Product innovations, a new Ofsted framework, exhibitions, & competitions

Most of the D&T courses my husband and I run are designed to be small, often with up to a maximum of up to 8 delegates. We pride ourselves on being able to offer more personalised courses that†meet individual delegate needs better than a†course†with larger numbers. We find smaller groups encourage more discussion and enables delegates†to share ideas and raise issues more openly so that they go back into school with a strong sense of purpose and a clear direction.†As a small company we also have greater flexibility than the larger training companies and can run courses even with low numbers, as well as being able to add additional courses based on delegate requests.†

The Textiles Teacher Event

The one exception to this is The Textiles Teacher Event which is now in its fifth year and which has nearly 40 places. Although this is a less personalised event†the day is full of†activity†and†inspiration with lots of freebies,†competitions†and prizes, along†with†hands on activities and a†small†display of†work†by students. †

This†event, which takes place this year on Saturday 3rd October†in Nottingham, is also heavily subsidised by a range of sponsors†making it†the cheapest†course†we run at £35.†

Although targeted at textiles teachers, technicians and trainees, the day is also suitable for anyone wanting to develop†their textiles knowledge, especially†with the new GCSE moving towards a more Product Design route.†

This event is always popular and a quarter of the†tickets are already sold. Click here to find out more about the event and to book†your tickets

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.†

Lemon squeezer 7964

#ThinkDo†#Product How many different lemon squeezer designs can you find? Compare†their design features & materials. Which one functions the†best†& why?

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

Product Innovation - Central St. Martins students who develop an interactive clothing bank for the Salvation Army that lights up when a donation is made. The page includes a useful short video about how graduates approached the brief† - wheelbarrow chair that has been designed for children to sit on with the wheel and handle allowing it to easily be moved around. This could be part of a great starter getting students to combine different products together to come up with an innovative design.

RSA Summer Science Exhibition


This free week long exhibition (30 June - 5th July) is an annual display of 22 exhibits currently at the cutting edge science and technology in the UK. As well as seeing the exhibits you can meet those behind the exhibition, attend talks and have a go yourself at some of the activities. Exhibits include e-textiles, sustainable beef farming, materials that repair themselves, nanoscale computing devices, atomic level engineering and much more. Find out more at

John Lewis Innovation Challenge Competition

Although this blog is mainly aimed at secondary D&T teachers I know there are a number of primary and middle school teachers on the mailing list and this innovation challenge competition will be particularly suitable for you ( Other teachers might be able to use the idea to generate a homework or other activity. The competition focuses on ‘What will the shop of the future look like?’ with entrants being encouraged to think about the shopping experience generally, shopping behaviours, as well as technology and design. If you sign up to the website (which is free) there are also some lesson plans and other resources under the headings of†‘Design and Make’,†‘Cook and Share’, and ‘Technology and Innovation’†all of which primary teachers in particular might find useful. M

Julie Boyd 2015 competition

If you are a textiles teacher looking for a competition don’t forget my competition†which†closes at the end of this term. Download the flyer or visit the page on the website.†

Course Updates: For All D&T Teachers

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

Leading an Outstanding D&T†Department†LAST FEW DAYS TO BOOK

Tues 23rd June, Nottingham

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

New KS3 Curriculum: Maximising Progression in D&T†
New date in June/July will be added in next week or so. Contact me if you want to be notified when this date becomes definite.NEW DATE†& VENUE † † † †† † † † † † † † † † † † † † † † † † †

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

An Introduction to 3D Software & 3D Printing for Beginners†
Fri 9th Oct London & Wed 14 Oct Liverpool

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

Ofsted's Common Inspection Framework†

Ofsted have had a high profile this week with the release of a common inspection framework that comes into effect from September 2015. If you want to short cut a lot of the paperwork watch the video under the†‘Explaining†the†changes’†heading.†

You can see a summary of all the new†documents†at†

Read the transcript of the speech made by Michael Wilshaw to launch the common inspection framework†

See a summary by the TES of the 7 questions schools will be asked under the new framework†

Note that as part of the new framework Ofsted will be inspecting the healthy eating and food culture of a school and†the†extent to which schools support pupils to gain†‘knowledge of how to keep themselves healthy, including exercise and healthy eating’. Download a review sheet from The Food Teachers Centre to help you assess whether your†school†meets the new criteria†

Focus on Textiles: Back to †my roots!

New V&A†Exhibition†


If you are looking for an end of year trip this week the new exhibition at the V&A opened (runs until 31st January 2016). Called†‘Shoes: Pleasure and Pain’†it is a celebration of footwear from around the globe with 200 pairs on display.†

Find out†more†at†

E-textiles Project Ideas†

Take a look at my latest e-textiles projects if you are looking for ideas for projects for next year.†

make up bag

The Sewing Directory website set me the design brief of creating a make up bag with lights surrounding a mirror similar to the traditional design for Hollywood style make up mirrors. The website were very specific about the design they wanted even down to the fabric that was used so it was an interesting†challenge. The make up bag uses PCB†LEDs†that shine through†the†fabric as well as a switched cell holder, although other LEDs could be used, and a switch, such as a popper, could be added to the circuit to reduce the costs. The instructions for this project are free to download at


My most popular download to buy on the website at the moment is a skull e-textiles fabric torch key ring. This also uses PCB LEDs and a switched cell holder but again the circuit could be developed further to include a popper switch in order to reduce costs.†Click here to see the resource.†

Don’t forget if you are looking for free project ideas for e-textiles as well as†‘how to’†tutorials there are lots on†the†website

If the cost of e-textiles is too expensive for †your department why not give the idea in this video a go† It’s something I have mentioned in the past but I was reminded of it by a recent post by Claire Louise Keen on the Textile Teachers Centre Facebook group.†

The skull resource and a variety of other e-textiles projects are included in the resource to take away when you attend the e-textiles course on 13th July.†

You can also see some of these projects on display at my session at the D&T Association Summer School on Friday 10th July (2.15 - 5.00pm)

Course Updates: For All D&T Textiles Teachers

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

Introduction to A Level Product Design Textiles†
Thurs 2 July, Nottingham (& Mon 12th Oct, Nottingham)†

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

L IMG 0588

An Introduction to E-textiles for Beginners†NEW COURSE
13th July, Nottingham

A Level Product Design Textiles:†Developing Key Knowledge and Skills for Units 1 & 3††
16th July, Nottingham†NEW COURSE

The Textiles Teacher Event†
Sat 3 October, Nottingham

Raising the Profile of Textiles in Your School
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

To receive this blog via email each week email††

All images & text are the copyright of Julie Boyd & can’t be sold or reproduced in any way without permission

Click†here†to view a summary of blog resources indexed to help you find resources more easily †

To view other blogs I write on coaching, education & those interested in my work as a designer maker click on the links on the side bar

© 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.†