Colour change mugs, paper knitting yarn, EnChroma glasses, & new Textiles Roadshow date added

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Everyone is on the countdown to breaking up for the summer; some schools break up this week and some have even broken up already. For those of you that still have a week or two left, I hope there’s a few ideas in the blog to keep you going. There will be one more newsletter next week and then a break until after the holiday, although my usual updates will continue on Facebook and other social media. Don’t forget to give me your new email address if you are changing schools. 

Some of you may remember that a while ago I mentioned a two day textiles course we had been asked to lead on behalf of by the D&T Association at Manchester Met university during the summer holiday. I’m pleased to say we have received some funding for the course but this was too late for the original July date. We are currently trying to secure new dates, hopefully either during October half term 2016 or Easter 2017. The course won’t be free unless we can secure additional funding, and information will be made available on dates and costs once it is available.

Some good news on courses is that we have secured venues for the GCSE D&T 2017: Textiles in the New Qualification course which will go ahead in Liverpool on 11th November and London on 14th December. We also have a new date and venue for The Textiles Teacher Roadshow which will be in London on 3rd December (the same event will also take place in Nottingham on 8th October). All courses can now be booked.

Free Resources 


Block printing

Quick activities with a free photo & thinking point. 

#ThinkDo What is this textiles printing technique? What quality control points wound need to be considered when doing this type of printing?

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

Find out more about #ThinkDo activities & see ones posted on Instagram & Facebook

Did you see my Facebook page this week?

This week’s Facebook updates have included: 

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Calendar    Things coming up soon include:

23rd July - The London Festival of Design & Engineering, London

23rd July - Exhibition Wonder Materials: Graphene & Beyond opens at Museum of Science & Industry, Manchester

For events coming up over the summer holidays check out the Exhibitions, Trips & Places to Visit page 

In The News

Sainsbury Review on Post 16 Technical Education

The Post-16 Skills Plan on technical education was released on 8th July plan and sets out the government’s plan to support young people and adults in technical and vocational education post 16. The changes will mostly impact on colleges rather than schools, but it’s interesting to see the bigger picture, especially as schools will potentially be legally required to invite in third party providers to talk to students about their post 16 options. It will also  be interesting to see if the plans finally give vocational education the value it deserves. 

Click here to see the full document 

A TES summary which is much easier to read than the original 50 page document

Article by Laura Mcinerney on what schools need to know about the review

Resources To Support Lesson Planning

Colour Change Mugs

If you are looking for an end of term D&T related gift Sainsbury and Asda have Star Wars colour change mugs and glasses for around £5. Great if you are looking for a cheap present that also doubles us as a starter activity!

colour change mug

Contextual Challenge Cards

James Bleach has produced some contextual challenge cards that might be useful if you are doing some planning at the end of term or over the summer. They are  free from his JambleD&T website. While you are on there have a look around the website as there are lots of other great resources that are worth a look.

A Level Design Brief Opportunity

If you are a Sheffield based school with A level students looking for real clients and projects based on inclusive design the Titch Schools Project is worth a look (via Marie Judge on the Design and Technology Teachers Facebook group) 

EnChroma Glasses

EnChroma have created glasses which improve the visual experience for people who are colour blind. Their website is interesting as is this short video showing the reactions of people using the glasses. The glasses are an interesting product and are an example of inclusive design that is less commonly thought about. The video is also useful for getting students to think about how we take colour for granted and the part colour plays in design and our lives generally. For us as teachers it’s a useful reminder that we may have a student in our classroom who sees colour differently. 

Paper Knitting Yarn


I had an interesting find in Hobbycraft this week - paper knitting and crochet yarn. I have used rafia for knitting in the past but I haven’t come across a yarn made out of paper before that can be washed (the label says it can be hand washed). This could be an interesting way of getting textiles students interested in the paper and board element of the new GCSE & getting them thinking about how paper could be used in textiles as a material. I recently saw a great bag made out of woven paper & yarn which was both strong and practical as well as being attractive. See more images

Useful Quick Links

100 years of handbags - short video on how handbags, and what goes in them, has changed over the years. Great starting point for thinking about user needs and accessory design. 

Exploring the flow of water using Lego to build dams

Competitions  Click here for information on other D&T competitions 

 'Product In A Tin’ Competition: Just Over 2 Weeks to the Deadline (1st August)

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A steady stream of competition entries are now coming in. I love opening them and seeing what students have been working on.  There's still time to do a last minute project or homework. Although there are 3 main prizes there are always lots of additional runners up each year because I end up having a soft spot for so many entries! Click here for more information and resources.  

Guest Blog


 STEM Day on Military Textiles by Maggie Brand, Uckfield Community College

See the guest blog written by Maggie Brand, from Uckfield Community College, about the STEM day based on military textiles that she organised at her school. Why not write a short article of your own over the summer to be included in the Guest Blog? It can be anything related to teaching and learning and can be as long or short as you like. Click here for more information. 

Course Updates

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

The Textiles Teacher Roadshow
8th Oct, Nottingham 
(3rd Dec, London also available)
New content for the new academic year: focus on the place of textiles in the new GCSE 

E-textiles Basics & a Beginner’s Guide to Programming  - 4th & 5th November 2016, (2 day course), STEM Centre, York. FREE if your school is state fundedAlthough this is a textiles biased course it may also be on interest to non specialists (note this course is organised by the STEM Centre & the link takes you to their website - look for info on the Enthuse bursary to attend the course for free)  Click here to see photos from the course

Promoting Creativity, Imagination & Independence: Outstanding T&L in D&T (including info on the new GCSE) (this course is delivered by Paul & Julie Boyd on behalf of Keynote Educational)
9th November, London

GCSE D&T 2017: Textiles in the New Qualification
11th November, Liverpool 
(14th Dec, London also available)

Technical Textiles: Using Smart & Modern Materials in Your Classroom - 25th & 26th November 2016 (2 day course), STEM Centre, York
(note this course is organised by the STEM Centre & the link takes you to their website). 
State funded schools & academies can apply for an Enthuse Bursary which pays the course fee (as well as any accommodation required). Click here to find out more about the Enthuse Award. Click here to see photos from the course

Preparing to Teach the New D&T GCSE 9th & 10th December (2 day course), STEM Centre, York (note this course is organised by the STEM Centre & the link takes you to their website). State funded schools & academies can apply for an Enthuse Bursary which pays the course fee (as well as any accommodation required). Click here to find out more about the Enthuse Award.

The Textiles Teacher Roadshow
3rd Dec, London 
(8th Oct, Nottingham also available)
New content for the new academic year: 
focus on the place of textiles in the new GCSE JUST £42 & INCLUDES FREEBIES!

GCSE D&T 2017: Textiles in the New Qualification
14th December, London NEW DATE & VENUE
(11th Nov, Liverpool also available)

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

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