Paget High School Business & Enterprise College, in collaboration with PiCL (Staffordshire’s Creative Partnerships) (Years 8 & 9)

The aim of the project was to raise the profile and understanding of textiles and to increase student engagement in the subject, with the hope that more students would opt for the GCSE. Through the development of the project we strengthened staff skills, provided pupils with new experiences and transferable skills and pushed the boundaries and perception of textiles.

Student engagement was maximised by giving them an ‘open brief’. They were free to experiment and use their own interests as the basis of their designs and choose the products they produced. One student remarked that it was refreshing “to be independent and chose our own stuff”. Hands on activities included felt making, hand weaving and designing and producing digital printed and products, including: badges, mirrors, pencil cases, bags, T-shirts and postcards.

As part of their introduction to the ‘wider world’ of textiles, students were encouraged to discuss possible career options and routes. This increased their awareness of the subject’s practical applications, as they realised how textiles related to fields such as fashion, interiors, graphics and art.

The project was a great success, altering the student’s perception of textiles from being ‘all about sewing’, and ‘a girl’s subject’, to something tangible and interesting. Comments included: “I think it was awesome” and “Now I love Textiles”

One of the biggest complaints from the students at the end was running out of time, they wanted to continue the sessions and produce more work.