Our aim/vision

The Department of Art and Design consists of a family of colleagues who work together. As a team we foster, nurture and build relationships with the students’ that we teach.

We are passionate about 'getting to know each individual child' - their hobbies, interests and lives will drive their own independent learning and challenge their creativity.

We provide students with exciting opportunities to explore, develop and learn creative and technical skills. Students are taught in mixed ability classes across all Key Stages and are encouraged to appreciate the work other cultures, artists and art movements expressing their own thoughts, ideas and feelings along the way. 

Students are challenged to create highly personal outcomes and lead their own investigations at KS4 and 5, effectively writing their own schemes of work under the advice and guidance of their class teacher.

Schemes of work

Schemes of work explored in all years follow a criteria set out by four main assessment objectives derived from our exam board Edexcel (see assessment section below). This eases the transition from KS3 into KS4. Themes are updated regularly to allow for current, topical and exciting teaching and learning across all key stages.

The social, moral, cultural and spiritual wellbeing of our students is at the core of our teaching and learning. Topics are chosen to promote and encourage discussion, debate and allow for freedom of expression in a safe and inspiring environment:

The following titles are just some examples of themes that have been explored.

  • Live, life, love
  • Identity and Society
  • Unexpected Everyday
  • Magnification
  • Storytelling
  • Culture Vulture
  • Text and Image
  • Strange Beauty
  • Natural Forms
  • Architecture
  • Mask Making
  • Mechanical Forms
  • Perspective


KS3 students are taught once a week for one and a half hrs. Homework is set once a fortnight and generally one-two hours’ worth of study is expected per task. Students follow a balanced and creative course of study in which they develop a variety of skills based on observation and imagination. All students are encouraged to explore a range of materials and techniques, including painting, drawing, mixed media, printmaking and three - dimensional design. Art history will be taught to develop critical judgement skills and this will inform practical work.

KS4 students are set weekly homework’s and the expectation for ‘out of hours’ work is two - four hours per task. From Year 10 onwards, students are taught in 1hr sessions twice a week and follow a scheme of work devised to cover the Assessment Objectives as laid out by the Edexcel examination board (see below). Students’ are encouraged to create highly personal outcomes, leading their own independent investigations. Attending regular gallery visits ‘out of hours’ are highly encouraged and directed by their subject teacher, a curious and inquisitive approach in questioning and exploring the work of others will in turn ignite creativity, new ideas and risk taking.

KS5 students are independent in directing their own learning and like KS4, follow their own scheme of work to meet the four Edexcel Assessment Objectives under a given theme. The expectation for ‘out of hours work’ is between four to eight hours a week of self-directed study. Students are taught in sessions of between 1-2hrs for 4hrs a week in Yr. 12 and 5hrs a week in Yr. 13. Independent and regular gallery visits are highly recommended and directed by their subject teacher. Students should develop an understanding of the interrelationships between art, craft and design alongside an awareness of the context in which they operate.

Exam Board & Specifications

Art & Design GCSE

Students complete two extended units of coursework specific to their chosen subject within a given theme, this constitutes 60% of their final grade. They explore a wide range of materials, processes and techniques while being inspired by many artists, craftspeople and designers. Our students have the opportunity to work with photography, collage, photomontage, sculpture, mixed media, Photoshop/computer aided design, alongside the more traditional disciplines of painting, printmaking and drawing.

In year 11 they receive an externally set title which involves a preparatory supporting study (sketchbook of work) and an externally set assignment (10 hr exam – practical). After a number of weeks’ preparation in their sketchbooks, they sit the 10-hour exam during which they produce a personal and practical response to the exam theme.  This exam outcome (including their sketchbook/preparatory study) is worth 40% of their final grade.

Edexcel GCSE Specification

Art & Design A level/GCE

Our Art & Design A Level course is a two-year programme of study designed to enable students to explore traditional and/or contemporary practices, developing their work using a range of exciting materials, processes and techniques. Students will have the opportunity to explore a diverse range of disciplines, such as painting, sculpture, ceramics, printmaking, textiles, digital media and more. We encourage our students to take risks and to try out new ideas, as a team we are excited to support all kinds of experimentation. 

The two year A level course consists of 60% coursework and 40% external exam. Students will complete 4 projects over the duration of the course, three of which will be coursework under a variety of given themes with the final project being set by the exam board (Edexcel) this includes a body of work (preparatory study) and a 15hr practical examination. 

The personal investigation (Coursework) that kick starts Yr. 13 is self-directed, this allows the student to select their own theme and work towards their own personal response. The personal investigation also consists of a dissertation (personal study) that is written alongside the practical portfolio. Art appreciation will form the foundation of this study and students must be curious, further their reading and visit museums and galleries to support their critical and contextual studies.

Edexcel A level/GCE Specification

Assessment & Intervention

At KS4/5 intervention is woven into lessons through individual tutorial sessions. Instilling a desire to learn in all students while encouraging independent learning is at the core of our teaching. The discussions, targets and guidance provided by the class teacher will be evident on assessment sheets and post it notes found in the student’s sketchbooks. As the work accumulates students will receive numerical grades and feedback as an indication of their current academic progress.

Intervention sessions for Year 11, 12 & 13 take place with the students’ class teacher as and when needed and will be arranged on a one to one basis. 

Assessment Objectives for KS3/4 & 5

(AO1) Develop ideas through sustained investigations informed by contextual and other sources.

(AO2) Explore and select appropriate resources media, materials, techniques and processes, reviewing and refining ideas as work develops.

(AO3) Record ideas, observations and insights relevant to intentions, reflecting critically on work and progress.

(AO4) Present a personal and meaningful response that realises intentions and, where appropriate, makes connections between visual and other elements.

Assessment at KS3 

Targets to help raise the standard of achievement and attainment will be written as and when necessary on the pages of the student’s sketchbook, levels have been removed from the curriculum so they will no longer be used to assess. Numerical grading (in line with the new grading system at GCSE) will be used for summative assessment at the end of a project or test and as and when the teacher deems it necessary, this will ease the transition from KS3 to KS4 if the subject is chosen at GCSE. The above Assessment objectives for KS4 & 5 are also used to assess at KS3.

Parents/carers can provide support at home by working through targets with their child. Communication with parents/carers is fundamental in adopting a cohesive and supportive environment for every child to achieve their very best. Any support parents/carers can offer at home is invaluable and very much appreciated.

Extra-Curricular activities & Trips

KS3 students are invited to attend a weekly art club.

KS4 students have the opportunity to visit a gallery/exhibition with their class teacher.

KS5 students – gallery visit to support their portfolios. Life drawing sessions are encouraged and offered either in school or at venues in the local area. Leading/helping with clubs is encouraged.

Photography workshops are taught at KS4 & 5 to develop skills in how to take and compose a successful photograph – a crucial aspect of the course as photography provides the platform for all ideas.

Year 10, 11, 12 & 13 students are encouraged and directed by their class teacher to organise their own independent visits to museums, galleries, exhibitions and open days that suit their personal creative journey.

The department has links with UAL Saturday club and students are given the opportunity to take part at a chosen venue in London. 

Studio Facilities 

We have a wide range of facilities in the department for students to access the curriculum. These include a kiln, photography dark room, hand screen printing facilities, access to Photoshop & computers in all classrooms and an art library in each classroom for students to further their knowledge in the history of art.

Studio display

'Enjoy, Achieve and celebrate' will continue to be our vision.

The Department of Art & Design is passionate about celebrating the work of our students through display. We have a rich, exciting and varied display to be viewed in all classrooms and corridors, this is updated regularly to showcase students work from all year groups. 

In addition to this we are proud to promote our ‘wall of fame’ display located in the entrance lobby of the art department.  Often the most beautiful work is hidden away in the students’ sketchbooks. The purpose of the ‘Wall of Fame’ is to exhibit work in frames, giving every child the opportunity to aspire to becoming an ‘artist of the term’ and to proudly and professionally display their achievements. A historical archive will be available to view the collection of work that was once on the ‘wall of fame’.

We exhibit exam work at the end of the course and all are welcome to view.

Useful Textbooks 

The Story of Art 15th Edition Gombrich, E (1995)

A World History of Art (7th edition) Honour, H and Fleming, J (2005)

Art: The Definitive Visual Guide Graham-Dixon, A (2008)

Just my type: a book about type font, by Simon Garfield 

Illustration Now, Taschen, various editions.

Useful websites

Tate ( – Covers both the contemporary collections of the Tate Modern and the home of British art 1300- the present in Tate Britain, with both galleries located in central London.

Museum of Modern Art ( – One of New York’s most famous galleries with collections to browse online.

Art Cyclopaedia ( – Browse artists by movement, era, medium, Nationality etc.

The National Gallery ( – Located in Trafalgar Square famous for its collection of paintings 1300-1900

DaFont ( – Useful for Graphics students to explore a range of original type fonts.

BBC Bitesize ( – Exploring “a day in the life” of creative practitioners. See videos of what life is like as a real life designer or artist.

Art2day ( – Exploring a range of artists, sub themes & disciplines.

Beyond A Level

The course enables students to develop their visual and communication skills leading to careers in many of the pathways listed below. Others use the exam to broaden their educational experience, challenging themselves to think critically and creatively, developing fine motor skills transferrable in any career while gaining points in support of their university application.

Examples of just some of the career opportunities available

Design Art
Illustrator Special effects / film / theatre design
Architect Illustrator
Typography Web design
Animation/cartoonist Art director
Photographer Art therapist
Digital/web design Architect
Printmaker Fashion designer
Textile designer Art critic
Information design Ceramicist
Game design Community arts worker
Fine art/visual arts Exhibition designer
Advertising/art director Fashion designer
Graphic Designer Art historian
Magazine editor Teacher
Photographic editor Furniture restorer/designer
Poster design Furniture designer
Teacher Curator
Film design/set design Graphic designer
Signage Industrial/product designer
3D Graphics Interior and spatial designer
Advertising Jewellery designer
Interior Designer FE Tutor
Furniture Designer Make-up artist
Special Effects artist Medical illustrator
Press photographer Museum/gallery conservator
Tutor Photographer
  Press photographer
  Textile design
  Music and performing arts


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KS3-KS5 - Grade Descriptions 14th Oct 2019 Download