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Sir Jonathan North College

Sir Jonathan North College

Textiles Technology


At Sir Jonathan North students welcome the creativity they can develop in Textiles lessons. As they work through Key Stage 3, their confidence with using machines increases and this enables them to develop high quality project pieces.

In Key Stage 3 Textiles is taught in rotation with other Design and Technology subjects. During Year 7 students use the given project design brief to learn different methods of fabric manipulation and joining techniques. Their own individuality can be seen in their choices of decoration, with methods such as appliqué, beading and sequin work being taught. In Year 8 students build on prior knowledge and understand the importance of researching a project.  They learn the skills involved in using dyes and creating patterns. Initially students will have one to one tuition to learn to use the sewing machine and an overlocker and as their confidence grows they will become able to do this independently.

In Year 9 methods in dyeing, printing or stitching are used to develop their own design. In the second rotation they work as a team of four to design and create a garment. This develops not only their textiles ability but also their communication  and collaboration skills.

Across all year groups students have the opportunity to evaluate and improve their work, modifying and analysing their designs. 

Programme of Study

Year 7

  • Hand stitching skills project to make a floral corsage brooch – 4 weeks
  • Machine skills project to make a 'be seen' armband – 4 weeks

Year 8

  • Design and make a small bag with a lining with decorations inspired by designs from another culture – 4 weeks
  • Design and make a set of juggling balls – 4 weeks

Year 9

  • Design and make a cushion cover for a teenager's bedroom – 6 weeks
  • Fashion design challenge – 4 weeks


GCSE Textiles harnesses the imagination of students who have a real interest in the fashion industry and who are keen to develop their dressmaking and tailoring skills to make garments which they have designed themselves.

In the first year of the course, students develop their knowledge and understanding in many areas such as differing fibres and fabrics, the technology used in the textiles industry, fabric manipulation and assembly techniques.  In addition to developing their practical skills, the global commercial designing and manufacturing method theory is analysed. Designing-for-a-sustainable-future theory (including use of power, labour, resources, carbon footprint of new products, business models) is also investigated.

In June, Year 10 receive the brief for their project work and begin to research and design development work for their individual project.

Students complete various practical projects during Year 11 including their mock exams, final exam for practical work and final submission of their project. The course has a final written exam at the end of Year 11.

Useful Resources

  • Access to sewing equipment and a sewing machine at home is beneficial to support their skills development.
  • We encourage students to purchase a GCSE revision guide.
  • Websites. There are countless internet sites available to support with students’ independent research into practical techniques with a wide range of materials. We encourage students to use GCSE Bitesize, the Eduqas exam board website and textiles4u with exam revision. Students will be advised of other sites with information about key new technologies and developments with commercial design through taught lessons.

Top Tips

  • Encourage your daughter to practise the techniques she has learned at school to develop her accuracy, speed and confidence. If this becomes habitual and regular, she will be happy and confident, and able to work independently with developing her final project work.
  • Written tests will be set throughout the GCSE course to prepare students for the final written exam in Year 11. If your daughter is to perfect her exam technique to enable her to respond confidently to different exam type questions, it is sensible for her to prepare for these tests thoroughly throughout the 2 year course. Preparation for the final exam should therefore be about simple revision, and not about learning new information when students have many exams to prepare for at this time.