Art and Design

“Art makes children Powerful “ Bob and Roberta Smith


Team Leader of Art Miss L Thorpe
Teacher of Art Miss M Cahill
Teacher of Art & Textiles Mrs A Bonney

Art is a core subject in Years 7, 8 and 9 with students having two periods per fortnight. We offer students the opportunity to study GCSE Art in Years 10 and 11, and A'Level Art in Years 12 and 13.  Further details about the A'Level course are available on the Sixth Form website.


Art is primarily a subject which depends upon and develops creativity. It offers the opportunity to nurture and extend fundamental thinking skills in problem solving and to exercise research and documentary techniques. Art helps to equip students with the practical, technical and conceptual tools required by a broad range of careers. In Art we aim to allow students to thrive independently within a supportive learning environment. We pride ourselves upon success in encouraging the practice of creative thinking and students who have the confidence, skills and knowledge to produce often challenging outcomes, particularly in Key Stages 4 & 5. We have worked hard to create a learning environment, where every child feels welcome and their talents valued.

The Art Department is concerned with building a solid foundation of practical skills across a range of media. We aim to develop conceptual, research and critical thinking skills, providing students with a broad range of contextual sources and are conscious of the role that Art can play in supporting the wider curriculum. We make sure not to disenfranchise any child on the grounds of competence; it is our belief that Art is the most inclusive of subjects, with success available to all and that it is our job, as Art teachers, to facilitate this.

Art Learning Journey

This is a visual representation of how students' knowledge and skills develop through the Art curriculum.

(click on the image below to view a larger version)

Art Learning Journey

Why Study Art at GCSE?

Picasso believed ‘Every child is an artist’ and we agree! We live in an increasingly visual world where artists such as you are vital to producing exciting and thought provoking work. The creative industries make an overwhelming contribution to our country’s economy. Art students might go on to be employed as illustrators and fashion designers, work in marketing or in advertising as creative thinkers. Maybe you’ll be an architect, a web designer, a special effects designer on a film or even a gallery owner! Or maybe you’ll follow a more traditional route and go on to be a Fine Artist: a Painter or a Sculptor exhibiting your work across the world. The opportunities for Art students are endless. Creative thinking is something that only you can do; a computer can’t think imaginatively but you can, which will make you a highly desirable candidate ready for any creative career. The Art Department is like a studio, a buzzing hive of activity where like-minded students love to come and make Art together.

You will be closely supported through the first term and build up key skills. In your lessons you will create work in a wide range of media including photography, large-scale drawings, collage and painting so that you can find where your strengths and interests lie. Then the fun really begins as you make your own choices about which artists inspire you and how you’d like to make work. You can paint, print, use digital media and photography, or make 3D work/sculpture. As a department we have a range of specialisms so whatever you want to create, there will be someone to show you how!

You will complete two coursework projects. Each has a theme such as ‘Identity’ or ‘Close Up’. Each theme is open-ended and is designed to allow you to respond in a personal and independent way. You will move through each project, just like an artist. You will begin by looking at the work of others to give you inspiration, then develop ideas of your own and finally create an impressive final piece which might be a painting, a sculpture, a photograph or whatever you want it to be!

GCSE Assessment

You will complete two Coursework projects which together contribute 60% of your GCSE. The remaining 40% of your GCSE will come from your exam. In this you will choose one theme from a choice of seven that the exam board will give you. You will work through the theme in exactly the same way as a coursework project; the only difference is that for the exam you will use the ten hour period which comes at the end, to produce your final piece. The ten hours are split into two full days in the Art department. Students thoroughly enjoy their Art exam which allows them to work without interruption on something very special.

GCSE Art and Design exam specification information

The Art Department has an Instagram account where they regularly post pictures of the brilliant work our students are creating - this can be found at