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Design & Technology - Parents Page

Why Include Design & Technology In Home Schooling 

Design and Technology is one of the most practically creative and valuable subject. to our learners. It enables our learners earned money and learn at the same time. Many of them choose this route for their studies. Design and Technology teaches us how to take risks and so become more resourceful, innovative, enterprising and capable. Learners go on to develop a critical understanding of the impact of design and technology on their trade.


The skills, knowledge and understanding of design and Technology cover science, technology, engineering and mathematics and are referred to as S.T.E.M. Learners should be learning to be:


  • Be creative

  • Solve real problems

  • Learn skills that to use in a future job

  • Learn about materials, processes and tools

  • Learn about the effect of products on the environment & people

  • Make things with different materials

  • Learn practical skills to help yourself

  • Apply knowledge from other subjects

  • Make a finished product to take home

  • Broadens minds about the world and people


Design and Technology builds on the skills and knowledge learners have already learnt. You start off with something simple and then you tinker with it - improving it and your skills as you go along. You can't be expected to know how everything in one go, as your learn and layer this knowledge over your projects refining both your knowledge and your practical skills both you an your end finished project grow. 


In the olden days, this subject was split by very old fashioned ideas of Domestic Science, how to run a home effectively for the girls, woodwork and metalwork was for the boys and Technical Drawing for the bright boys and sometimes girls. This became a subject with both sexes doing all four areas. Domestic science turned in to plain old 'cookery' then it became Food Tech. However, Food Tech morphed again and you were asked to make the pizza box and not the pizza. Now we are left with a large portion of the population not able to cook nutritious meals from scratch. Many going on in to the catering industry to assemble food on plates and not actually cooking.

So our focus here is really advanced cookery skills (as well as chemistry knowledge and economics) and nutrition linked together with exercise. We cover wood work and metal work in projects and during November. Many of our learners then enter college and follow Design and Technology course to higher levels. 

Recording The Learning 

For our learners on the Autistic Spectrum, following instruction and ending up with the desired end product is very satisfying. The problem may come when you ask them to adapt the original instructions to make it there own. You may have to eat the same recipe a number of times before you can get even a little change in the ingredients. 


Design and Technology suits many of our dyslexic learners. Recording with drawings and labeled up pictures, photographing the different stages - a subject that plays to our skills.

Including Information, Communication and Technology in to the Learning Routine

Here, at Orchard Training we try to embed design and technology into our projects, where it sits naturally and can be enjoyed.


You don’t need any fancy, expensive equipment to teach Design and Technology.  Our projects are written with the home-schooler’s budget in mind. The biggest expense will be getting the raw materials and some of this can be recycled and using recycled materials will be made part of the project where ever possible. Each project will list the resources you will need and suggestions of where to visit. We often have parents who are able to donate a resources and some times skill to us to help keep projects to a very low cost if not free.


Below is a project of Rocking Boxers. Made from a wire coat hanger for the rocking mechanism, plasticine as the counter weight, card for the body, kitchen paper for the head. Hours of fun was had working out how to make this work and then having matches to find out who was the best boxer! ​

Circle of Colored Pencils

How To Deliver Design & Technology At Home

How we can do this at home, by starting with the idea that all of the projects are for both boys and girls.


Cooking healthy meals as well as treats, learning how to sew, this can be as little as sewing on button, but should include knitting, quilting, cross stitch, making items to use, pyjama bottoms or a useful bag.


Making things out of wood like helping to construct a shed, allow potential pinball wizards to flourish with a wood game project, or making Christmas decorations from willow. Making things with metal like tea light holders.


To make things from paper by making a paper bridge strong enough to take the weight of a toy car. or making a piñata for celebrations.

Why not join our Gingerbread House Challenge in December.

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