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Know-how shows how

Andrew Mourant previews the DT with ICT show

A strong primary flavour will be evident at this year's DT with ICT Show at the National Exhibition Centre, Birmingham, from November 17 to 19.

The Design and Technology Association (DATA) had called for an early years boost to the show and the primary demonstration area will have pride of place by the Qualifications and Curriculum Authority stand.

Alongside will be a space for primary workshops on software, construction and electrical components, and much more.

The QCA's Ian Williams says: "We'd like teachers to make connections between our work and the ideas in action that they'll see. We hope this year's focus will help them enjoy the achievement of primary phase pupils."

Ian will present a workshop assessing progress in DT. School demonstrations planned by the QCA involve textiles, food and construction materials. About 130 exhibitors will show equipment and materials for teaching electronics, resistant materials, textiles, food technology, graphics, engineering, computer-aided design and manufacturing systems and much more. Staff and students at high-achieving schools will put on displays and explain their approach.

The DfES says appropriate use of ICT in design and technology coursework can mean the difference of half a grade at GCSE.

Entry to the event, organised by the International Craft and Hobby Fair, is free. Last year about 3,300 specialists attended. A programme of seminars will offer in-service opportunities.

A QCA pack offering advice and example material to support assessment of DT from foundation to key stage 3 will be unveiled. Its authors will clarify how designing, making and assessment build on similar foundations in all key stages.

The QCA wants to achieve a clearer understanding of what the subject is through references to the "wider designed world". It will define activities that are not DT and suggest how to change them. There will be advice on rejecting non-DT approaches and ways of modifying these.

Progression between units and key stages will be addressed at each level from foundation to KS3. Advice will clarify where designing occurs within making processes. There will be examples of pupil achievement with commentary on qualities and evidence of performance, judging performance and how that can be developed.

The pack includes links to the QCA's Customise your Curriculum website (, which shows how primary teachers adapt units from QCADfES work schemes,combine units from different subjects, and embed English and maths across the curriculum.


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