Design & Textiles

Our ethos

“Thinking with our hands” 
Encouraging creativity and hands-on learning, through focused practical tasks.

The Design Curriculum endeavours to provide pupils with the broadest possible range of opportunities. At the heart of this is the desire to deliver a curriculum which has creativity, innovation and enjoyment at its core. 
Pupils learn in a hands-on environment, designing and creatively problem solving. Both Groups and Blocks explore a wide range of materials and construction, leading to the production of high quality outcomes. This is achieved through imaginative teaching and learning, that embraces new technologies, whilst retaining the best of traditional workshop practices.
In design there is an emphasis on woodworking skills, combining traditional craft skills with a contemporary approach to design, including Computer Aided Design and Manufacture.
In Textiles, pupils develop their hand embroidery skills, learn how to use a sewing machine and create their own garments.
Above all we aim to encourage and nurture unique individual talent in a creative and innovative atmosphere, which allows students to take risks and experiment in a safe and positive environment.  Students leave ready to move onto the Bedales Assessed Design/Textiles course, should they wish to do so.

Our aim

•    To enable pupils to develop an appreciation of design.
•    To encourage innovation, imagination and creativity.
•    To develop and awareness of the design cycle.
•    To help pupils to develop good level of craftsmanship through doing and making.
•    To enable pupils to work confidently using a range of hand and machine tools.
•    To help pupils understand the importance of form and function when problem solving.
•    To explore both traditional workshop techniques alongside modern CAD/CAM manufacture.
•    To enable pupils to be confident using hand sewing and machine sewing techniques. 

Curriculum

At Dunhurst the syllabus is delivered by means of major projects of approximately 10-13 hours per term.

Pupils learn in a hands-on environment, designing and creatively problem solving. Both Groups and Blocks explore a wide range of materials and construction, leading to the production of high quality outcomes. This is achieved through imaginative teaching and learning, that embraces new technologies, whilst retaining the best of traditional workshop practices.
There is an emphasis on woodworking, combining traditional craft skills with a contemporary approach to design, including Computer Aided Design and Manufacture.  

Broad overview 
•    An overall emphasis on woodworking skills, with some graphic design and CAD.
•    An appreciation of wood: its visual beauty and its practical uses.
•    An understanding of wood: wood-grain and how to work with it.
•    The use of basic hand-tools, and an introduction to power tools
•    An introduction to Hardwoods, Softwoods and manufactured boards.
•    Combining traditional crafts and skills alongside a contemporary approach, problem solving and using computer software.
•    An introduction to the History of Design.
•    Understanding what makes good Design- Form (aesthetics) and Function (purpose).
•    A progressive immersion in the dynamics of visual design:  2D shape, 3D form, proportion, symmetry, structure etc.
•    Observing pattern & design in nature: awe & wonder.
•    Graphic Design: origins and effective use of fonts, principles of layout, nets and packaging. Using these transferrable skills in all aspects of their learning.
•    Production of quality final outcomes.
•    Using art and architecture as inspiration for Textile design. 
•    Learning pattern cutting and construction techniques.

Block 1 

Subjects are studied on a termly rotation.  As pupils enter the 11-14 curriculum they are introduced to working more independently on Focused Practical Tasks. The Block 1 brief this year is to design and make a clock using Computer Aided Design, Computer Aided Manufacture and woodworking skills. In Textiles, block 1 pupils work creatively designing and making an appliqué memory quilt.

Block 2

Throughout this year, pupils will be encouraged to look beyond the classroom, exploring designers and the design world around them. More complex techniques and subject matter will be studied during this year, often including tasks that require increased dexterity. The brief for block 2 this year is to design and make a trinket box using a combination of hand tools and machinery. The project will require pupils to work accurately, using traditional woodworking skills and a focus on quality and finish of the end product. In Textiles, Block 2 pupils learn garment construction skills and simple pattern cutting techniques to design and make their own waistcoat. This project combines all skills learnt so far in Textiles and pupils make a rage of sample pieces before beginning their final product. 

Academic support

Differentiation is core to designing and delivering a fully rounded and inclusive curriculum. All students will be pushed to improve themselves, whether part of the gifted and talented scheme or not, both as individuals and as part of larger group based work.

The Design department is continually looking for ways to take our pupils out of the classroom environment so they can have their eyes opened to the real world of Design. Opportunities include enrichment trips, links to Out Door Work, Reading DATA magazine/design journals and keeping up to date with technology and design in the media.

Extra-curricular

The Design department offers after school activities to both Groups and Blocks, such as jewellery making and stop frame animation.

The Design and Textiles department at Dunhurst aims to encourage and nurture unique individual talent in a creative and innovative atmosphere, which allows students to take risks and experiment in a safe and positive environment. Students leave with an excellent array of skills, knowledge and understanding, ready to move onto the renowned Bedales Assessed Design course in Block 3.

Progression to Block 3 at Bedales

The Design and Textiles department at Dunhurst aims to encourage and nurture unique individual talent in a creative and innovative atmosphere, which allows students to take risks and experiment in a safe and positive environment. Students leave with an excellent array of skills, knowledge and understanding, ready to move onto the renowned Bedales Assessed Design course in Block 3.