Biomimicry design challenge, Jack Wills, choosing adhesives, textiles techniques & building bridges with a difference

edexcel ocr

The accredited Edexcel GCSE specification is now live on their website which means that there are now 2 fully accredited specifications for GCSE (with the other one being OCR). Edexcel also have an offer of free student textbooks for departments who enter students into their GCSE. Whilst this shouldn’t be a reason for choosing the specification it is a good money saving opportunity if this is the qualification you are considering. Make sure you read the terms and conditions carefully as the books have to be paid for if you don’t actually enter students for the exam in 2019.

Looking for a course on the new GCSE? Look at the 2 day one at the STEM Centre Want a textiles specific course? Look at our course focusing on how textiles fits into the new GCSE 

Calendar    Things coming up soon include:

24th Nov - Kitronik Teacher Evening with Just Add Sharks, BBC micro:bit & pizza!

25th/26th Nov - Technical Textiles: Using Smart & Modern Materials in D&T course

25th - 27th Nov - New Design Museum opening weekend


14th Dec - GCSE D&T 2017: Textiles in the New Qualification in London  (at Lady Margaret School in London, the same school as the Roadshow) 3 PLACES LEFT

Free Resources           Images, ideas & text are copyright of Julie Boyd & can’t be shared, sold or reproduced

#ThinkDo                        Quick activities with a free photo. Find out more

L  metal components IMG 0504

#ThinkDo #Materials These textiles components are made out of metal alloys. What does the term alloy refer to? Give an example of an alloy.

Click on the image to see a larger version. Free download image to use in your classroom. 

See regular #ThinkDo activities posted on Instagram & Facebook

Facebook                       Daily updates & resources. Find out more

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Click on the links below to see more:

Let’s Learn                 This week’s featured resources. See all resources              



  • Free ‘Learn-It’ resource on adhesives that can be downloaded from the Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT)
  • Includes: choosing & using adhesives for fabric, metal, plastic, wood & other materials


Links to a range of videos and instruction sheets on how to do selected textiles techniques. I originally produced these for the D&T Association and the links takes you directly to the free downloads on their website. Includes seams, shaping, edge finishes, fastenings & appliqué. 

See all of the Let’s Learn resources

Biomimicry Global Design Challenge

The biomimicry global design challenge has a category that secondary age students from anywhere in the world can enter. The brief is for a team to create a nature inspired innovation (which can be a product, service or system) that combats climate change based on inspiration from nature. There is a fee if you want to enter the challenge itself but the resources linked to the challenge are worth a look, especially the biomimicry toolbox and the AskNature resource which maps nature’s solutions to problems to help finding inspiration for problem solving quicker and easier. (Ends 30th April 2017)

Jack Wills

The Fabric of Jack 

The Fabric of Jack is the website of clothing company Jack Wills. It has lots of great information, images and videos that are really useful for lesson planning, including videos on industrial production. The website would also be useful for flipped learning homeworks and for research activities. Here is an is just one example from the website on how a Jack Wills hoodie is made (via Louise Mooney).

Bridge Building With a Difference

A 46 foot long ‘biobridge’ made out of hemp and flax fibres by Dutch students to demonstrate the use of more sustainable construction materials.

The Q'eswachaka Bridge that is rebuilt each year in a small town In Perú using traditional engineering techniques. The bridge is built in only three days using only grasses.The bridge has been rebuilt in this same location annually since the time of the Incas.

Competitions  Click here for information on other D&T competitions 

NEW 'Product In A Tin’ Competition (deadline 1st August 2017)

After the success of the 2016 competition the theme of a ‘Product in a Tin’ continues for a second year but with a few changes that make it a little different.  

Find out more about the 2017 competition & see all the resources that support teachers and students

See the 2016 winners

Course Updates 

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

Technical Textiles: Using Smart & Modern Materials in Your Classroom  25th & 26th November 2016 (2 days), STEM Centre, York. See photosBursary available which pays the course & accommodation fee.

The Textiles Teacher Roadshow 3rd Dec, London  INCLUDES NEW GCSE D&T  New content for the new academic year: focus on the place of textiles in the new GCSE £42 & Includes freebies  ONLY 10 PLACES LEFT

Preparing to Teach the New D&T GCSE 9th & 10th December (2 days), STEM Centre, York
Bursary available which pays course & accommodation fee.

GCSE D&T 2017: Textiles in the New Qualification
14th December, London 
(11th Nov, Liverpool, 14th Jan, Nottingham & 24th Jan London also available) ONLY 3 PLACES LEFT

A Beginner’s Guide to Electronics  NEW
13th January 2017, Nottingham

Includes components to take away

GCSE D&T 2017: Textiles in the New Qualification 14th January, Nottingham 
(11th Nov, Liverpool, 14th Dec, London, & 24th Jan London also available) NEW DATES ADDED

Textiles Technicians: Basic Maintenance & Servicing of Sewing Machines 11th January, Nottingham NEW
Bursary available which pays the course fee. 
(Also 27th March, 

Leading an Effective D&T Department 18/19 Jan & 21/22 June (4 day residential split into 2 x 2 day blocks. Note we're delivering 18 Jan & 22 June only) STEM Centre, York Bursary available which pays course & accommodation fee

3D printer rocket

Maximising Progression & Developing Exam Technique for A Level Product Design Textiles 23rd January, University of East London NEW

(also Liverpool 30th January)

An Introduction to 3D Software & 3D Printing, 23rd January, University of East London NEW

Suitable for all D&T teachers

GCSE D&T 2017: Textiles in the New Qualification 24th January, University of East London 

(11th Nov, Liverpool, 14th Dec, London, & 14th Jan Nottingham also available) NEW DATES ADDED

Maximising Progression & Developing Exam Technique for A Level Product Design Textiles 23rd January, Liverpool NEW

(also London 23rd January)

An Introduction to E-textiles for Beginners 3rd February, Nottingham NEW

Includes components to take away & project ideas

Microcontrollers & Programming in Electronics & E-textiles 4th February, Nottingham NEW 

Includes components to take away

Preparing to Teach the New Design and Technology AS and A Levels 10th & 11th February (2 days) 
Bursary available which pays the course & accommodation fee. NEW

Textiles Technicians: Basic Maintenance & Servicing of Sewing Machines 11th January, Nottingham NEW
Bursary available which pays the course fee. 
(Also 11th January, 

Technicians Supporting the New D&T GCSE 4th & 5th May 2017 (2 days - note we are delivering part of day 1 only), STEM Centre, York. Bursary available which pays the course & accommodation fee. 

Why not build attending a course into your Performance Review? 
Dates or venue not suitable or type of course you want not available? 
Courses can be added to the calendar at your request at no additional cost. 
Email for more details.

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