Design Technology – Fibres and Textiles GCSE

Design Technology – Fibres and Textiles GCSE

Study a wide range of media, techniques and processes, in both traditional and new technologies including computerised embroidery and digital printing. Enjoy creating your own designs, informed by a deeper understanding textiles and the different functions and roles of textile design.

Why St Mary's

Explore this creative subject, inspired by subject-specialist teachers, who are passionate about design. Design Technology encompasses a very broad range of materials, techniques and processes, including recyclable materials and a growing number of interdisciplinary approaches. The range is increasing as new materials and technologies emerge, for example, in the field of ‘intelligent textiles’.

You will also research contemporary practice, with opportunities to explore practitioners working in occupations such as a textile designer, textile buyer, fashion designer, fashion forecaster, knitwear designer, milliner, costume designer, fashion illustrator, pattern-cutter and more.

Our enriched learning opportunities can include:

  • Visiting speakers (recent examples include: Sophia Malig, Teaching Fellow in Fashion Design, Winchester School of Art, designers and crafts people)
  • Local and national museum visits, including the V&A Museum
  • Daily lunchtime clubs and workshops
  • After-school textiles club twice a week

View our Technology and Fashion Showcase

Course overview

Through studying GCSE Design and Technology, you will be prepared to participate confidently and successfully in an increasingly technological world; and be aware of, and learn from, wider influences on design and technology, including historical, social/cultural, environmental and economic factors.

The course will offer you the opportunity to solve real problems by designing and making products or systems.

What will I study?

You will study Technical Principles and Designing and making principles. This will allow you to develop knowledge and understanding of design and technology, its impact on daily life, and develop a broad understanding of materials, systems and processes. Each of the above areas is further divided into core knowledge and understanding in-depth knowledge and understanding.

For core Technical Principles you will study the following topics; design and technology and our world, smart materials, electronic systems and programmable components, mechanical components and devices, materials.

In-Depth Knowledge and Understanding will focus on Fibres and Fabrics. You will learn more in detail about natural and manmade fibres and fabrics, combinations of materials, construction techniques, fittings and fastenings, decorative techniques, inspiring designers and sustainability by upcycling denim material into a new fashion or textile item.

Designing and Making Principles (NEA)

You will study these ten areas as a part of your NEA (Non-Examined Assessment) starting in June in Year 10; understanding design and technology practice, understanding user needs, writing a design brief and specifications, investigating challenges, developing ideas, investigating the work of others, using design strategies, communicating ideas, developing a prototype and making decisions.

You will also apply your knowledge and understanding in these five areas, in relation to Fibres and Textiles;

  • selecting and working with materials and components
  • marking out
  • using tools and equipment
  • using specialist techniques
  • using surface treatments and finishes

What skills will I develop?

Studying Design and Technology will enable you to develop a wide range of transferable skills for further education, work and life:

  • Creative and innovative thinking
  • Use of imagination and experimentation
  • Ability to critique and refine your own ideas
  • Knowledge and understanding of all design and technological activity and influences
  • Decision-making skills
  • Develop high quality, imaginative and functional prototypes
  • Communication skills



There is one 2 hour written examination (component 1) at GCSE worth 50% of the qualification; the remaining 50% will be a Design and Make task (NEA) (Component 2)

Component 1: Design and Technology in the 21st Century
A mix of short answer, structured and extended writing questions assessing candidates’ knowledge and understanding of: technical principles designing and making principles along with their ability to: analyse and evaluate design decisions and wider issues in design and technology.

Component 2: Design and Make Task
A sustained design and make task, based on a contextual challenge set by WJEC/EDUQAS, assessing candidates’ ability to: identify, investigate and outline design possibilities design and make prototypes analyse and evaluate design decisions and wider issues in design and technology.

Textiles scholarships

We offer scholarships for talented textile artists.

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You will enjoy this course if you ...
  • Have an interest in practical textiles
  • Enjoy being creative and taking the initiative
  • Have an eye for detail
  • Can think analytically
  • Like developing creative ideas

What our teachers say...

"I selected Textiles as my subject as it has a broad range and exciting techniques to work with. It also offers a breadth of possibilities to apply the skills in future employment, in areas such as marketing and branding."

Fashion is in the sky, in the street, fashion has to do with ideas, the way we live, what is happening.” Coco Chanel

Textile Design encourages creativity, sustained investigation and analysis, experimentation, and design and making as a means of developing technical and expressive skills.

Studying Textile Design as GCSE or A Level offers an opportunity to extend experience and personal response, as well as developing imagination and critical and reflective thinking. An ability to innovate, adapt and work independently are key skills, valued by higher education and employers, and vital to sustaining a creative, vibrant world.

Past St Mary's students have progressed to study a variety of fashion and textile courses including: Fashion and Textile Design at Nottingham Trent University and Winchester School of Art; Costume with Textiles at Huddersfield University and Textile Design at Norwich University of Arts.

This qualification leads to a range of different future career roles, including clothing/textile technologist, colour technologist, illustrator, interior designer, fashion designer or textile designer.


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Beyond St Mary's

Our Senior School students go on to pursue exciting futures.

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