Fighting Back Against COVID-19

One innovative teacher from Ian Ramsey Church of England Academy in Stockton-upon-Tees has risen to the COVID-19 challenge, matching their teaching speciality to that of the front line needs of our NHS by designing and building more than 120 ‘full-face-shields’ using materials and equipment readily available within the school.

Mrs Emma Henshaw, the schools ‘Head of Design & Technology’ decided to work on a design of face-shield that could be fabricated using the tools that the school uses for teaching and that could be easily produced.

Emma said: “With so many front line medical professionals working so hard to care for and treat people with COVID19, we wanted to help in any way we could. The NHS need personal protective equipment in order to stay safe and save lives. 

“Face shields have been in high demand but short supply. The face shield needs to be lightweight, comfortable for all users and provide additional protection to the face mask and goggles already being worn. 

“This meant that the headband needed to be flexible, adjustable and hygienic. A 3 part strap was laser cut using polypropylene and slotted together making assembly and material management quick and efficient. The clear visor was then cut by hand, hole punched and slotted onto the tabs on the front band. The front band sits away from the face allowing enough room for goggles and a face mask. The materials can be sanitised repeatedly to ensure the face shields can be used again and again.”

Initially, the face-shields were offered to North Tees NHS Hospital and a couple of doctors surgeries, but word soon got out and other hospitals have been in touch and want to accept the school’s help in getting hold of the face-shields for their use in keeping front line staff safe whilst working to battle the COVID-19 pandemic.

Emma added: “Never before have we been able to work on such an important real-life project that can make a difference in our local community. Many of the 120 face shields has been given to North Tees hospital, with the remainder being distributed to local surgeries and clinics. A true example of design and technology in action.”

The design and technology department of Ian Ramsey Church of England Academy which is part of the Dayspring Trust teaches young people how to design and develop products and services that improve people’s lives as part of its curriculum. 

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