Aims of the subject:
“Design and Technology prepares students to participate in tomorrow’s rapidly changing technologies. They learn to think and intervene creatively to improve quality of life. The subject calls for students to become autonomous and creative problem solvers, as individuals and members of a team. They must look for needs, wants and opportunities and respond to them by developing a range of ideas and making products and systems. They combine practical skills with an understanding of aesthetics, social and environmental issues, function and industrial practices. As they do so, they reflect on and evaluate present and past design technology, its uses and effects. Through design and technology, all students can become discriminating and informed users of products, and become innovators.”
Within textiles technology, students will learn:
- Perseverance and the careful management of time and resources and a sense of responsibility when putting theory into action.
- Intellectual and creative abilities that will enable students to complete a design project from its conception to its conclusion.
- How to relate this experience to commerce and industry and to understand how design and technology play a large part in our lives.
- How to develop a range of designing and making skills whilst reflecting on current technologies and the history of design.
- Development of a range of communication skills which are central to design, making, evaluation and problem-solving.
- Development of the curiosity, enquiry, initiative, ingenuity, resourcefulness and technological awareness.
- How to choose and use the correct tools and equipment safely and to increase their confidence
- To teach how to measure and cut correctly a wide range of resistant and semi-resistant materials.
- To teach manipulative skills and be encouraged to develop a three-dimensional understanding.
- To stimulate the exercising of value judgments of an aesthetic, technical, economic and moral nature.
Key Stage 3
Within Key Stage 3 Design and Technology we operate a rotation system that allows groups of students to move within the different areas of the faculty on a 9 week rotation. During year 7, students will focus on a project called ‘Bags from around the world’. Students research into a wide range of cultures and focus on specific user needs when designing. Students are involved in an iterative design process where they will be constantly evaluating their work and the work of others, past and present. They learn how to make 3D models of their products before they make them to aid this.
Students learn about properties of polyester and cotton fabrics so that they have an understanding of basic materials used in textiles.
Students are introduced to 2D design software to create acrylic buttons and use of the laser cutter to make stencils linked to the theme of culture and the sewing machines to produce their bags.
In year 8, students work on a project called ‘Best of British’. The initial theme of Best of British is introduced to students. Students then focus research into what makes us British? Students are encouraged to design products for a specific user and to cater their designs towards this market, exploring their specific needs and wants. Students constantly check that their designs meet the brief and specification set by them at the start of the project. Views of intended users are collected and used to feed into design tasks making the design process user centred at all times.
In year 9, students will spend approximately 6 months in their two chosen areas of DT. During this time, Year 9 textiles students will focus on four main projects. The projects aim to prepare students for GCSE textiles so that they have the needed skills to take the subject further. Students will study three main areas in textiles in Year 9.
‘Skills and techniques’ Students are introduced to a range of textiles techniques to widen their understanding of manufacture and decorative skills. These skills will be added to students portfolio and used within the rest of year 9 to produce more technical making outcomes. Skills learnt: Dye methods, Block printing, Dye sublimation, quilting
‘Ugly doll project’ This project is focusses on students learning how to produce more technical textiles products light up. Students are given a specific user for this project and they are expected to research thoroughly to make sure that their product is suitable for the target market. Furthering their practical skills, student’s designs are more demanding and so the skills involved in making the products are much more demanding than in Year 7 and 8. Practical skills: Use of sewing machine, template and 3D modelling, embroidery machine, E textiles circuit, Dye methods, Block printing, Dye sublimation, quilting
‘Bag for life project’ This project focusses on ethical issues within the textiles industry. Students are given a design brief with a local scenario and are expected to research into the impact that the textiles industry has on our environment. Through this in depth research, students will be expected to design and make a product that meets the design brief accurately and also encourages them to consider the responsibilities of designers and how we can design for a ‘circular economy’
Students are also expected to have an understanding of components and fastenings
Practical skills: Use of sewing machine, template and 3D modelling, embroidery machine,hand embroidery, beading, applique, Dye methods, Block printing, Dye sublimation, quilting
CAM focus: embroidery machine
Key Stage 4
Students that study GCSE Textiles are taught within specialist workshop environments that embrace traditional and modern tools, machines and processes. Students work with a variety of materials to design, manufacture, test and evaluate the products of tomorrow, allowing them to develop practical ability as well as their problem solving skills. Investigating, planning and preparing work will account for approximately 60 % of the students’ time and will cover the social and environmental aspects of Design and Technology within society and the impact that materials and manufacturing has upon their lives. Students will use ICT and Computer Aided Design and Manufacture to both develop and enhance their work within the subject.
Students develop a working knowledge of textiles materials and components appropriate to modeling, prototyping and manufacturing. Students are also taught how to analyse textile products and processes. They consider how Design and Technology affects the manufacturer, user and environment, and the importance of health and safety issues. Pupils learn how to make garments with a professional finish and utilise their knowledge and understanding of new technologies and current environmental issues to generate innovative design solutions.
GCSE Design and Technology allows students:
To develop their creativity, which enables them to be inspired, moved and challenged by the pursuit of better design solutions.
To be independent learners, and develop higher order thinking skills such as analytical thinking which feed into many other subject areas as a transferable skill.
To become discriminative users of products within a consumerist society
Key Stage 5
Students have the opportunity to develop skills using various techniques and equipment. During the year students compile a coursework portfolio based on a number of themed projects. All students will are required to support their practical work with a workbook documenting the progress of their projects through written and visual elements. Students are taught how to research other artists’ work to support their own ideas and practice.
Students use practical exploration, contextual studies and analytical/ evaluative skills. Through visual experimentation research and annotation, students create a final textile items based on various themed projects. Each student is expected to produce individual work that draws on the knowledge and skills they have gained using a sketchbook and portfolio of test pieces/images to explain the development of ideas.
Skills and techniques learnt on the course:
- awareness of the elements of Textile Design, such as shape, colour, texture, pattern, harmony, contrast and/or repetition
- appreciation of the relationship of form and function and, where applicable, the constraints of working to a brief
- understanding of a variety of textile methods, such as fabric printing (mono-printing, relief printing and/or screen printing), tie-dye, batik, spraying, transfer and fabric construction and stitching (appliqué, patchwork, padding, quilting and/or embroidery).
Knowledge and Understanding
Candidates must show knowledge and understanding of:
- how ideas, feelings and meanings can be conveyed and interpreted in images and artefacts created in the chosen area(s) of Textile Design
- historical and contemporary developments and different styles and genres
- how images and artefacts relate to social, environmental, cultural and/or ethical contexts, and to the time and place in which they were created
- continuity and change in different styles, genres and traditions relevant to Textile Design
- the working vocabulary and specialist terminology which is relevant to their chosen area(s) of Textile Design.
We have a well-equipped department which responds to the ever changing demands of the subject. The staff that specialise in GCSE textiles both practice the subject outside of school and have industry experience and a real passion for the subject, they are constantly updating their use of equipment, tools and processes as their professional practice feeds into their everyday teaching.
Within classes students are taught individually, in groups or as a class when appropriate. It is recognised that through group work co-operation, effective learning and understanding are promoted; but to ensure differentiation, matching and assessment children may work individually or as a class.
Students are encouraged to attend enrichment opportunities within the department. In KS3 we offer a variety of clubs with a focus on developing skills, knowledge and understanding alongside building on student’s enjoyment of the subject.
At Key stage 3, we run a yearly trip to Aerospace in Coventry. This allows our students to gain an insight into the link between science and technology and how cutting edge technology is used to create clothing for the armed forces.
This year to engage students even more with the subject, putting it into a real life context, we hope to have a textiles artist visit the school. We are hoping that students will gain a real insight to the textile industry and draw all of their subject knowledge together to understand how designers work in the real world. This is an exciting opportunity for students at our school and students will really benefit from this experience.
In KS4 we try and inspire our students at all times in and out of lessons. They are all given the opportunity to visit the clothes show live at the Birmingham NEC This is a great opportunity for pupils to use what they see whilst on the trip as inspiration within their design work when they go back to school. There are also university stands on site so that students can see examples of degree level work.
Last year students that attended the trip also went to a seminar lead by British fashion and style legend Caryn Franklin. The seminar was really informative and gave students a real insight into the expectations of industry employers
Students are also invited to see work created by a visiting textile artist so that they can see the design process used in an industrial context. This experience is invaluable to our students.
Our Year 11 students are also encouraged to further their understanding of GCSE textiles in their own time in the extra-curricular clubs that are run by the textiles department. The after school clubs allow students to spend focused time with teachers continuing to develop their subject knowledge and skills.
In KS5 students are involved in a number of extra-curricular activities. We run a trip to the stitch and hobby craft show, to give students inspiration for current and future projects. There are a wide range of textile artists that exhibit at the show and there are live demonstrations all day showing how these artists produce their work. These workshops are an invaluable experience and a great way to enthuse students.
Students are directly involved in workshops with a working textile artist that comes into school to showcase their work and delivers a session with the A level students extending their practical skills and getting inspiration form a professional in the industry.
We visit London every year and go to the Victoria and Albert museum. We have also visited the Fashion and Textiles museum whilst in London as well. The fashion exhibitions that are ran by the V and A museum display textiles work made by some of the world’s top fashion designers thus giving our students an array of work to use as primary research for their projects.
We have also visit local museums such as Bilston art gallery to see examples of textiles work made locally. As a department we feel that students need to be made aware of the work of as many designers as possible as it puts their work into context and allows students to make connections between areas of the discipline.
Textiles Teaching Staff
Mrs. A. Draper – Head of Subject
Miss J. Sidaway – Textiles Teacher