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GCSE Textiles

Mathematics - Year 7

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Below you will find more specific information about the curriculum in Textiles for students who have chosen this subject for GCSE, explaining to you what students will learn, when, why and how. There is also information about how parents/carers are able to support students in their learning, extra-curricular opportunities in this subject and how it links to other subjects and the wider world.

Subject Key Concepts

                                                                    #1 Creativity            #2 Planning         #3 Materials

                                                                           #4 Analysis        #5 Sustainable Futures

Please click here for Subject Key Concepts.

Curriculum Overview for the year

Textiles Year 10

Textiles Year 11

Autumn Term


Topics and specific knowledge


Introduction to machines and practical skills including health and safety. Students will work as a team to create a blanket using textiles addition processes such as:


·         Tye dye

·         Batik

·         Block print

·         Repeat prints

·         Applique

·         Use of CAD/CAM


·         What is natural and synthetic fabrics?

·         Where do fabrics come from and how are they made in to a workable form? Eg yarns and weaving


Key concepts


Sustainable futures – impact of fabric on the environment

Planning – practical making

Materials – man made and natural




Specific skills


·         Practical skills

·         Drawing Skills

·         Communication

·         Teamwork

·         Research skills

Autumn term


Start NEA 


·         Analysis of contextual challenges and identifying a problem or opportunity.

·         Writing a Design Brief and Specification

·         Carrying out primary and secondary research

·         Drawing creative ideas that meet the brief

·         Making simple models to experiment with solutions


Other knowledge

Mechanical systems (cams, gears, levers...)



Key Concepts

Creativity – developing ideas for brief

Planning- of making

Materials – fabrics for modelling



Specific skills


Research skills

ICT skills

Analytical and evaluative skills

Communication skills 

Practical skills

Spring term


Topics and specific knowledge


Students will progress their understanding of how fibres are made into fabric:


·         Learning how fabric is constructed

·         Weaving

·         Knitting

·         Non-woven


Students will follow the journey of a product understanding its full lifecycle inc origin, production and processing through until landfill/recycling.



Students will also learn how to create technical drawings; seam construction and they will research designers.



Key Concepts


Materials –fabrics

Sustainable futures – production processes

Analysis – analysing products and fabrics


Specific Skills


·         Drawing skills

·         Teamwork

·         Practical skills

·         Research skills

·         Communication skills

·         ICT skills

Spring term 


Continue and finish NEA 


·         Choose best idea to develop through evaluation of first concepts

·         Make more detailed and refined models to develop ideas

·         Create detailed drawings to aid in manufacturing the final outcome

·         Select appropriate materials and components

·         Manufacture final design using workshop tools

·         Apply quality control checks to ensure a high quality outcome

·         Evaluate progress throughout the development of the design and at the end of the project


Other knowledge

General properties of materials such as toughness, strength…


Key concepts


Planning & Materials- planning of outcomes, making of garments etc.

Analysis – analysing and evaluating NEA.


Specific skills


·         Practical skills

·         ICT skills

·         Independence

·         Evaluative skill

Summer term


Topics and specific knowledge


Mock NEA -e.g. Toddler dress


Though a recycling project students will research sustainability and the impact fashion has on the environment.


Students will be issued a design brief for a mini NEA. They will need to create a written folder which will include a specification, client focus, research and an evaluation.


Practical aspects could include fastenings, applique and embellishment.





Key concepts


Planning – mini Mock NEA

Materials- Fabric and decoration

Sustainability futures- link to NEA tasks


Specific skills


-          Practical skills

-          ICT skills

-          Communication skills

-          Teamwork

-          Research skills

-          Health and safety skills

Summer term


The following topics might have been briefly covered earlier in Y10/11 but will be covered in more depth during this term:

·         Energy generation and storage

·         Electronics and systems

·         Papers and boards

·         Textiles  – inc. fire retardants

·         New materials

·         New technologies and impact on industry, society and environment


Exam Preparation

·         Revision of all topics – use Collins revision guide as a structure

·         Practice papers

·         Exam technique – keywords and strategies

·         Online quizzes


Key concepts


Planning – revision

Creativity – revision strategies



Specific skills


-          Exam resilience

-          Revision strategies







Useful documents:

Please click here for a PDF of curriculum overview.

While this information covers a broad range of areas, please do get in touch with the Subject Leader Miss Molinari if you have any questions.

Please click on the questions below to find out more.

Which exam board will students be examined by?


How are groups organised?

We organise our classes by mixed ability. The students have five one-hour lessons per fortnight.

What characteristics does a successful student have in this subject?

The most successful students in this subject will enjoy working practically, but also able to produce high quality folder work. There will be a significant Maths content in the exam paper (15%) and links with Science too. 

How will students learn at this level?

  • Watching practical demonstrations
  • Practising different skills
  • Using the internet to support your learning
  • Practical experimenting, trial and error with different materials and techniques
  • Peer work
  • How will students’ learning be assessed at this level?

When do key assessments take place?

  • NEA: March 
  • Exam for GCSE Design and Technology: May 
    Duration: 2 hours

How can parents/carers support students’ learning?

Encourage you to complete hand sewing skills at home fixing clothes with missing buttons etc… having access to ICT at home or encourage use of the library for research. Give feedback on work and answer surveys and questionnaires. Encouraging students to watch textiles and design programmes on the TV.  TED.com is excellent for the latest research for fashion.

What equipment do students need for this subject?

  • Essential school equipment
  • Fabrics for final projects
  • The Faculty will support students with equipment if there is an economic need

How does this subject link to other subjects?

  • Maths – Arithmetic and numerical computation, handling data, graphs, geometry and trigonometry.
  • Science- Use scientific vocabulary, terminology and definitions.

What websites or resources may be helpful to support students’ learning?

AQA GCSE (1-9) Design and Technology PG online

Collins – AQA GCSE revision Design and technology

TED.com is excellent for the latest research for fashion

What extra-curricular or enrichment opportunities are available for students in this subject at this level?

Extra-curricular clubs on a Monday and Friday lunchtime

What sort of careers can this subject lead to?

The diversity of this course means it can lead towards a career in Fashion Design, Architecture, Marketing, Engineering, Interior Design, Materials Science, Medical Textiles, Fashion Communication, Graphic Design and Product design to name but a few. Universities value D&T as a subject for those wishing to pursue all types of careers, including Science and Medicine. If A-Levels or University are not for you, employers will value a GCSE D&T qualification as it develops creative, technical and transferable skills.

What does student work look like in this subject at this level?


How does this subject support a broad and balanced curriculum, meeting the needs of all students, and developing traditional core skills?

Broad and balanced

GCSE Design and Technology will prepare students to participate confidently and successfully in an increasingly technological world. Students will gain awareness and learn from wider influences on Design and Technology including historical, social, cultural, environmental and economic factors. Students will get the opportunity to work creatively when designing and making and apply technical and practical expertise.

Meeting the needs of all students

Lessons are taught in mixed ability groups. Every lesson is differentiated to ensure students of all abilities are stretched and challenged. A combination of theoretical and practical lessons give students the opportunity to excel in different areas according to their own strengths. TAs are used effectively in lessons to support students according to their needs.

Traditional core skills

Science - investigations, electronics, materials and processes.  Selection and use of materials considering end of life disposal. Energy sources. Changing the magnitude and direction of forces.

Maths – Measuring, tolerances, scales, ratios, calculations of areas, dimensioning, calculation of material quantities and sizes. Calculate surface area and volume e.g. material requirements for a specific use. Efficient material use, pattern spacing, nesting and minimising waste.

Analysing responses to user questionnaires. Frequency tables and information on design decisions. Presentation of client survey responses. Percentiles ranges used in anthropometrics and/or ergonomics.

English – reading, writing exam answers and high quality folder work, communication.

How does this subject promote creativity, critical thinking, practice, perseverance and resilience, and making links?


Students are encouraged to think creatively and iteratively when experimenting, designing and making. A broad range of processes and techniques are used to enthuse students during lessons.  

Critical thinking

Students will develop the skills to critique and refine their own ideas whilst designing and making whilst communicating their design ideas and decisions using different media and techniques.

Practice, perseverance and resilience

Students are encouraged not to view the course as a linear process to be followed in a step by step manner, rather, students should be encouraged to follow the iterative design process. students will learn that it is ok for experiments to go wrong as long as we learn from this!

Making links

The NEA (non-exam assessment) expects students to investigate a contextual challenge which defines the needs and wants of the user. Themes such as ‘working towards a sustainable future’ links D & T to science.

How does this subject encourage enrichment and the development of cultural capital, deep learning, and inclusivity?

Enrichment/cultural capital

Students are encouraged to consider how products are designed and made when taking into account aspects such as design for disabled users, the elderly, different religious groups. They also need to show awareness of environmental issues.

Substance/deep learning

Students will have the opportunity to study specialist technical principles in great depth. They will learn how designs and prototypes must satisfy the wants or needs of the user and be fit for their intended use.

Open and inclusive

Every topic within the course is fully accessible to all students through differentiation in lessons and a variation of teaching strategies when delivering lessons depending on the needs of individual students.