Developing Textiles Practical Skills

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Textiles Masterclass for KS3 & GCSE D&T

There are currently no dates planned for this course. 


You will be able to:

  • understand more about textiles content, it’s value in the curriculum and in industry, and the exciting opportunities it offers learners
  • develop textiles knowledge and skill at your own pace, with support from experienced specialists
  • consider how the broader materials content of the curriculum can be delivered through textiles without compromising on creativity
  • create resources that can be used back in the classroom to support the key stage 3 and design and technology GCSE curriculum


Would you like support with teaching the textiles content in the design and technology GCSE? Are you looking for teaching ideas to help those students who have a passion for textiles? Do you no textiles knowledge at all, or some limited knowledge but a desire to top up your skills and confidence?

This course is aimed at supporting participants to develop their textiles practical skills and theoretical knowledge and the 2 days will give you the opportunity to develop new ideas, practical outcomes and gain resources for teaching design and technology at key stage 3 and GCSE (particularly the core content).

  • ideas for teaching the textiles parts of the design and technology GCSE, core content. e.g. woven, knitted and non-woven fabrics, basic fibre information. This will include easy to deliver practical activities and ideas for participants who want to go beyond the essentials.
  • ideas for teaching core content learning that has previously not been in textiles specifications e.g. levers and mechanisms, learning on woods, metals, polymers and paper and board. We will show how this learning is relevant to textiles and how it can be delivered in an engaging way.

  • opportunities to develop basic textiles skills e.g. using a sewing machine, the use of other basic equipment, and carrying out basic construction techniques when making very simple textiles products.
  • a chance to review your level of skill & knowledge in textiles along with resources that support your further development back in the classroom.
  • ideas for developing careers content for lessons, in particular, challenging stereotypes, awareness of the textiles industry and ideas for engaging boys in textiles projects.
  • Over the two days, you will create a variety of samples to use back in your classroom and gain resources and ideas that can be put into practice straight away.

The course is suitable for participants who have attended previous STEM Learning design and technology courses, building on previous learning and introducing new content. The day is suitable for complete beginners, as well as anyone with basic knowledge who wants to further develop their confidence and skills in textiles, particularly for the delivery of KS3 and the core content of the GCSE.

What Delegates say about this course

Opened my eyes to what is possible within textiles and helped me think about how I bring textiles knowledge into my RM lessons to encourage curiosity, experimentation and possibilities. 

Probably the most useful D&T course I’ve been on since I can remember and has saved saved me lots of time and inspired me.

I liked the freedom of choice the course offered me, allowing me to focus on areas that were particularly relevant to my needs. 

The course covered so many relevant, useful and inspiring ideas for how to teach the core D&T spec through practical 'hidden learning' opportunities working with textiles. I feel refreshed and full of ideas, thank you.

There were lots of interesting activities to use to cover the theory of the core element of the course which I think our students would gain much more from than just being talked to. Being able to decide which activities best suited my needs was brilliant. 

Back to Basics - Develop Your Textiles Practical Skills (intermediate level)

There are currently no dates planned for this course. 

A hands on, fast paced day that will increase your confidence and skill in textiles construction techniques no matter what your starting point. 

What delegates say about this course: 

Very helpful with things I can use immediately next week. Would definitely recommend to others.

Brilliant. Thanks to Julie who shared every detail so carefully and gave great support.

Very flexible in terms of meeting people’s needs – thank you

Excellent pace & very engaging. Being able to create useful resources that I don’t get the time to create.

I learnt a lot in a short space of time and everything was linked back to teaching. A great day!

Lots of hands on doing. Fast paced but you were still able to work at your own pace & get help when you needed it.

Back to Basics - An Introduction to Textiles Practical Skills for Non Specialist Teachers (beginners)   

There are currently no dates planned for this course.

  • There will be a maximum of 8 delegates on this course as the aim is to give a very personalised experience
  • A course for non specialists with no previous experience of textiles or using a sewing machine. The course assumes delegates have little or no knowledge of using a machine along with little or no knowledge of other textiles basics. The focus is on the basic knowledge and skills a non specialist might need to help them feel more confident in a textiles classroom.
  • This course might be particularly suitable for delegates who teach other areas of D&T, and whose department are taking a ‘product design’ approach to the curriculum, and who therefore require a basic grounding in textiles. 
  • The course might also be suitable for others working with young people in other environments but bear in mind the main focus will be on the KS3, 4 and 5 curriculum
  • The course aims to introduce what textiles is and includes a brief summary of what best practice textiles at KS3, 4 and 5 looks like. Note this is a very brief overview only and aims to give delegates general information that will help them understand what textile is and the recommended approach to teaching textiles. 
  • The course will introduce basic hand held equipment used in a textiles classroom as well as the use of a sewing machine and an overlocker
  • Most of the day will be spent doing machine based practical work, including creating samples that can be used back in school
  • This is more than just a ‘how to sew’ course as it will focus on what delegates need to know to be able to teach textiles in a classroom environment
  • Content will include using basic hand held equipment, threading a sewing machine, trouble shooting on the machine, creating basic seams and other basic techniques (note that as this is a course for non specialists the focus will be on basic techniques and there may not be time to cover more complex techniques such as zips). Some basic hand techniques will also be covered. There will also be the opportunity to use an overlocker. The number and type of techniques covered will depend on the level of skill and confidence of the delegates. 
  • You will be shown a range of technique samples to help you understand how textiles items are constructed. You will produce your own samples of a selection of these techniques. 
  • The focus will mainly be on construction techniques in textiles but some reference will also be made to machine based decorative techniques
  • Brief reference will be made to the KS3, 4 and 5 curriculum e.g. industrial references, controlled assessment, links to a wider product design approach to D&T teaching
  • Brief reference will also be made to suitable projects delegates might introduce to students after doing the course
  • There will also be tips & ideas on handling practical lessons, behaviour management as well as tips on how to embed outstanding teaching and learning into practical lessons
  • Note this course is not the same as the other skills courses listed on this page but it may have some content that is the same or similar

Back to Basics: Higher Level Textiles Practical Skills in Textiles (advanced level course) 

There are currently no dates planned for this course. 

  • There will be a maximum of 8 delegates on this course as the aim is to give a very personalised experience
  • This is a higher level skills course for teachers, support staff and technicians working at KS3, 4 and 5 and it assumes teachers already have some textiles knowledge
  • This is an opportunity to spend the day practising your skills, asking questions, and getting tips. The aim is to develop your understanding of using a commercial pattern and self made patterns as well as developing your knowledge of product construction. 
  • The course aims to top up your knowledge and develop your confidence and skill. It is aimed at anyone with some experience of textiles who can set up and thread a sewing machine, and who has a reasonable understanding of a selection of seams, shaping techniques, fastenings and edge finishes. The course is an ideal follow up to the intermediate course listed on this page as it builds on these techniques. Ideally you will have used an overlocker before but this isn’t essential. 
  • The day will focus on using a commercial pattern and making a product (note that you might not complete this product but you will be given information on how to do this at home). You will learn about e.g. pattern markings, fabric choice, fabric layouts, napped fabrics, basic adaptations to a commercial pattern, and changing techniques from the ones used on a pattern. 
  • You will make a pair of child’s shorts which will help you will develop your confidence when applying your knowledge to a real product as well as providing you will a sample project back in school. Note that completing this product will depend on how quickly you work and on the additional support you need during the day. You will however be given instructions and demonstrations on how to complete the product if you don’t finish it. 
  • Although the focus will be on making a child’s pair of shorts other textiles products will be mentioned and used as examples along with other types of garments. The course is therefore not just focused on fashion and garment outcomes. 
  • There will also be a very basic introduction to basic pattern making for non garment products e.g. bags, interior products. Taking patterns from products that already exist will be mentioned as will the use of blocks. Note that the course does not focus on drafting garment patterns from scratch although you will be given information on where to find this information if it interests you. 
  • This is more than just a ‘how to sew’ course as it focuses on teaching textiles in a classroom environment. There will be lots of tips and ideas on working with KS3, 4 and 5, including how to support students to achieve higher grades.

What delegates say about this course: 

Made me feel more confident in my ability

Well run, Julie is very helpful and understanding 

It was good being able to apply techniques to a product and seeing demonstrations on different ways of doing things. 

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