On Tuesday 24th November I attended the bronze stage fashion and textiles workshop at Jarrow School. It was my first time doing some work experience with TICE so I was really excited to get involved and see what the programme was all about.

Jarr1At the start of the day the students were split into small groups and gave an introduction to some of the different elements of the fashion and textiles industry and the kinds of jobs that can be an outcome of going down this route. I instantly knew that the workshop was going to be a great experience for myself and the students as I am really keen on the idea of educating young people on the realities of industries when they are in school. This is something I didn’t get taught about until University and I feel it’s important that young people are aware of the realities of the real world as it can be so beneficial in preparing them for their future.

Jarr2From the start of the day I could tell that the class were really engaged and eager to learn from the session. A highlight of the morning for me was sensing the shock around the room as the students learnt that there are more than 700 different jobs involved with working in the fashion and textiles industry.

Jarr4As the morning progressed the students went on to choose a mood board that they wanted to use which would set the theme for the project they were going to be working on for the rest of that day. When the task was revealed the students were enthusiastic about their brief, having to design an item of clothing for either Lady GaGa, Rita Ora, Will.i.Am or Justin Bieber using the mood board they had previously chosen as their inspiration.

After creating a mind map to plan out their ideas for the garment design they went on to create some fashion illustrations which they did brilliantly! Carefully considering their mood boards to match the celebrity they were designing for the students designed 2 garment shapes each and then put their ideas together within their groups to create their final design. To me one of the biggest strength shown from the students that day was when it came to collaborating all of their designs and creating their final design. When I was asking different individuals about their final designs I could tell they had put a lot of thought and consideration into combining elements of their teams work and using the most successful features of each individual design for their final one.

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Once their designs were finalised and after a demonstration on how to make the best use of their piece of fabric it was time for the students to get creative and produce their final pieces constructing the garment shape using a mixture of fabric and papier-mâché. It was excellent to witness how seriously everyone was taking the task; the whole class got really involved and tried their hardest to complete the task with most having the majority of their piece put together before lunch time!

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The afternoon of the workshop was spent finalising the student’s designs, manipulating the fabric, adding colour and making their initial design come to life! It wasn’t long until I could see the final pieces really coming together and starting to stand out more and more as the day went on.

At separate points during the afternoon individuals from each group were asked to price their item taking into consideration the materials and labours used, I felt this was an excellent way of making the students think about how things really are within the industry and giving in an insight to another element of what sort of things you need to think about when being involved in fashion and textiles.

As the day was coming to the end, another task set for the groups was for one group member to write a short blog post about their experiences of that day and the success of their final outcome, this gave the pupils who were more interested in the journalism/ promotional side of things their chance to really get involved and shine which they did amazingly.

Jarr7Seeing all the designs finished I was so impressed with how hard each and every pupil had worked over the day in getting the task finished whilst displaying brilliant team work and communication skills within each of their groups. I think the experience of the TICE workshop was a one tremendously beneficial for everyone involved! A massive well done to the pupils of Jarrow School who totally excelled their selves in the work shop, I will look forward to working with the successful silver stage pupils at a later date!

By Sarah Cairns.