Secondary D&T Policy Framework

From DT Online

A Policy may be described as a set of guidelines that provide a framework for achieving a purpose or goal. Policies should relate to school and subject Improvement Plans. Policies for Design and Technology (D&T) should take into account Whole School Policies where appropriate. They should specify, in general terms, the shared understanding of how children’s educational experience may be enhanced by D&T, its purpose, and how these aims will be achieved as an entitlement for all pupils. Policies should guide everything which goes on in the school involving D&T.

What follows are some of the questions which may be asked to assist in the formulation of a Whole School Policy for Design and Technology. A Policy can only be produced by engaging those affected by it in a process of asking such questions and agreeing on resulting strategies - they cannot be obtained off the shelf.

Producing a Policy
  • To begin the process of writing a policy for D&T, consideration should be given to the following:
  • Will designated members of staff take the lead for different aspects of D&T (e.g. focus areas)?
  • Who should be involved in the writing of the policy?
  • How will the policy be agreed by the whole department staff?
  • How will the D&T budget be established and allocated?
  • How will policy implementation be monitored?
  • How often will the policy be reviewed?
  • Policies should be short, written in simple language and represent the consensus view of all staff affected by them. Evaluation and review should take place on a regular basis. A useful structure is to regard policy writing as the process on asking Why, What and How in relation to D&T implementation. Some examples of the questions which might be addressed follow:
The Rationale or Vision for D&T (The Why)
  • What’s D&T for?
  • Why do you think it is important to involve D&T in the curriculum for all children?
  • What will children gain?
  • What is the unique contribution D&T makes?
  • Do you wish to make some statement with regard to your view of its relevance to children growing up in a technological society and being entitled to become active participants within it if they choose?
The Purposes of D&T education (The What)
  • What is your shared purpose in teaching D&T - the general aims that unite the whole department
  • What uniquely will the pupils gain from D&T - especially particular groups of pupils (e.g. those with learning difficulties, low self esteem perhaps)
  • What will each child experience as a minimum entitlement (e.g. the commonalities between focus areas)?
  • What will be the contribution of each focus area to a child’s general D&T entitlement?
  • What will be the gain for teaching and learning in general (e.g. thinking skills; problem solving; greater independence in learning; more collaboration)?
  • What use will be made of links outside school? (e.g. feeder primary schools, local industry, colleges and universities) ?
  • What will be your criteria for success?
  • What are your targets for resource provision?
Broad Guidelines for using D&T (The How)
  • How will you achieve your aims (e.g. to cover the National Curriculum requirements)?
  • How much table time is given over D&T and how organised?
  • How will ICT use be structured into all teaching (e.g. will lesson planning pro-formas include an ICT prompt)?
  • How will you ensure equality of opportunity?
  • How will D&T work be differentiated?
  • How will you ensure SEN and gifted pupils can take full advantage of D&T?
  • How will D&T work be assessed and recorded?
  • How will each child’s progress in D&T be monitored?
  • How will you ensure continuity and progression – what are the links with local primary schools, local industry, colleges and universities?
  • How much value will be placed on celebrating achievement in D&T through display for example?
  • How will you ensure the work context engages children and is relevant to their world outside school.
  • How will D&T resources be procured, deployed and maintained?
  • How will D&T resources be maintained and what programme for upgrading exists?
  • How will you ensure adequate training for all staff?
  • Will you need also to train parents and other helpers - to work with children both at home and at school?
Evaluation and Review
  • When will the effectiveness of the policy be discussed?
  • When will the policy be reviewed?
  • How will policy implementation be monitored and by whom?