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The Henry
Beaufort
School

Resistant Materials

The Henry Beaufort School was awarded the specialist status of a Technology College in 2002. With a vision to strengthen and develop the quality of teaching and learning strategies in the specialist subjects, the status contributes to whole school improvement through innovative approaches to teaching and learning, particularly through use of new technologies.

In all subjects, Design and Technology is seen as a creative process concerned with turning ideas into reality and, fitted with the latest equipment, Rome gives access to professional machinery which enables all students to design, create and finish high quality products. All subject areas relate project tasks to batch production and the use of modern manufacturing processes, particularly Computer Aided Design (CAD) and Computer Aided Manufacture (CAM). Whether our students are making their own circuit boards, working with textiles, or using graphic or resistant materials, the software and machinery allows designs to be plotted then cut or embroidered automatically. 

In addition to six ICT suites at different locations around the school, each workshop in Rome has its own set of computer workstations, with dedicated machines to run the various CAD and CAM apparatus. As part of the ICT department, students have access to digital SLR cameras, digital video cameras with tripods and microphones and the Keystation Pro 88, the first USB master MIDI controller designed specifically to let one perform, program  and mix music directly with a computer.

Through the use and manipulation of wood, metal and plastics, Resistant Materials teaches students how to use resources effectively to produce functional, high quality products. Consisting of a series of ‘design and make' tasks to solve particular design problems, students gain knowledge through practical experience in the workshop, supplemented by theory and planning sessions and evaluation of existing products.

During Year 7, 8 and 9, Resistant Materials teaches students to make decisions about the use of materials, tools and equipment for a planned piece of work, involving shaping, joining, finishing and evaluating their final product. In doing so, students will study the characteristics of working properties of ferrous and non-ferrous metals, softwood and hardwood timbers and thermoplastics and thermoset plastics, while studying industrial processes such as injection moulding, casting, welding and brazing and the reasons why one process is more suited to a product than another.

At GCSE, the two year programme of study in Resistant Materials aims to develop our students' skills and knowledge further, culminating in a major project conducted in Year 11 which contributes 60% of the marks towards the final grade. Common projects involve the planning and making of toys or games that have marketing potential, such as an early learning toy suitable for pre-school children or mechanical ‘executive' toys suitable for desktop use.