Quick Links

Quick Links

GSO Test

The Arts

Art & Design

The Art Department aims to give each student the opportunity to engage in a range of exciting and inspiring practical art projects ranging from Printmaking to Manga and Portraiture. Our aim is to ensure that every student has access to a number of artistic disciplines and to encourage independent learning through being creative, independent and imaginative. Students study a range of artists, designers and craftspeople by experimenting and developing their skills and knowledge through working with different materials, techniques and processes.

Key Stage 3

At the start of year 7 all students are issued two sketchbooks - one for classwork and the other for homework. Each term, students are set three main homework tasks which are aimed at developing a students’ observation drawing skills. Each year students will complete three themed practical projects based on studying different artists and styles of art. The themes are as follows:

Project Year 7 Year 8 Year 9
1 Line & Mark making Manga & Portraiture Pattern & Printmaking
2 Colour Theory Form and Sculpture Pop Art
3 Form and Sculpture Aboriginal Art Art Deco


Every student will produce work in their sketchbook documenting the artistic processes carried out in key stage 3. This working journal shows student’s progress throughout years 7-9.

Key Stage 4: GCSE

In years 10 & 11, students follow the AQA Specification.

The specification provides students with a wide range of creative, exciting and stimulating opportunities in art. It allows for the study of art in both breadth and depth and provides progression from Key Stage 3. The course forms a basis for further progression to art and design related courses such as BTEC and enhanced vocational and career pathways.

The work produced by the students is assessed as 60% Portfolio of Work (Coursework) and 40% Externally Set Task (Exam).

Students study a range of projects and tasks throughout years 10 and 11. They build on their skills, knowledge and understanding by completing fortnightly homework tasks and working towards the following:

  • Abstract Expressionism
  • Observation Drawings
  • Storytelling, Printmaking and Portraiture
  • Researching and Investigating Artists and Designers
  • Mock Exam Practise

At the end of the course, students will sit a ten hour externally set exam which runs over two days. This, along with the coursework is what determines the grade they achieve at GCSE.

Photography: lens-based and light-based media


Students explore a range of lens-based and light-based media, techniques and processes, including both traditional and new technologies. The course is split up into two units.

Unit 1: students explore relevant images and resources relating to lens-based and light-based media from the past and from recent times. On the course, students are encouraged to be creative and show their own thought processes as they tackle each brief.

Areas of study

Students work in one or more areas of lens-based and light-based media such as those listed below. They may explore overlapping and combinations of areas:

  • Portraiture
  • Landscape photography (working from the built or natural environment).
  • Still Life photography, (working from natural or manufactured objects).
  • Documentary photography, photo journalism, narrative photography, reportage
  • Fine Art photography, photographic installation
  • Photography involving a moving image, (television, film and animation).
  • New media practice such as computer manipulated photography and photographic projections.Students are assessed on four Assessment Objectives (AO1-4).
  • Assessment Objective 1 is about developing ideas from a starting point to a final piece. This is done through mind-mapping, sketches and studies related to the work of other artists, designers and craftspeople. You need to analyse and understand these contextual sources, and develop your ideas in a personal way.
  • Assessment Objective 2 is about refining your ideas through selecting and experimenting with appropriate resources, media, materials, techniques and processes. There are various ways of using these to develop ideas and create a personal response.Assessment Objective 4 is about presenting a personal, informed and meaningful response, from your initial research through to the final piece. You need to demonstrate analytical and critical understanding as you respond to your theme.
  • Candidates may use sketchbooks/workbooks/ journals to support their work where appropriate.
  • Assessment Objective 3 is about recording your ideas, observations and insights, which can be in visual, written and other forms. You should work from a range of experiences and stimulus materials, as each of these could lead you to different ways of developing your ideas. You should reflect upon your work, and consider what you have achieved at each stage and what you will do next.
  • Unit 2: This is an externally set task. Students will have to produce a personal response to one of seven different starting points set by AQA. Previous titles have included: movement, close-up, journeys, fusion, transform, portraits and shadows. Students can produce anything that has involved a lens in any part of its creation, meaning that the students are given a huge range of creative possibilities.