Lots of free resources to get the term off to a good start!

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For some the holiday is long over and it already feels like the summer was ages ago, whilst for others there are still a few days left to go. The blog starts back up again this week after a break over the summer and whether you are already back at work, or if you have still have a few days of the break to enjoy, I hope this week’s blog provides some resources that will save you planning time. The blog this week mostly summarises a few of the things I have shared on my Facebook page over the summer.

Some Free Resources To Get Your Term Off To A Good Start 

#ThinkDo Freebie

There has been a free resource offer on my Facebook page for the last week or so consisting of 127 of my #ThinkDo activity cards. If you haven’t seen it yet it will be available to download until 12th September. These are all of the cards I have previously given away via my Facebook page in groups of around 30 but they have been amalgamated into one PowerPoint. If you have downloaded all of the previous Facebook freebies you will already have all of the resources but the download is worth a look if you have missed any of the previous freebies. You can access the resource here . Don’t forget to ‘like’ my Facebook page to make sure you don’t miss future offers. 

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Let’s Learn Resources on the Website

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Over the summer I've been working on a new section on the website called ‘Let’s Learn’. This aims to pull together and classify lots of the videos and links from my weekly blog, as well as other links and resources I think are useful. This means if you are looking for videos and links for a particular topic you will be able to find them more easily. There are a wide range of categories and these will grow and develop over time. The resources are targeted at both teachers and students. Visit the ‘Let’s Learn’ page.

How teachers might use these resources:

  • To support lesson planning
  • For starters, plenaries and lesson activities
  • For extension activities
  • For homework
  • As part of a flipped learning programme

How students might use these resources:

  • For independent learning activities 
  • For revision 
  • As part of research for homeworks & project work

Visit the 
‘Let’s Learn’ page

A Selection of Useful Links From My Facebook Page Over the Summer

The Brum Brum bike for 2-6 year olds which has an unusual design as well as a box you can colour in and make into somewhere to park your bike

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See photos from The Nottingham Carnival which was a brilliant example of a wide range of D&T materials being combined to create some fantastic creative costumes and animatronics. Textiles, wood, metal, plastics and paper were all on show along with lots of levers, mechanisms, electronics and forces. 

Interesting concept for a book design with a message about animal welfare 

Viktor and Rolf’s Vagabonds collection which uses fabric and garments from past collections that have been torn up, woven and manipulated to create new garments. This is great for students who are doing recycling projects 

Continuing the recycling theme students from the Design Academy Eindhoven were given the brief of recycling materials from airplanes including seat materials, seat belts, carpets and other cabin features & this article shows items they designed from convertible pillows, backpacks, on board slippers to in flight exercise equipment.

If you are planning any work on biomimicry this link has information on 5 animals that have inspired products or which could inspire them in the future.

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Pantone Studio is a free app from Pantone. The free app is restricted on what you can use it for but the colour picker is a useful feature that allows you to take a photo and create instant colour palettes as well as identifying which Pantone shade each colour is. The palettes can be printed or put into Photoshop. This could be a great homework activity with students taking photos and producing their own palettes along with using the palettes to design with (currently only available for the iPhone but versions are planned for Android). 

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Zubits, magnetic shoe closures that are an interesting development in fastenings

Thanks to Sylvia Patchett for flagging up this brilliant video on the challenge of designing for fire-fighters 

A baby carrier integrated into a t.shirt which is useful for thinking about product development as well as meeting user needs. 

Still On Holiday?

Still got a few days left of your holiday? Here are some D&T inspired day trips to get you in the mood to go back to work:

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Visit Made in Sheffield at the Millennium Gallery to see 150 local companies exhibit their work (until 8th January 2017). See photos from my visit

Colour and Vision at the Natural History Museum in London shows how our vision first, how it plays a huge role in the survival of many animals, how colours are used in nature, and how colour influences art, design and innovation (until 6th November 2016)

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Nottingham Castle has a small exhibition of 10 drawings by Leonardo Da Vinci as well as 15 table tops in the café designed by Jon Burgerman. These were inspired by Da Vinci's attempt to record and illustrate the world around him and Burgerman has brought this up to date by thinking about what Da Vinci’s might have drawn had he been alive today in a world of popular culture, comic books, t.v. and the internet. See photos from my visit 

Competition Results Coming Soon

The results of my textiles competition that closed just before the end of term will be announced in the next week or so. Keep an eye on your emails if your students entered the competition. It’s going to be a tough one to judge as there were lots of fabulous entries. A new competition will also be announced soon.

Looking For CPD For The New Term?

There are lots of courses coming up over the next term including ones on the new D&T GCSE  as well as separate ones on the role of textiles in the new GCSE (courses in Liverpool and London). The Textiles Teacher Roadshow on 8th October in Nottingham will also have content relevant to the new GCSE (also in London on 3rd December). Scroll down or click here to see the full course calendar for the term. More courses and dates will be added over the next few weeks including new dates for the technician course on servicing sewing machines

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


Textiles Technicians: Basic Servicing & Maintenance of Sewing Machines will be announced soon for venues in London, York and Nottingham. Email julie@julieboyd.co.uk to be informed when dates are released. 

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. 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. Although 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 

GCSE D&T 2017: Textiles in the New Qualification
14th December, London INCLUDES NEW GCSE
(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 julie@julieboyd.co.uk for more details. 

To receive this blog via email each week email julie@julieboyd.co.uk 

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