Textiles Skills Workshop Exploring Artists (Milton Keynes)



Textiles and Art Skills workshop, exploring artists and craft makers through record, develop, refine and present, for GCSE/A Level Art & Design courses.


Textiles & Art Skills Workshop: Exploring Artists

DATE:    Saturday 13 Jun – BOOK HERE
Venue:  Milton Keynes Academy
| Buckinghamshire | Leadenhall MK6 5LB
TIMES:   9:30 – 15:30

Practical Skills Course For Teachers of Textiles & Fashion GCSE and A Level Art & Design:

  • Do you struggle to find a variety of relevant artists or designers for textiles responses and outcomes?
  • Do you or your students struggle to link artists to an exciting yet advanced and creative textile technique?
  • Can you link these artists to exciting and achievable themes?

This course is aimed at Textile and Art teachers who are either new to teaching GCSE/A Level Art & Design or those who want to develop exciting new ideas for techniques linked to artists, designers and craftspeople.

Previous attendees will get the opportunity to learn and practice new skills and further develop fresh, innovative ideas.  (NB Please contact before booking if attended previous courses)

  • Learn and practice new and exciting skills that will enhance your teaching
  • Develop learning from KS3, creating independent, confident and ethusiastic learners at KS4/5.
  • Promote, gain recognition and improve the uptake of your subject and establish a presence in the school and the community.
  • See Hillview School exemplar work, as used by Pearson/Edexcel on their web site.

Textiles Skills Academy Artists Workshop

What to expect on the day:

  • Looking at artists through record, develop, refine, present.
  • Learn and practice a range of new and exciting techniques related to relevant artists and designers
  • How to link a variety of techniques to artists through creative practical workshops
  • Artists that are both past and contemporary textile artists, fine artists and fashion designers
  • Understand how to develop knowledge of artists from KS3, creating independent, confident and enthusiastic learners at KS4/5.
  • Innovative ways in which students can explore, investigate and express ideas through mark making related to their primary sources and relating the right primary source to their artists.
  • Techniques and processes across all areas of study incl. constructed, printed, digital and fashion.
  • Links to refined ideas for final outcomes
  • We will also look at artists annotation/evaluation
  • Innovative use of the heat press.

Links to KS4 Art & design Specifications: ‘students will be able to contextualize their research and ideas, drawing inspiration from artists and designers. Students will also evaluate the art, craft and design they study, and develop an appreciation of the impact it has on their own work and that of others.’

What you take back to school:

  • Great, achievable ideas to enhance your teaching
  • Develop best practices in teaching and learning and be able to use these to create a dynamic course that is fast paced and engaging.
  • An awareness of available resources to support/expand your existing practice.
  • Make secure decisions and save time with gained knowledge and experience.
  • Plan the future with confidence.
  • Continued professional development.


2016 Grades: GCSE 52% of students achieved A-A*
2015 & 2016 A Level Grades 100% A*
2017 Grades: A Level 100% A-A*; GCSE 70% A-A* (100% B-A*)

Moderators comments:
“Textiles candidates personal portfolios were brimming with ideas, experiments and references to textile and fashion designers as well as fine artists. Overall the submission was expceptional in the engagement and industry and imaginative use of materials’. 2016

‘In Textiles, the standard of the work was outstanding…The course structure was strong. Finished pieces were often exciting and innovative. The individuality of the candidates was clearly seen in the diversity of colours, styles and techniques carefully annotated in work books and then displayed in the final outcomes.” “The course gave candidates a very strong framework on which to build a response to the theme. Ideas were developed showing depth and thought so that the work of the highest achieving candidates was original, creative and in-depth.” 2015

All delegates will receive access to a digital delegate folder with all the presentations, useful handouts and resources.


Milton Keynes Academy

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Nicky Simpson textilesNicky Simpson
PGCE; BA(Hons) Textiles Design: Specialising in print.

Nicky has been a Textile and Fashion consultant for the Textile Skills Academy for 5? years now, she also works as a contemporary textile artist, her artwork combines all things textural, she likes to craft with a heat press featuring both machine and hand embroidery, delivering tutorials in her small studio. Nicky’s initial career was in the fashion industry working for 22 years in the heart of London as a print designer and colourist. She worked for a French mill based in Lyon and went on to create seasonal fashion print collections, buying and redesigning archive prints. Nicky designed for all the high street stores from Marks and Spencer to River Island.

Nicky’s second career was in teaching as Head of Fashion & Textiles at Hillview School for Girls in Kent. She has taught Art & Design Textiles at GCSE and A Level, AQA Design and Technology/Textiles at A Level and GCSE and BTEC Level 3 Fashion. Her last set of grades were:  A Level 100% A-A*; GCSE 70% A-A* (100% A*-B).

Nicky has mentored many graduate trainees, taken workshops at the Knitting & Stitching show, volunteers as an art therapist and now presents the workshops to fellow Textile and Art teachers on behalf of the Textile Skills Academy.


  • ‘Superb day – so inspirational! So much covered and a LOT of new skills learnt. Thanks!!’ Jessie L.
  • ‘Loads of info which was GREAT. All really useful & relevant. Brilliant starting point for newish Art & Design teacher. Thank you so much.’ Rebecca F.
  • ‘Fabulous presenter. Gave loads + loads of information and ideas. I feel really inspired! Loved the practical samples we did. Would highly recommend!’ Wendy P.
  • ‘A great course with lots of hands-on sampling. Great idea to hold it in a school which is much more realistic than an outside venue, gives ideas on taking creative inspiration back to the classroom’.
  • ‘Fantastic day, really useful and applicable to both Art and D&T subjects. Thanks!’


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