Art Textiles forms part of the Technology Department.
The Technology Department comprises of a team of enthusiastic and dedicated teachers who are committed to encouraging and developing creative flair and a passion for problem solving in our young people at St Michael’s. Subjects taught in this department include, art and design, graphics, product design, food and nutrition, and art textiles.
In art textiles we aim to foster talent and encourage independent learning by nurturing creativity and imagination. We seek to give pupils confidence and inspire them to acquire skills and knowledge while developing a life-long love of art, craft, fashion and textiles. We aim to inspire and challenge, equipping pupils with the knowledge and skills to experiment, invent and create their own works of art, craft and design. Pupils are encouraged to think critically and understand how art, craft and design both reflects and shapes our history, and contributes to the culture and creativity of our nation.
The art, craft and design curriculum is designed and sequenced to be broad and balanced and our intent is to deliver a curriculum that is challenging yet accessible for all pupils.
The curriculum aims to ensure pupils:
- Experience lessons that inspire, inform, stimulate and challenge. We encourage pupils to think in new and creative ways, with the aim of strengthening their confidence, promoting the skill and benefits of perseverance and providing them with opportunities to take creative risks.
- Strive to produce quality, meaningful art, craft and design work to the best of their ability, work that they are personally proud of.
- Are curious about the world around them. We aim to cultivate a sense of enjoyment and wonder and cultural awareness and to appreciate the many forms art and design can take.
- Think critically and understand how art and design both reflects and shapes our history, and contributes to the culture and creativity of our nation.
In Years 7 and 8 pupils learn through practical experience. Teacher demonstrations inform pupils of a range of approaches when using a variety of materials and techniques. Pupils work on set design briefs which guide them through the process of researching, investigating, designing, refining and making. They create final textile pieces of work which they can take home. During the course of study pupils learn about the textiles industry and consider environmental and ethical issues related to design and manufacture.
The Year 9 course focuses on developing pupils confidence when working creatively, combining traditional drawing techniques with contemporary textile processes. Pupils learn how artists and designers are inspired by each other’s work. They make links and analyse work in a critical way and use this to inspire and inform their own lines of enquiry and creative outcomes.
Pupils can further develop their interest and love of the subject in Textiles Club.
In Year 9, all pupils also embark on the Curriculum Enrichment programme. As part of the programme, all pupils take part in lessons involving aspects of the Art Textiles Curriculum; namely focussing on extending and improving needlework and quilting skills. They are engaged in making patchwork quilts and they also practise useful and necessary needlework skills, eg how to sew on buttons and sew hems. This not only builds on skills and knowledge from Years 7 and 8 but also encourages pupils to use their textile skills in a 'real' way and to see their purpose in their future life. The patchwork quilts are being collected and will be taken by pupils to Zambia in 2023 when our pupils are visiting the Cry School in Lusaka, volunteering to help in this African community. The mending skills have recently been used for a real purpose with the pupils assisting with costumes for our school production of Beauty and the Beast. Both these activities are aimed at encouraging our pupils to give of their time and resources willingly and to make a difference in their community in a real way. Please see the information and learning schemes for Patchwork below or on the webpage for the Year 9 Curriculum Enrichment programme.
In Years 10 and 11 pupils follow AQA Art and Design Textiles Specification (8204) (www.aqa.org.uk).
Assessment is 60% Portfolio of Work and 40% Externally Set Task. There is no written exam and at the end of the course all pupils present their work in a final exhibition.
During the course pupils work on two main projects. The first one in Year 10 is a set design brief. Pupils start by researching and investigating critical sources. They develop ideas through experimenting with a range of materials and techniques. Sketchbooks are used to show the creative journey and record ideas through drawings, fabric samples and annotations. Pupils finally present a personal response to the starting point.
In Year 11 pupils complete the second project. They work more independently a chose from a range of starting points. They are encouraged to pursue their own lines of enquiry and create original and imaginative personal outcomes.
Finally pupils complete an externally set task which is a timed project responding to a chosen starting point. This project takes place between January and March of Year 11.
Workshops are regularly run afterschool and at lunchtimes to allow pupils to develop their skills further and learn a wider variety of techniques. Also they have access to the materials and equipment allowing them to complete practical pieces to a high standard.
In Year 10 pupils can apply to become textiles mentors. These students help to run the textiles club, create resources and support the department at open evenings and by making costumes for the school productions.
The textiles room is well equipped with a range of textiles materials and equipment. All GCSE students have access to their own individual sewing machine in the lessons and during afterschool sessions which gives them the opportunity to master machine stitching techniques, including free machine embroidery.
Past pupils having gone on to study at ‘A’ level and degree level have returned to the department to show their work and talk to the students, giving them an insight into the opportunities at college and beyond. Within the department there are examples of A’ level textile sketchbooks which pupils can use to develop their own ideas and inspire them to advance their own skills in their GCSE projects, as well as help them to make decisions about studying art textiles to a higher level.
Art Textiles Learning Schemes