In the time that I have been teaching KS4 Art Textiles, I have really noticed that there are issues in the way that the students make links between the research phase of their project work and their sampling and development. This issue is usually ‘ironed out’ by the end of the first term in year 10 after an intense phase of skills workshops and a mini project to introduce students to GCSE level study. However, I couldn’t help thinking that this could be easily be a core element of the KS3 projects (particularly within year 9) to ensure that students can settle into their KS4 course and get onto the ‘good stuff’ a bit quicker!
Like other Textiles teachers, I teach D&T textiles for KS3 and then Art and Design Textiles for KS4 and 5. It is a challenge at times to make sure that year 9 fully understand the shift in assessment style for GCSE level study when they select their options – particularly when they may currently be in the middle of a D&T assessed textiles project!
This year, the hope is to keep things simple – skills based mini projects to develop the way that students gather research and then develop into mixed media decorative textile surfaces. By particularly focussing on the research and design development assessment areas during year 9, students will have the opportunity to refine their visual communication skills (with ideas being pushed to become far more creative and drawing based.) The hope is that this will prepare students more gradually for the KS4 course as well as giving them a chance to develop presentation skills that would be of benefit for any D&T or Art course option choice.
…of course, the usual challenge with teaching across 2 areas is ensuring that assessment is accurately reported. Even though I will be aiming for students to develop creative art textiles skills and their drawing ability in readiness for KS4, students will be assessed against KS3 D&T NC level criteria. I anticipate that the assessments will have a research, design and practical focus to allow a range of skills and support my fellow D&T colleagues by continuing with the consistent approach to assessment in the department.
Project one starting point: ‘Cells’. An overview of the project:
Recording from sources: Students will research scientific diagrams, microscopic visual sources and create drawings using varied media to record their findings.
Looking at the work of others: Students will be introduced to the work of other artists who use similar starting points, for example, the fabulous work of Laura Katherine Mcmillan would inspire some lovely textile pieces.