Art & Design

In art and design, students are taught to communicate ideas and meanings through different materials methods and techniques. They work with traditional and new media, developing confidence, competence, imagination and creativity. They learn to appreciate and value images and artifacts across times and cultures, and to understand the contexts in which they were made. Students reflect critically on their own and other people’s work, judging quality, value and meaning. They learn to think and act as artists and designers, working creatively and intelligently. They develop an appreciation of art and design, and its role in the creative and cultural industries that enrich their lives.

The aim of the department, across all year groups, is to create a safe classroom environment that encourages students to take responsibility for their own learning and that enables them to develop their skills, knowledge and understanding. They are taught to develop their creativity and ideas, and increase proficiency in their execution. Students also develop a critical understanding of artists, architects and designers, expressing reasoned judgements that can inform their own work.  Students are taught:

  • to use a range of techniques to record their observations in sketchbooks,  as a basis for exploring their ideas;
  • to use a range of techniques and media, including painting and mixed media;
  • to increase their proficiency in the handling of different materials;
  • to analyse and evaluate their own work, and that of others, in order to strengthen the visual impact or applications of their work about the history of art, craft and design.

A range of student centred strategies help to facilitate this:

  • group discussion/critiques of work;
  • observation of teacher-led demonstrations;
  • use of ICT in classroom and for homework assignments where appropriate;
  • gallery/museum visits when link can be made with project;
  • recording in sketchbooks;
  • use of artefacts to inspire ideas and create primary drawing from;
  • practical work and contextual investigation.
Key stage 3


Students have an introduction to the key formal elements in Art & Design – i.e: line, mark-making, texture, tone, shape, form, colour and pattern. The aim is to ensure students have a sound basic knowledge with which they can grow and develop throughout KS3 and beyond including embracing art from different cultures.


Students continue to build on the skills and knowledge learned in Yr.7. The project entitled 'Architecture will introduce students to a wider variety of materials and techniques and learn how to develop ideas through research into artists/art movements.  The outcomes will be 2d and 3d with an emphasis on mixed media.


Students are given regular feedback from their teacher, both verbal and written.  Written comments are given in sketchbooks for each homework assignment and a written assessment form is completed by the teacher at the end of each project. Regular critiques are held in lessons, giving students the opportunity to discuss their work with their peers and teacher. Self-assessment and peer assessment is also carried out on each project.

To support your child’s learning it is recommended that you:

  • take your child to art galleries or exhibitions whenever possible;
  • encourage your child to practise their drawing skills at home in their sketchbook.
key stage 4

This course encourages an adventurous and enquiring approach to art and design. Students will experiment with a wide of a range of practical skills and techniques, as well as demonstrate an understanding of past and contemporary art & design practice, to produce a personal response to their ideas.


Students in year 9 will be preparing for GCSE by continuing to refine key skills such as drawing and painting.   Students will also have the opportunity to work more independently and explore different outcomes through the themes of Portraiture, Identity and Disguise.   An emphasis will be put on developing their knowledge of contemporary and contextual art.


At the beginning of the course students are re-introduced to basic skills, such as line, tone, form, colour & perspective through a structured project.  Students will then start building up a portfolio of work, Unit one,  which counts for 60% of their overall GCSE.  The theme for this project is 'Food in Art'.  Students are encouraged to build on the skills they have already acquired through development of ideas and the making of final pieces.



In the final year of the course students complete their 3-dimensional project and, if appropriate, visit one of the big London galleries, such as the Tate Modern, to support their critical studies. In February they start prep work for their final GCSE exam, which generally takes place towards the end of April.


Coursework 60% of final grade:

  • The two year syllabus is predominantly coursework (60%). Deadline dates are given at the beginning of each project. There are generally 2 coursework projects completed. All coursework is produced in sketchbooks.

Exam (Timed Test) 40% of final grade:

  • The art exam takes place over two days allowing students to spend 10 hours on it. The preparation work for the art exam is approximately 8 working weeks. This is carried out in sketchbooks and the final outcome can be produced in any medium of the student’s choice.

Examination Board Syllabus No:  Art & Design AQA

To support your child’s learning within the subject it is recommended that you:

  • encourage your child to attend art galleries or exhibitions whenever possible;
  • encourage your child to practise their drawing skills at home in their sketchbook;

A Level Art and Design (Fine Art) offers opportunities to use your creativity to express yourself. You will develop your understanding of creative processes, your ability to observe and to think, to solve problems and to communicate in a visual way. It will enable you to work independently and to make your own discoveries by exploring ideas, other artists’ work and different materials and techniques. Fine art gives you the skills and knowledge to create personal and imaginative work.

Students will be introduced to a variety of experiences that explore a range of fine art media, processes and techniques. Students will learn to explore the use of drawing for different purposes, using a variety of methods and media on a variety of scales. Students may use sketchbooks/workbooks/journals to underpin their work where appropriate.

Students will produce practical and critical/contextual work in one or more areas of study, for example drawing, painting, mixed-media, sculpture, ceramics, installation, printmaking, moving image (video, film and animation) and photography.

The four assessment objectives will be demonstrated in the context of the content and skills presented. Students’ portfolios will show the importance of process as well as product.

Exam Board: AQA

Year 1 Subject Content:

Within each component, students must demonstrate evidence that they have explored critical and contextual work through a range of two-dimensional and/or three-dimensional processes and media.                                                                                                                           Component 1: This must show clear development from initial intentions to the final outcome or outcomes. It must include evidence of the student’s ability to research and develop ideas and relate their work in meaningful ways to relevant critical/contextual materials.

Year 2 Subject Content

Component 2: This must show evidence of areas of study drawn from one or more of the endorsed titles.

Students will use the assessment objectives to guide their working process and complete a response in a 15 hour controlled assessment.

Career Opportunities / Routes

This qualification supports progression into further education or directly into employment in the art and design industry.


Component 1: Personal investigation

Personal investigation based on an idea, issue, concept or theme. This is supported by a written element of 1000-3000 words.

Fine art portfolios will be marked by the centre and moderated by AQA during a visit to the centre.

  • 60%

Component 2: Externally set assignment

The question paper will consist of a choice of eight questions to be used as starting points. Students are required to select one.

Exam portfolios will be marked by the centre and moderated by AQA during a visit to the centre.

  • 40% 


Specialist workshop, run by professional artists are provided to expose students to materials and techniques that would not normally be available to them in lessons – eg: ceramics and textiles.