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Notre Dame High School

Notre Dame
High School

Fashion and Textile Design

GCSE Design and Technology (Fashion & Textile Design) will prepare students to participate confidently and successfully in an increasingly technological world.  Students will gain awareness and learn from wider influences on Design and Technology including historical, social, cultural, environmental and economic factors.  Students will get the opportunity to work creatively when designing and making, and apply technical and practical expertise.  Design and making are encouraged so as to prepare candidates for taking higher level courses or for entering the world of work.


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Commitment and a passion for the subject are essential to be successful.

In preparation for the course, students will have the opportunity to design and make their own apron; they will learn a range of decorative and pattern cutting techniques to broaden their skill base. 

Students will work collaboratively and individually.  Collaborative projects include designing and making products for use within the school and external organisations. In the past, these projects have included costumes for the school production and banners advertising the school house system and CAFOD.



  Year 10 Year 11
Autumn 1 Materials NEA Contextual Challenge
Autumn 2 Textiles Based Materials NEA Contextual Challenge
Spring 1 Energy, Materials, Systems and Devices NEA Contextual Challenge
Spring 2 New and Emerging Technologies NEA Contextual Challenge
Summer 1 Common Specialist Technical Principles NEA Contextual Challenge
Summer 2

Designing Principles, Making Principles

Begin Contextual Challenge
How is GCSE Fashion and Textile Design structured?

During Year 10 students will learn about a range of materials and processes for textiles through workshops and mini design and make projects.  The theory content of the course will also be covered throughout Year 10 and where relevant, link to the workshops and mini design and make projects.

Following the workshops and mini design and make projects, during Year 10 students will begin their final Substantial design and make task which will continue throughout Year 11.  Theory knowledge will continue to be reviewed and applied throughout Year 11.

How is it assessed?

Your GCSE Fashion and Textile Design mark is decided by a written examination, and a Substantial Design and Make Project.  The Substantial Design and Make Project will be assessed by the subject teachers according to a detailed assessment criteria.  This is then moderated by the exam board.

Written examination (2 hours):  100 marks – 50% of GCSE

  • Section A – Core Technical Principals (20 marks)
  • Section B – Specialist Technical Principals (30 marks)
  • Section C – Designing and Making Principals (50 marks)

Non-exam assessment (NEA):  100 marks – 50% of GCSE

Substantial design and make task – Assessment criteria:

  • Investigating
  • Designing
  • Making
  • Analysing and Evaluating

Career Pathways 

What can GCSE Fashion and Textile Design lead to?

GCSE Fashion and Textile Design students can go on to study A Level Fashion and Textiles at Notre Dame High School, and a range of other Level 3 Fashion and Textiles related courses, and apprenticeships.  Following on from A Level/Level 3 courses, students can study foundation and degree courses at colleges and universities, including Norwich University of the Arts (NUA).  At degree level students will train in their area of specialisation, before going on to become a Fashion Designer, Textile Designer or Illustrator, to name a few examples in a broad variety of specialist jobs and careers.

GCSE Fashion and Textile Design can also develop highly valuable transferable skills, including creative ideas development, problem-solving, contextual interpretation and visual communication, as well as organisational, presentation, and team-working skills.

For more information click on our A Level Course in Fashion and Textiles.

Career Options

  • BBC Bitesize website: videos of young people who are working in jobs that use Design
  • Careers Pilot: example careers that this subject can lead to including fashion designer, textile designer, fashion illustration, fashion marketing and costume design. 
  • Creative Industries: explore a wide selection of creative careers
  • Apprenticeship courses: Info on what an apprenticeship is and courses available

Norwich University of the Arts
NUA is a dynamic and creative community providing arts, design, architecture and media education.

GCSE Fashion and Textile Design FAQs

What skills and attributes do I need to be successful in GCSE Fashion and Textile Design?

To be successful in GCSE Fashion and Textile Design, is it important to be creative, and have a genuine passion for fashion and textile design.  An open mind and willingness to listen and take advice will be a huge benefit as students advance through the course.

Students studying GCSE Fashion and Textile Design are expected to be highly motivated and, together with guidance from their subject teacher, be able to work independently.  As students progress through the course, they will become increasingly confident regarding the properties and applications of a range of materials and processes for textiles.

Ideally, students who select GCSE Fashion and Textile Design will have enjoyed Design and Technology, specifically fashion and textiles design, in KS3.  Students should enjoy the process of developing skills, ideas and understanding, together with the combination of practical, technical, creative, and contextual demands involved a practical subject.  Provided students are committed to the course, willing to learn, and can display their creative and practical skills and knowledge, they will be successful while studying GCSE Fashion and Textile Design.


What equipment is needed for GCSE Fashion and Textile Design?

Most of the materials and equipment you will use will be available at school.  However, it is useful to have a stationary set that comprises of drawing a designing equipment.

Some essentials are:

  • Drawing pencils
  • Fineliners
  • Coloured pens and pencils for design work
  • Set squares
  • Protractor
  • Compass
  • Ruler
  • Sewing scissors
  • Access to a sewing machine at home is desirable, though not essential to be successful at the course

What equipment is available when studying GCSE Fashion and Textile Design?

  • 3D printer
  • CAD sewing machines
  • Embellisher
  • Exposure unit
  • Heat press
  • Kennett and Lindsell students forms
  • Laser cutter
  • Overlockers
  • Screen printing equipment