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Fashion Café. A Sawtry Community College Experience. Introduction The Theme & Subjects Involved The Role of the Subjects What Happened in Each Area The Companies Involved The Clothes Cross-Curriculum The Evenings AQA Specifications Evaluation Next Time How to use this CD Thank You.

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fashion caf

Fashion Café

A Sawtry Community College Experience


The Theme & Subjects Involved

The Role of the Subjects

What Happened in Each Area

The Companies Involved

The Clothes


The Evenings

AQA Specifications


Next Time

How to use this CD

Thank You


One of the problems faced in Design and Technology is the students understanding of the different areas of the department. It is often not seen as a full department, with different areas being segregated away from the rest, and sometimes (except from department meetings) teachers do not get the opportunity to discuss ideas and strategies to bring things forward. This maybe due to facilities, or the time available to staff to be able to get together.

At Sawtry, we decided to try and see whether it would be possible to put together a project that allows students to work independently in separate subjects in the Department, yet be able to pull all the work into one large scale project. This is where the Fashion Café came about. The idea was to incorporate every student in a year group, work with them and produce an event with real, useable and viable products that have a purpose. There was a deadline, with paying customers that expected a certain standard/level of service.

This CD will allow you to understand the work for this project, and allow you to use the materials that we have produced, and perhaps encourage you to try out this new venture in your own school. The work can be adapted or used as it is…For us, the project took 4 months in Year 10 with the students having 3 hours of Design and Technology a week.

aqa specifications
AQA Specifications
  • In the specifications, there are specific designing and making skills that are required in order to fulfil the requirements in all of the subjects. This projects teaches students several things…
aqa specifications1
To develop and use design briefs, detailed specifications and criteria in relation to product development.

To consider their own health and safety and that of makers, manufacturers, individual users and society at large.

To design for manufacturing in quantity.

To plan for quality control and quality assurance when designing.

To use graphic techniques and ICT, including CAD to generate, develop, model and communicate design proposals.

To be flexible and adaptable in their designing, in order to respond to problems, changing circumstances and new opportunities.

To ensure that the quality of their design solution will be suitable for intended clients and consumers.

To match materials and components with tools, equipment and processes to produce quality products.

To use tools and equipment safely, accurately and efficiently to achieve an appropriate fit, finish and reliable functioning in products that match their specifications.

AQA Specifications
aqa specifications2
To manufacture products singly and in quantity, including the practical application of quality control and quality assurance techniques.

To simulate production and assembly lines

To be adaptable in their working practices, in order to respond to changing circumstances and new opportunities.

To ensure, through testing, modification and evaluation, that the quality of their products is suitable for intended users and devise modifications where necessary that would improve performance.

AQA Specifications
the theme subjects involved
The Theme & Subjects Involved

All of the Design and Technology areas can be involved as part of the Fashion Café, at Sawtry, we involved:

  • Electronics
  • Food Technology
  • Graphic Products
  • Resistant Materials
  • Textile Products

Each area was responsible for manufacturing different parts of the Café that was subject specific to them… This therefore enabled an easy link to the specifications for each subject at GCSE (AQA).

The first job was to put the students into groups of 5 or 6, ensuring that each group had a variety of students of different sexes and abilities.

The café had an overall theme that D&T staff decided upon - MUSIC - Folk, Dance, Classical and Rock.  

AQA Spec Link

AQA Spec Link

AQA Spec Link

AQA Spec Link

AQA Spec Link

the role of the subjects
The Role of the Subjects


The students worked together with Graphics in order to produce 3D menu displays. Each display had a circuit inside that lit up various points of the menu.

Food Technology

Mass production was the main part of this area. Students were given a broad outline of what they needed to make, then developed it themselves to make it into a new product. All students came up with different ideas, and then discussed these ideas in each group, deciding what flavours, colours and textures were the best. Other major factors that had to be considered were time and space. The food arrived and had to be stored in a safe area. It had to be prepared and cooked and then stored again and reheated. The final parts of the cooking were completed in the school canteen during each evening.


Most of the ambience was created by Graphics. We bought large MDF boards (7ft by 4ft) and used them as a backdrop to the stage for the fashion show. Students designed what they thought would suit the theme, and translated that onto the boards. The students also designed 3D menus that again reflected the atmosphere, as well as the tickets.

the role of the subjects1
The Role of the Subjects

Resistant Materials

In Resistant Materials, the students were going to manufacture condiment sets that were going to be in musical shapes. This idea was then changed because the ideas were getting to be too complicated and were going to be too difficult for the students to manufacture, and be of usable quality. It was therefore decided to mass produce plain, yet identical shapes that could be used for salt and pepper, as well as a candleholder of a similar design.


Textiles gave the waiters/waitresses a corporate identity. They made corporate clothing that was worn on each evening. They also mass-produced beanie buddies that were related to the different types of music that was used as part of the theme to the evenings.

Link to the

student booklet

what happened in each area
What happened in each area

The Fashion Café could have only been a success with all the different areas contributing in their own ways. All the areas contributed equally to the Fashion Café, these areas are:

  • Resistant Materials
  • Textiles
  • Electronics
  • Graphics
  • Food Technology
  • Students were given technical support in Electronics. This was in order to learn how to get their PCB’s (Printed Circuit Board) working in the menus.

A student working on his PCB.

food technology
Food Technology
  • The food was divided into 2 courses.
  • The students were given an overall task of designing bagels, a potato product and a salad product. They then trialled several different flavours until they were happy that customers would buy the flavours they designed.
food technology1
Food Technology
  • The bagel size was decided upon, and then a template was made, to ensure consistency of the product as well as portion control.
food technology2
Food Technology
  • The dessert took many attempts. It was decided that chocolate baskets with some sort of filling would be manufactured. The baskets were to be made of dark chocolate, (due to the higher cocoa content) that was melted and then brushed onto paper cases.
food technology3
Food Technology
  • The brushed cases had to be cooled in the fridge, then re-brushed at least 3 times. This was to ensure the chocolate was strong enough to hold itself when the paper was peeled off.
food technology4
Food Technology
  • The filling for the cases took a long time to decide on. After many trials however, it was agreed to put a layer of biscuit inside the chocolate case, topped with a raspberry mousse and fresh raspberries. The cost was always an issue for the students, and they were always aware and had to research the prices of the products. They also had to calculate the weights required when ordering stock.
The graphics students were responsible for the design of the school hall. They used the 7ft boards to enable them to create an atmosphere for the fashion show to take place. The students decided on a design for the boards, and then set about organising them. They had to remember that the overall theme was music.Graphics
  • The boards were hinged together and then painted with the designs. There were several students that worked on the boards at the same time to help get the job done!
  • Once finished, the boards were taken up to the hall and the 3D aspects were added.
  • Graphics students were also responsible for the menu displays on each table. They were also required to represent the theme of music, and each one was to stand on each table.
  • Examples of 3D menus using Styrofoam and card.
resistant materials
Resistant Materials were designing condiment sets with a theme. This however did change due to time and staff restrictions. The condiment sets were therefore mass-produced and were all identical to each other.

The only difference being was that the salts, had a slant on the design and the peppers had several holes in the top.

Resistant Materials
  • The Textiles students had 2 jobs to do. Firstly they had to make corporate clothing for the waiters/waitresses. The designs were researched by Textiles, who surveyed ideas that would be suitable for both sexes.
  • It was decided to use the logo on the aprons and use the scan‘n’sew sewing machine. The logo was used on the pockets of the aprons.
  • Textiles also mass produced beanie toys for the people who visited the Fashion Café to buy.
  • These were small toys that were to represent the different areas of music (rock, classical, folk and dance).
  • The toys were to be mass-produced at minimal cost, be of quality, yet identical to each other. They were also to have musical components in them that represented the musical themes.
  • There were 4 types of beanies…Each of them were given a name…Clarissa, Melvin, Eric and Bono.
The beanies were then packaged individually and labelled. On each pack, a poem was invented that related to the specific beanie…Textiles
the companies involved
The Companies Involved
  • We have found that local companies could be really helpful if you approach them. They appreciate that schools benefit from their help/input, and also acknowledge that they also gain advantages from having access to students. We found that ringing them/meeting them with a definite plan of what you want from them helps a great deal. Advertising is a great carrot for them to use. They have direct access to a huge spending generation, as well as being involved in any local/national press coverage that the project gets.
the clothes
The Clothes
  • We approached Marks and Spencer’s asking them if they would be willing to loan the clothes for the fashion aspect of the café.
  • We had a clear idea of what we wanted and what we wanted from them.
  • It was not going to cost them anything, just as long as we looked after the clothes, as they were still to be sold after the students had used them.
the clothes1
The Clothes
  • Staff from Marks and Spencers measured the students. The staff also needed to meet the students so that they could compere the students in their clothes for each evening.
  • They brought a range of outfits with them that reflected the type of music that went with the café. This was because the dances would reflect the different music styles used for the themes.
the evenings
Tickets were on a pre-order basis and were sold through the school office. The office staff also arranged the seating, as this was organised beforehand. This was to get over the problem of people not wanting to sit with people they don’t know! Tickets were sold for £5, or £3 for children under 11.

The fashion café lasted for 4 evenings, 6pm until 8.30pm. People came in, were seated and ordered their main course. The order went through to the kitchen staff who prepared the meals.

The food was taken to the tables, and then the plates were cleared at the end of their meals. At 7pm was the first half of the fashion show with students showing off the clothes from Marks and Spencer’s. The first half was to a background of rock and folk music.

The Evenings
the evenings1
After the first showing, the dessert (Sawtry Surprise) was served.

At 8pm the second half of the show got under way with classical and dance music as the background. We also hired a smoke machine that enhanced the experience for the customers and the students as the show went on.

The Evenings
  • This type of project was the most enjoyable, valuable, enthusing, exhausting, rewarding, exciting and stressful project we have been involved in. Students will never forget the project and how they enjoyed working in Design and Technology. Many have used their experiences as a case study in their major projects in Year 11. Their involvement in real citizenship projects are obvious, having to get on with each other, ring companies and talk to people whom they have never met. They also looked at financial implications of decisions they made; being aware of costs of equipment and materials they were using to make the products.
  • The project is not perfect…many of the decisions were made on the spur of the moment because a situation comes up that needs responding to. We will make products simpler next time and concentrate on more themed, yet quality products rather than trying to get too much packed in.
next time
Next Time:

The American Diner

  • In order to improve on what we have done previously, and to show how this project can be developed, we have taken the booklets and tried to change them a little to suit a different, yet similar project.
  • The style is exactly the same, yet the project has been redeveloped to make it more manageable for us at Sawtry.
next time1
Next Time:
  • Record players will be mass-produced and used as sauce holders in Resistant Materials.
  • Hot dogs and tuile baskets will be designed and manufactured for the food.
  • There will be a smoothie bar where people can order a drink.

Link to the

student booklet

for the

American Diner

how to use this cd
How to use this CD
  • This project can be adapted as you please. The information given on this CD is to enable you to use it as a guideline for your own projects. It is not supposed to be used directly, nor does it have to be the same theme. It is just there to help you and your students get the best out of themselves and to increase student enthusiasm as well as some understanding of how Design and Technology works in the real world.
thank you
This project could not have been possible without the help and continued support of various people and companies;

Mark Bennett

Carol Chisnall

Liz Fisher

Geoff Green

Ben Goakes

Jeanette Hebden

Dennis Hughes

Zoe McKeown

Julie Messenger

Roger Oaten

Katie Thorpe

Tracey Wilmott


Marks and Spencer

RJC Catering

Serene Waters


Vitas Vending


Thank You