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Introducing Kate Finley

Kate Finlay is Head of D&T at Hethersett Academy, a secondary school in Norfolk.  Kate also works as a subject specialist for the Inspiration Trust, working with primary and secondary teachers, supporting curriculum, supporting with resourcing and promoting the subject. Kate also delivers the Initial Teacher Training course for the National Institute of Teachers, has worked with the Royal Academy of Engineering as a Teacher Coordinator and you can follow her department work on X @Made_in_heth_ac

This session is slightly different in format to the other sessions, Kate has lifted this classroom to deliver a raw and authentic approach from her classroom and will guide you through the skills and knowledge you need to deliver engaging and practical focused lessons for Design Technology.

Session 1 – Materials for the Future – Material Families & Properties

[20 mins]

In this session, we will:

  • Question how we would categorise materials.
  • Explore how questioning of pupils can help us better understand their prior knowledge.
  • Link materials to properties and prioritising which terminology is most important.
  • Reflect on how we can use a handling collection to further broaden learning opportunities for our pupils. 

Session 2 – Natural Materials [30 mins]

In this session, we will:

  • Discuss what makes a natural material. 
  • Explore how to use Alginate to make moulds.
  • Discuss other potential natural materials that can be used in a classroom environment.
  • Create a natural material using the materials available.

Session 3 – Biodegradable Materials [30 mins]

In this session, we will:

  • Discuss what biodegradable plastic is and the application of them.
  • Explore how biodegradable plastics can be made in the classroom.
  • Research how Mycelium is used to package products
  • Research how Adidas is developing new processing of materials to make their trainers.

Evaluation – Formative Assessment [10 mins]


Do take part in community discussions with other educators who are also taking this course. Community forums can be found here.