How to work with the Design Club curriculum

Understanding the curriculum

The Design Club curriculum is based around a Knowledge, Skills and Behaviours (KSB) Framework. For each section we have three broad objectives (see the curriculum overview).

The framework is designed to be simple. Development of these areas is designed into our projects so you don’t need to know it in depth. If you are keen to learn more, see the full learner journey.

How to help learners on their journey

Our projects and activities are designed to take children on a learning journey and develop the following KSB (Knowledge, Skills and Behaviours). Mentors can play a role in supporting these through some simple actions. See the table below for a few starter ideas.

Developing knowledge

  • Objectives: To become familiar with design terms, the design process and key tools and methods and work towards confidence in using them.

  • How mentors can help:

    • Use real design terms

    • Paraphrase as you go

    • Check for understanding by asking a concept question (see below)

    • Refer back at end of the session

    • Explain why a tool is used

Developing skills

  • Objectives: To improve creativity, problem solving and critical thinking, and become confident in carrying out meaningful research.

  • How mentors can help:

    • Encourage quantity of ideas

    • Ask ‘why’ a lot to encourage reasoning and referring to evidence

    • Encourage self reflection

Developing behaviours

  • Objectives: To work well with others and to better communicate ideas and opinions. To become more confident in setting the direction of work, and learning ways to take risks and cope with setbacks and the unexpected.

  • How mentors can help:

    • Praise all contributions

    • Ask rather than tell

    • Gradually increase their opportunity for ambiguity and making choices

    • Encourage them to ‘try it out’ or ‘see what it looks like’

    • Encourage a supportive ‘show and tell’ environment where people feel free to make suggestions.

Concept questions

When asking children “Do you understand?” – you can usually expect a “yes”, even if it hasn’t been understood, leaving you as mentor in the dark about the level of understanding. Instead, ask a question that tests their knowledge. For example:

  • You: “So, today we’ll be prototyping – making a model to test if our solution works”

  • Later you might ask: “When might be the best time to do prototyping? What is the benefit of prototyping? What might happen if you didn’t prototype? Where in the design process is prototyping?”