Biomimicry & making your own scratch cards!

Many thanks to those of you who responded so quickly to Twenty Twenty’s request for boys who might be interested in their new CBBC programme on fashion. I know several of you have boys who had phone interviews and that others also went for interviews in London. Fingers crossed that one of the boys is lucky enough to be chosen and hopefully we will be able to follow their progress. Several of you have said the week has been exciting and motivating for your boys even if they are not ultimately successful which is great news.  

For All Budding Young Fashion Designers

If news of the t.v. programme has fired any of your students up it could be a good time to get them thinking about entering a competition. This one is a great one for budding fashion designers

Reminder About The Live Online Q&A Session By Kitronik 

Are you a D&T teacher with questions about electronics? Are you a textiles teacher who wants to use electronics in textiles products by your find the whole thing confusing?

Kitronik are a Nottingham based company who sell electronic resources (amongst other things) and it is their products I sell on my website and which I use in my courses. Kitronik will be doing a live online session with queries and advice about the resources they sell on Saturday 17th November between 10:00 - 12:00 and 12:30 - 14:30.  You can ask anything about the resources they sell whether it be textiles ones or others in their range for use in other areas of D&T. 

You don't need any special software or a camera just internet access. If you have a question you just type it in and they will answer you on the video cam. For more information visit

An Introduction To Biomimicry

Richard Hammond has a new series on how nature inspires design & design problems. It is a great introduction to biomimicry with lots of interesting examples across all areas of D&T. The first episode included a suit inspired by giraffe’s neck to stop jet pilots losing conscious when under G force and a South American butterfly with water repellent wings that inspired a water repellent finish. The first episode is available on iPlayer until 26th November and the second of the series is on BBC1 on Monday 12th November at 9pm. If you also search on You Tube you can find short bite sized chunks for some of the key bits of the programme which are great to use in lessons.

Want To Find Out More About Biomimicry?

For ideas on how to teach biomimicry across all areas of D&T including a scheme of work with PowerPoints and resources visit 

The resources are part of a package of free downloads on the Circular Economy by the Ellen MacArthur Foundation. These resources were reviewed earlier in the year by myself and a number of D&T teachers including 4 textiles teachers. They can either be used for a series of lessons or individual resources can be downloaded for one off additions to lessons you already have planned. These resources might also be useful for students to use for independent learning especially at A level (although you would need to flag up the specific resources you wanted students to use as there are a lot).

There are quite a few resources and you will need to put time on one side to go through them properly in order to use them effectively. They will need adapting but are an excellent starting point and could be a useful addition to schemes of work. They are particularly useful if you know little about this area as there are lots of examples and background information along with teaching ideas.  

Make Your Own T&L Scratch Cards!

I came across this blog that shows you how to make your own scratch cards. Unfortunately this isn’t a way of fixing the lottery but it could be a way of adding a bit of fun to your lessons (although it might take a bit of time to prepare so it would need planning). The scratch cards would make good plenary exercises as part of self assessment with students picking from multiple choice answers and the scratch card bit revealing if they are correct or not in their choice.  If anyone tries this out let me know if it works!

Find out more at

Useful Link

Take a look at Practical Actions free resources to download and send for

Outstanding T&L in D&T

If you are interested in new ideas on teaching and learning strategies for D&T teachers (not just textiles) this week is your last chance to book the course that takes place on Tuesday 20th November. Those of you who have enquired about how I use strategies such as Bloom’s Taxonomy and Speed Designing will find this course of particular interest.  There will be lots of free resources for you to take away ready to use immediately in your classroom. Visit

Textiles Workshops at Affordable Prices

If you are interested in textiles specific course don’t forget there is a workshop on Saturday 24th November called ‘See in the dark slippers’ making slippers that have electronic modules in them. At £30 this is great value for money. For more information visit

On December 1st there is a network meeting which is a 2 hour session with a chance to share ideas with other teachers as well as time to do some practical learning. The focus of this session will be on how to use some of the standard presser feet that come with machines but which you never fully understand how to use and so just stay sat in their box! Other feet will also be covered that are a good investment to buy. Examples of feet that will be covered are blind hem foot, free machine embroidery foot, rolled hem foot and zip foot. At £20 this is another great value for money course. For more information visit

Free Photo Download

This week's image is of a traditional hand powered flat bed knitting machine. This can be contrasted to the mechanised circular knitting machine previously offered as a free download (if you didn’t download it see the blog for 1st October). For more ideas on knitting visit the blog I write as a designer maker at  

Click on the image to download it.  

All images & text are the copyright of Julie Boyd & can’t be sold or reproduced in any way without permission

Click here to view a summary of blog resources indexed to help you find resources more easily  

To view other blogs I write on coaching, education & those interested in my work as a designer maker click on the links on the side bar

© Boyd Education  2012   text, images & ideas on this website are the copyright of Julie Boyd & may not be copied or reproduced without permission.. All rights Reserved.