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Art and Design

The art and design curriculum is vibrant and dynamic, and is designed to provide students with the skills, knowledge and confidence to continue to study the subject at A-Level and beyond.

The curriculum is broad, enabling students to explore different disciplines within art, design and craft. Students can expect to learn about experimental and traditional drawing techniques, science illustration, optical illusions, wire sculpture, abstract mark making, portraiture and architecture, as well as how to create a personal response in their art work.


Art is not what you see, 

but what you make 

others see. 


Edgar Degas

The formal elements underpin the art and design curriculum and form the foundation of each project. Students will become reflective learners when analysing the work of others and their own work. Artist studies feature throughout the curriculum, as a form of inspiration and as part of the creative journey.


Through a series of portfolio-style projects and set briefs, students will gain a greater understanding of the assessment objectives at GCSE and learn how to produce a personal response, identify and analyse the work of other artists, experiment with a variety of media and materials and analyse and evaluate their own art work.


There are strong links with many other subjects throughout the curriculum, such as science, maths and design and technology. Projects in architecture, science illustration and anatomy of the heart provide opportunities for cross-curricular learning.

What are they learning?

Year 7

Experimental and traditional drawing techniques are explored in the first part of Year 7, providing students with an insight into the formal elements. As the year progresses, students will continue to develop their understanding of the formal elements with a science illustration project and begin to work in other disciplines with a two clay projects.

Year 9

The Year 9 curriculum begins with a skulls and decay portfolio-style project, which enables students to focus on developing their own style and personal response to a set brief. An anatomy of the heart project follows in the Spring term, with a focus on experimentation and the use of textiles. Students continue to experiment and explore all four assessment objectives in a portraiture and architecture project in the Summer term.

Potential Careers relating to your subject

Costume Designer / Graphic Designer / Concept Artist / Illustrator / Art Director / Make Up Artist / Prop Maker / Art and Design Technician / Primary School Teacher / Secondary School Teacher / Fine Artist / Photographer / Curator / Art Therapist / Animator

Year 8

Students will begin Year 8 with a Mexican Day of the Dead project, allowing them explore papier mache and the value of evaluating their own work. The second project in Year 8 features the work of Bridget Riley and provides students with an insight into the op art movement. The final project enables students to experiment with wire sculpture. Both the op art and wire sculpture project have strong links to the formal elements, exploring colour and form.


At GCSE, students will refine their understanding of the formal elements and each assessment objectives, as they begin their portfolio for component 1. Component 1 forms 60% of the final grade, and component 2 forms the remaining 40%. Component 2 consists of a 10-hour exam and a supporting portfolio. Throughout Year 10 and 11, students will continue to develop their skills and knowledge through a series of workshops and gallery visits.

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