Textiles is always a ‘hands-on’ subject. The subject involves plenty of one-to-one support as pupils work on individual projects, which allows them to work at a speed that is appropriate to them and allows projects to be simplified or extended according to ability.

All pupils in Years 7 to 9 study textiles for two to three lessons a week, for half the year. For those who choose is as a GCSE option, this increases to four lessons a week for the duration of Years 10 and 11.

Most pupils arrive at OLA with little or no experience of Textiles, so in Year 7 the focus is on encouraging them to become competent and confident when using the sewing machine. The main project in Year 7 is to design and make a cushion. In recent years the cushions have been based on the work of Matisse, Hundertwasser, Klee, Mondrian or Kandinsky, whose work is ideal for translating into textiles. More recently we have used David Hockney’s ‘A Bigger Picture,’ and the current theme is cushions based on pupils’ favourite food.

Construction is the theme for Year 8 and all pupils have the opportunity to make pyjama shorts or trousers. This is the first chance they have to make clothes, so the emphasis is on choosing something straightforward and manageable. Extension projects include adapting/embellishing a T-shirt to wear with the trousers or shorts.

In Year 9 pupils have the chance to further develop their technical and creative skills through a collection of mini projects exploring a wide range of textiles techniques such as dyeing, printing, machine embroidery, feltmaking and using them in combination. These mini projects support both Textiles and Art at GCSE.

Pupils choosing to take Textiles at GCSE will find that they have the opportunity to develop the areas of Textiles that most appeals to them, as well as exploring all aspects of the textiles and fashion industry.

Textiles is taught as a life skill and develops areas such as problem solving, time management, organisation and planning as well as the technical and creative expertise associated with the subject.

Year 7 Work

Year 8 Work

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