Art & Design

Art continues to be a desirable option for students wishing to pursue ‘traditional’ creative careers, such as Architecture, Interior Design or Fine Art related professions

While Art continues to be a desirable option for students wishing to pursue ‘traditional’ creative careers, such as Architecture, Interior Design or Fine Art related professions, the internet has seen an explosion of exciting, new roles emerge. The demand for web designers, app designers, software designers, graphic designers, digital illustrators, multimedia artists, video producers, online producers, animation artists, game designers and many other digital careers is undergoing unprecedented strength.

Art enhances fine motor skills, hand-eye coordination, problem solving skills, lateral thinking, complex analysis and critical thinking skills. No matter what career you choose, those who can arrange, present and display material in a way that is aesthetically pleasing have an advantage.

There are any number of reasons why examination performance – achievement in a two or three hour block – might not reflect the true ability of a candidate. Most Art and Design subjects are not assessed in this way. While some have an examination component, a large quantity of the work that is assessed is completed during class or homework time over the duration of the course. Art students often arrive at exam season with a significant (if not all) of their Art accumulated and accounted for. For many students – especially those with a heavy exam load in other subjects or those who struggle with exam anxiety – this advantage is significant.


Key Stage 3

At Key Stage 3 students work on a range of projects.  They explore a variety of Media and Techniques such as: drawing and painting, print-making and sculpture.  Students are introduced to the Art from different times and Cultures and are encouraged to respond to their research in their practical work.

Year 7

Core: Year 7 starts with a core unit where they develop their drawing skills, knowledge of colour and painting techniques.  They study the work of Giorgio Morandi, Vincent Van Gogh, Georges Seurat and Kandinsky.

Still Life Project: Students are introduced to the rich historical tradition of Still-life painting; they carry out critical analysis of a range of still-life paintings. The work of Henri Matisse is researched.

Japanese Art: Students research Japanese Art; they explore the art, such as the famous wood-cut ‘wave’ by Hokusai.  They are encouraged to explore the Architecture, dress and Japanese traditions such as Kite Festivals.

Year 8

Pattern and William Morris: Students produce a series of observational drawings from natural forms; these drawings are developed into patterns.  Students research the work of the 19th Century Artist and designer William Morris.

Picasso Portraits: Students research and explore the diverse range of work produced by the 20th Century artist Pablo Picasso.

The Art of Decoration: Students explore the way pattern has been used in a variety of different cultures.  They research the work of Aboriginal Art, Islamic Art, Maori and Indian Art.

Year 9

Letters and Numbers: Students research the work of American Artist: Jasper Johns. They experiment with a range of tonal media and then explore the use of colour.  Students design and make a 3D letter sculpture which they decorate using their research on the Art Movement of Pop Art.

African Art: Students develop their cultural understanding and research African Masks and Pattern, they are introduced to the contemporary art such as recycled art.  They explore the dangers or extinction facing some African Animals and the work of TUSK charity.


Key Stage 4

A student selecting Art and Design requires a motivated and enthusiastic approach and should show a genuine involvement in this subject.  An independent approach to learning enables students to make full use of their class time and a motivated attitude to homework is essential in a practical subject where a portfolio of work is selected from all work produced during the GCSE course.  During the course it is hope that students will have the opportunity to experience a wide range of materials and techniques such as drawing and painting, printmaking, collage and three-dimensional work.  An important requirement of the course is that the student demonstrates an awareness of Art outside the classroom in both its historical, cultural and contemporary contexts.  Therefore it is hoped that a student will have the opportunity to visit an art gallery during the course.

The GCSE course in Art and Design is assessed on a portfolio of coursework completed during Years 10 and 11 and a final Externally Set Task in Year 11:

Portfolio of work – 60% of total marks

A portfolio of coursework will be selected from work undertaken during the course and will show the development of at least two themes from observational studies and sketches through to concluding pieces of work.  There is no limit to the number of pieces of work the portfolio may contain.

Externally set task – 40% of total marks

Assignment papers are issued in the Spring Term of Year 11 and students select one question to exp-lore.  Students will have a period of preparation time to prepare preliminary studies.  A ten hour period of supervised time will be allocated in which to produce their concluding piece of work.


Method of Assessment

Exam Board: AQA

Unit 1: Portfolio of Work

Unit 2: Externally Set Task


Pathways after Year 11

A GCSE in Art and Design can lead on to AS or A Level Art and Design and is also an excellent foundation for AS or A Level Photography.  Many of our students then go on to a one year foundation course which leads on to a wide range of creative degrees and industries such as illustration, model making, fashion, make-up for film or television, architecture, fine art or photography.


Key Stage 5

The full A level art course has 2 units:

Component 1: Personal Investigation

Component 2: Externally set assignment


Course Contact

Miss M Biggs and Miss K Perks

Art Subject Leader and Art Teacher