THE new National Curriculum in Action website (www.ncaction.org.uk) will help teachers and others understand the requirements and standards set out in the national curriculum by using pupils' work to show what this means in practice.
The design and technology team at QCA is very grateful for the hard work that teachers from schools around the country have put in. They provided examples of how the programme of study translates into real activities at different ages and key stages. Their work helped us to exemplify national expectations set out in the attainment target level description.
Currently there are 31 examples of pupils' work in Damp;T on the website. These include pupils' responses to product analysis or investigating and evaluating activities. We aim to add examples over time to support continuing developments and in response to feedback from teachers.
For each piece of work there are activity objectives that set out the purpose and the teaching and learning objectives for the work. These objectives are followed by an activity description that provides details of the pupil's work. It also describes the context, the level of support provided and the extent to which the activity was structured. There is also a commentary that explains why the piece of work shows a pupil's performance in relation to a particular level description and why it is a good example of the programme of study in practice. The activity objectives, description and commentary all draw on material from the Department for Education and SkillsQCA schemes of work for design and technology.
We have identified a range of work from all material areas to help teachers make a judgment at the end of a key stage. We have set out to exemplify how teachers may arrive at judgments by taking into account strengths and weaknesses in performance across a range of contexts and over a period of time. There is a section on recognising progression in the three aspects of developing, planning and communicating ideas; working with tools, equipment, materials and components to make quality products; and evaluating processes and products.
There are links to the Government's internet gateway for teachers (www.teachernet.gov.uk), the national curriculum website (www.nc.uk.net) and the Department for Education and skillsQCA schemes of work (www.standards.dfes.gov.ukschemes).
Teachers may feed back views and ideas on the site. We look forward to feedback on how teachers collect the types of evidence that have been exemplified; or on ideas about increasing autonomy, supporting pupils and planning assessment strategies; or about assessment in different materials areas.
Ian Williams is principal officer for design and technology at the Qualifications and Curriculum Authority, 83 Piccadilly, London W1J 8QA. Tel: 020 7509 5555. Web: www.qca.org.uk