. 

As part of your review it is useful to look at examples of best practice in D&T to see what new ideas are relevant to your own department and one starting point might be the case study on the Ofsted website http://www.ofsted.gov.uk/resources/good-practice-resource-raising-achievement-design-and-technology-turnford-school 

If you are looking for ideas and inspiration for any area of D&T the New Designers graduate exhibition is a great place to visit either as a day out for yourself or as a school trip. It is held at the Business Design Centre in Islington in London and is split into different categories over a 2 week period from 27th June – 7th July. For more information visit http://www.newdesigners.com/

As part of your scheme of work updates if you are looking for different ways of integrating smart, technical and electronic materials and components into textiles schemes of work you might be interested in my course on July 4th. This will include over £50 of resources, 7 project ideas for your schemes of work, hands on experience of a range of resources and ‘how to’ resources that will save you preparation time back at school. The Husqvarna venue in Nottingham are also giving away £25 worth of sewing machine needles for anyone who attends the course. For more information visit http://www.textileshotline.co.uk/textileshotline/Workshops_%26_courses.html and to book a place email me at julie@julieboyd.co.uk.  I also now stock a small range of electronic textiles components to buy from my website http://www.textileshotline.co.uk/textileshotline/Resources_to_Buy.html 

With new schemes of work and my July course in mind the free downloadable image for this week is of an electronic textiles circuit. Add it to other free photos I will upload each week and use it to support your teaching.  If you do use any of my photos I would love to get feedback and photos on how you have used them. 

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This week’s photo is an electronic circuit using a coin cell holder attached to an LED using conductive thread. This electronics pack can be purchased from my website (see link above).

Right hand mouse click on the image to download & save it

All images & text are the copyright of Julie Boyd & can’t be sold or reproduced in any way without permission

© Boyd Education  2012   text, images & ideas on this website are the copyright of Julie Boyd & may not be copied or reproduced without permission.. All rights Reserved.