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Talented pupils thrive during project work

First Year pupils with their finished pillows from the Textiles Technology project

Over the Autumn term, Senior School pupils made excellent use of the equipment and expertise in the Technology Centre as they completed their project work in Design Technology, Textiles and Food and Nutrition.

Students complete design and research work at the start of every project where they explore how their products will function and what the end product will look like.

In each lesson the students saw their ideas become reality – giving them the opportunity to use their creativity whilst learning new skills. These skills will ultimately prepare them for the GCSE and A-Level courses which are very popular at Stockport Grammar School.

This year is the first time that all Lower School pupils do all three parts of the subject in rotation.

Design Technology

First Year pupils very much enjoyed the mobile project where they developed hand skills and were introduced to woodworking machinery. They worked on their own creative interpretation of the design brief which was to create a mobile which hangs in equilibrium.

As part of their Jewellery Project, Second Year pupils pierced an organic design which they then planished. They etched, sandblasted and enamelled pieces and also tested pieces to trial the technique – bringing these skills together in a composite piece of decorative metal work.

Third Year pupils designed clocks based on the Memphis design movement. This particular movement is well-known for its unusual shapes and bright colours. The students designed the appearance of the clock using a Computer Aided Design (CAD) based programme and used the laser cutter to print off the acrylic parts. The students assembled the clocks themselves and were delighted by the end finish.

Fourth Year pupils manufactured flying objects from aluminium using cross-halving joints. For this they learnt how to join metal outcomes in order to create a 3D shape. They carefully and skilfully cut two components from pieces of aluminium using a piercing saw and used needle files and wet and dry paper to achieve a smooth edge and sandblasted the surface for an aesthetically pleasing look.

Textiles Technology

In Textiles, First Year pupils eagerly learnt all about the sewing machine. Every single pupil is now able to thread up a sewing machine and possesses the knowledge of how to sew seams when constructing their cushions.

The students loved the creative side of this project where they needed to design a block printed cushion cover to be sold at a tourist attraction of their choice. As well as block printing, they researched and practised the appliqué technique.

Second Year pupils used CAD to create their own digital print to be heat transferred on to fabric. They built up their practical skills too with the introduction of zip insertion and hand embroidery.

As part of their drawstring bag project, Third Years made drawstring bags with a focus on accuracy in order to create professional outcomes. They also used CAD and a CNC embroidery machine to design their own embroidery for their bags. The final outcomes were fantastic and the pupils were all very proud of their work.

Fourth Year pupils worked on designing and creating a soft educational toy for a target market of their choice. The project enabled them to showcase their creativity and skills. The freedom of the design brief also meant that they had to produce very unique and individual outcomes which is similar to how they will be working for their NEA coursework.

Food and Nutrition

Pupils were busy in Food and Nutrition classes as they explored the Eatwell Guide, carbohydrates and fruits and vegetables.

First Year pupils had their introduction to the subject through learning about the Eatwell Guide alongside some brilliant food preparation lessons. This all came together when students planned and displayed their own salad jars and presented in pairs about what they had learnt.

They then moved on to a brief introduction to food science where students learnt about the importance of the shortening function of fats in baking. They were put to the test when they had to plan, prepare and bake a batch of scones as part of their rotation assessment.

Second Year students explored carbohydrates as a functional and nutritional ingredient. They made rice dishes such as risotto and biriyani and tested their knowledge and skills when they made an ‘Eatwell Guide’ pizza.

Third Years completed their first module of their option course as they looked at fruits and vegetables. Students carried out research to find out about the nutrition in various fruits and vegetables, the functional properties of ingredients and the various ways foods can be preserved. Students made dishes including sweet and sour chicken, soup and completed a practical assessment in which they made decorated cheesecakes.

The school’s new Head of Design and Technology Miss Hayley Reynolds said: “We have had a very busy term of rotations! I have seen some magnificent work being produced in Textiles, Food and Nutrition and Design Technology where I can clearly see lots of creativity and innovative ideas.

The school’s new Head of Design and Technology Miss Hayley Reynolds

“The pupils have been able to learn new skills and explore a variety of techniques within each subject area, whilst being guided by the expertise of the staff in the department.

“There is no better feeling for the students than being able to see and take home a product that they have designed themselves from scratch – whether that be a piece of jewellery, a cushion or a pizza. There is definitely something that everyone at Stockport Grammar school will enjoy!”