1 April 2020

It feels a long time since the Christmas CDT projects festooned the APS main corridor.
However, the Spring term is now at an end under circumstances which even the most creative of us could barely imagine! It gives us time to reflect on the tremendous achievements of our pupils who have been busy hammering, sawing and drilling every week in the CDT room until the lockdown. The boys from Y3 to Y8 have worked with wood, plastics, fabric, wool and recycled materials to produce some exceptional work.

Many of you will have heard reports of the new seating area near the MUSA which was the inspiration and design of the Year 8 boys. It took two years to complete and, although some summer planting is still required, the communal bench, based on a tree design, will be a permanent reminder to us that good design is all about a ‘need’ and/or a ‘want’ as a starting point. The Year 8 boys leave a legacy in the school which is guaranteed to last more than 20 years and will be heavily used by children, parents and the local community. I could not be more proud of their ingenuity, their ability to collaborate, their patience and their ability to reflect and learn from this massive project. Much thanks goes to Phoebe Gresford, the architect who gave her time so willingly, and to Paul Wentworth and Alastair Blackmore for overseeing the actual build.

CDT Projects:

Year 3 Funky Photo Frames

The youngest pupils in the CDT room are often the most enthusiastic and the photography project proved very successful in Year 3. Armed with cameras and iPads, the boys learnt to take interesting photos, being both behind and in front of the camera. In woodwork lessons, they made and decorated a wooden photo frame after creating a printed photo montage. Creating a funky photo holder was equally exciting as they used the pillar drill and laminator for the first time.

Year 3 Collage

To help instill the collaborative learning approach to all that goes on in the CDT room, the boys in groups created large collages from fabric. All material which was headed for landfill, being kindly donated by a parent, so it made the project even more valuable. From a panda to a feathered parrot, a wild bear attacking salmon to a colourful chameleon, and a jumping frog to a glittering underwater jellyfish scene, the boys worked so hard to accommodate everyone’s ideas. The large end products are spectacular and will be displayed in the main hallway in September.

Year 4 Siege Towers

Year 4 pupils went back in time to make a model Siege Tower, a project which has now become a legendary Year 4 right of passage! Boys studied the features of the towers, followed a design brief and then made their own wheeled structure. Decorated with gruesome battering rams, animal skins and flags, the boys then added ladders and a working drawbridge to complete the project. They just managed to make the long journey home before being played with over the holidays, hopefully now attacking lego castles or made up forts. The intensity of the Year 4 workers meant that every model was unique and well planned, with great detail on show.

Year 4 Wooden Boats

Year 4 pupils were tasked to make a small model balsa wood boat of their own design. Waiting to set sail into a display cabinet are now a fleet of miniature vessels in the CDT room. Evidence of excellent hand crafting skills were on show as boys used hacksaws, rasps, and bradawls to make their crafts. From simple canoes and rowing boats to more luxury speed boats and yachts the creations were totally unique. It was great to see such a high level of reflective and positive critiques in an evaluative lesson. Making mistakes is such a positive part of the learning process in the CDT workroom which Year 4 are just beginning to appreciate.

Year 5 Trophy Shields

By year 5, the pupils are learning to transition from using hand tools to the power tools. Designing a base plate for a trophy shield means that a simple outline shape can be cut from 3mm plywood on the electric scroll saws with 1-1 adult help. Learning to control the speed and follow all the safety rules is the challenge and yet the end product never ceases to amaze. From best dog to most improved football player, from best Dad to great cook, the boys will always find some way to make their trophy personal. The Year 5 woodwork skills are improving at a great rate as is their excitement at using the power tools!

Year 5 Football Goals

No year group has had more fun in a table football battle than the current Year 5! The boys had to follow a list of instructions, a VERY challenging task, to create an accurate and high quality swivel goal structure. After a few errors and adjustments, all of them created a unique goal to use in a giant class game of shoot out. Even the Headmaster is rumoured to have joined in the match time, showing his true sporting nature by desperately trying not to concede a goal! Various themes for decoration were applied from dragons to underwater scenes and of course their own favourite club colours!

Year 6 Wooden Planes

The Year 6 boys have thoroughly enjoyed modelling balsa wood planes which flew high above a sturdy base using a length of dowel. Boys transformed a wooden block into all sorts of planes from bi-planes to jet fighters. They used their imaginations to create various backdrops from farmyards to cities, coastlines to castles and even a WW2 scene. The boys should be very proud of their achievements as the quality of work on show is of a very high standard.

To practise using the electric fretsaws, the boys used a paper plane template as a stencil and cut a silhouette of a plane from acrylic. This was a challenging task for such young pupils as the hard material can split and crack very easily so much concentration and a steady approach was needed.

Year 7 Desk Fans

The Year 7 boys recycled an electric motor circuit from the previous jitterpen project into an individually designed desk fan. From rugby posts to a football boot, the boys’ unique designs were eye-catching.

Year 7 Arctic Recycling Collage

With the hot topic of waste in our oceans, as a group project, the Year 7 boys created a large collage of an arctic scene. Only recycled rubbish was used to highlight the plight our oceans face. For example, a giant iceberg was made from a plastic bag, a whale from a plastic bottle and a sea turtle was caught in an orange bag net from a cardboard fishing trawler. Still incomplete as yet, but it is something to look forward to finishing when the school reopens.

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