Failing Design and Technology: Fashion and textiles A-level Watch

FxxxD
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Hi, I’m currently doing fashion and textiles for a-level and since the start of last year I haven’t managed to get any better i’ve just been getting U’s. My teachers aren’t giving me the help I need since one left and said she didn’t care what I got and now I’m stuck because I don’t understand any of the theory. I want to be able to at least get a pass in the subject since I want to do fashion design and Uni even though I don’t really need this subject to do it for my own good I want to pass it.
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SofM
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Can I ask what exam board you're with? I'm currently doing A-Level Fashion & Textiles with OCR. The text book I use and had been recommended is the OCR Design Technology Hodder Education book. It includes other DT subjects but has it's own section for Fashion and Textiles. I recommend you get the book if you are studying with OCR as it has all the content we need to cove in it.

The majority of theory is closely linked to your course work, the only difference is that you have to apply it to the context of the paper. For OCR we have 2 papers.

1) Principles of Fashion and Textiles
2) Problem Solving in Fashion and Textiles

Honestly, the best way to learn if you're stuck on theory is to search up your exam board and look for their past papers from the last 5 years+ depending on how much time you have to dedicate to DT.

If you study geography, you will find it will help a lot with the ethical side of things when it comes to designing or improving a product as you already have the wider context/knowledge. If you don't study geography then I highly recommmend you try and read news articles about textiles, clothing or even just about the production industry to help you understand the questions in the problem sloving questions.

Knowing your fabrics will also be essential, know the difference between non-renewable/renewable, recyclable, stustainable, ethical etc. There is always a link to human wellbeing somewhere when it comes to product design, whether it is for the user, the manufacturer or the primary producer. Perhaps if you have a friend who studys geography you could ask them about human impacts which affect the environment which might help.

Most importantly (unfortunately for this exam board at least) you need to know at least gcse maths in Triganometry, area's of circles (good old pie is back) 2D and 3D shapes and basic percentage increase and decrease (this is for the questions which may ask you to work out the waste of material or work out how much fabric costs etc). It's nothing too difficult, but do bare in mind this will come up.

Also learn the different types of production: one off (bespoke), batch production, mass prodution, continuous flow. This will most definetly be asked, obviously for fashion it's more likely to ask about one off and mass production. It would be rare to use continuous flow in textiles, unless its for fabric printing or dyeing etc. And try to learn how to explain/draw the assembly of a garment or other textiles product (one year I was asked how to make a quilted sleeping bag!!! :0)

I'm not sure how helpful my answer is, but my best advice is just to learn all the key terms, know how to apply them to a question and just go through lots of past papers for your exam board.

Good luck!
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FxxxD
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Hi, Thank you for your response.

My exam board is AQA, and they use a Hodder Education book also. Do you reckon the boards are quite similar
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Ecdysiastt
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I'm failing AQA Product Design (3D Design) but I'm luckier in that my teachers and head of sixth want the best for me and have sat with me to discuss ways they can help me get better
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FxxxD
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I have had three meetings with my teacher and head of year with my parents, but the teacher seems to think we are having a go at her and I dont think she realises that im actually failing. I've asked her for help but she doesn't give me any I completed a past paper recently and she decided to only mark 6 questions because someone else didn't do the whole paper so I gave the paper back to her so she could mark the whole thing. To only recieve it back yesterday two days before my mock exam
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SofM
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(Original post by FxxxD)
Hi, Thank you for your response.

My exam board is AQA, and they use a Hodder Education book also. Do you reckon the boards are quite similar
To be totally honest, I can't be sure if your content is the exact same as mine. I had a quick look on the AQA website and your exam papers are a titled differently, but I feel the content might have overlaps.

(the website of AQA) https://www.aqa.org.uk/subjects/desi...on-at-a-glance

I'd say if you're totally stuck, try and just go over the GCSE theory, the only significantly different thing you have to learn or understand is that your paper will be about textiles and fashion (it could literally be on anything to do with things made with fabric) so learn your materials and manufacturing processes well. Have an idea how to problem solve a situation if a product analysis was given to you. And be aware of the ethical implication of making a product from a social, environmental and economic standpoint. Oh and don't forget to go over your GCSE maths (don't need algebra etc, just basic percentage and proportion, area, volume, trigonometry).

The only other advice I could give is scouring the AQA website for their exam content checklist, getting their recommended text book (from the sounds of it you have one) and just learn everything from that book relevant to fashion and textiles. Perhaps get a friend to help quiz you on general knowledge, and I know it might be challenging, but get some past papers yourself and then self mark if your teachers aren't willing. You said you just want to pass, so learn as best you can to pass these papers.

Fighting!
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