Art & Design


The Art & Design curriculum blends academic and practical learning to give students the chance to expand their visual literacy and extend their understanding of the world around them. The curriculum is broad and students explore the subject through a wide range of techniques, materials, concepts and contexts.


The focus at KS3 is on building upon students’ skills, knowledge and understanding of arts and crafts. The curriculum covers a range of topics that are designed to provide students with confidence in a range of skills including (but not limited to):

  • drawing (in a range of materials)
  • sculpting three-dimensionally
  • taking photographs
  • print-making
  • designing
  • reading, writing and talking analytically about artists and their work
  • generating original ideas inspired by research and experimentation

By the end of KS3, students will have a good understanding of the type of art they most enjoy making and the skills they would like to acquire or progress at GCSE.


The GCSE curriculum for Art & Design (which includes Fine Art and Photography as both combined and separate qualifications) is broad and allows students to learn about their personal interests. In Year 10, the aim is to explore and experiment with numerous materials, ideas and concepts in order to give students the confidence to know what works best for them. Year 11 provides the opportunity for students to play to their strengthsand the assessment of the course (by the examination board WJEC Eduqas) asks them to:

  • actively engage in the creative process of art, craft and design in order to develop as effective and independent learners, and as critical and reflective thinkers with enquiring minds

  • develop creative, imaginative and intuitive capabilities when exploring and making images, artefacts and products

  • become confident in taking risks and learn from experience when exploring and experimenting with ideas, processes, media, materials and techniques

  • develop critical understanding through investigative, analytical, experimental, practical, technical and expressive skills

  • develop and refine ideas and proposals, personal outcomes or solutions with increasing independence

  • acquire and develop technical skills through working with a broad range of media, materials, techniques, processes and technologies with purpose and intent

  • develop knowledge and understanding of art, craft and design in historical and contemporary contexts, societies and cultures

  • develop an awareness of the different roles and individual work practices evident in the production of art, craft and design in the creative and cultural industries

The GCSE qualification is divided into two main components; a coursework project is worth 60% of their grade and an examination project is worth the remaining 40%. Both projects are completed over a number of months and are assessed by an examiner in their entirety. The main difference between the two is that the coursework project is self-initiated and the examination project must be inspired by the students’ choice from a range of starting-points given by the examination board. This second project ends in a timed piece of work completed in 10 hours (across several days).