Alsager School

What is it like to be a Design and Technology Resistant Materials student?

Design and Technology Resistant Materials (RM) at Alsager School is about problem solving using creative tools such as sketching, modelling, computer aided design and practical making skills. Students studying RM are encouraged to study the work of past and present designers in order to inspire their own project work. Our students design and make products using a wide range of materials: woods, metals, and plastics in an iterative design process. 

Studying Resistant Materials at Alsager School gives students a chance to access information from the full range of Design and Technology subjects; students are exposed to a breath of knowledge including new and emerging technologies, design strategies, and other D&T material areas such papers and boards and textiles. Resistant Materials students will learn in depth about their specialist material; timbers including hardwoods, softwoods, manufactured boards and associated construction techniques. 

When conducting research for project work, students will analyse existing products to identify how they might be improved. They will present their ideas to others and use their feedback to further refine and develop them into a quality prototype. Our students will work with complex construction techniques such as wood jointing, laminating, metal fabrication, welding and casting. They will use a wide range of workshop equipment such as lathes, drills, milling machines and CAM equipment including laser cutters and 3D printers. 

Working alongside Design and Technology students as their skills and knowledge develop is a highly rewarding experience. I love being a D&T teacher because we see students develop skills and qualities that will be useful in life such as resilience, independence, problem solving and team working. Many of our students develop a passion for the subject and go on to study and work in areas such as Engineering, Product Design and Architecture. 

Mr W Potts Deputy Curriculum Leader Art and Design Technology. 

This is what Year 11 GCSE Resistant Materials students said about the subject:

What does it mean to be an RM Design student at Alsager School?

“In Resistant Materials, you have to use your imagination and work creatively. You get the chance to work in teams and independently and learn skills that could last you a life time. You improve your knowledge in D&T and use other things from Science, Maths and Humanities subjects”.  

What skills have you learned in Resistant Materials?

“Through designing and making our own products, we have learned important skills such as resilience and time management. We have applied skills and knowledge from different subjects like Maths using calculations, physics when describing energy systems, chemistry with material properties, and geography with environmental and social issues.  We have also enjoyed learning how to correctly use tools and equipment”. 

How do we challenge you in RM?

“In RM, you are regularly tested on our knowledge about all the different topics in D&T. We are set starter questions to check our understanding of a topic and you must remember construction techniques when making products”.

How do we make you enthusiastic about Resistant Materials at Alsager School?

“We are inspired by being shown the work of other students and encouraged by our teacher who helps us to evaluate and improve our ideas. We are pushed to do the best that we can and look forward to making our final products”. 

How do you get to use practical skills taught to you in RM and how do they help you? 

“We have learned and developed problem solving and creative thinking which can translate to almost all of our life. We have learned how to use drawings skills, CAD software, tools and equipment to design and build prototypes, and then evaluate them to make improvements”. 

What knowledge do you learn in RM and how does it help you?

“We have learned how to critically analyse products and about sustainability issues which will be important when purchasing products in the future.  We have also learned about materials, their properties and uses so that you know what materials are best for different purposes”.