St John Plessington Catholic College

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Head of Department:

Miss E Hughes 




GCSE in Design & Technology, specialising in Textiles


The GCSE Design & Technology course is part of a two-year study programme which is aimed at preparing you for design A Level or Level 3 courses and careers in the creative, engineering or manufacturing industries.

This course involves learning about how garments and other textile products are designed, decorated and made both in the classroom and in the wider textile industry. Throughout the course you will develop designing and making skills specific to textiles. You will learn to communicate and visualise your designs on paper, use a range of appropriate tools and equipment including computerised sewing machines and CAD/CAM technology. Products you can design and manufacture include garments such as dresses and children’s clothing, bags and accessories or toys for a child.

By studying this course you will learn about the following areas:

  • learning from existing products
  • implications of wider issues
  • design thinking and communication
  • manufacturing
  • technical understanding

The course is offered as a two year course with content broken into two main assessments:
Component 1: Iterative Design Challenge
Controlled Assessment: Internally assessed, externally moderated, 50% of the qualification and based on a range of tasks released by the exam board.
There will be three open and real-world contexts for learners to interpret through the processes of ‘explore, create and evaluate’. You will use the skills and knowledge to design a product based on your chosen materials area, and make imaginative solutions to a range of practical tasks.

You could be asked to design a product to facilitate ‘smarter living’, encourage people to be more physically active or to engage people in more sociable


Component 2: Principles of Design & Technology External Examination

Externally assessed, 2 hour paper worth 50% of overall grade. This is a single examination component with questions covering both ‘core’ and ‘in-depth’ specialist content in Product Design. This content requires you to apply mathematical and scientific knowledge.


The fashion and textiles industry is a global industry with many opportunities. This course is particularly creative so would be suited to artistic careers such as fashion or textile design; it leads particularly well into A Level Product Design and Textiles courses and it also leads to careers in product management, textile technology, fashion buying or merchandising, fashion journalism or interior design.