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Marshfields School

A Positive Choice

Product Design - Year 9 Projects

Students continue to make use of the laser cutter, hand and power tools in this more mature project to produce items of personal adornment.  They will encounter heat treatment in the form of casting with Pewter and learn to safely use, under supervision, a hand held gas torch.  There is a wide variety of pewter cast products available in shops and online, many of which are made by very small scale manufacturers to meet specific tastes.  This project enables to students to not only make an attractive, distinctive piece for themselves or another but also opens their eyes to the possibilities of using their skills for gain.

Continuing to develop their skills in metal and heat y9 students will make their own bespoke one off copper trinket box, based on a range of templates and styles.  The end result is a desirable well made piece which they are very proud of.  This project will also result in batch produced versions of their own designs which will be available for sale on site and possibly at one of our outside link sites.  Pupils are able to keep 50% of Gross profit from any sales with the remainder given to a charity of their choice.  It is vital that all learners understand and value the skills they acquire here and can see the application of those skills in the real world.


These skills are very similar to those needed in key stage 4. Students need to be able to investigate the needs of the people who will use their products, find out what already exists that is similar and then develop some ideas of their own using the skills we have taught them so far. We also start to teach them about popular design movements such as Art Nouveau, Bauhaus and Memphis as these also crop up in GCSE and BTEC and are a great source of ideas and inspiration.

The videos above are useful for year 9, 10 and 11 students to watch in their own time and to try and remember and recall the stages that each of the different products goes through.  In lessons we watch these as well as the How it’s Made films from the homework section.  These lead to very useful discussions about our work and how and why the things we use in our lives are made.

Students who go on to do well in key stage 4 are very often the ones who show an interest in watching and talking about these films.  Their curiosity is answered and they pick up a great deal of really useful information.

Other useful programmes are;

Grand Designs, George Clarke’s Amazing Spaces and most recently this show on channel 5 which sparked a great deal of conversation and ideas for model making and problem solving and reminded us how important it is to have fun.