Art & Design

“There are three responses: yes, no, and wow. Wow is the one to aim for” – Milton Glasner

Lower School

We strive to give pupils a broad and varied experience of Art and Design, and they attain a wide range of specialist skills in: drawing, painting, collage, sculpture, ceramics, photography and printmaking.

Alongside the practical expertise, pupils will also learn transferable skills valued in both higher education and the world of work, such as: creative and analytical thinking, problem solving, working independently, research methods, fine motor skills, understanding how context shapes meaning, and how to communicate effectively.


The GCSE Art and Design course offers a diverse and exciting curriculum that empowers individuality and fosters innovation. The department is a stimulating environment where students can develop their creative flair and produce ambitious artworks.

Sketchbooks are used to document the artistic journey, sources and direction. Through studying both historical and contemporary works, pupils will analyse and evaluate a series of relevant artists and designers. They will create personal responses to show the development of their conceptual ideas, through purposeful investigations. We support students in exploring different media and experimenting with a variety of techniques and processes. Pupils will learn how to sync the eye and hand, which will result in better technical drawing skills and impressive line and tonal drawings. They will reflect on their progress, and as a result, review and refine their artwork. Finally, the students will present personal and meaningful outcomes outside of the sketchbook, which realise intentions and link directly to their preparatory work.

Educational visits will help students to put their learning into context and enable them to collect primary sources which will inform their independent learning. An exhibition of pupil work marks the culmination of the course and an exhibition is organised in June to celebrate the pupils’ achievements.

Due to the fast pace and nature of the subject, the students’ skills and knowledge will progress quickly and we always strive to ensure that the projects are varied and exciting.


Component 1 – Portfolio

60% of GCSE grade

Pupils will produce a portfolio of work, which will be selected from 2 projects undertaken during the 2-year course.

Component 2 – Externally Set Assignment

40% of GCSE grade

Pupils will produce personal work in response to 1 of 7 starting points on the AQA externally set assignment paper. Following a preparatory period, pupils will have 10 hours of supervised time to create a refined and meaningful outcome.

A Level

A Level Art and Design builds on the skills, knowledge and understanding developed throughout the GCSE course. We encourage study that reflects the pupils’ values, curiosities, passions and expertise. Our A Level course places emphasis on striving to create ambitious artwork in the sketchbook and on a large scale, using a wide range of specialist media, techniques and processes.

We are proud to say that our pupils are determined and driven, and they each display high levels of engagement and commitment to their projects – both during lessons and their independent study periods.

The UK’s thriving creative industries are a hugely important sector of the UK economy. Whether you want to pursue a career in the creative industries or complement your other subjects, A Level Art and Design has a lot to offer.


Component One – Personal Investigation

60% of A Level grade

This is a practical investigation supported by written material (up to 3000 words). Students are required to produce a body of work based an idea, issue, concept or theme.

Component Two – Externally Set Assignment

40% of A Level grade

Year 13 students will be required to select 1 exciting starting point from the AQA externally set assignment paper. Following the preparatory period of approximately 12 weeks, the pupils will have 15 hours of supervised time to create a refined and meaningful outcome.

Students will be assessed on their ability to:

  • Develop ideas through sustained and focused investigations.
  • Link their work to both historical and contemporary art practice.
  • Research and evaluate a series of relevant artists and designers.
  • Demonstrate analytical and critical understanding.
  • Explore and experiment with a variety of media, materials, techniques and processes.
  • Review and refine ideas as work develops.
  • Record ideas, observations and insights.
  • Reflect critically on their work and progress.
  • Make connections between their research and development.
  • Present a personal and meaningful response.