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Reading Girls' School

Reading Girls' School


“Work on good prose has three steps: a musical stage when it is composed, an architectonic one when it is built, and a textile one when it is woven.”  Walter Benjamin

HOD/Faculty: Joanne Jones

Introduction to the course

At key stage 3, we follow the English National Curriculum. Pupils learn a variety of new skills, such as batik, wax entrapment, dyeing fabrics and how to use a sewing machine.

At key stage 4, we offer WJEC GCSE Textiles. The course is a combination of practical work and subject specific research. It is 60% coursework and 40% written exam.

Introduction to course

GCSE textiles is an interesting and enjoyable two-year course that will provide plenty of opportunity to develop creative skills and abilities in a wide range of materials, techniques and processes. Lessons are very varied with a combination of research, practical activities and written work.

The first assessment is an introduction the subject. Pupils are set a brief to design and make a ‘child’s dressing up costume’. They must create a portfolio of work which then leads on to making the piece. The second assessment is designing a ‘fashion item inspired by nature’. This is a more indepth project, and pupils are expected to complete a substantial amount of work to support their finished piece.

The exam is a written paper, and is worth 40% of their overall mark.

Typical lesson activities

The wide variety of lesson activities include discussion, gallery visits, practical work, group work, large scale projects and individual project based work. ICT is used to produce written and visual work. Digital cameras and scanners are used. The Internet is also used for research.


The GCSE Textiles course lends itself to a wide range of Spiritual, Moral, Cultural and Social studies. Students will analyse, engage with and question their own and others work, identify how beliefs, values and meanings are expressed and shared. Students are encouraged to express themselves through their Art, which is supported by strong research into the wider world around them. The department undertakes a number of extra-curricular activities that enhance the students’ experience of Textiles and its context in the world.

Spiritual Development in Art

The Textiles course is dependent on the students’ ability to inquire and communicate their ideas, meanings and feelings. Students will investigate visual, tactile and other sensory qualities of their own and others work. We encourage independent thinking that will enable students to develop their ideas and intentions and express these in an appropriate manner.