Marmite, higher order thinking, & Christmas tree revision!

E-textiles circuit

This week I have been getting ready for an up and coming course on higher order thinking in D&T, as well as others on GCSE and A level revision. I have also been busy starting to plan some new e-textiles projects and these will be on display at my stand at the Sewing for Pleasure show at the NEC from 19th - 22nd March. Put the date in your diary and come and see me and the new projects! 

Focus on D&T:  For all D&T teachers

Innovation or Bad Taste?

marmite 4951 copy

In a previous blog I mentioned the donut burger now on sale on the menu of the Hungry Horse chain of pubs, and posed the question whether this was innovative or bad design, especially considering the current focus on healthy eating. Here is another example of innovation in food that has promoted debate this week; Marmite and Pot Noodle flavoured Easter eggs! Keep a look out in the shops for these as they might make a great taste test starter for any D&T lesson along with prompting a discussion on innovation. Click here to see one of the news article that have recently appeared about these products 

Ergonomics & Anthropometrics

Take a look at these links related to ergonomics & anthropometrics: - website on ergonomics designed for education. Includes a question and answer page on ergonomics and information on ergonomics linked to a variety of situations and products. 

ergonomics 5145 copy - includes information on careers in ergonomics, & recent news articles that include ergonomic products and design  - video on ergonomics and anthropometrics. This video is quite long but it has information on the 95th percentile as well as good ideas on questions students can ask when doing projects. It references a variety of products & design contexts including sports related products, textiles, and cars (via Creative Inspirations on Pinterest).

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!)

5 Top Tips on Using Higher Order Thinking in Your Classroom

As I have been getting ready for my course on higher order thinking on 25th February I thought I would share 5 top tips that can help both your more able students, as well as others in your class, think to a higher level, :

  • Teach higher order thinking and make reference to it each lesson. This helps demystify it and enables students to understand what it is and how to access it, as well as helping them see how it might be relevant to them.  
  • Stress that the process involved in getting to an answer or point of learning is just as important as the answer or what has been learnt. This encourages students to value mistakes. 
  • Help students to understand the difference between understanding and applying knowledge and just memorising it
  • Encourage students to explain answers they give rather than just accepting their correct answers and moving on. Also encourage students to do this with each other. 
  •  Give students frameworks to scaffold their thinking onto. There are lots of different ones you might use e.g. Bloom’s Taxonomy, De Bono’s Thinking Hats, Solo Taxonomy

Click here to find out more about higher order thinking

Find out more about my course on Maximising Progression in D&T Through Higher Order Thinking by clicking here. The course will cover lots of tips and strategies, including the use of the 3 taxonomies mentioned above, as well resources that are ready to use immediately back in the classroom. You will also take away a Thinking Rocket and get ideas on how to use it. 

Focus on Textiles: Back to  my roots!

Christmas Trees Aren’t Just for Christmas!

If you think Christmas trees are just for Christmas then think again. Dig out your departmental tree and use it as a revision tool but instead of hanging baubles on it hang on revision information. If you are using the drip feed and #ThinkDo revision idea that I have mentioned in other blogs (click here to see more about this on my website) you could use some of these to decorate your tree. Getting students to add to the tree also makes great starter and plenary exercises. 

Don’t forget my website designed specifically for textiles students has lots of #ThinkDo revision activities as well as other information relevant to revision. Visit 

Click on these links to find out about my course on revision for the GCSE textiles exam as well my course on revising for the A level textiles exam 

You Can Never Have too Many Shoes & Bags!

handbag 0323  - short video on the making of a Gucci handbag (via Lynne Bruning) - Puma sneakers and bag that are Cradle to Cradle certified in a bid to reduce the company's eco footprint - an unusual shape bag design made out of one piece of fabric, a zip and some clever pattern cutting

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)

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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

coolmax wrist support

#ThinkDo What does the Coolmax label on these wrist support gloves refer to? What added value does this give the consumer?

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