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How to transfer skills learnt in Year 7 to Year 8

Our weekly blog this week has been written by Mr Norman, Head of Design and Technology, who writes about Year 8’s and how they are bringing together many wood skills previously learnt in Year 7.

This time round I thought I would show off what the Year 8’s have been up to in Design and Technology this term. The pupils have all embarked on a ‘Laminated Container’ Project where they got to experience the characteristics of ‘birch plywood’ and how flexible it can be when only 3mm thick.

The project started with pupil producing two wooded moulds from pine using scroll saws and coping saws from pre-prepared blocks. Six pieces of birch ply were then cut, three for each long side of the container. With the addition of PVA glue three of these pieces were clamped in each mould and left for twenty four hours to dry and form an interesting shape. Some pupils decided to make these two side the same other opted for two different shaped sides.

Once dry the container sides then had end pieces added. Lots of sanding took place between each stage. A lid and base were then prepared and constructed or glued into place.

The last but one stage involved adding a layer of wax to protect and enhance the product. The pupils were then shown how the Laser Cutter worked and what it could do for them. Most pupils then added a work or a message to the top of their containers to make their containers stand out.

The project brings together many wood skills previously learnt in Year 7 and then takes them further through the wonderful experience of bending and laminating of wood. All the way through the project the pupils need to focus on precision and detail to produce their stunning products.

Most of the pupils have decided to use their containers as Christmas presents this year and I really hope that those that receive them treasure them for many years to come.

It is always great to find out what the pupils think of the DT lessons, so for this blog, I asked them!

“I personally loved designing and making my container. Throughout my journey of creating it I found myself learning so much. This includes learning how to properly use different types of machinery and equipment, finding out many techniques of how to bend wood, whilst learning how to be more independent and determined. One other thing that could not go unnoticed was the atmosphere in the workshop, it was always amazing. It was everyone’s time to de-stress, have some fun whilst being able to create something that they can call their own. This experience was one of the many reasons I love DT today.”
Mia – Year 8

“I really enjoyed making my box it was a great experience and I learnt a lot. One of the things we learnt is that sometimes things will go missing and you have to start again but you should always stay positive. Sometimes equipment might be hard to use but you should always find a way to make it work.”
Hazeley – Year 8

“This year I made a container; I really enjoyed this topic and it was my favourite item to build so far! The gluing and sanding process were the best as you could really see your container come to life. I loved how I could make my wooded box unique with different marks and colours to show the diversity which made it look best. I certainly grew in independence and my wood cutting skills improved. This was such a good topic and I hope we can do something similar again!”
Sophie – Year 8

“I enjoyed watching the Laser Cutter, I thought it was very calming to watch it burn a message in the wood. I really liked all the designing of the box too because it was fun to see how it changed. I found it difficult to cut the lid and the base though”
Christopher – Year 8

Last term we designed and built containers. I found if personally very therapeutic. I enjoyed designing and inserting all the pieces together. I learnt how to mould and clamp and I found the cutting quite hard, but I managed to cope through it successfully. It’s a great subject overall. Even though I did not finish, I loved it all.”
Oliver – Year 8

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