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Bridge needed to leap design gap

Pupils are suffering from a total lack of continuity between primary and secondary teaching in design and technology, according to research to be published next month, writes Brendan O'Malley.

The study led by Professor Richard Kimbell, director of the technology education research unit at Goldsmiths College, University of London, involved monitoring every minute of the technology projects conducted by 80 pupils across all four key stages in 20 schools in the London area.

Professor Kimbell said it showed that between key stages 2 and 3 the most basic features of teaching and learning are reconstructed.

"In the space of a six-week summer holiday, children leaving key stage 2 have completely to transform their view of what they will be doing in the classroom, what the teachers are for and what they expect or don't expect."

He said this shows a need for design and technology teachers to be trained to provide a coherent programme of activities bridging primary and secondary practice.

"We need to enable key stage 2 teachers to interact with key stage 3 teachers, both in formal courses and their respective classrooms. Only in this way might we expect to ameliorate the stark divisions that currently exist," he said.

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