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Resistant Materials

students using a drill


Resistant Materials involves working with wood, metals and plastics to design and make new and innovative products. Here you will be taught about the properties of materials and gain skills in using and working with tools and equipment to manipulate and join materials to produce working products.

In Resistant Materials you will be following the design process from researching the problem you are going to solve, to designing your solution, working out how you can make your designs to making your final product.

Key stage 3

In Resistant Materials at key stage 3 students are introduced into the world of working with materials to produce and make exciting new projects. In year 7 students work on exciting 2 projects. The first involves cutting, shaping and finish metals to produce their own designed key ring. The second focuses on working with wood to produce a desk tidy based on their own design. This involves using saws, chisels, drills and sanding discs to cut, shape and finish their desk tidy to a high quality.

In year 8 students are introduced to working with plastics and the role of a professional design group, Alessi. Students look at Alessi’s product range and use them to inspire their own creative design for an acrylic clock. Students heat and bend plastics to form new and exciting shapes, learn how to achieve professional finishes on plastic and join them together using heat producing adhesives.

Students focus on working with natural woods through year 9, completing 2 projects.

The first project involves students understanding how to produce tight and accurate fitting wood joints, focusing around the complex and challenging Dovetail joint to produce a product to stop DVDs and Books falling over.

In the second project, students take the lead. Here they design and make their own wooden toy based on the knowledge gained from year 7 to year 9. This involves them pushing their design and practical skills to the limit, testing new joints and finishes, to produce a working and safe product.

Key stage 4

Resistant Materials involves creatively working with wood, metals, plastics and smart materials to design and make commercially viable products. This GCSE provides an innovative and imaginative qualification rewarding flair and reflecting the contemporary use of Information Technology as well as traditional tools and techniques.

Within GCSE Resistant materials students complete a range of practical and theory based projects giving students and understanding of working and designing with woods, metals and plastics. This will include using equipment such as the computer operated laser cutter to cut out woods and plastics, using the lathe to turn metals and woods, and the brazing hearth to use heat to help join different metals.

The course is assessed through the completion of a design and practical based project, where students design and make their own storage unit, and an end of unit exam.

Facilities & Resources

Students have access to 2 well-equipped workshops giving them access to a range of hand tools and machines such as pillar drills, lathes, and brazing hearths.

Alongside this new computer technology is accessible through the course, with the opening of a new laser cutting and CADCAM room.

Trips & Extra Curricular Activities

RM, Product Design and Construction all offer a vast range of trips and extra curricular activities. In Construction students gain the opportunity to visit building sites, such as the new development in Woolston and the Admiral’s Quay development in Ocean Village, alongside of having a range of guest speakers and experts from the construction trade present exciting talks and workshops on their subjects.

Students have a range of competitions and clubs to take part in, From KS3 Design and Technology Club, to competition clubs such as the WeCan Stem challenges, Aqua Innovation challenges (run by Southern Water) and a club where students design and make a solar powered racing car.


Mr Tucker (Head of Design Faculty)

Mr Lafferty (Head of Resistant Materials, Product Design & Construction)

Mrs Thompson (Design Teacher)

Mr Small (Design Teacher)