Resistant Materials

Subject Overview

Resistant Materials is the study of the design and manufacture of products using a wide range of materials. Candidates will be taught how to design and make products with creativity and originality, using a range of materials and techniques.

Candidates will be taught a working knowledge of woods, metals, plastics, composite materials and new technologies through a combination of practical and theory based activities.

Resistant Materials is a practical subject area which requires the application of knowledge and understanding when developing ideas, planning, producing products and evaluating them.

Resistant Materials

Key Stage 3

Year 7: In year 7 pupils complete a focused practical task with a small design element. Pupils are taught the basic about the materials they are using and the types of woods and fastenings used in Resistant Materials. Pupils make a small toy boat powered by an elastic band that they then race at the end of the project, prizes are awarded for the race winner and the best made boat.

The purpose of this task is to teach yea r 7 pupils the basic principles of workshop health and safety and to enable them to learn how to mark out and safely use basic hand tools including saws, tri squares, screwdrivers and hammers. The project requires pupils to use all the machines in the workshop and enables us to teach them how to safely operate fretsaws, disc sanders, pillar drills and battery powered hand drills. The emphasis of this project is on accuracy and the safe use and operation of tools and equipment in order to prepare pupils for their continuing school career at the heath.


Year 8: In year 8 pupils design and make a wooden desk tidy. Pupils are taught about the materials they are using, where they come from and issues such as sustainability associated with them.  They continue to develop the skills learnt in year 7 whilst learning how to use more challenging tools and techniques including, chiselling, jointing, and shaping. In year 8 the design element of the project is increased with pupils being introduced to the design process and being required to produce their own designs and layouts for their desk tidy. The emphasis of this project is on designing and making a successful quality product.

KS3 Technology Curriculum Overview

Key Stage 4

Courses Offered: GCSE Resistant Materials (AQA)

Year 9: In year 9 pupils who have opted for resistant materials begin their GCSE course by looking at different design movements and producing an operational wall mounted clock in the style of one of these researched design movements.  The emphasis of this project is on the design process and understanding the importance of good and bad design. Pupils complete a mini GCSE coursework folder in order to familiarise them with the processes and standards required at GCSE level.

In term 2 pupils complete a storage box project where they design and make a high quality wooden storage box.  The emphasis of this project is on producing an exceptionally high quality piece of work with high quality joints and finish; pupils again complete a GCSE mini folder in preparation for GCSE.

In term3 pupils are introduced to metals and the various methods of working shaping and joining them. Pupils complete a tool making focused task. Pupils manufacture a hammer and a screwdriver from steel. They are taught the safe use of the forge and lathe and are assessed on the accuracy of their work and the correct health and safety procedures when using hot techniques such as brazing and welding.

Year 10: In term 1 pupils complete furniture making focused task. This project teaches them the basic principles of furniture manufacture and enables them to refine the skills they have learnt throughout their school career at the heath to produce a complex high quality product before beginning their final GCSE controlled assessment task. The emphasis of this project is on applying the knowledge they have accrued over the last 3 years to produce a quality piece of furniture with little if any intervention from the classroom teacher.

In term 2 and 3 pupils begin preparation for their final GCSE project carrying out research and making design notes. Exam preparation begins and pupils add to and revise their subject knowledge ready for year 11.

Year 11: In year 11 pupils start their final GCSE design and make project and design folder. The focus in term 1 is the completion of their practical work and the finishing off of their final GCSE coursework folder. Term 2 and 3 are dedicated to exam preparation and revision in readiness for their final exam in May. Pupils are continually assessed throughout this period and receive regular feedback and advice on how to achieve the highest possible grade.

Resistant materials Year 10 Curriculum Overview
Resistant Materials Year 11 Curriculum Overview


Alongside revision classes for KS4 pupils the department runs a successful Science, Technology, Engineering and Maths (STEM) club which is available to yr 9 pupils and above.