Head of Department: Ms A Ramwell
Textiles is an exciting part of our creative curriculum and is taught under the umbrella of Art. We have a suite of Bernina sewing machines and a textiles studio where students are encouraged to be self-expressive risk-takers with textiles, fashion and theatrical work. Work is exhibited on a regular basis and parents are invited to see the work. The Art corridor is often a showcase of amazing work across the disciplines. We have visiting artists who have brought new skills to the department, for example, felt making and jewellery design.
Key Stage 3
Students in years 7 & 8 complete a mini block of Textiles as part of the carousel curriculum. Work is based on a smaller scale where links to other designers is key.
Year 7 – Crunch, Munch, Sew
We look at the work of Eric Carle (The Very Hungry Caterpillar) and develop designs based around fruits using disperse dyes and the heat press. Simple hand stitching is then used to apply refined detail. Colour and pattern as well as layering create some dynamic pieces that reflect Eric Carle’s vibrant style.
Year 8 – Chop, Stitch, Run
Charlie Harper and animals are the inspirations for this unit. Using applique and a range of hand stitches students produce a section of a Toran that is hung and suspended as a piece of group work. In the past some of these works have been displayed in our feeder primary schools. The work always looks vibrant and skillful.
Key Stage 4
60% Portfolio, 40% exam (OCR)
At the beginning of the course students build up a range of skills using textiles techniques based around the theme of natural forms. These include:
- Free-machine embroidery
- Burning and polyfusion techniques
- Felt making
- Sculptural textiles
- Cord and tassel work
- Screen printing
- Dissolvable fabrics
- Mixed media work
Students start to embark on their own designs using some of the skills that they have learned making links to other artist and designers. Work is usually presented in sketchbooks and on sheets where students gather and collect information and then refine into a final design. Students are encouraged to be individual and to follow their creative strengths.
Following a similar journey to the portfolio work students produce a body of work in their books and on sheets. The exam paper presents 10 starting points which students respond to using the textiles skills that they have learned. They spend approximately 8 weeks preparing ideas, sketches, samples and making links to other designers work before completing a final piece during an exam.
Key Stage 5
AS: 100% exam
A level: 60% portfolio, 40% exam
The A level course builds on skills that have been developed at GCSE with an expectation of risk-taking and creative development. The starting them is ‘Spectrum’ and is used within the bridging the gap work. A range of skills are covered through drawing, textiles work and contextual work as a foundation course. Students then start to develop their own ideas and creative journeys. The visit to London in the Autumn term is often a creative platform for new creative ideas and outlooks and students benefit form the galleries and museums that we visit.
Students build up a portfolio of work that is internally moderated and then moderated by the exam board. At the end of the year we have a private view for students, parents and carers to display and showcase the amazing work that is produced.
Many of or students join courses across the country to further develop their creative skills, sometimes on a foundation diploma but also straight on to degree courses. We prepare students for interviews and with portfolios that represent their creative journey. Lots of past students have set up their own businesses in Fine Art, Photography, Gallery work and creative journalism. Quite a few have also become Art teachers!