Oak updates

27 March 2024

Introducing our design & technology curriculum partner

Sam Booth

Design and technology lead

Sam Booth is the design and technology subject lead at Oak National Academy. Sam is a teacher of design and technology, engineering and food preparation and nutrition. Sam has 16 years of teaching experience in primary, secondary and UTCs, with 8 years as a subject leader.

Developing our new design & technology curriculum

Our focus is on lowering workload and supporting teachers to increase their expertise. Over the coming year we’ll be creating a new primary and secondary design and technology curriculum with teaching resources designed to better support your planning, in-class teaching and to help you develop your own curriculum.

Our fantastic partners reflect the diverse range of educational providers and expertise across the country. We are one of many teaching resource and curriculum suppliers, and I am delighted that we can improve this offer so that teachers have an even better choice of foundation materials to build upon in their classroom.

Curriculum partner

I am thrilled to announce our collaboration with the Design & Technology Association to enhance our primary and secondary D&T curriculum. The D&T Association is a leading organisation dedicated to advancing design and innovation in education. Committed to the development of inspiring career paths and driving UK economic growth, their primary aim is to raise the quality of D&T education in primary and secondary schools. They connect teachers and students with a broad range of industry sectors. With 33,000 UK and international members, the association provides access to essential educational services and resources developed to help deliver exceptional D&T education across all key stages.

The association is committed to ensuring D&T remains part of a broad and rich curriculum. Our partnership aims to equip students with the vital knowledge, skills, and personal attributes for future workplace success while ensuring compliance with health and safety standards. Together, we are shaping the future of D&T education, ensuring it remains at the forefront of our educational system.

Alongside the Design & Technology Association we will also be collaborating with the British Nutrition Foundation. The British Nutrition Foundation is a charity that works to give people, educators, and organisations access to impartial, evidence-based, and reliable information on nutrition. Through their flagship education programme, Food - a fact of life, and their annual Healthy Eating Week, they aim to instil a culture of healthy eating and food literacy in children and young people, helping them to apply their knowledge in meaningful ways. Food - a fact of life covers essential topics for children and young people aged 3-16 years, such as the principles of a healthy balanced diet, how to plan, cook and prepare food, and food provenance and production. The British Nutrition Foundation also provides support, guidance and professional development to food and nutrition teachers across the UK.

We are delighted to have both these partners working with us.

Our design and technology curriculum principles

As well as our overarching curriculum principles, our design and technology curriculum will be underpinned by a set of design and technology-specific principles. These are currently being finalised with our curriculum partner and we will publish them shortly.

Our guiding principles are a rigorous guide to guarantee that our new curriculum is grown from a strong foundation of core values and key ingredients, ensuring that our curriculum is cohesive and enriching. In primary and secondary design and technology will ensure that there is focus on the knowledge and skills specific to design and technology, including:

  • The fundamentals, and integration, of designing , making, evaluating and technical knowledge to solve real world problems.
  • Facilitate the appropriate use of restrictive (a focus on specific tasks and procedures) and expansive (where autonomy and creativity are encouraged) approaches to how pupils apply knowledge.
  • Apply our diversity principle by exposing pupils to the wider influences on design and technology including historical, social, cultural, environmental and economic factors.
  • Specifically in relation to food and nutrition (in Key Stages 1-3 only):
    • Focus on the knowledge and skills specific to food and nutrition, including: Planning, preparing and cooking a repertoire of predominantly savoury dishes using a range of ingredients and cooking techniques;
    • The principles of nutrition and health.
    • Applies our diversity principle by enriching learning through the experience of a range of international cuisines.

One of our curriculum principles is diversity, and this will be a focus for subject expert groups.

Our overall curriculum approach

These design and technology-specific principles dovetail with our overall approach to curriculum design, and how we hope teachers can use Oak, as explained by Emma McCrea, our Head of Curriculum Design. You can also find out more about the new partners and subject experts we’re excited to be working with.

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