Aims of the Textiles department:

  • To give our pupils an understanding of the characteristics of different fabrics, their handling and uses.
  • To enable pupils to work from a design brief, to research and formulate a design proposal and to achieve an end product.
  • To develop practical and manipulative skills using a range of techniques and methods.  
  • To familiarise our pupils with a range of equipment including the sewing machine.
  • To encourage inventiveness, originality and creativity.
  • To ensure that the pupils work safely and do not endanger others.
  • To encourage pupils to take pride in their work and to achieve a good standard of finish.
  • To introduce pupils to recent technological advances in the Textile industry.

Year 7

Year 7 students will learn to safely use the sewing machines and small textile equipment with safety, accuracy and efficiency.  They will construct a tote bag, using a range of techniques and equipment.

Areas of study include:

  • Fabric layout and cutting 
  • Origins of fibres and basic properties 
  • Seams, hems and top stitching
  • Health and safety 
  • The use of the sewing machine to include accurate usage

Year 8

In year 8 the emphasis is using a range of fabric decoration techniques to create an original and exciting cushion within a set theme.  Students will develop design and making skills using a wide range of fabrics tools and processes.

Areas of study include:

  • Using a brief design to a cushion cover that incorporates a designated theme and address the needs of the end user.
  • Fabric decoration techniques– machine appliqué, hand embroidery, beading and stencilling
  • Construction
  • Equipment, tools and their safe use – irons, scalpels etc.
  • Evaluation of their product against the original brief

Year 9

Year 9 pupils will learn to use a brief to guide their designing. They will be encouraged to combine both the decorative techniques and sewing skills developed in previous years to produce a creative and original product. Market research, pattern cutting and fashion illustration are new areas of study

Areas of study include:

  • Mock-ups and toiles
  • Pattern making 
  • Zips, Velcro, bias binding, quilting etc.
  • Gathering and selecting appropriate information to guide the design brief 
  • Considering functions of the end product as well as the aesthetics
  • Marketing of the end product 

Key Stage 4 (GCSE)

AQA GCSE Design and Technology; Textiles

This is a two year course where students learn to create a portfolio and see the design process through from start to finish. They will also study the theory related to this subject which covers topics such as fibres and fabrics, industrial manufacturing and product analysis. Students will develop their sewing skills by learning to use a commercial pattern and adapting these to achieve their own designs.  Year 11 pupils will complete a major design and make a project which comprises 60% of the final examination mark.

N.B The last teaching for this current specification will be September 2016 with a new specification being introduced from September 2017.


Key Stage 5 (AS/A Level)

Course Aims

Design and Technology encourages students to develop innovative and creative designs and to produce high quality products.  A practical problem solving approach encourages independent learning.

Course Details

  • The AS level consists of 2 units and forms 50% of the full A level.
  • The A2 consists of 2 units forming 50% of the final A level.

Overall the A level comprises of 50% coursework and 50% written examination.

The course consists of 4 units


  • Unit 1- A portfolio of project work completed through the year.  This will involve the investigation, design and production of textile products 25%. Approximately 50 hours.
  • Unit 2 - Written paper (2 hours): Materials, components and application 25%.


  • Unit 3 - Written paper (2 hours):  Design and Manufacture 25%.
  • Unit 4 - A coursework project of candidates’ own choice with a focus on a single outcome.  This is a design and make activity 25%. Approximately 50 hours.


Units 1 and 4 are internally marked and moderated by AQA.  Units 2 and 3 are externally marked examinations.

Entry Requirements

B+ or above at GCSE D&T Textiles.

Teaching Approach

There will be a wide variety of methods used.  Coursework will follow a similar approach to the GCSE course and will be project based.  Students will be able to choose a topic for their coursework that appeals to them.  Projects could involve fashion design, interior design or for a range of other uses.  Practical work of a high standard will be encouraged.  Students will make use of a wide range of research skills and use ICT for both designing and presenting work.  Computer aided design and manufacture form an important element to this course.  The work of designers and the manufacture of items in the textile and fashion industry will be studied.


Employment opportunities in the Fashion and Textile industry are wide and varied.  There have been considerable advances in the development of fibres and fabrics in recent years.  Fabric technologists may work in the production of innovative products for a wide variety of uses.  Careers involving fashion and textile design include opportunities such as couture, high street fashion, interiors, textile arts, retail management and fashion buyer.  The subject involves a range of skills that would be useful in business, education, project management, and retail/management careers.

Support Subjects

Textiles can be combined with many other subjects including Art, Business Studies, Chemistry, Drama, English, Geography and History.

Progression to A2 is contingent on achieving grade C or above at AS Level and behaviour, attendance and punctuality records will also be taken into consideration.

N.B The last teaching for this current specification will be September 2016 with a new specification being introduced from September 2017.

Cushion Designs Created by Year 8