Another free micro:bit resource, D&T Heroes, exhibitions to visit over the summer, & useful quick links 

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This is the final blog of the academic year and the next one will be at the beginning of the Autumn term. If you are doing any planning over the summer there are lots of resources on the website and these are being added to all of the time. Don’t forget that there will be lots of daily updates on my Facebook, Twitter and other social media pages, including some freebies that will be given away over the holiday, so make sure you sign up to avoid missing out. To get the freebies started there’s a new one on the website which is a short PowerPoint that supports the micro:bit resources that have been given away previously. The Powerpoint and other micro:bit resources were produced by my husband, Paul Boyd

I hope everyone has a fabulous and relaxing summer break to recharge their batteries ready for the Autumn term. See you in September! 

Free Resources 


Quick activities with a free photo & thinking point. 

Tyvek envelope

#ThinkDo This envelope is made of Tyvek which is a technical textile which looks & feels like paper but which is much stronger. It was originally designed as a breathable membrane for use in the building industry & is now used for a variety of products from packaging to garments. What other technical textiles can you name?

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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Click on the links below to see more:

In The News

Presentation from Diana Choulerton

If you weren’t able to get the the D&T Association’s Summer School take a look at the presentation from Diana Choulteron, the Ofsted lead for D&T. It is well worth a look if you are looking for direction with your curriculum planning & what makes good D&T 



The D&T Association have launched a campaign to promote and celebrate the value of design in our everyday lives and its impact on industry and society. Called D&T Heroes the campaign will culminate in resources that celebrate top British and international D&T heroes, including a book that will be delivered to the DfE as a statement about the importance of design and technology in industry and in society generally. 

Click here to see more information on the campaign.

Use the hashtag #DandTHeroes to post your own heroes on social media (don’t forget to include the hashtag to flag up that the content is part of the campaign). I started my own list on my my Facebook page this week including Stephanie Kwolek, the woman who invented Kevlar, Elias Howe Jr, inventor of the sewing machine, George de Mestral, inventor of Velcro, Gideon Sundback who invented the zip, Fiona Fairhurst, inventor of Speedo's Fastskin fabric and swimsuit, Wallace Carothers, inventor of nylon, William Perkin, who discovered the first synthetic dye and Mary Quant, iconic fashion designer famous for the mini skirt.

If you have a school Facebook, Twitter, Instagram or other social media account this is a great ‘drip feed’ activity to do over the holiday to get students thinking about D&T over the summer. Alternatively why not set this as the first homework back after the holiday, either as a social media activity, or as a more traditional research homework?

D&T Exhibitions to Visit Over the Summer

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There’s lots of D&T linked places and exhibitions to visit over the holiday and some suggestions can be found here. Two that caught my eye this week are in Manchester; the first one opens on 23rd July at the Manchester Museum of Science and Industry and is called Wonder Materials: Graphene and Beyond. Graphene is a material that is predicted to have the potential to completely reshape the way we think about design and manufacture in many areas so this should be an interesting place to visit. 

The other exhibition that caught my eye is at the Manchester Craft and Design Centre and is called Biological Atelier. It showcases the intriguing but slightly creepy work of Amy Congdon who explores tissue engineering and biological textiles and how they might be used in the fashion and textiles industry in the future. After seeing my mention of the exhibition on my Facebook page this week Mandy Jones visited whilst in the area. Although very small (and therefore only worth a visit if you are in the area), Mandy says the exhibition was interesting showing leather lace being grown, fabric growing from bone cells, skin cells and spinal cord cells, a biological performance shoe grown to a pattern shape and biological embellished fabric. Thanks to Mandy for the feedback and the photos below from the exhibition. Find out more about Amy Congdon’s work on her website at

tissue engineering fabric

If you are visiting any of the exhibitions yourself make sure you check the exhibition website before visiting to check when they are open.  

Useful Quick Links

The pet carriers from U-Pet are both amusing and innovative - I'm not sure if the pets being carried look happy with the product or not but the idea is certainly different to standard pet carriers! 

Fab time lapse video of clay modelling of a Mercedes car (via @jim1982)

Interesting article on how the design of the bicycle led to the invention of the airplane

Ballet flat shoes that are a good example of footwear, fashion, technology and sustainability all in one product. Made from recycled plastic bottles, the shoes are 3D knitted and then heat set for a good fit, before carbon free soles are added.

Part bike, part treadmill and part scooter Lopifit is a great example of a real product created by combining existing products together. An electric sensor on board registers movement and activates the motor which supports you to continue walking enabling you to continue walking at the same pace whilst travelling up to 4 times faster. Both the Lopifit website and this You Tube video  would be great for a starter exercise for a design lesson getting students to think differently. 

‘Hard home’ is embroidery with a difference and something far removed from the stereotyped perceptions of traditional embroidery. It’s a 4 metre by 5 metre depiction of a ‘White Walker’ from Game of Thrones and is a project led by the Embroiders’ Guild along with The Royal School of Needlework, Hand and Lock and Fine Cell Work. The piece was worked on by 160 embroiderers and includes e-textiles, digital printing, surface stitch, machine embroidery, metal thread work beading, appliqué and quilting. See more about the embroidery on the Hand and Lock website  as well as on the Embroiders’ Guild website. For more amazing embroidery work that challenges the perceptions of embroidery look at the work of Michele Carragher, who works in the Game of Throne’s costume department. 

Competitions  Click here for information on other D&T competitions 

Get Your Entries In For the 'Product in a Tin’ Textiles Competition!

The entries for my textiles competition have been arriving over the last few weeks. Lots of entries have stolen my heart already and I can see that once again there are going to be many additional smaller prizes added for all the entries I have a soft spot for! If you are one of the unlucky people who are still at school next week for a few days like some of the schools in Nottingham why not use the competition as a quick activity? The deadline for entries is 1st August. Click here to find out more and to see resources. 

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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