Curriculum Overview and Subjects

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Art and Design


The Art & Design Department believe that the Visual Arts are a key component in today’s society. Visual Communication is a language that all people speak; it cuts across racial, cultural, social, educational, and economic barriers and enhances cultural appreciation and awareness. The Visual Arts exercise and develop higher order thinking skills including analysis, synthesis, evaluation, and problem solving.

Art and Design now has very real and direct links to future employment.      

The Creative Industries have been growing three times as fast as the national economy and

“The UK remains a leading marketplace for Art according to figures released by Thomson Reuters”- Telegraph.



Students are expected to be punctual, well organised and have their required equipment packs. We expect students to be positive and engaged in their learning and listen to and act on their teacher’s advice. Students are expected to follow rules and respect others to ensure that their learning environment is not compromised.

Our aspiration is that students are engaged inspired and challenged in order for all students to reach their full potential.

Art and Design


Ms Barnes Art Teacher
Miss Bassant Head of Art (joint)
Ms Brown Art Teacher
Mrs Jones Art Teacher
Ms Neech Assistant Headteacher
Ms Pasierkiewicz Art Teacher
Ms Swanston Art Teacher
Mrs Williams Head of Art (joint)

Key Stage 3

Key Stage 3 classes have 2 periods per week and are taught a variety of topics based around the National curriculum covering a wide range of skills, including drawing, painting, printmaking, digital media and three-dimensional design.

We use an assortment of digital and non digital media, such as charcoal, pastel, oil pastel, paints and clay, which are provided.

Students study a diverse range of artists’ styles and cultures, taking ideas and information from these to inform their work.

Key Stage 4

Our students are taught for 3 periods per week and are encouraged to attend after school sessions in the Art & Design studios. The exam specifications followed are GCSE AQA Fine Art, Art & Design and Photography. The course is very varied and the emphasis is on practical work. It follows the foundation of skills and knowledge built in Years 7-9.

The GCSE is split into two Components:

Component 1: Portfolio (60% of the final mark)

There is no restriction on the scale of work, media or materials used. The aim of this component will be on the development of understanding and skills using an appropriate range of materials, processes and techniques including many of the following: drawing, painting, photography, printmaking, 3D design, digital media and digital manipulation.

Each student must select and present a portfolio representative of their course of study.

The portfolio component includes two separate units of work.

Component 2: Externally set assignment. Students select and respond to one starting point from their chosen title (40% of the final mark).

The externally set assignment provides students with the opportunity to demonstrate, through an extended creative response, their ability to draw together different areas of knowledge, skills and understanding in response to their selected starting point through to their realisation of intentions in the final practical exam.

The externally set assignment is issued from early January followed by an extended preparation period prior to the final exam in the summer term.

Key Stage 5

We offer linear A levels in Graphic Design, Photography and Fine Art (AQA)

During the first year students will produce a Portfolio of work that leads into Component 1.

The contents of the portfolio will be determined by the nature of the course of study. The emphasis of this component will be on the development of understanding and skills using an appropriate range of materials, processes and techniques including drawing, painting, photography, printmaking, 3D design, digital media and digital manipulation.

Towards the end of the first year students begin to produce:

Component 1- Personal investigation (60% of the final mark)

This is a practical investigation supported by written material. Students are required to conduct a practical investigation, into an idea, issue, concept or theme, supported by written material. This is an in-depth study that demonstrates the student’s ability to construct and develop a sustained line of reasoning from an initial starting point to a final realisation.

Component 2 - Externally set assignment (40% of the final mark)

Separate question papers will be provided for each title. Each question paper will consist of a choice of eight questions to be used as starting points. Students are required to select one.

Preparatory period – from 1 February. Following receipt of the paper students should consider the starting points and select one.

Preparatory work should be presented in any suitable format, such as mounted sheets, design sheets, sketchbooks, workbooks, journals, models and maquettes.

Supervised time – 15 hours. Following an extended preparatory period, students complete 15 hours of unaided, supervised time in the studio during the smmer term.

During the exam students must produce a finished outcome or a series of related finished outcomes, informed by their preparatory work.

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