Year 7 and 8 Exploration

Textiles in Year 7 and 8 is all about introducing students to the equipment, techniques and skills needed when using fabrics. Students will develop their practical skills, decision making and creativity.


By the end of Year 7 you will have discovered how to sew securely by hand and how to use a sewing machine. The projects have been designed to give you the confidence, dexterity and practical skills with this material so you can mend or make items in the future. You will also have the opportunity to express yourself creatively using decorative techniques.

7.1 Tie-dye Drawstring Bag

The tie-dye drawstring bag combines colours and is a simple construction that will introduce students to health and safety precautions, as well as hand and machine skills. Students will have control over the tie-dye colour combinations and the tie-dye pattern method. They will design an appliqué patch that will be sewn securely by hand. Special tricks and processes allowing for sewing in straight lines and navigating corners with a sewing machine will be used, so students will be confident in using a machine and will have a strong drawstring bag.

7.2 Monster Toy

The second project will give students more control over their outcome. Building on the skills learnt making the tie-dye bag they will design and make a little monster inspired by fun creatures by companies like “Ugly Dolls”. Students will use the sewing machine to sew the body, horns, arms, etc. using techniques such as “clipping and turning”. The weird and wonderful facial features will be created by students, by hand.


Developing a wide variety of printing techniques, experimentation, and a focus on creativity, students will be able to layer colour and print to communicate a message and their own ideas responding to news and events that mean something to them. Students will also investigate and respond to Textile artists and practitioners to inspire outcomes.

Graffiti Bedroom Banner

Discovering printing, further dying processes, stencilling, embroidery and using components, students will be able to explore techniques and select what works for them. Students relish the chance to engage with the media, often building confidence and dexterity along the way. Colour and pattern are a very important aspects of textiles; colour is explored further and pattern techniques are introduced.


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.

Contemporary stitched portraits

Exciting contemporary work will be studied and students will be encouraged to creatively use media to develop their own ideas.

Students will develop their use of stitch to create pattern, texture and explore how it can be used to visually communicate ideas about people, culture, stereotypes, gender etc

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 referenced to create a successful project. By the end of Year 10, students will have much of the evidence needed 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.

Project 1- The Built Environment

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, using the theme above. The best parts of this project will be put into the “portfolio” of work for Component 1 titled further works and this will contribute evidence towards the objectives for their 60% coursework element.

Students will:

  • Research good quality resources
  • Analyse contemporary artists
  • Explore and experiment with techniques, based on the chosen contemporary artist/s and given theme.
  • Use any workshops/ visits to inform work.
  • Use specialist equipment, e.g. heat press, machine embroidery, felting , printing etc
  • Develop and record ideas
  • Display and present work in a clear and coherent way.
  • Final response will be concluded through students own development and decision making with support from their teachers. A final response can be a soft sculpture, textile art piece, garment, costume, printed or dyed textiles, wall art etc A wonderful opportunity for students to get great creative and think about the wide range of possibilities. 

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.

Each year we also engage with local and national textile artists, designers and practitioners to inform their study. 

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.