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Textiles at Oak Academy Creatively combining multiple influences

Textiles Teaching Staff

  • Mrs A Whitby: Curriculum Leader
  • Miss A Knipe

Why is Textiles important?

This year alone the creative industries in the UK are set to net £92bn and this sector of industry has continued to grow at twice the rate of the economy according to government research. The ability to work from a design brief and create clothing, haute couture, soft furnishings and textile installations has long been recognised as a key element of this bourgeoning industry.

Starting with the basics of colour, pattern, cutting a stitching, learners will explore centuries of design classics, be introduced to cultural practices and encouraged to creatively combine these multiple influences.

Those who opt to study Textiles in Key Stage 4 will follow the requirements of AQA GCSE Art & Design/Textiles which focus on exploring existing designers and practitioners,  experimenting with traditional and non-traditional materials, and developing and realising design ideas. The course will culminate in an externally set unit that allows the students the freedom to apply their acquired skills to create individual and experimental outcomes.

Teaching and Learning in Textiles

Textile teachers use a wide range of practical teaching and learning approaches to engage students and stimulate their interest. The majority of work is independent and individual, with group work focusing on critique, modification and refinement. Students are given the confidence and opportunity to work in new ways, with new materials, to discuss openly the outcome, both positive and negative. This element is vital in the journey to being able to successfully interpret a design brief.

Students have the opportunity to explore the work of a broad reaching range of designers and practitioners, looking at the legacies they have left for future generations and students are encouraged to discuss and record the influence they have encountered. Close links with Arts University Bournemouth will introduce the learners to the wider world of costume design and realisation, fabric design and manipulation as well as design for stage and screen.

Homework gives students the opportunity to demonstrate what they have acquired in lessons or to research new ideas for upcoming topics. This work undertaken outside of the classroom is a vital element on their journey to become independent learners.

Key Stage 3

Throughout Years 7 to 9, students cover a wide range of materials, techniques and processes. For example, Year 7 will explore felting and puppet making whilst exploring cultural innovations such as Wyang shadow puppets. Moving into Year 8 we explore the Pelham’s brand of string puppets, focusing on wild animals. 

Key Stage 4 

The specification of AQA Art & Design specialising in Textiles requires our learners to produce a portfolio of work that demonstrates innovation and originality, whilst paying homage to designers throughout history. This portfolio (worth 60% of the grade) must consist of one major and at least one minor project. The course structure allows the students the freedom to experiment whilst being closely aligned to the assessment criteria. The remaining 40% is gained from completing the externally set Controlled Assessment task. During this unit the students are allowed the freedom to explore a broad range of ideas which culminate in the 10 hour assessment period. 

GCSE Specifications

The link to the GCSE specifications for Textiles Art & Design can be found below: