Art & Design

Why is special about this subject?

It nurtures creative skill and imagination through exploring materials, techniques and processes to collaboratively and independently communicate ideas. Students develop independence, are persistent in their efforts and encouraged to take creative risks without fear of failure. Students are challenged to be curious and inquisitive when researching artists and designers promoting critical and reflective discussion. They produce art work inspired by a culturally diverse range of Artists showing understanding of how this work has shaped our world. Students will respect and care for their work and that of others as well as the space they work in.

What is the Learning Journey through this subject?

Key Stage 3 Art & Design

What will I learn in this subject?

Art and Design stimulates creativity and imagination.  It provides visual, tactile and sensory experiences and a unique way of understanding and responding to the world.  Students use colour, form, texture, pattern and different materials and processes to communicate what they see, feel and think.  Through Art and Design activities students learn to make informed value judgements and aesthetic and practical decisions, becoming actively involved in shaping environments.  They explore ideas and meanings in the work of artists, crafts people and designers.  They learn about the diverse roles and functions of art, craft and design in contemporary life, and in different times and cultures.  Understanding, appreciation and enjoyment of the visual arts have the power to enrich our personal and public lives.

What skills and themes are covered?

The following areas are covered during the Key Stage:

  • Optical Art
  • Printmaking
  • Graphic Design
  • Self Portrait
  • Digital Art
  • Drawing techniques
  • Colour Theory
  • Painting Landscape
  • Print Making
  • Mask

How is it assessed?

Art is assessed in knowledge, skills and understanding that students are expected to gain by the end of Key Stage 3.  The NTC Standards for Art indicate progression in exploring and developing ideas: investigating and making art, craft and design and evaluating and developing work.  Knowledge and understanding supports attainment in all three aspects.  Each unit of work will have a particular assessment focus.  Students will also take part in self evaluation and negotiated target setting.  Assessment at the end of Key Stage 3 is based on knowledge of how you perform across a range of contexts and takes into account different strengths and weaknesses of your performance. Judgements are not based on individual pieces of work, but on the knowledge of the students work over time, with greater emphasis being placed on your performance during the whole of Key Stage 3.

Where does this take me?

In Key Stage 4 you can choose from a BTEC First Certificate in Art and Design or a GCSE in Photography.  You can also continue to study at Sixth Form and take a BTEC in Art Design.  This can lead to a place at college, university or employment.

Key Stage 4 BTEC Art and Design

What will I learn on this course?

On this course you will learn a broad range of skills including traditional Art and Design methods in 2D and 3D such as drawing, painting, printing, sculpture and graphic design. You will also learn to use digital Technology on a Mac book or iPad such as Photoshop and sketchbook Pro and other image manipulation software. The course requires you to research and investigate the work of historical and contemporary artists and designers as well as develop your own response. There are opportunities to visit art galleries and other exhibitions as well as exhibiting your own work in an annual exhibition.

The BTEC First Award in Art and Design includes 2 mandatory units and 2 optional units.

Mandatory Units:

Unit 1: Introduction to Specialist Pathways in Art and Design (Internally assessed)
Unit 2: Creative Project in Art and Design (Externally assessed exam)

Optional Units:

Unit 3: Communicating Ideas in 2D (Internal)
Unit 4: Communicating Ideas in 3D (External)

How is this qualification taught and assessed?

The qualification is heavily based on practical activity and workshop based tutorials. There is an externally set assessment Unit 2 and Unit 4

Work is mainly presented in sketch book format and the use of photography is used to document making and building techniques. We will also visit museums and galleries to support students’ coursework and to ensure they have an opportunity to work from primary sources.

The course is graded at a Level 1 Pass, Level 2 Pass, Level 2 Merit or Level 2 Distinction.

What qualification will I achieve?

You will achieve a BTEC First Award in Art and Design (equivalent to 1 GCSE).

Where will this qualification take me?

This qualification can lead to further study at Sixth Form with the Level 3 BTEC National Diploma in Art and Design.

How can I find out more?

You can find out more by contacting Ms Hayes at: or Mr Hazeltine (

Subject: GCSE Photography

What will I learn on this course?

The GCSE covers a range of activities and in-depth assignments. You will have the opportunity to experiment with different media in order to explore your strengths and preferences. There are a wide range of options within the different endorsements, or you may choose to work in several areas such as Digital Photography, Photographic Genres and the Moving Image. Whatever you choose, the main aim of the course is to develop your visual language skills and for you to build a comprehensive portfolio of work to progress to further courses or employment.

No photographic experience is necessary for you to take this course but you should have an interest in Photography, and more importantly, you should have a commitment to, and love of the subject and feel motivated to develop your visual skills and express your ideas in working through projects and assignments.

How is this qualification taught and assessed?

Unit 1Unit 2
Personal Portfolio in PhotographyExternally Set Assignment in Photography
Internally set and marked; assessed through controlled assessment.Externally set theme and internally marked.
Each unit is assessed separately out of 80 marks. Students will be assessed using 4 assessment objectives of develop, review/experiment, record, present.

GCSE in Art and Design (Photography), what qualification will I achieve?

Where will this qualification take me?

On completion of your GCSE Art and Design (Photography) course, you could progress to further education via Level 3 courses such as:

  • BTEC Nationals in Art and Design or Media
  • The Diploma in Creative and Media
  • GCE AS Photography

If you choose to look for a job, you will have a portfolio of work that will evidence your ability to pursue a two-year GCSE course in Photography, covering different assignments and producing a range of work. There may be opportunities to work, for example, in local photographic offices, graphic companies and retail, or you may choose to be self-employed.

How can I find out more?

For more details please see Mr Meaney (