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Resistant Materials; GCSE; OCR
Textiles Technology; GCSE; AQA 


http://www.heatherwick.com (look under the projects menu)
http://okido.co.uk (primary parents should take up a subscription)
http://www.cfsd.org.uk (sustainable design)
http://www.openhouse.org.uk (architecture, sustainability, London)

What are we learning about?

Key Stage 4
Students have an option to study either Textiles or Resistant Materials:
• In Resistant Materials the students will be acquiring practical skills
through the completion of two projects focussing on the use of machine
manufacturing techniques and CAD CAM, the projects will be based
on themes set by the exam board and are currently “educational toys”
and “designing for a charity”.Assessment will be 60% coursework and 2
written papers in year 11.

• In Textiles students are given a variety of practical tasks through which
they develop understanding of materials, components, sewing machine
skills, construction & decorative techniques. They will produce clothing
and fashion accessories with a focus on innovative use of materials and
sustainability. Assessment is via one major coursework component worth
60% and a written exam worth 40%.
Zed Lomax; Curriculum Leader for Technology:

AQA Design & Technology: Textiles Technology.

Course Content

We study the AQA textiles Technology course. 60% of the course is assessed through controlled assessment. For this students are allowed to choose a brief and theme. The coursework takes a considerable amount of time to complete. Students have to present a 20 page portfolio of research, designs, development work and evaluations and also make a finished working product from textiles to a high standard.

40% of the course is assessed through examination. This examination covers many different topics; fibres & fabrics, finishing processes, components, design and market influences, social moral, cultural, environmental and health and safety issues, processes and manufacture, production planning and ICT. These topics will all be covered in the duration of the course. A range of revision materials can be accessed on www.kerboodle.com. The course content is extensive and study at home is essential for success.

Independent Study

The Textiles Technology GCSE is challenging both academically and in terms of the practical and design skills the students are required to develop. There are many things students can do to ensure their practical and design skills progress to the required standard:

Practice of sewing techniques at home: Whilst for many tasks specialist sewing equipment is required (sewing machines, dying and printing equipment etc.) all students should seek to develop their hand sewing skills at home as much as possible. The equipment needed to do this is minimal; a needle and some embroidery thread. School always provides material. If students have family members who have sewing skills, then we always advise them to try to get practice at home. Completing a project with the help of parents/carers, all be it something simple such as a top or a skirt would be of great help.

Visiting Museums: There are a wealth of museums and galleries in London which can inspire students when producing design work. Many are free of charge. Students should be visiting these museums frequently in order to develop their visual literacy and their knowledge of design. Favourites of the DT Department include The V&A Museum, The Design Museum, Somerset House, The Barbican and The Fashion and Textiles Museum.

Reading around the subject and analysis of textiles products: We always stress to students that now, when they look at clothes and other textiles products, they must be thinking as designers, not just consumers, really thinking about the techniques and materials that were used to make the product. Students should also seek to read about famous fashion designers (Yojhi Yamamoto, Chanel, Alexander McQueen & Missoni to name but a few) and trends from past and present times, getting their information from a variety of sources. Books from the local library have as much to offer as magazines from the newsagent.

Practice of sketching and drawing at home: Students must be able to communicate their ideas through drawing and the best way to develop drawing skills is practice! There are many inspirational fashion illustrators students can look at such as David Downtown and Eduard Erlikh. All students need to practise at home is paper and pencils. Coloured pencils and a small set of watercolours would be useful but are not essential.


Students will also receive homework regularly throughout the course. This may involve using the online revision guide, kerboodle.com for which students have a login. We also set design challenges and written exercises relating to work completed in class. When students start their coursework they will often be asked to complete assignments in their own time. If students do not have access to a computer at home then they are always welcome to use the DT department facilities after school on Thursdays.


There are many websites that can be used to aid learning in textiles:

http://www.kerboodle.com - Revision site for which students have a login
http://www.vam.ac.uk - The V&A museum website contains a wealth of information about textiles and fashion from around the world
http://stitchschool.blogspot.co.uk - Great site for learning new embroidery stitches
http://www.burdastyle.com - The Burda website has free patterns, sewing tutorials and videos and project ideas
http://www.sewing.org - Free project ideas and sewing technique factsheets
http://www.youtube.com - Youtube has a wide range of videos that demonstrate sewing techniques and ideas
http://www.trendstop.com - Trend forecasting website
http://www.ecouterre.com -  blog about sustainable fashion
http://inhabitat.com/tag/sustainable-textiles - articles about sustainable textiles
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