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Home > News and Events > Year 7 Metalwork Sports Trophies

Year 7 Metalwork Sports Trophies

16 Feb 24

We caught up with some of our Year 7 students in Design recently, speaking to them about their latest project – trophy design and production in metalwork. From learning and using computer software to physical design and manufacture using different materials and tools, they talked us through the process and experience so far, including their learnings and the importance of safety.

Ahead of beginning their project, Mrs Cracknell our Head of Design shared the brief: To design and make a metal trophy and laser cut medal for a sporting event of your choice.

Xander chose to design and make a sports trophy for skateboarding, explaining, “It’s something I enjoy outside of School, particularly the agility it encourages through balance and the different skills you need to be able to skateboard well. It’s not like riding a bike, there’s so much you can learn and do.” He also shared, “I’m hoping to improve my skateboarding generally.” So perhaps he’s hoping to win a trophy for himself one day!

Creating his trophy from metal, Xander explained that he started his design using a sheet of paper, drawing and cutting out what he visualised the trophy to look like as an end product – a person on a skateboard. He added,

“Once you’ve got it drawn out on paper you can cut it out and really see how it should look in the metal. I used a sheet of metal, and did the same thing – drew it out and then cut it using a drill and hand saw – I did slip a couple of times so had to start again, but it’s all part of the process.” Talking about the safety required he said, “You have to be very careful when cutting metal, when using the tools – we’re taught how to use them in a safe way so we don’t injure ourselves or others. You also have to be especially careful with the edges of metal when you cut it, they can be very sharp. I spent quite a lot of time filing them down so they weren’t dangerous.”

Cecily’s trophy represents skiing, one of her favourite sports, and we joined her as she prepared to spot weld.

“In the beginning I had netball, running and skiing in my mind. I really like skiing, it’s a great sport and I participate outside of School, and enjoy on holidays too. In the beginning, once I’d decided which sport I wanted to focus on, I thought about how the trophy would look. It was really important to me that it represented the movement you get in skiing, so I had a few ideas which I cut out of paper before deciding on the final design – that part of the process was really helpful.” She continued, “I’ve used a lot of different tools and skills so far for my trophy design, learning how to safely and accurately cut metal has been one of the most important parts, along with learning how to bend the metal into the shape you want it to be. I’ve used the saw and the drill and today I’m going to be spot welding parts of the metal together. I’m excited but also anxious, but we’re being taught how to use the welder safely, probably the most important part!”

Cecily and Xander both plan to keep their trophies at home once they’re complete, but there are several weeks left of the project and so they’re taking their time to perfect their metalwork and then finally decorate it in a style that suits.

Speaking about the project, Mrs Cracknell Head of Design commented,

“This project has been taught at Woodbridge School for more than twenty five plus years! We have OWs who visit with their own children who remember making their own metal trophy. The reason we have continued to teach this project in Year 7 is because of the vast range of skills that are acquired in metal work by creating just one outcome. We have, however, in the last two years made the addition of the sporting medal, to ensure that students have an extended experience of the subject, and in this instance it is the use of computer aided design and manufacture. Students use Adobe Illustrator (industry standard software), to design their medals and convert files for our department laser cutter which creates a highly accurate and quality finish.”

Once these trophies are completed they’ll take up pride of place in our students’ homes; something from School they can share with their friends and family, and look back on as their design skills improve and change throughout School.

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