ART & DESIGN

"Creativity is allowing yourself to make mistakes. Art is knowing which ones to keep."

- Scott Adams

The Art department is all about creativity and we are very proud of the amazing work produced by our students. Right from Year 7, we set projects that encourage students to think through their ideas and to continually develop their skills.

Art Department Objectives

Our aim is that every student at the school should have an enriching and exciting experience of the Creative Arts. We offer a range of activities taking place both inside and outside the curriculum. Art plays an important role in ensuring that creativity is at the heart of our curriculum. These aims are fulfilled by;


  • Interpreting the requirements of national strategies and courses to provide a range of developing and challenging sequential learning experiences in art.
  • Creating a stimulating environment using a range of resources and displays that offers secure and supportive working conditions for the making of art work.
  • Welcoming and valuing the individual response of all students, at every level, and ability. To provide equal educational opportunities to all individuals.

Our projects have been carefully evolved so that students practice drawing, painting, sculpture, and photography through exciting themes that often link with learning in other subjects. Introducing and developing a range of media, skills, techniques, processes and concepts that enable students to develop their ideas, express themselves and have the confidence to use a range of visual elements in the making of images, artifacts and critical judgements.

As students move through the school, they can opt to study GCSE or BTEC Art and AS & A level; Art or Photography. After school there is something happening nearly every week with art clubs for Years 7 & 8, support sessions for exam groups.

KS3

Year 7 and Year 8 students study a wide range of skills and techniques looking at the work of artists and other contextual sources to support their artistic outcomes and prepare them for their option choices at the end of Year 8.

KS4

GCSE Art starts in Year 9. Students develop the skills and technqiues they have learnt in KS3 within specific themes to form their coursework portfolio and prepare them for their final timed exam in Year 11.

KS5

The department offers A Levels which really prepare students for university. Many of our students choose to study Art at higher educational institutions and, out of those who have applied, 100% have successfully gained a place.

Key Stage 3

Art and Design is taught over 2 scheduled 75minute lessons per cycle (2 weeks) - totalling 2.5hrs of Art.

Our aim is to give the students a firm foundation in the basic skills of drawing, painting, colour, mixed media and contextual artist investigations with elements of the GCSE criteria. This not only provides a rich and exciting curriculum, but successfully prepares future GCSE students if they decide to choose the subject. Observational study is a fundamental part of the basic skills and drawing from real life is a key starting point in many of the projects.

This academic year’s projects will include:

Year 7

  • Formal Elements : Developing Pattern & Texture
  • Observational Drawing : Developing Line & Tone
  • Artists & Movements : Developing Colour

Year 8

  • Artists & Portraits : Developing Investigations
  • Illustration : Developing Visual Language
  • Journey Project : Developing Personal Outcomes

Key Stage 4

Pupils choose their options at the end of Year 8. We offer option routes in GCSE Art & Design which can lead onto studying A Level Art & Design or Photography.

In the GCSE Art & Design course, pupils will have the opportunity to work in both two and three dimensions, exploring a wide variety of media. In addition, through the use of a diverse selection of visual sources, pupils will be encouraged to explore ideas imaginatively. Research on different artists and designers and experimentation with different media will be a source of inspiration to pupils enabling them to produce creative pieces of art work.

​The GCSE Art & Design exam board is Edexcel and the course is made up of two components listed below. Students explore various themes and create various outcomes using different materials and techniques including drawing, clay sculpture, lino printing, mixed media and painting. Throughout the course students will also be working in a sketchbook developing ideas, analysing artists practising techniques, demonstrating drawing and designing.

  • Students will develop and explore ideas
  • Students will research primary and contextual sources
  • Students will experiment with media, materials, techniques
  • Students will processes & present personal response(s) to theme(s) set.

At the end of the year students will create one of the outcomes during a 10 hour exam period spread across two days. Students have 10 school weeks to prepare for the 10 hour external exam. Students will choose the direction of the assignment and medium they wish to use. Sketchbooks are still important and evidence their ability to develop ideas, analyse artists, experiment with materials, demonstrate drawing ability and design their exam piece.

The assessed components are:

Component 1 – Personal Portfolio

60% of the qualification

72 marks (18 marks for each of the four Assessment Objectives)

Content overview

Students create a personal portfolio of work that demonstrates the knowledge, understanding and skills of the AO. This will be formed from the following projects:

  • Year 9 : Foundation Skills Year
  • Year 10 : Artists Project
  • Year 11 : Personal Project

Component 2 – Externally Set Assignment

40% of the qualification

72 marks (18 marks for each of the four Assessment Objectives)

Content overview

Students must continue to work to the same criteria as they did for the Personal Portfolio. The ESA is split into 2 sections

  • Preparatory Studies : Will comprise a portfolio of development work based on the ESA broad-based thematic starting point. These studies will form the basis of most of the students marks.
  • Timed Exam : 10-hour Sustained Focus Period (2 days) : Under examination conditions, students will work unaided to produce personal response(s), with reference to their preparatory studies, in response to the ESA broad-based thematic starting point.

A collection of KS4 GCSE Art Work

Key Stage 5

A Level Art & Design

The start of the course is designed to introduce students to new ways of thinking about art and unusual methods of creating artwork to build resilience, perseverance and problem solving skills to enable them to approach the rest of the course with independence and confidence. Teaching is based on facilitating students’ ideas and skill development through coaching, individual and group tutorials and workshop style lessons.

This course enables students either to pursue either a general Fine Art enquiry or to specialise in a recognised field of Art and Design such as Architecture, Graphic Design and Illustration to name a few. All exam courses end with an exciting and ambitious exhibition and post16 students are supported in creating a high quality portfolio to support university application. Many of our students choose to study Art at higher educational institutions and, out of those who have applied, 100% have successfully gained a place. Students have gone on to study degrees and foundation courses at such places as Ravensbourne, Kingston, Greenwich, Camberwell and Central St Martins.

Component 1 – Personal Portfolio

60% of the overall qualification

90 marks (Split into 2 sections listed below)

Content overview

Incorporates three major elements: supporting studies, practical work, and a personal study.

  • Practical Work & Supporting Studies : 72 marks (80% of component 1) work will comprise a portfolio of development work and outcomes based on themes and ideas developed from personal starting points.
  • Personal Study (Essay) : 18 marks (20% of component 1) will be evidenced through critical written communication showing contextual research and understanding in a minimum 1000 words of continuous prose (max 3000), which may contain integrated images.

The personal study comprises 12% of the total A Level qualification.

Component 2 – Externally Set Assignment

40% of the qualification

72 marks (18 marks for each of the four Assessment Objectives)

Content overview

Students must continue to work to the same criteria as they did for the Personal Portfolio. The ESA is split into 2 sections

  • Preparatory Studies : Will comprise a portfolio of development work based on the ESA broad-based thematic starting point. These studies will form the basis of most of the students marks.
  • Timed Exam : 15-hour Sustained Focus Period (3 days) : Under examination conditions, students will work unaided to produce personal response(s), with reference to their preparatory studies, in response to the ESA broad-based thematic starting point.

KS4 & KS5 Assessments Objectives:

All pupils are assessed termly against creative ability. All assessments are graded against the government standards. Pupils will follow the Pearson (EdExcel) assessment criteria and all work done will be against the GCSE & A Level assessment objectives:

A01: DEVELOP : Research, Images & Artists

  • Develop your ideas through investigations informed by contextual sources, demonstrate analytical and cultural understanding

A02: REFINE : Experiments with media

  • Refine your ideas through experimenting and selecting appropriate resources, media, materials, techniques and processes

A03: RECORD : Ideas, observations drawing and explanations

  • Record ideas, observations and insights relevant to your intentions in visual and other forms

A04: PRESENT : Final Outcomes

  • Present a personal, informed, and meaningful response demonstrating analytical and critical understanding, realising intentions and making connections between other visual elements.

Independent Learning Tasks: Homework is an important part of the curriculum and the use of a projects and sketchbook encourages independence, imagination and good practice. Students should click the Show My Homework icon to login.