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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.

Programme of Study

Year 7

  • Hand stitching skills project to make a floral corsage brooch – 4 weeks 
    Students will research different methods to make a fabric flower and develop plan their own design.  Students will learn fabric manipulation skills, joining methods and decoration techniques including: appliqué, beading and sequin work, embroidery and using iron on gems.
  • Machine skills project to make a 'be seen' armband – 4 weeks
    Students will learn skills with the sewing machine to achieve a 'sewing machine driving licence' certificate. Students will design and make an armband to keep them safe whilst out and about in low light conditions using a range of materials, including a smart material. Students will have one to one tuition with using the sewing machine and an overlocker to complete their final product.

Year 8

  • Design and make a small bag with a lining with decorations inspired by designs from another culture – 4 weeks
    Students will develop decoration ideas using their research into a chosen world culture from the past or present. Students will be taught about creative techniques using dyes. Students will experiment with techniques for decoration and for making bag straps. Students can use patterns we have in the workshop for the bag design or develop their own using newspaper. Students can construct their bags using the sewing machine independently or with one to one guidance.
  • Design and make a set of juggling balls – 4 weeks
    Students will learn about properties and qualities of fabrics and fillings, and analyse advantages and disadvantages for this product. Students will carefully consider aesthetics with a view to commercial design. Students will design their own pattern pieces for 3 dimensional products using their knowledge of geometric shapes and how they can be combined to make 3D forms. Students will mirror commercial practice with product assembly, and use the same techniques as professionally made products. Products will be tested as students attempt to learn to juggle with their final prototypes! Students will learn how to modify their final idea for a different end use to consolidate their understanding of designing for a range of target markets.

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.