I make my introduction as brief as possible, concentrating on health and safety, behaviour management and equal access for all, and then let the children explore. I use the plenaries to tie up loose ends and ensure that the children have the knowledge they need for the next step.
Though I encourage them to ask questions I only give them the answers when they have tried every other possibility. Children can struggle with the practical skills of construction and so I teach them to see Damp;T as a process - perhaps my pupils won't make a perfect photograph frame immediately, but I can see their research on how frames are constructed and I have their own designs and an evaluation that tell me that a frame was not made easily (if at all), because the child found the construction very difficult. Damp;T is a complex voyage of discovery - child-led through investigation, questioning and analysis - and worthwhile mistakes.
Chris Perry, Damp;T subject leader, Victoria Park Primary School, Smethwick, Sandwell