Biomimicry, apprenticeships, Chinese New Year & growth in the textiles industry


I hope everyone had a good half term. It’s a challenging term ahead with lots of coursework and Controlled Assessment deadlines coming up. Don’t forget,, if you are looking to start some low key revision at the same time, there are lots of #ThinkDo activities on my website that might be useful.  Use them as a quick ways of linking  what students are doing as part of their projects to the exam. If you are lucky enough to have students who have finished early why not get them producing some #ThinkDo resources of their own which you can later use as a whole class revision resource?

Click here for generic D&T #ThinkDo activities suitable for all materials areas 
Click here for #ThinkDo activities for textiles students


Focus on D&T:  For all D&T teachers


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If you want to find out more about biomimicry there is a great video on BBC iPlayer called Biomimetics: Designed by Nature ( It is a 30 minute programme but you can also watch it as a series of short clips. 

Features include robots, clothing that adapts to the weather, materials that absorb impact and biotechnology. It also features suggestions for activities that can be carried out in a classroom situation. The programme is only on iPlayer until 3rd March so don’t delay watching it. 

This link also has a nicely presented booklet with 14 examples of biomimicry Most of these are also the ones featured on the Ellen MacArthur website where there is a scheme of work and additional biomimicry resources

Biomimicry is one of the areas that will be featured in the KS3 training I am running later in the year. Click here for more details. 

National Centre for Craft & Design Competition


If your school is in the Lincolnshire area you might be interested in the Lincolnshire Young Designer of the Year competition run by the National Centre for Craft & Design. The competition is open to 14-19 year olds and is relevant to any discipline as long as entries have a design focus. 

Schools must have submitted an ‘Initial Interest Form’ by 15th March but entries themselves are not due in until mid April. Students could enter copies of coursework/Controlled Assessment or could create new work. 

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

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!)


This time of year there is a lot of focus on university applications but apprenticeships can get a bit forgotten as a potential next step by young people. 

March 9-13th March is National Apprenticeship Week which celebrates apprenticeships and the positive impact they have on individuals businesses and the economy. Why not raise the profile of apprenticeships through an assembly, display, tutor time work or as part of your lesson? 

Find out some key facts about apprenticeships at.

Download a resource aimed at helping schools raise the profile of apprenticeships

See videos and case studies on different apprenticeships

Find out more about apprenticeships that are available. Don’t be put off by some of the headings as there are a wide variety within each heading relevant to all D&T areas

Focus on Textiles: Back to  my roots!

Chinese New Year

Use the Chinese Year of the Sheep (or goat depending on your viewpoint) as an excuse for a bit of textiles revision! Take a look at the new section on my website on wool and hair fibres. There is a ‘Let’s Learn’ section, an ‘Example Question’ section as well as #ThinkDo activities related to fibres and fabrics.

If you want to find out more about how to use the #ThinkDo and other resources to engage students in revision, come along to one of my revision courses (GCSE 9th March in Nottingham & A level 21st April in London)

You could also link the Chinese Year of the Sheep to felting and how the properties of wool are a key factor in the success of this technique. Why not also link this to my embellisher competition (which is basically a felting machine) and get students to try and win one for their school? Their entry could use felting techniques or this could just be a way of introducing the competition. 

Click here to find out more about the competition. 

Textiles Industry Statistics 


The Alliance Report is a new report about the textiles industry that has recently been published. It has some interesting background information on the industry, especially if you are looking for statistics, and also predicts significant potential growth within the  industry in the next 20 years. Amongst other things, the report raises the issue of the major skills gap that exists to meet the growth in the industry, and it talks about the increase in areas such as technical textiles as career areas. You can download the original report from It is very long and heavy going in places but you can read a short summary I have done at This information is great if you are trying to challenge negative perceptions of the industry and to raise the profile of textiles in your department. 

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) NOT LONG LEFT TO BOOK FOR 9TH MARCH COURSE

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

Basic Introduction to E-textiles for Beginners (Fri 24 April, Nottingham)

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Back to Basics - An Introduction to Textiles Practical Skills for Beginners (Wed 8th July, Nottingham)

The Textiles Teacher Event (Sat 3 October, Nottingham)

Free Photo Download

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Vegetable peeler & sharpener. Rethink & resize an everyday product. What new use could it have?

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