My new competition, universal design, designing for well being, new uses for traditional materials & lots of free resources


The Textiles Teacher Roadshow is the first big course of the term and this is now just a few weeks away. There are only 9 tickets left so if you’re planning to attend book soon to avoid disappointment. If you can’t attend on 8th October take a look at the London event on 3rd December which will be the same. Delegates at both events get a free set of 11 glossy A2 textiles posters which are great for those blank walls at open evenings (you can see some of the posters above).

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There have been some unexpected delays in getting new dates for the sewing machine maintenance courses because of complications out of our control. Apologies to those who have have expressed an interest and we hope to have details soon.

This week I have been planning dates and venues for courses after Christmas, including ones on CAD and 3D printing, exam technique for A level D&T textiles, e-textiles as well as one on programming. I hope to be able to release dates and venues for these soon. Other course titles are also in the pipeline and if there’s any other courses you would like to see run email me at

STEM Centre 2

Don’t forget if you are looking for CPD but have a limited budget, the courses we run at the National STEM Learning Centre have a bursary that state schools and academies can apply for which pays the course fee (and any accommodation for 2 day courses). There are ones coming up on the new D&T GCSE, E-textiles and programming and technical textiles. 


Calendar    Things coming up soon include:

25th Sept - Online support 7-8pm: for food teachers on the obesity strategy 

26th Sept - Online support 7.30pm for food teachers on Grain Chain 

17th - 25th Sept - London Design Festival

18th - 25th Sept - Global Goals Week (raising awareness of global goals for sustainable development)

8th Oct - The Textiles Teacher Roadshow, Nottingham ONLY 9 TICKETS 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

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#ThinkDo #Design Everyday items such as TVs are constantly developing newer & better technologies. What developments do you predict for the next 3 years? 10 years? 20 years?

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


Click on the links below to see more:

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

Universal Design

Useful for A level students trying to identify a suitable user and need for their coursework design brief.

The principles of universal design including a short video, some thinking points and some useful website links for research. 

Designing for wellbeing

Useful for A level students trying to identify a suitable user and need for their coursework design brief.

This might also be useful for other year groups who are thinking about designing and using pattern in their work. 

The work of Stallion and Chan who have researched what emotions visual characteristics such as pattern produce and how this can be used in the design of products to change our state of mind. 

See all of the Let’s Learn resources

Useful Links

D&T Futures Lecture: Wayne Hemingway


If you weren’t able watch the D&T Futures lecture by Wayne Hemingway last week you can watch it on D&TTV for free if you are a member (£3.99 for non members). It is really interesting to hear Wayne Hemingway talk about his beginnings in fashion design and how he has diversified into other areas of design and it’s a good example of how design is not limited by the materials and processes used. 

New Uses For Traditional Materials


Who says wood has to be a hard material used for furniture? Chanel’s Spring/Summer 2016 Haute Couture fashion collection used balsa wood to create thousands of tiny sequins and decorations used on a variety of garments including a wedding dress. Some garments are completely covered in balsa wood but they are still soft, flexible and elegant just like any other Chanel collection. See the suit in the image above on Chanel’s ‘Wooden Embroideries’ page. Some of the ideas are amazing and it is great inspiration for the new GCSE and a good way of getting students thinking about materials in a broader sense. 

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Visit this Let’s Learn page to find out more about Chanel’s collection, including video on how some of the garments using balsa wood were made, as well as some textiles activities you can do using balsa. 

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Want more exciting ideas like this to help you introduce the broader materials focus into textiles as part of the new GCSE D&T? Take a look at the courses in Liverpool and London.

Practical Action Design For a Better World Competition 


Visit Practical Action’s website for their global design challenge for 11-14 year olds (deadline 16th December 2016). There are lots of resources on global goals for sustainable development in different contexts and exploring a range of technologies that are being developed to help address these issues. 

BP Competition: The Ultimate STEM Challenge 

BP competition

The Ultimate STEM Challenge is a competition by BP, the Science Museum and STEM Learning for 11-14 year olds tackling real world problems. Students work in groups of two to four either in school or independently and create a short film or presentation showcasing their idea (deadline for submission is 13 January 2017). Find out more.

My New Competition Announced

New Competition: Product in a Tin - But With a New Twist For 2017

It’s a new school year and we are starting with a new competition that will run until 1st August 2017. The prize hasn’t yet been confirmed but fingers crossed it will be a £300 sewing machine similar to the 2016 prize. 


The success of the 2016 Product in a Tin competition means we are running the theme for another year but with a few new twists that make it a little different. The biggest change is that, along with at least one textiles material and technique, entries must also include at least one non textiles material such as paper, metal, wood or plastic.

competition winners

The new twist in the competition aims to bring it in line with the new GCSE 2017 and to encourage students (and teachers!) to recognise that most textiles products use other materials in some format or other. But don’t worry this doesn’t mean the competition has lost its textiles heart, and indeed the entries of all winners from previous years, including this year, would still meet the new criteria (the bunting and bag in the image use plastic buttons and the postcard has metal sequins and uses plastic sweet wrappers). The new criteria will, however, potentially open up the competition to a broader group of students who might not previously have entered. There are lots of student resources to get students going as well as some teacher ones

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Students could use a non textiles material in the form of a bought component e.g. plastic buttons, metal buckle, wooden bead. This keyring is a good example as it uses a metal split ring. Metal is also hidden inside the keyring as it uses LEDs as well as conductive thread.

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For those who want to be a little more adventurous students can now make part of their entry using non textiles materials e.g. laser cutting their own buttons, or 3D printing a section of their design, as can be seen in the  light in the image which has a 3D printed framework, with a textiles material attached, which has then been sewn together. See more about this project here

Find out more about the competition & see the student & teacher resources


See the 2016 winner and runners up

Course Updates 

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

Textiles Technicians: Basic Maintenance & Servicing of Sewing Machines Dates coming soon for London, York & Nottingham. Email to be informed when dates are released. Bursary available for state schools & academies which pays the course fee.

The Textiles Teacher Roadshow ONLY 9 TICKETS LEFT
8th Oct, Nottingham  INCLUDES NEW GCSE D&T
(3rd Dec, London also available)
New content for the new academic year: focus on the place of textiles in the new GCSE £42 & INCLUDES FREEBIES!

E-textiles Basics & a Beginner’s Guide to Programming 
4th & 5th Nov 2016, (2 days), York. 
Might also interest non specialists.  See photos. Bursary available for state schools & academies which pays the course & accommodation fee.

Promoting Creativity, Imagination & Independence: Outstanding T&L in D&T (includes new GCSE)  (delivered 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 days), York. See photosBursary available for state schools & academies which pays the course & accommodation fee.

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

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 £42 & INCLUDES FREEBIES!

GCSE D&T 2017: Textiles in the New Qualification
14th December, London 
(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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