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What is the point of textiles?

(10 Posts)
SecretSquirrels Thu 15-Sep-11 17:25:30

My mother made our clothes when we were little. We were poor and it was the sixties.

The only sewing I've ever needed was turning up boys trousers and sewing on the odd button.

DS2 just started year 9 and still has to do D&T textiles. He hates hates hates it.
Last year there was the The Bag.
Hours spent designing and then making a bag. He wasted spent hours on it. I seldom get involved in homework unless asked, but he was almost sobbing in desperation one evening over this wretched thing. I sat down to help. After half an hour he was so grateful. Said no teacher had actually bothered to show him how to sew and he'd learned more from me in half an hour than in 2 years D&T. Even so there was no danger the teacher would suspect parental assisstance as my sewing is so bad. smile

I thought that was the end of it but now he's doing it again and this time it's a hat.

He works hard at school and tries his best in every subject but he feels so strongly about the evil textiles that he wants me to;
1. Ask the school to excuse him for religious reasons> Says he'd be happy to extra Maths or in fact anything else.
2. Write to Michael Gove to complain.

Seriously though, I think by Year 9 they should be able to opt out of some subjects.

inkyfingers Thu 15-Sep-11 21:06:19

You're describing a subject that at your son's school is obv really badly taught. And it's painful for you both.

I'm no great sew-er but sewing on buttons, badges and hemming/mending trousers etc is a lifeskill. What will our DCs do when faced with this when older except throw clothes away or pay £10 or more for drycleaners to do it. Don't you sew on cub badges?!!

At least D&T shows pupils how to use screwdrivers, saws etc etc and make a lasagne. One more year.... hopefully with better teacher.

My DS loathed textiles and gave up all D&T at end of year 9!

SecretSquirrels Fri 16-Sep-11 10:50:35

Actually I think the textiles teacher is rather keen. It's just that she makes the assumption that the pupils are as well; and that they already know how to sew. He would be happy to learn useful stuff such as hemming.

He loves cooking, though "food technology" doesn't cover the essentials as you say, it seems to involve things like designing a product rather than how to produce a meal. I have taught both boys myself how to cook.

DS1 gave up D&T at the end of Y9 it's just that DS2 doesn't want to wait!!

kat2504 Fri 16-Sep-11 12:36:59

Since Home Economics (sewing and cooking) was replaced with Food Technology and Textiles it has become progressively more useless. In the last school I worked at the kids spent six week on designing a bread roll (and one lesson on cooking it). How much research do you need to do on a bread roll, or a fruit salad, or a pizza topping? I don't design sandwiches, I just eat them.
Also designing cushion covers is a bit pointless until you have learnt the basics of sewing.

AMumInScotland Fri 16-Sep-11 12:50:58

It sounds like the problem started in Year 7 - why didn't they start then by teaching them how to sew? I can see why the Year 9 teacher might assume they already know it, if they've been doing this for 2 years - but the curriculum ought to teach them the basic stuff first, so they know what they are doing hmm

MillyR Fri 16-Sep-11 13:08:34

DS does food technology this term and they cook something every week - meat pie this week.

I a child is spending six weeks designing a bread roll there is a problem with the school not the subject.

He made a hat in primary school. I would assume that children should be taught to sew in primary school. I don't think secondary schools should have the responsibility to teach basic sewing.

ClevelandAnnie Fri 16-Sep-11 13:18:48

Just because the teacher is 'rather keen' doesn't mean she is a good teacher iyswim. Making an assumption about the children's skills and experiences is a fundamental error. I agree with others - sounds like it is the school that is the problem, not the subject itself.

DITDOT Fri 16-Sep-11 23:19:56

I teach Textiles and I have to say that the vast majority of students(male and female) really do enjoy it. It is however like marmite, you either love it or hate it, but with interesting projects (I never do hats(why do they do it when you can buy one in a shop for less and usually better made) and only ask students to make things of use as otherwise it is a waste of money) and the right teacher it can be an enjoyable subject to do.

Y9 boys are the hardest to motivate in Textiles but I find tailoring the project to them helps. Utilising all the technology we have including steam presses, CAD/CAM machines and overlockers is also a way of keeping interest.

If your ds has been studying it for 2 years then I would expect a student to pick up at least the basics. Lots of teacher encouragement helps. Although a teacher is keen I know not all students are!!

You say that you would be happy for him to learn useful things like hemming so you do see some point if taught in the right way then. A real shame he is upset. Guess he won't be taking it for GCSE!!

cumbria81 Sat 17-Sep-11 18:50:31

I agree.

I am not at all arty in the slightest, hate doing it and don't see the point. Year 9 Art Lessons were a complete nightmare for me. I really did not want to be there and hated it. As a result I used to get chucked out of class for messing about, which if you had known me at school would have been a surprise as I was generally quite swotty and worked hard.

I would have been more than happy to do extra anything instead.

snazaroo Mon 19-Sep-11 14:03:51

Textiles teaches valuable planning and design skills, I am surprised he can't sew if he has been studying for 2 years. He clearly just isn't very good at it!

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