Helen O'Sullivan

D&T Teacher


Designed for Life podcast brought to you by The Design and Technology Association in partnership with The Edge Foundation and PTC Onshape. Listen here.

This episode of Designed for Life follows the journey of a teacher who from day one of her career has worked tirelessly to make sustainability and conversation around this critical topic the very centre of her classroom practice.

Introduced at a very young age to the concept of making her own clothes by her nan, Helen has always been motivated by the need to conserve resources and not buy into consumerist fashion trends. Helen has come to education and learning as a mature student following an underwhelming experience at school as a student. The fact that she has just started a PhD is testament to the progress that she has made both personally and professionally over the last eight years.

On joining her school (Penryheol Comprehensive School, Swansea) she immediately set about introducing elements of sustainable thinking to her textiles classroom. Supported by an open-minded Head of Department this work has spread across all aspects of the departments work with the seventeen UN sustainability goals providing a framework for learning in D&T.

The introduction of the new Curriculum for Wales provided the opportunity for the school senior team to look at best-practice within the department and explore how this might influence the wider curriculum and whole school planning.

Helen has involved her students in outreach work, has recently started a PhD looking at how sustainability can work better in primary schools through organised parental/family workshops. She has also been involved in the Chariocity Project instigated by the Centre for Circular Design https://www.circulardesign.org.uk/research/chariocity/

So if you ever wondered just how engaged young people can be in involving themselves in the worlds sustainability issues, then sit back, plug those earphones in and listen to Designed for Life - In conversation with Helen O'Sullivan.

Teachers can access free resources for Helen's projects and standalone activities (inc the garment worker profiles and SDG passport) from the SustFashWales Education pages on the website.  (primary is in progress, but there are resources on KS3 already).

This podcast has been recorded with the help of our sponsors, The Edge Foundation inspiring the education system to give all young people across the UK the knowledge, skills and behaviours they need to flourish in their future life and work, and PTC Onshape Providing industry-standard cloud-based CAD to education  

We are indebted to both The Edge and PTC Onshape for their continued support. 


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