Entering competitions, thinking creatively & 21st Century knitting†

Thanks To Everyone Who Came To The Textiles Open Day


Thanks to all the teachers who attended the textiles Open Day on Saturday. It was good to network with colleagues and to put faces to many of the names on my mailing list. I hope you found the ideas and free resources from the day useful. I know several of you have emailed me to say you are already planning to use some of the ideas this week and that makes the hard work preparing for the day worth while.†


The aim is that there will be a similar network meeting once a term with the next one being at the beginning of December (visit†http://www.textileshotline.co.uk/workshops/teacher-workshops.html†for more information).†

IMG_1998IMG_2649 _Snapseed

A particularly big thank you to Groby Community College and Lutterworth College in Leicestershire who very kindly lent me GCSE and A level work which every one agreed was inspirational and really helpful in supporting teachers to understand grade boundaries and what is required. Several members of the public also saw the work when the display was being set up as they were on other courses at the venue and they were amazed the products had been made by young people.

Competition To Enter

I was once told by the organiser of a big national competition linked to D&T that people often assume it isn’t worthwhile entering competitions as they don’t stand a chance of winning. The organiser said this was often not the case and that entries were sometimes relatively low in number even for competitions with good prizes. They said it was always worth having a go particularly if preparing an entry wasn’t too time consuming or if entering fitted in with something that was already being done.†

The impact of winning a competition, or even in being a runner up can be considerable. As well as the obvious benefits of any prize there is a real prestige attached to winning most competitions and it can really help the department profile within the school and with the community and parents. It is also excellent for the students concerned and something that sets them apart on their CV.†

Competitions also make a great focus for lessons helping students see a value in things they are doing. If you can’t include competition work into an already tight curriculum think about using them with particular target groups perhaps in after school workshops e.g. G&T students, workshops targeting under performing students, STEM workshops.


Take a look at the Alu D&T Challenge for a competition students can enter this term. This is more of a product design competition than textiles so it will be of interest to a range of D&T teachers. As well as the competition there are a range of teaching and learning resources on the site.†www.aludtchallenge.co.uk

clothes show

If you are looking for something more textiles based there are a range of competitions on the Clothes Show website†http://www.clothesshowlive.com/page.cfm/link=107

Get Students Thinking Creatively

Take a look at the blog I write as a textiles designer maker to see some weird and wonderful ideas that are slightly odd but very creative. Use the images to prompt students to think creatively themselves. This could be a good lesson or homework task. Visit the ideas at†www.denimduck.com†

More Behaviour Tips

As the start of a new academic year usually sees teachers setting clear behaviour boundaries I have been focusing on tips for behaviour management in my newsletters over the past few weeks. This focus continues in the blog on my coaching website where there is an excellent short video on how focusing on the positives rather than the negatives can impact on behaviour. Click here to visit†www.coachinghotline.co.uk

Useful Link I Have Come Across This Week

This article shows knitting in a new light - no longer is it just something your granny does. The article looks at a knitted car exhaust sleeve that can withstand temperatures up to 750 degrees celsius increasing the vehicles efficiency and protecting surrounding parts whilst allowing for greater emission efficiency control. The article is at a high level so is most suitable for A level students but this is a good article for teachers to read in order to be able to add to their own knowledge of technical textiles.


Free Photo Download


This week’s image is of a cushion radio. This is a real working radio with a soft textiles body. It can be tuned into a number of radio stations and the volume can be turned up and down. You can buy a similar radio for under £6 at†http://www.redsave.com/products/plush-radio

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

© 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.†