Woodworking in Schools: Canada VS Australia - West Wind Hardwood

Paul Fieldwick, teacher of Design and Technology at Halls Head Community College in Australia has given us an inside look at his curriculum and inspiring teaching style.

Here’s what he had to say about his student’s work:

Year 8 Wood and Materials Design

We are a typical government school in Western Australia catering for students from Years 8 – 12 (13 – 17 years old) when students join us we obviously start with the basics of measuring, marking out, hand skills, and of course safety. I tell the students that “machines do not have a conscious, they will not let go just because you are screaming in agony. They will keep spinning until part of you comes off” I usually follow this up with a couple of gory posters and stories of kids getting their hair caught in the drill press etc. My aim is to scare them so they do not get complacent.

Once the students have made a couple of simple projects, including using plastics, I then introduce the design skills of sketching in oblique and orthogonal (top view, front view, and side view). For their final project they are required to design and make a pencil holder using wood and plastic. Students are required to sketch and label their design, apply approximate dimensions, and complete a cutting list.


Year 9 Wood and Materials Design

One of the projects we do in Year 9 (14 years old) is mirrored or picture frames. Students are required to design their own frame and of course build it. One of the motto’s I tell the kids is “if you stuff it up, make a feature out of it”.


This one has a Jarrah inlay. Jarrah is a West Australian native timber, very hard and resistant to the elements. We use mostly recycled Jarrah for features as it is in short supply and expensive. Unfortunately from the late 1800s the white settlers (invaders) plundered the Jarrah forests of WA
A separated frame with clear acrylic rod to gives illusion that the inside and outside are not connected
A separated frame with clear acrylic rod to gives illusion that the inside and outside are not connected


And Finally… Year 10 Wood and Materials Design

A variety of projects for this year, anything from wooden toys to end tables. What awesome work these kids from “Down Under” do!



Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published.


This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.