Design and technology students really like making things that are useful and, moreover, are going to be used for a good cause. Usually the first project for our AS students in Year 12 is to design and make a trophy based on natural forms, which will be given as a reward to students at key stage 3.
The students start by producing observational studies on a range of natural forms, such as shells, trees and fruits, taking note of their shape, form and texture. They then produce the initial design ideas and develop these into a final piece. This is made of metal - we spend one period during the project looking at the properties and characteristics of metals.
The trophy is made using different methods of production, such as lost-wax casting, annealing and planishing, and a variety of joining methods, for example, rivets and mechanical joints.
We choose six trophies as awards and these are given to students in Year 7, 8 and 9 for creativity and innovation at key stage 3, and also for continued hard work, commitment and achievement. These are awarded after a Damp;T department meeting where names are put forward and discussed.
The trophies are kept in a special cabinet with a picture of the winning student. The Year 12 students seem to particularly enjoy making something they know is going to be used and the KS3 students who win the trophies gain in confidence and self-esteem.
Felicity Nicholson, Trinity Technology College, Leamington Spa, Warwickshire