3D printing, senior leadership, & a second industrial revolution

If you have received the email newsletter for 15/7/15 titled New GCSE & A Level qualifications for D&T, famous failures, & end of term textiles clips the links that take you to the full newsletters are incorrect and take you to this page instead of the correct one. Click here to access the correct page. 

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It has been another week of big news for D&T with the first teaching of the new GCSEs being put back a year to 2017 (first exam in 2019) as it was felt more time was needed because of the significant changes to the qualification.  See the announcement on the D&TA website http://goo.gl/U3jgLm Note this does not apply to the new Food GCSE qualification, which will go ahead as planned with the first teaching in 2016. For more information on the new GCSE Food qualification join the Food Teachers Centre Facebook group run by Louise Davies, or attend one of the events run by Louise (visit http://foodteacherscentre.co.uk for more details). 

Focus on D&T:  For all D&T teachers

3D Printing

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3D printing has become the big discussion point over the last couple of years with its potential for innovation, as well as some saying it has the potential to be misused. As part of their exhibition called ‘3D: Printing the Future’ the Museum of Science and Industry in Manchester has a range of online resources, including a series of videos and handouts, that examine some of the myths and realities about 3D printing. The exhibition itself is on until 19th April 2015. Visit http://goo.gl/xiNHJs for more information. 

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My husband, Paul Boyd, who also works as a D&T consultant, has been working with schools in the UK as part of a government initiative to use 3D printers. Several of the schools have  requested a tutorial that can be used with iPads and Paul has created a video showing how to use 123D Design on the iPad to create a model. You can watch the video on You Tube and it is also on my website 

http://bit.ly/1zK2hzJ - 3D printed shapes with tiny hinges that create a flexible material suitable for use in garments

Robotics & Biomimicry 


Robots vs Animals is a great, fun website where engineers and zoologists collaborate to explore the ingenuity of engineering and nature. The site has some great resources on robots and biomimicry, as well as a competition for primary and secondary pupils. The prizes include 5 Raspberry Pi Robots and the chance to have the winning designs exhibited as part of the Festival of Nature 2015 in Bristol (closing date 18th May)

For more information on resources and the competition visit http://robotsvsanimals.net

Course Updates: For All D&T Teachers

Click on the links below to find out more or click here to see the full course calendar

Maximising Progression in D&T using Higher Order Thinking Skills (Wed 25 Feb, Birmingham)

New KS3 Curriculum: Maximising Progression in D&T (Wed 13 May, York & Fri 3 July, London)

Focus on T&L & Leadership:  For all D&T teachers (& other subjects too!)

Senior Leadership


As someone who used to be a senior leader myself I know that both the application process and the role itself can feel quite daunting. 

If you are considering a career move into senior leadership take a look at this guide by SecEd with tips and advice on application forms and interviews http://goo.gl/yVhsTk

If you are already in an senior leadership role, and are looking for support and the opportunity to share resources, take a look at the new ‘School Leaders’ closed Facebook group set up by Richard Bond. Visit http://on.fb.me/1EwphEW to join the group. 


Focus on Textiles: Back to  my roots!

A Second Industrial Revolution

Just before Christmas my blog focused on the challenges that face textiles on the curriculum, and how we must be prepared to promote our subject and embrace new ideas (click here to see the original blog).

One of the myths I challenged in the blog is anyone who says the textiles industry is dying. This is completely untrue, and some of the most exciting and revolutionary technology around at the moment, as well as what will exist in the future, is textiles based, with the UK being acknowledged as world leaders. Like any other industry, it is changing and evolving, and just because it isn’t the same as 50 years ago doesn’t mean it is dying. 


Professor Dias, from Nottingham Trent University, supports the importance of the modern textiles industry, claiming the development of smart and electronic textiles is a ‘second industrial revolution’. This short video clip is great for showing your students the continued importance of the industry and the potential for its future. It might even help you justify some funding bids to help you add e-textiles to your curriculum! http://bit.ly/1CG1KzN

http://goo.gl/pajZRQ - This interview also illustrates how the industry in this country is changing and how new technologies are supporting this development. 

Sustainable & Recycled Textiles

Take a look at these links on sustainability and recycling:

http://bit.ly/1CG1KzN - a company who create materials woven from plastic bags & then use the material for a range of products

http://www.ecouterre.com/?p=102307 - using textiles waste to reinforce buildings against earthquakes

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http://goo.gl/qYT4kW - H&M’s approach to sustainability and the environment. H&M also have an in store leaflet on sustainability so get students to look out for it when they next go shopping

Course Updates: For All D&T Textiles Teachers

Click on the links below to find out more or click here to see the full course calendar

GCSE Textiles Revision: Preparing for the Written Exam (Mon 9 Mar, Nottingham & Tues 26 May, Nottingham)

Back to Basics: Developing Your Textiles Practical Skills (Thurs 7 May, Nottingham)

Introduction to A level Textiles (Fri Thurs 2nd July, London)

A Level Product Design Textiles: Developing Key Knowledge and Skills for Units 1 & 3 (Tues 9 June, York)

Maximising Progression & Developing Exam Technique in A Level Product Design Textiles (Tues 21 April, London)

KS3 Textiles: Planning an Outstanding & Engaging Curriculum (Mon 18th May, Nottingham)

Basic Introduction to E-textiles for Beginners (
Mon 20 April, Nottingham)

Basic & More Advanced E-Textiles (Including Basic Programming) (Sat 6 June, Nottingham)

Advanced Programmable E-textiles: Meeting the Electronics Requirements of the KS3 Curriculum (Mon 6 July, Nottingham)

STEM in Textiles: Integrating Smart, Modern and Electronic Textiles into  your Curriculum (Sat 7 Feb, Nottingham)

STEM in Textiles: Using Maths to Inspire & Develop Your Textiles Curriculum (Mon 29 June, Nottingham)

The Textiles Teacher Event (Sat 3 October, Nottingham)

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