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Blockbuster Damp

At the start of this school year we blocked the design and technology curriculum into one week for the first time.

We had had a very successful Ofsted inspection, but as Damp;T was not regularly timetabled in all year groups, the inspectors were unable to make a judgment on the subject and we wanted to make sure that in future there would be enough evidence for them.

We also wanted to raise Damp;T's profile in the school as we felt it too often got left out in favour of literacy and numeracy. Children also found it frustrating that often, just as they were getting really enthusiastic about a project, the two-hour Damp;T period ended and they had to pack their work away.

Projects included bridges (Year 6); moving monsters - children in Year 3 designed a monster and made it move using pneumatic systems - and moving vehicles (Years 1 and 2). Links were made to literacy and numeracy.

Sponsorship was raised through the Education Business Partnership and we also raised funds ourselves. We brought in a Damp;T consultant, who organised an in-service training evening before the week and also worked with each year group and supported the teachers during the week. We also encouraged families to get involved.

Afterwards, we organised a curriculum evening for parents to show off the work and discuss how Damp;T is taught. We also distributed leaflets on what parents could do at home.

The pupils loved it and it gave those who were not particularly academic a chance to shine at something creative and practical.

We plan to block the Damp;T curriculum into one week once a term from now on.

Judith Wilson, design and technology co-ordinator, Shiney Row Primary School, Sunderland

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