GCSE Textiles Technology (any board)Watch
GCSE Textiles, like most tech subjects, is often mistaken for being a push over but it's actually becoming increasingly difficult to attain the top marks.
If you are on Edexcel, I can offer you first hand advice as I did Edexcel. However, if you are on AQA, I also know a lot about this and the other boards shouldn't be too different.
Post any questions you have, I have many materials that can help you if you just say, I'll link you to them!
- Analysis of the Brief
- Initial Ideas
- Development of Ideas
- Final Design
- Production Plan
- Quality of Manufacture
- Quality of Outcome
- Testing and Evaluation
From 1-7 is the Design and 8-11 is make. Each half totals up to 50 marks each, giving you a potential overall score of 100 marks. Gaining around 80 or so means you would only need twenty or so marks on the final exam to pass GCSE Textiles. Something like that.
1. When you begin, do not use the brief they give you. You can make it more impressive and give yourself a better boost if you make your own brief. This is just a statement about what you're doing so for example, mine was something like:
"You have been called upon by a bespoke toy shop to design and create a new child's play teddy bear with matching accessories that will be suitable for the shelves and for job production and manufacture. It must suit the theme of the Hunger Games and the accessories must suit a wedding theme (Katniss Everdeen's wedding gown); it should be suitable for females only and include a personalised component"
In the analysis of this brief, talk about the possibilities. It's all about brain storming ideas and talk about how you could do things, use textiles terms such as Overlocker, Sustainability, Quality Control, etc.etc.
The brief should essentially guide you on what you're going to be looking for in your research. Everything MUST link to each other, this is essential. Examiners will like coursework that is easy to go through and very in depth on the topics at hand. You should find a potential customer, even if it's for you personally; make up a customer.
2. Research is a criterion where people make very silly errors. Do not fill up a whole page with a mood board, you will gain quite literally no marks for it or if anything, around 1 mark. This isn't personal opinion, it's just fact from the board and my teachers. One thing our teacher always advised us to avoid was saying that WE WILL do something. It makes us restricted on what we can do and experiment with, always just say I can or I may, leaving your options open even if you're incredibly sure about something. It just makes it easier for you down the line.
The best thing to do is this:
Analysis of Current Products in the Industry
Interview with potential customer (write a transcript of the conversation after recording it)
A SMALL and I mean SMALL, Mood Board
Notes about at least two different types of businesses that do prom dresses - one that does them on a mass scale such as a famous designer store and another who does them by hand (bespoke businesses) and are made to fit the specifications of the customer.
Then, summarise your findings and what you intend to consider for the next part of your 'project' as it were. You must remember to analyse a real outfit, do not get an image off of the internet and analyse it. They don't like this at all even though it's acceptable. If you don't have a product to analyse, go to a shop and get some photos of one that may be similar to what you are wanting to create. In your analysis of an existing product, use lots of technical terms. Identify what's necessary to make that quality of product. However, if you find faults in the product also mention them for example: "Use of Velcro is futile as it sometimes wears very easily and it's not appealing on a dress; use of a corset or zip maybe more appropriate"
For a dress, you could also do a small bit of research on a/two designers that do things to do with natural forms such as Alexander McQueen who was quite fond of following the colour schemes of peacock feathers.
Tell me if you would like some individual notes on the five given subtitles for the Research.
3. The Specification should contain a well ordered list of steps about what you should include in your design ideas/final product. It's best to give them titles. I can send you mine if you would like it as I did do this on my computer before the coursework date for the specification piece was set.
You must stick to these and in your designs, relate to them. You should also maybe add small captions on parts of your research to identify what could be a potential specification point.
4. The initial ideas must link to your specification and in areas, your research. For example, wherever I followed a specification point, I put a circle next to the annotation and wrote the number of which point it followed, e.g. '(1) Health and Safety'
Colour in your designs, WELL. I drew mine in pencil and then went over them in a very dark black fine ink pen (pentel energel's are brilliant for this) and it made them look gorgeous if I do say so myself, really made the detail stand out.
You should, perhaps, include some zoom-in's of the more detailed parts and draw the detail into the zoom bubble. Explain colour, method of construction and purpose in your annotations. Draw your designs in at least two different view points and one or two poses. However, the poses aren't really necessary - less so than the views!
I used CAD software to experiment with ideas and features on the ideas, however, this has to be USEFUL to you. If you don't really need to do it then don't but it's a nice thing to try out and increases your potential marks because you have shown a highly regarded skill. The more skills you demonstrate, the more marks you are awarded.
5. The review is a very important part of the process. I got a set of transcripts (written by myself) and printed them out for my review. I asked open and closed ended questions to my parents, customer, customers parents and other adults and friends about the products. They said what they liked about them and what they didn't. You must value and ask for criticism. Edexcel are quite strong on how a lot of candidates praise their work to much and then don't get any ideas about changing their work and struggle later on. It's all about being less lenient with yourself and accepting help but of course, you don't have to agree with all points made, I certainly didn't and made it clear in my responses why by challenging the answer given.
You must then do a paragraph on each of your designs stating what you like and don't about them. Again, link back to your specification.
Remember to reference to sustainability issues in textiles widely throughout your work. An excellent revision guide which covers the exam theory and coursework components is the Lonsdale Essentials Textiles Technology GCSE Guide ( http://www.amazon.co.uk/Textiles-Tec...&ie=UTF8&qid=1).
6. The development, for me, is the most difficult criterion. I found this incredibly hard and thought, "I don't know how I can possibly change these" but it's as simple as changing colour for a reason you found in your review or research or because it didn't fit your brief/theme/specification. It's little things like that. I used CAD a lot for this. They don't even have to be very detailed!
You should add paragraphs about your developments and for this part, you should also experiment. Test safety issues and sustainability issues as well as testing construction methods and sample them!
7. The Final Design is where you just incorporate everything you have found out and make one amazing product design. Paragraphs of information, specification points, samples of materials and so on. Annotate these designs and summarise how you got to this point in a brief paragraph. Be technical, talk about how it shall be constructed.
8. This is the first part of the make activity. You must follow the correct structure of a flow chart, using your commercial pattern which you should look into obtaining in advance as cutting them out is a lengthy process which can be done as preparation outside of class or in breaks. Refer to websites such as Simplicity or Vogue to find patterns (make sure you write in 'Simplicity or Vogue Commercial Patterns' though when you web search). This must have a clear structure and include quality checks after each or most stages. At least the important ones anyway. Include a key and when you do quality checks, avoid writing down the obvious things and following the pattern strictly, talk about how you will do things on your own - this is why accessories are good as they have to be independently made and a corsage is easy enough to make and can gain you marks on skills such as Overlocking and Tie-Dying etc.etc..
9. Quality of Manufacture is necessary to show exactly how things were done and to support why the teacher awarded you marks in this criterion. People often don't proof everything (take enough pictures) and so they have marks deducted because what they're saying they've done is not proven and so the examiner has no way of knowing if it's the truth. My advice: take photographs of every step. It's better to have more than you need and throw loads away or delete loads, than to not have enough or the right ones.
You should also get some photos with the customer or you wearing the item - without the face involved or with. Get some up-close images also.
10. Quality of Outcome, like Communication, is assessed on a whole and by the teacher. It's just an assessment of the over all product so follow your plan well and ask for help when you need it. Especially cover things out of lessons so you know what you're doing and then you will be marked as being independent.
11. This is an easy enough part of the coursework to follow and complete well - Testing and Evaluation. Get photos of the customer wearing your product, state whether or not your quality checks worked, state what you could have improved, List your specification points and say whether or not you met them and if not, say why. For example, I originally tried to make a dress for the bear and realised it was too much to do well in such little time. It would never have worked and would have ruined everything so I never did it. Just be careful how you word things in this criterion.
- Use specialist terms all of the time;
- Relate back to your previous piece of work each time you progress (specification should relate to research for example and initial ideas to the specification and research);
- Never underestimate the importance of sustainability;
- Don't hold back;
- Be detailed and orderly;
- Enjoy what you're making and enjoy/take pride in your work;
- Do preparation in advance.
Oh, and for dresses - they are quite fond of people making prototypes: a basic version of their design idea to show the application of different skills and to experiment with suitable construction methods!
I'm still really excited for textiles, but how on earth are you supposed to manage your time with everything and all your other subjects? :0
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It'll find a way of working itself out, don't worry. You'll be fine!