Ebacc debate, summer holiday homework, 18 free #ThinkDo activities, getting to know your new tutor group, & technical textiles

Dazzle camouflage

If you are missing my regular #ThinkDo activity cards my Facebook page has 18 of them for you to download. They are randomly selected ones that I have shared in the past but, unless you follow my Facebook page closely, you probably won’t have them all yet. I haven't had time to produce any new ones recently but hopefully these will fill a few gaps in the run up until the end of term. Don't forget there are also lots more of these activities on the website that you might find useful (in a slightly different format) .  

Next week sees our final courses for the academic year with the technician sewing machine maintenance course (which is now full - new dates will be added in the new term), as well as a course in Nottingham on the place of textiles in the new GCSE D&T qualification (which has a couple of places left). A new date for this course has also been added to the calendar on 11th November in Liverpool. As with the Nottingham course there will be a limited number of places with the aim of personalising the course to meet the needs of individual schools. 

Free Resources 


Quick activities with a free photo & thinking point. 

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#ThinkDo Blue foam used to model & prototype ideas. How else might a designer model their ideas?

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: 


Click on the links below to see more:

Calendar    Things coming up soon include:

8th July - National Museum of Scotland reopens (including 40% more space dedicated to science, technology & design)

12th June - Live online support session for food teachers focusing on high level practical skills (Food Teachers Centre

13th July - GCSE D&T 2017: Textiles in the New Qualification course, Nottingham

13th July - Technicians course on servicing sewing machines, Nottingham (with Enthuse Bursary to cover the cost of fees)

9th July - (on until 2nd Oct 2016) - Britain in the Fifties exhibition

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

Curriculum Updates

The Ebacc Debate

petition 2

Did you see the Ebacc debate in parliament on Monday? A number of MPs put forward some good arguments, which they argued in a passionate way, although Nick Gibb’s response was disappointing as expected. D&T was mentioned a number of times, including some specific references to fashion, but there wasn’t an MP that stood up to fight for D&T in the way some stood up for music and other creative subjects (in fact there weren’t many MPs at the debate). Did you write to your MP asking them to represent us? We wrote to ours but he didn’t reply and wasn’t at the debate. 

You can watch the debate, although as it is just under three hours long so you might find it easier to skim read the transcript 

Ofqual and the New GCSE Specs

exam boards

The draft GCSE specs were submitted to Ofqual on May 19th and they have to respond after 40 days. I’m not sure if that is just working days but it should mean we get some sort of response soon. Apparently 95% of qualifications are rejected by Ofqual first time round so we might still not get any definitive answers. Indeed, some subjects starting teaching this September took many months to get agreed. You can keep up to date on what is happening by visiting the Ofqual page on the DfE site 

Resources To Support Lesson Planning

A Bit of D&T Thinking Every Day Over the Summer Holiday


I came across this Maths calendar this week with the aim to encourage students to do 'a little bit of maths every day’. This made me think of my #ThinkDo activities which could be used in a similar way. Why not use my #ThinkDo activities over the summer as a way of 'drip feeding' D&T thinking? You can do this by giving out a worksheet or if you could use social media, for example Instagram or Twitter. There are lots of ways of doing this securely but if you don’t want to use social media why not get students to follow me or others who post about D&T related subjects (such as their favourite designers, the V&A, and companies such as Design Milk). There are also 18 #ThinkDo activity cards on my Facebook page this week to download for free. 

The maths calendar also reminded me of an Italian teacher I mentioned last summer who created a summer homework list inspired by the character played by Robin Williams in Dead Poets Society. Called ‘homework for life’ the tasks are a mixture of light hearted things such as 'walking by the sea and thinking about the things you love most in life’ through to more academic tasks such as using vocabulary learnt in lessons over the last year. This could also be developed into an interesting summer holiday set of tasks based on D&T. See the full list of tasks

Getting to Know Your New Tutor Group

If you are taking on a new year 7 tutor group before the end of term take a look at this useful free TES resource by Victoria1987 on getting to know your new group. The resources could also be adapted for any other year group. 

Quick Links

12 Iconic chair designs from the 50s

A canoe that folds up to the size of a suitcase in 10 minutes and which has wheels to make it easy to transport when folded

Developing the hearing aid both as a tool to enhance the experience of users with hearing loss, as well as being a hands free, in ear device for those with no hearing loss but who are in environments where it is hard to hear. 

Technical Textiles

Wear2 Disappearing Thread

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Last week we ran a 2 day technical textiles course at the National STEM Learning Centre and as part of the course delegates visited Leeds University to hear about medical textiles and to tour some of the research areas, including the non wovens research area. As part of the visit we learnt about the development of wear2 technology which is a sewing thread that is engineered to literally fall apart on command. In everyday use the thread is strong and durable, and looks and behaves like a normal thread, but when microwaved it disappears. This means the product automatically separates at the seams and components fall away making them easy to remove without damaging the fabric. This provides a unique way to recover the fabric for reuse, upcycling or recycling. This is an excellent example of the circular economy and designing for disposal. See a short video on the thread here 

Bullet Proof Fashion

Bullet proof vest

On the technical textiles course one of the focus points was bullet proof vests and I mentioned a company who produce personal protection garments disguised as fashion items. Miguel Caballero claims to be the only bulletproof fashion tailor to offer highly exclusive custom made designer clothing that acts as personal protection. With prices that start at £2000 for a t.shirt that’s the ultimate in designer clothing! This would be a great design activity for students thinking about the science behind bullet proof fabrics, the needs of traditional users of bulletproof vests, such as the police, who the users are that might want bulletproof fashion garments, how their needs differ from user groups like the police, along with design activities for bulletproof fashion. 

Interested in Technical Textiles?

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Technical textiles (including smart and modern textiles) are listed on most of the new draft GCSE specs under the technical principles, which means that all students have to know about this area. If you want to top up your knowledge in this area take a look at the 2 day technical textiles course at The National STEM Learning Centre on 25th & 26th November. The course includes a visit to Leeds Uni as well as lots of hands on activities and ideas for back in the classroom. If you are a state school or academy you can apply for an Enthuse Bursary which pays for the course fees and overnight accommodation. Find out more about this course.  

Competitions  Click here for information on other D&T competitions 

Get Your 'Product In A Tin’ Competition In! Deadline 1st August


There’s still a few weeks left to enter my textiles competition; why not use it as a homework or end of term activity? Click here to find out more and to see resources you can use. 

Course Updates

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

Textiles Technician Course: A Basic Introduction to Servicing and Maintaining Sewing Machines NEW 13th July, Coles Sewing Centre, Nottingham (note this course is organised by the STEM Centre & the link takes you to their website but it is held in Nottingham). 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.

GCSE D&T 2017: Textiles in the New Qualification
13th July, Nottingham LAST FEW DAYS TO BOOK
(this course also takes place on 11th November in Liverpool NEW DATE & VENUE)

The Textiles Teacher Roadshow, 8th Oct, Nottingham 
New content for the new academic year with a focus on the place of textiles in the new GCSE JUST £42 & INCLUDES FREEBIES!

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 NEW DATE & VENUE

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.

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 julie@julieboyd.co.uk for more details. 

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