Resistant Materials

Department Vision

The Design & Technology department at Acle Academy are committed to delivering a curriculum accessible to all which provides the broadest possible range of opportunities for students, including Food and Nutrition, Graphic Products, Resistant Materials, Systems & Control and Textiles. Learning and progress are key and we deliver modules which will allow students to become self-motivated and confident learners, who can work independently and as part of a team. We aim to ensure that learners develop technical and practical competences as well as the wider skills valued by employers. Our main priority is for students to be problem solvers who are not afraid of making mistakes. We hope our students will embrace rapidly changing technologies and develop progressively into becoming informed and responsible citizens who make a positive contribution to society.

Mission Statement

The department firmly believes that students learn best by ‘doing’ and by allowing them to experiment and take risks, in a safe and positive learning environment. We strive to create an environment in which every child will be challenged and supported to realise their potential in an increasingly technological age.This is achieved through

imaginative teaching that embraces new technologies and resembles modern industrial processes, whilst retaining the best of traditional practices. At the heart of this, is the desire to deliver a curriculum in which students produce high quality outcomes. Students must learn about the social and ethical responsibilities of designers and engineers and the importance of managing finite resources with care.

Department Aims

To establish a safe learning environment which is conducive to learning, is stimulating, imaginative and relaxed where students feel supported and secure.

To link too many different curriculum areas in order to develop a set of transferable skills they can enjoy in school and use in their future working lives.

To enable students to combine their designing and making skills with knowledge and understanding, in order to design, make, analyse and evaluate products of high quality.

To value the work of all students, using assessment as a means to monitor student progress, provide information in relation to attainment on a national scale and to form a basis for individual action plans.

Develop key personal attributes through courses that demand initiative, ingenuity, resourcefulness, motivation, involvement, co-operation, patience, sensitivity and commitment.

Encourage the understanding of industry and the world of commerce.

During Key Stage 3 students rotate between the different subjects which make up Design Technology. This enables students to cover all aspects of the national curriculum through a very broad spectrum of topics.

Extra - curricular Design &Technology

The Design & Technology Department runs a range of extra-curricular activities for both KS3 and KS4 students.

At KS3 a jewellery course is available for students to develop and expand their skill set. Systems and Control offers students the opportunity to develop programming skills using more advanced technology and robotics. Graphics club offers students the opportunity to run an enterprise activity, helping to create promotional products to order from mugs and iPhone cases to Lanyards and T-shirts.

We run KS4 coursework lunchtime and after school clubs each week in all subject areas on Mondays, Wednesday and Friday.

We have organised visits to local companies to look at particular aspects of design and technology that are relevant to the curriculum. Keeping up with the latest design thinking is crucial. We aim to introduce our students to career pathways and further education through participation in conferences and events.

What type of homework will be set?

Students are set regular homework by their teacher each week which will expand students’ knowledge from topics covered in class with tiered homeworks that offer extension activities for students wishing to work in greater depth. At KS4 homeworks are split into exam based questions and tiered extension homeworks. There may be occasions in which students will need to attend extra catch up sessions after school and your support in encouraging them to attend these is vital as it will provide them the opportunity to use tools and equipment which require one to one supervision and will broaden subject knowledge and skills further.

How can I support my child's learning at home?


     At home you can support your child’s develop their Design and Technology skills by encouraging them to look at every day household items and analyse the materials and ingredients from which they are made and the industrial processes used to manufacture them. This will form the foundation to their studies in all of our specialist subject areas.

You can encourage them to share their project work with you so that you are informed of the projects they are undertaking and the detailed feedback they receive from their teacher to give them the opportunity to improve their work so that it is in line with their target.

Students are set regular homework by their teacher which is vital as it will broaden their subject knowledge and skills further, it would be beneficial if you and your child regularly check the online homework drive to look at homeworks set.

Students will greatly benefit from access to a home computer or laptop as we can provide many of our programs to install at home. In addition, there are many online revision and support materials available on line which you could explore with them. (See below for details).

As always we welcome any feedback and suggestions from students and parents and carers alike to enable us to provide the best possible curriculum for your child that is relevant and engaging. Should you require any further advice you can contact the Head of Design and Technology Mr Ferguson

      KEY STAGE 3:

     Year 7 Outline:

Brief: Design and make a room thermometer using acrylic, vinyl and a self-adhesive thermochromic thermometer. The thermometer must be freestanding and must contain at least one bend. It is to be designed for a target market of your choice.

Project Description: This project teaches pupils how to work with plastic, including how to use workshop tools to cut, shape, and drill and bend acrylic. Pupils are introduced to modern smart materials with the inclusion of a thermochromic thermometer strip on their design. Students also learn about the impact of plastic in the environment and sustainability issues. Pupils develop their graphic design skills, including colour rendering techniques, as they sketch their ideas for their thermometer. Students learn how to design on the computer to enable them to engrave their thermometer stand on the laser cutter.

Year 8 Outline:

Brief: The government has recently highlighted the health issues associated with consuming too much sugar. However, it is still far too easy to eat a whole bag of sweets without thinking.

Design and make a sweet dispenser to help regulate the number of sweets a person consumes in one go. The sweet dispenser should hold the sweets and dispense them when required.

Project Description: Pupils will learn about the importance of healthy eating and the effect sugar has on a person’s health. During this project pupils will develop their graphic design skills, sketching their design ideas in isometric. Pupils will learn wood working skills, including how to cut lap joints using hand tools, and how to set up and use the pillar drill and jig for drilling. Pupils will learn how to use precision measuring tools, such as a digital calliper gauge. Pupils will also develop their knowledge of the different categories of wood, including hardwoods, softwoods and manmade boards.

Year 9 Outline:

Brief: In a society where climate change is regularly discussed, we are becoming more aware of a need to design and make sustainable products that have a minimal impact on the environment.

Design and make a lamp using sustainable, recycled or reclaimed materials.

Product Description: During this project students develop their sketching skills further, learning how to sketch an orthographic projection, and how to use this when making. Pupils learn how to cut different wood joints using hand tools, with a focus on developing accuracy. Pupils learn about the importance of sustainable design and then consider this as they design and make their own idea. Pupils will understand how to recycle paper and plastic using workshop tools and machinery, and can use these processes to make their lampshade. Pupils develop their soldering skills as they solder a PCB (printed circuit board). Pupils also develop their computer design skills to allow them to cut and engrave features for their lamp.



Subject Available Summary:

This Course follows the AQA GCSE Resistant Materials specification. Exam Board: AQA GCSE

Students learn a range of resistant materials techniques, culminating in a piece of coursework that will comprise 60% of the final mark.

The remaining 40% of the final grade will come from an exam.

What Can I Do With Resistant Materials GCSE?

This course is valued by employers in the construction and manufacturing industries and leads directly into A level Product Design or other related Vocational subjects. This is a good general qualification for any designing or practical based course or career. You also develop the generic problem solving and technological skills which you can use in any pathway that you decide to follow.

Year 10 Unit Content:

During this year, pupils will develop their knowledge in working with a range of materials through focussed practical tasks and mini projects. Pupils will design and make a small storage unit or coffee table to help prepare them for their Year 11 controlled assessment work. Students will begin their final piece of coursework now known as ‘controlled assessment’ in the summer term.

Skills Students Will Learn:

Students will develop their research, designing, modelling and practical skills to construct products from timber, metals, plastics and composite materials.

Students will develop their skills in using a wide range of tools, equipment and manufacturing processes both safely and accurately.

The course calls for students to become independent and creative problem solvers allowing them to focus on areas that they are interested in. They must look for problems and opportunities, responding to them by developing a range of design ideas and making products which help improve life in society. Students incorporate industrial practices such as computer aided design and manufacture, quality control, and batch production to produce marketable products.

Year 11 Unit Content:

Students will spend the majority of the year completing the manufacture of their final chosen product. This, along with their design folder, will complete the controlled assessment. They will then prepare for their final exam completing practical revision exercises and reflecting on the processes used in their project work.

Exam board External links:

Acle Academy, South Walsham Road, Acle, Norwich, NR13 3ER.  

Contact details are: T 01493 750431 -  E

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