Year 9

(Specialism Year) Excitement

A programme of workshops, including visiting artists, enable students to discover what textiles has to offer in much greater depth. Students’ preferences are taken seriously and will have an influence on the curriculum through student voice. Students have more time to explore and experiment with traditional and contemporary techniques. Students are encouraged to not fear failure and to engage with their subject and media, in order to work out what works well for each individual.


A selection of short workshops introduce students to equipment and processes, with links to professionals where appropriate, visiting artists and practitioners. The focussed workshops develop practical skills at a higher level, with great emphasis on experimentation and not fearing failure. The freedom this gives students allows them to become more independent, develop their own style and be confident in their abilities. It is worth noting that the workshops evolve each year with the influence of student voice.

Example of workshops:

  • Free-hand machine embroidery
  • Burning and plastic manipulation
  • Distressing fabrics
  • Couching
  • Hand embroidery, with specific stitches
  • Batik
  • Using unusual materials
  • Making your own template/pattern
  • Clipping, turning and bagging out
  • Textiles style drawing techniques
  • Using artist influence
  • The importance of layering
  • Planning an outcome

Year 10 Expertise

Focussed project work gives students time to practise using the tools, knowledge and understanding to complete the GCSE successfully. The assessment objectives, below, are crucial to successful work. By the end of Year 10, students will have much evidence for their Component 1, worth 60% of the total GCSE


AO1: Develop ideas through investigations, demonstrating critical understanding of sources.

AO2: Refine work by exploring ideas, selecting and experimenting with appropriate media, materials, techniques and processes.

AO3: Record ideas, observations and insights relevant to intentions as work progresses.

AO4: Present a personal and meaningful response that realises intentions and demonstrates understanding of visual language.

Component 1 Practice Project:

Informed by current, modern practitioners and using high quality starting points, students will develop the skills to provide evidence to the exam board, covering all of the assessment objectives, above. The best parts of this project will be put into the “portfolio” of work for Component 1.

Students will:

  • Research good quality resources
  • Analyse contemporary artists
  • Explore and experiment with techniques, based on the chosen contemporary artist/s
  • Use visiting artist workshops to inform practical work
  • Use specialist equipment, e.g. heat press, computer controlled embroidery
  • Develop and record ideas
  • Display and present work in a clear and mature way

Garment Construction:

Step-by-step, students will build on their practical making skills discovering ways of construction with gathers or pleats, darts, lining, fastenings, top-stitching, etc. This gives students a clear idea of the implications involved when choosing to make a fashion garment as a final piece. The garment chosen to make will be decided through student voice.

Begin Extended Project for Component 1:

This individual, comprehensive project will have a personal theme chosen by each student. Each project will demonstrate the evidence to satisfy all of the assessment objectives. Every student will have guidance from their teacher from beginning to end of the project. This project, along with the very best pieces from workshops and practice work in Year 10 will go forward as a “portfolio” of work, worth 60% of the total GCSE.

Year 11 Expertise

After completing Component 1, students will be set an external task by the exam board, Component 2. The second component is worth 40% of the total GCSE and culminates in a 10 hour exam, usually in May.

Complete Extended Project for Component 1:

The project so far is reviewed and the very best elements are combined and developed further. These final developments inform each student’s chosen outcome which, depending on personal interests, can take a variety of forms such as an installation, fashion garment, wall hanging, 3D sculpture, etc.

Component 2:

At the beginning of the project, students have several starting points to choose from which are set each year by the exam board. These always provide broad, open choices and have the flexibility to allow students to apply them to their own preferences and strengths. This final GCSE project needs to satisfy the same assessment objectives as before and ends with creating a final piece, or outcome, in controlled exam conditions. Leading up to the 10 hour exam, students are given support and guidance by their teacher, within the regulations set out by AQA.