Our first Effective Learning award of 2020/21 went to Presdales School Academy Trust for the purchase of 6 Diana dress form adjustable sewing dummies for textiles.
Textiles sometimes struggles to attract enough pupil numbers but during the lockdown, an interest in sewing related activities has grown across the country. Nikki Albone (Revenue Generation Coordinator) explained:
“Whilst the number of students is relatively low in comparison with other subject this project is significant because Presdales is the only school in the area offering A-Level study in Fashion and Textiles and against the national trend the number of students at KS4 (GCSE) and KS5 (A-Level) is due to increase by 175% for the 2020/21 academic year.”
Practical subjects appeal to a wide variety of students. In particular, Nikki noted:
"According to OFSTED, pupils with special educational needs make better progress in D&T than in most other subjects. This is because designing and making usable products gives pupils a real sense of achievement. They benefit from experiencing their own progress and taking responsibility for their own learning.”
Whilst projects in all our focus areas should strive to help pupils learn more effectively in some way, an Effective Learning bid has to work harder to prove the project will enhance the learning of pupils in one or more subject areas. Here are a few of the strong arguments Nikki made:
“The range of equipment being sought in the overall project addresses teaching and learning at both end of the textiles technology scale. At the low-tech end of the scale the addition of the adjustable dressmaking dummies within the Textiles classrooms will allow students to effectively learn the traditional techniques of dressmaking and tailoring as well as more modern pattern construction approaches. Through their use, our students will develop a better understanding of the fit of garments and how to adapt a pattern to create a custom fit. Maths will be engaged in a practical setting with the use of equations to grade patterns to different dress sizes. With the use of the dummies students will be afforded with an applied method of learning helping the more visual or tactile learner.
Practical application through modelling or sculpting fabric onto a dummy will also support the teaching of alternative pattern manufacture techniques used in the fashion industry providing a significant advantage to visual learners. With pattern cutting and modelling now amounting to roughly one third of the overall non-examined assessment grade this simple equipment will greatly support confidence and understanding throughout their studies as well as enabling them to test their products throughout their manufacturing process affording them access to AO3 of the AQA Key Stage 4 & 5 specifications.”
We had some lovely feedback about this and other awards Presdales have received from us over the years which was written up in their Press Tales newsletter. Here's a snippet and the photos are included above:
"Following three recent applications Edufund have supported us once again with grants for four new sewing machines and a class set of dressmaking dummies. This is of great significance to Presdales with student numbers in Textiles Tech increasing and ours being the only school in the local area to offer the subject at A-Level."