Frequently Asked Questions
Are there statutory guidelines for time recommendations at Key Stage 3?
No, there are no statutory guidelines for time recommendations at Key Stage 3. Non-statutory guidelines were sent to all headteachers in January 2003, in relation to the Key Stage 3 Strategy, so you might find it useful to follow up on this in school. The D&T Association's recommendation is a minimum of 8%, with an ideal of 10%, in view of the time needed to undertake the lengthy activities of designing and making. The average time as found in the Survey of Provision for Design and Technology in Schools in England and Wales 2004/2005 is 9%.
What is the recommended number of pupils/classroom?
If you need to address overcrowding in your classes, the D&T Association recommends you put together a paper for SMT and/or governors about maintaining quality and standards, how these have been achieved in the past (i.e. manageable class sizes) and how D&T has contributed to overall school improvement.
Can you advise on how to combat the issues of getting pupils to bring in ingredients for cooking?
Firstly, there are not really any legal implications - as long as the school provides students access to the NC and an appropriate curriculum. An important question - are you engaging the pupils with the type of work you are asking them to do? Is it relevant to the pupils and their cultural/social backgrounds? Are there financial implications? Many schools do provide basic ingredients to those students on free school meals to allow them access to the curriculum. Have you producing a costing for your scheme of work, as asked for support in funding this adequately from the SMT? Another aspect to consider is the accessibility and communication for all students and their parents. For example how do the students know what they are expected to bring - do they have to write ingredients down or are they provided with deptartment recipe books or similar? Sometimes language can be a barrier. Some schools ask for a contribution at the start of the year/project rather than week by week and provide ingredients for them.
How should high risk foods such as chicken be prepared in the classroom?
Children should learn how to prepare high-risk foods; it would be a shame to avoid this issue. High-risk foods support the growth of bacteria. Make it part of the lesson to tell the children how important it is to store chicken correctly (datemarking, carrying from shop to home, temperature in fridge), defrost whole chickens thoroughly, cook chicken properly, how to test that it is cooked, how to store cooked chicken, when not to reheat, also a high risk of cross-contamination. You should look to purchase the Association's 'Risk Assessment in Secondary School Design and Technology Teaching Environments' available from the Resource Shop.
What qualifications should be expected of a temporary D&T technician?
You may wish to purchase the D&T Association's Technician Guide, as it has been written both for technicians themselves as well as heads of department. Visit the Online Shop to learn more about this valuable resource.