At St Mary’s Catholic School we pride ourselves on providing an exemplary curriculum for all students, including our students with special educational needs.  Our Year 7 to Year 13 curriculum is ambitious, broad and balanced, allowing all students to know more and remember more in lessons, and to achieve exceptional progress.  Our curriculum is planned to stretch and challenge all learners, with highly effective scaffolding in place to ensure our students with SEND and other additional needs also achieve highly.  Our curriculum meets and exceeds all national curriculum requirements.  Due to the numerous strengths and sustained success and impact of our curriculum year on year, St Mary’s supports many other schools within the Bishop Bewick Catholic Education Trust and more widely to share this exemplary practice.

The Design and technology curriculum is exemplary because:

  • Quality of teaching from specialist teachers in the area
  • Real life projects instilling problem solving skills in pupils reflecting the needs of the national curriculum
  • Allowing pupils some autonomy in the development of their ideas in some projects
  • Projects allow pupils to step out of their comfort zone and take risks
  • High expectations of all pupils
  • Introduces pupils to the relevant disciplinary literacy in the subject
  • Opportunities are given in all DT areas to stretch and challenge pupils
  • Learning is sequenced from year 7 to 13 to develop and reinforce all skills and knowledge needed for pupils to become independent  learners

The Design and technology curriculum is ambitious, broad and balanced:

  • Provide students with a broad knowledge of the world of design
  • Introduce new concepts in relation to design
  • Provide knowledge of a range of materials and their strengths and weaknesses
  • Informs pupils about real world problems in terms of sustainability, environmental issues, finite and non-finite resources
  • Instilling in pupils the responsibility of a designer in todays’ world
  • Provides knowledge of important role models, design movements and their origins from culture
  • Pupils draw on different disciplines eg g maths and English to solve problems
  • Pupils review their work, test their ideas, evaluate how things can be changed  to improve
  • Pupils are encouraged to read about and develop further their knowledge of designers and design issues.

The Design and technology curriculum has effective scaffolding to support our SEND students/other students with additional needs:

  • Project work is set so that pupils of all abilities can access the requirements of a brief with differentiation by tasks or results
  • The needs of SEND pupils are recognised by staff and equipment and tasks can be arranged to support the needs of individual students
  • Pupils use detailed success criteria in all, DT areas to manage and reflect on their work and achievements
  • Booklets used at KS3 include detailed word banks for reference to ensure pupils develop an understanding of terminology used and can refer back in their work to reinforce their understanding
  • Some projects include the opportunities in project booklets for students to write a questions or an issue they are struggling with for the teacher to check on them

The Design and technology  curriculum is worthy of sharing more widely with other schools because:

  • There is no carousel – pupils work on 2 full design and make tasks in Yr 7 and 8 and opt for DT in Year 9 ro experience GCSE NEA style work
  • Pupils experience work in all DT areas over the course of KS3 areas and can address the needs of a range of potential users confidently by developing ideas for a broad range of projects
  • Pupils are taught to look at a wide range of starting points for design inspiration and problem solving
  • KS3 projects change frequently to address the needs to the impact of designs as new ideas come to light in the world outside of school
  • Pupils become proficient  at using a wide variety of equipment and techniques to develop their own individual solutions to problems set ideas
  • Progression to develop understanding  from KS3 to 5 is evident through the use of a wide range of strategies to develop project work