I did A level Textiles and GCSE Textiles, and I would say they are similar but of course the A level is just more ramped up in terms of the workload. The course work consisted of being given project briefs and then working on lots of different experiments with fabrics to come up with a suitable outcome. We were always encouraged to do as much exploration as possible with different techniques, and then we would be able to chose a commercial garment pattern to use to create a piece of clothing or outfit using the textiles. I know that there was also the option of creating fabric suitable for interiors and accessories as well.
As mentioned already, there was a 15 hour exam at the end of the course, but most of your final grade would still be made up from course work done along the way, and we did our development in sketchbooks, then created presentation boards with the key pieces on, which I directly used in my University portfolio which made it a lot easier!
I think I would say you definitely do need to be interested in and committed to the subject to get the most out of A level textiles, as it is a lot of work and can be quite demanding when you have other subjects to work on alongside it. However I really enjoyed it and I learnt techniques in that time that I am still able to utilize now!
If you are interested in continuing with a degree in an art/textiles/fashion based subject then universities will definitely appreciate you having done A level textiles. It can also help you create a lot of work for your portfolio which as I mentioned before, is really helpful for when you get to the point of university interviews!
Do you have an idea of what you might want to do in the future?
Anna (2nd year Fashion Design student)