Art and design

Aims of the curriculum

The fundamental aim of the art department is to raise standards by helping students to develop an enquiring mind and the technical skills to express themselves confidently, creatively; with feelings and imagination. Art is one of the best areas of the curriculum to lead this approach and the skills students learn here can be applied to all their other studies and to the rest of their lives.


Curriculum overview

Year 10

  • Graphics based project building upon skills studied in Year 9. The project begins with an educational visit for students to gather ideas.
  • Students will keep a sketchbook and complete a final piece of work for this project.
  • Students are given ten hours to complete a final piece of work for this project.
  • Students will then work on an exam question set by the examining body. This will involve completing a sketchbook and a final graphics piece.
  • Students completing all work will be given the opportunity for their work to be entered for a GCSE qualification.

Year 11

  • Drawing and painting project based upon a visit to the Botanical Gardens and a study of natural forms.
  • Entry for the exam for this project is compulsory and all students will be expected to complete both coursework and examination components.

Teaching methods and student organisation

  • Year 9: 2 x 1 hour lessons of art per week.
  • Year 10: 3 x 1 hour lessons of art per week.
  • Year 11: 2 x 1 hour lessons of art per week.
  • Students are taught in mixed ability groups.
  • Materials are provided for students with the exception of sketchbooks and canvases. Students will be expected to buy a total of five sketchbooks and canvases over the three year course.
  • Students are expected to contribute towards educational visits. London visits cost approximately £15, Botanical Gardens £10.
  • Art involves a lot of hard work due to its practical nature. Students must be prepared to work a lot at home in their own time. Art builds students’ confidence, communication and expressive skills

Progression after Key Stage 4

Students gaining at least a grade C at GCSE may progress to AS level and then on to A level.

Additional classes and extra curricular activities

The department run after school sessions one night per week and students interested in attending these to catch up or do extra work should see their Art teacher. Students are welcome to work in the department before and after school and at break and lunchtimes. Individual staff run sessions on different days. Saturday and holiday sessions are also run near to exam times.


How can you help your child?

Parents can help their children by ensuring that they are spending time on sketchbook homework each week and making sure they are up to date with work. Students are regularly issued with sheets detailing what work they should have. Holidays are a good time for students to complete large work or catch up on sketch books and holidays also provide opportunity for gathering sketches or visiting galleries, if away anywhere interesting. Owning some of their own art materials can be beneficial for students, such as paint, brushes, pastels, crayons etc. and the majority of students do their final works on canvases, which can be found at The Works or Hootys. Canvases are also available to purchase in school.

Useful art and design websites

  • AQA A-Level Art and Design

    Information about the A-Level Art and Design syllabus from AQA (for Key Stage 5 students)

  • Artcyclopedia

    An encyclopaedia of popular artists and art movements

  • BBC Art

    Provides links to a variety of art-related content from the BBC

  • S-Cool A-level Art

    Help with revision for A-level Art (for Key Stage 5 students)

  • Tate

    Information about the Tate galleries