Year 9 pupils from Risedale School, Catterick Garrison, have experienced a hands-on day in the life of an A Level Textiles student at Queen Elizabeth Sixth Form College (QE), Darlington, through an exciting print and fashion workshop. The neon-themed, interactive session allowed pupils to get to grips with QE’s state of the art facilities as they worked in teams to design and screen print lengths of fabric before manipulating them around mannequins to create their very own fashion garment. The budding artists were encouraged to experiment with form, shape and folding techniques to create unique silhouettes. The outfits were then judged by Rachel Barras and Sarah Steel, teachers of A Level Textiles at QE, who were very impressed with the students’ efforts. Rachel, Assistant Head of Art and Design, comments: ‘Everyone showed fantastic creativity and enthusiasm during the workshop. There was an eruption of colour as the group screen printed some dazzling garments. It was incredibly hard to judge a winner!’

Risedale School pupil, Paige Doak, thoroughly enjoyed visiting QE. She explains: ‘It’s been such a fun experience and the students at the College were really helpful. Teammate Ava Cox enthuses: ‘I’ve enjoyed being able to try something new and learn a different skill in Textiles. Everyone at QE is very friendly.’ Miss Vizor, teacher of Design and Technology at Risedale School who accompanied the group on their taster experience, says: ‘The session has been a great opportunity to build links with the College and we’ve been able to provide our pupils with the chance to add something new to their portfolios. They have loved visiting QE for such a creative day. On behalf of Risedale, we’d like to thank the Textiles department and hope to continue making connections.’

Ms Southworth-Gedye, teacher of Drama at Risedale School, adds: ‘The workshop has been fabulous as students have seen the career options available to them in the art and design industry. It has also shown them that they can study A Level art at a local college with wonderful facilities. The staff have been brilliant and it’s definitely highlighted how our pupils can take their studies further.’

Following the visit, Rachel is looking forward to working with Risedale School again in the near future. She concludes: ‘We held the print and fashion session to encourage more young people to study art and make them aware of future progression opportunities available to them beyond school. Working with these students has allowed us to create links and show how our curriculum can expand on their knowledge and experiences at key stages three and four.’

To find out more about QE’s A Level Textiles course, please contact Laurence Job, Deputy Principal at [email protected].