New freebie on Facebook, designing resources, exam technique, & polyester

I hope everyone had a good half term holiday. At least we are now into the last stretch before the summer break! This time of year is no less challenging though as for many there are year 6 transitions days to plan, year 10 starting their controlled assessments, year 12 students returning after their exams, and in many schools the old year 11 returning for post 16 induction days. Added to that, this is the time of year when most departments are reviewing things for next year and trying to cram as much planning and preparation in as possible. 

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With this in mind there is a new Facebook freebie designed to help departments review their KS3 curriculum. The resource is designed to be an active exercise a department can undertake together rather than just the traditional tick list mapping exercise. Find out more about the resource on Facebook

If you are interested in more resources like this one, take a look at my courses on the KS3 curriculum and leading an outstanding department  where this and other KS3 resources will be shared. 

Note this free resource can only be accessed via my Facebook page and is only available until 12th June. 

‘Like’ my Facebook page to make sure you don’t miss out on other free resources

Free Resources
Images, ideas & text in free resources are the copyright of Julie Boyd & can’t be shared, sold or reproduced 


Quick activities with a free photo & thinking point. Find out more at

Regular #ThinkDo activities are posted on Instagram. Use for homework, revision & keeping students thinking about D&T every day. 

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#ThinkDo #Revision 

What’s the name of the white stitches on this textiles product? Where else might this technique be used?

Click on the image to see a larger version

Did you see my Facebook page this week?

See daily ideas, photos, resources & limited offer giveaways on Facebook‘Like' my Facebook page to keep up to date with news & offers 

This week’s Facebook updates have included: 


‘Like' my Facebook page to keep up to date with news & offers 

Focus on D&T:  For all D&T teachers

Designing Resources

One of the things I have mentioned recently on my Facebook page is a fab set of free resource cards aimed at designing for behaviour change, whether that be to encourage people to make a better lifestyle choice, or simply to get someone to buy your product and not a competitor’s. Although not designed for schools these cards are great for using with students and link well to the focus on users in the KS3 curriculum. This link via @FastCoDesign has a little bit about the cards and a link to download them. 

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If you are looking for other freebies take a look at the James Dyson Challenge cards at which you can either download or send for a free a hard copy. The resource consists of 52 STEM challenges and if you are looking for one off lessons, either for year 6 or post 16 transition, or as a filler at the end of term, these are great. 

If you visit the ‘Make Yourself Comfortable’ exhibition at Chatsworth House the exhibition handbook is an A6 set of cards with images of the products in the exhibition on one side and information on the other. The cards are great as a design inspiration and research tool and at £5 they are very reasonably priced. See more about the exhibition on my Facebook page. 

Make yourself comfortable exhibition

Course Updates: For All D&T Teachers

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

An Introduction to 3D Software & 3D Printing for Beginners 
Sat 13th June, Nottingham & Fri 9th Oct London & Wed 14 Oct Liverpool NEW DATES & VENUES ADDED

Leading an Outstanding D&T Department 
Tues 23rd June, Nottingham

A Beginners Guide to Electronics NEW
Wed 1 July & Mon 7 Dec Liverpool & Wed 16 Dec Nottingham

New KS3 Curriculum: Maximising Progression in D&T 
Fri 3 July, London

KS3 & 4 Transition: Becoming an 11-16 School NEW
Tues 7 July, Nottingham

Why not build attending a course into your Performance Review?Why not request a course in school as part of your department’s ‘gained time’?We offer a wide range of courses on all areas of D&T, teaching & learning, coaching, leadership, & behaviour management. Additional courses can be added to the course calendar at your request at no additional cost. Email for details. 

Focus on T&L & Leadership

Exam Technique 

Exam season is now well under way. Some D&T exams are all done and dusted but there are still a few coming up over the next couple of weeks. 

I am currently marking GCSE scripts and unsurprisingly it’s a reminder of how important exam technique is. With 8000 questions to mark, and several hours every day marking the same thing over and over again, you soon want to scream ‘read the question’ or any of those other things teachers tell students to do! 

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Here are a few things that stand out in my marking that might help those students yet to sit exams write the best possible answer. These points are unlikely to be anything new to most teachers but it is frustrating to see so many students losing out on marks so easily.

  • Avoid using any of the words in the question in the answer, especially if the answer is a short one consisting of a sentence or two. This includes words that are a version of the original word e.g. past tense, or a word as a noun or verb linked to the original. 
  • Give a detailed answer. Using things like PEE (point, explanation & example) is helping some students add a little more detail so they are gaining extra marks. 
  • Think ‘what, where, when, why & how’ when structuring an answer as this also helps give extra detail to help gain marks. 
  • If in doubt guess! Some students are just randomly writing down keywords where they clearly don’t know the answer and you would be surprised  how often this can gain a mark. This also reflects how important it is to teach keywords. 
  • The board I am marking for uses ‘positive marking’ so only the answers that are correct are considered even if there are other bits to the answer that are wrong. In some cases it is clear students have added an afterthought at the end of an answer but it has been that afterthought that has gained them the mark. Students shouldn’t waffle and write excessively, but if they have finished the paper and have time, it’s well worth going back through answers they aren’t sure about and adding a bit of extra information. 

A final thought on exams is a free poster from It might be a reminder to those students that are flagging to keep up the effort. The poster is only on offer for a limited period so don’t delay downloading it by visiting

Focus on Textiles: Back to  my roots!

A Celebration of Polyester! 

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One of the links on my Facebook page over half term was about Lorraine Bowen, one of the semi finalists on Britain’s Got Talent. I have mentioned her polyester song before but it is well worth a mention again, especially with the A2 exam on the horizon. Lorraine even has her own comedy show, ‘Polyester Fiesta', celebrating polyester, as well as a website of the same name. As well as the polyester song on Lorraine's website there are several other videos, although  not all suitable for use in school.  The clip from the One Show is a good one to watch as it has some good info on how polyester is made. is Lorraine Bowen's website and the videos can be found at - how Nike recycle plastic bottles into football jerseys - lots of information on polyester including spinning & - Polartec & Patagonia who use recycled polyester for some of their high tech fabrics


Find out more about teaching the specification content for AS & A2 Product Design Textiles, including ideas on teaching fibres and fabrics, on my A level courses including the one on 2nd July. Visit for more information.


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

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

Introduction to A Level Product Design Textiles 
Thurs 2 July, London & Mon 12th Oct, Nottingham NEW DATE & VENUE

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

Raising the Profile of Textiles in Your School NEW
Wed 9 Dec, Nottingham

Why not build attending a course into your Performance Review?Why not request a course in school as part of your department’s ‘gained time’?
We offer a wide range of courses on all areas of D&T, teaching & learning, coaching, leadership, & behaviour management. Additional courses can be added to the course calendar at your request at no additional cost. Email for details. 

Don’t forget to ‘like’ my Facebook for lots of ideas & activities in between blogs

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© 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.