D&T related things to do over half term, Food Preparation & Nutrition GCSE, & exam revision links for textiles

Most schools are on half term next week and I wish everyone a well earned break. There will be no blog next week but don’t forget you can access resources and ideas from previous blogs via the blog section on the website. 

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Most of you will know that I run my own courses for D&T teachers but you may not be aware that I also do a small number for a few training companies. Textiles teachers in the London and Manchester area might be interested in an Osiris course running on 12th March in Manchester, and 26th March in London called ‘Leading Textiles’. The closing date for both courses is very soon, particularly for the Manchester one on 12th March, so if you are interested contact Osiris as soon as possible. More details at http://goo.gl/FCsNqN

Focus on D&T:  For all D&T teachers

D&T Related Things to do Over Half Term

Visit the Science museum in London to see a number of exhibitions including:

  • 'Engineer your Future’ - what engineers do and careers in engineering (on until 16/12/17)
  • ‘Cravings: Can Your Food Control You?’ - explores how food affects your body, brain and eating habits e.g. how holding a bowl rather than placing it on a table can make you eat less, how the material cutlery is made from changes the taste of food. Although this has a food related exhibition there are lots of implications for product design and designers generally.


Visit Glasgow and find out about Rennie Mackintosh:


Click here to see a summary of other places to visit over half term (make sure you check with the venue before visiting)

New Food GCSE Released


The content of the new GCSE food qualification has been published along with the release of the new name 'Food Preparation and Nutrition'. It is now down to the exam boards to submit their qualifications in line with this content for first teaching in September 2016. See the details at http://goo.gl/F00KhH. Keep an eye on the Food Teachers Centre Facebook group as there is always lots of great support and information on there relevant to the changes. 

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!)

Take a look at how the Food team at King’s School in Germany created 'takeaway bags’ in response to a snow day closing the school. The team didn’t want year 7 to miss out on their food lesson so each student received the ingredients and instructions to make the product at home (the school pay for ingredients). Students then photographed the product they made and brought them into school the following week along with feedback. 

This team are keen to develop this idea as a regular activity e.g. as a way of approaching G&T activities for both practical and non practical activities.

Click here to see more about this idea from Mandy Florence and the team at King’s School (originally seen on the Food Teachers Centre Facebook group

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Focus on Textiles: Back to  my roots!

Exam Revision

I know lots of you will be thinking about exam revision over half term. Below are some links that might be useful. Don’t forget there is revision information on my website for textiles students at www.textileshotline.co.uk. There is also still time to book onto the GCSE revision course on 9th March in Nottingham (click here for more details)

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http://wp.me/pNEmL-1iyR - suit that Pharrell Williams wore to the Grammys made out of 3M reflective fabric which appears to change colour when flash photographs are taken. This is a brilliant use of a high tech material in a main stream product. 

http://goo.gl/Iiz49X - Pharrell Williams collaboration with Adidas on a clothing collection 

http://goo.gl/8TO0cX - Tommy Hilfiger clothing with solar panels

http://goo.gl/kNhGWO - video on Pauline Vandongen, a designer who works with wearable solar panels (the website also looks at the designer’s other work)

http://goo.gl/jtxcrP - website on the wearable solar work that Pauline Vandongen is doing. It would be good to use the solar clothing in these links as inspiration for students to do their own designs. There are significant design challenges when working with solar panels, as quite a few a needed, and they arent particularly attractive, so it would be interesting to see how creative students can be in designing usable products that are also attractive

http://www.illuminatedcouture.com - company who produce quirky e-textiles products. I particularly like the men’s pocket squares. 

http://bbc.in/1zZ380P - short animation along with a detailed article about what happens to your clothes when you donate them to charity. This article might generate some interesting discussions, especially for A level (via @DrABrooks @lucysiege).


If your exam board is AQA there is information relevant to the AQA pre-release paper on the ‘Let’s Learn’, ‘#ThinkDo’ and ‘Example Questions’ sections of www.textileshotline.co.uk.  I can’t be specific about the most relevant links as this is an open blog that anyone can read and full details of the pre-release can’t be given until 1st March. There are also several relevant boards on my Pinterest pages

Embellisher Machine Competition

I have had a couple of queries about my embellisher competition so I thought it would be useful to clarify some points:

  • A student entry is made up of one triangle NOT a string of triangles made into a length of bunting. Students can enter as many times as they wish but they must NOT join their entries together nor should triangles from classes be sewn together. Just post me the individual triangles. 
  • You can submit entries at any point up to 24th July and entries can be sent as one parcel or as students make them. The only requirement is that each triangle must have a completed application form. I cant confirm receipt of parcels so make sure you post them so they are signed for if you want acknowledgement they have arrived.
  • The triangle template on the website is a PDF and should be printed as an A4 page. If your printer is set to ‘scale to fit’ it might print the triangle larger than it should be so check your settings. To help you check the size the triangle has a top edge that measures 19.5cm with 2 sides measuring 19cm.

Click here to see more about the competition  

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)

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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#ThinkDo Microfibre sports towel. What is a microfibre? Why might it be used for a sports towel? Take a look at the product at this link to help you http://goo.gl/E3uatF. Find out more about microfibres here

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