Art & Design

Mission Statement

Art & Design GCSE will provide students with a creative and exciting opportunity to explore the visual world as well as build confidence and a sense of identity. Art and Design allows students the creative freedom to explore and experiment with a wide range of media and to develop their creative thinking skills and gain an understanding of the importance of the visual arts for self-expression.

Students will 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. They will develop their imaginative and intuitive capabilities when exploring and making as well as explore and experiment with a wide range of media, materials and techniques. Students will develop character through Art lessons by studying the subject in its historical and contemporary contexts across different societies and cultures. We explore the many ways creative expression is inspired by or a reaction to a vast range of individual, social, historical, environmental, ethical and moral issues and how visual artists explore the themes of tolerance, unity democracy and respect. Students will have the opportunity to explore a variety of different artists and Art movements and encouraged to respond in a personal way, developing their own visual language. We will develop a range of skills across different media from painting, drawing in all its forms, three-dimensional work and a range of printing techniques. Students will have the opportunity to visit galleries and exhibitions as well as experience talks and workshops from industry professionals. Students are encouraged to develop their ideas through investigations informed by selecting and critically analysing sources and apply an understanding of relevant practices in the creative and cultural industries to their own work.

Overview of Year 7 and 8

Year 7 Units of Study:

Still Life: Pupils are introduced to drawing and painting through the Art of Still life. They will explore the key principles of colour theory and application of paint, compare and contrast representational and abstract art through investigations using a range of media and materials including paint, chalk, charcoal, and print making. They will develop drawing skills using continuous line and develop ideas to create a personal still life response to the work of Patrick Heron. Pupil’s work is strongly supported by looking at the work of other artists who may influence their own ideas including Tony Cragg and Georgio Morandi. Independent learning is encouraged through homework projects which support work produced in lessons.

3D Food: Students will produce drawings and sculptures using food as our source of inspiration. Students will investigate the work of Joel Penkman, Sarah Graham, Audrey Flack and Wayne Thiebaud. They will investigate a range of expressive and experimental drawing/painting techniques and understand how to transform a 2D drawing into a 3D sculpture using both card and clay techniques.

Identity: Students will explore the theme of identity and self through a range of Artists including Jim Dine and Marc Powell. They will use photography and personal objects to develop their ideas to realise a personal creative outcome through a range of experimentation with media and processes.

Year 8 Units of Study:

Fantastic Creatures: An introduction to Portraiture and Set Design through drawing and sculpture. Students will investigate portraiture and facial features then learn to distort the face to create their own fantastic creature. We will develop and refine these using ink and chalk and charcoal and students will create a clay relief sculpture of their final design.

Pop Art/Printmaking: Introduction to the Pop Art movement, students will look at a range of Artists work then experiment with oil pastel techniques and colour theory. They will experiment with mono and poly block printing and explore the techniques using imagery from popular culture. We will investigate the Art of Typography and shape, through refining work, simplification of shape, compositional awareness and use of colour theory.

Surrealism: ‘Fantastic and Strange’ Students will explore the Art of the Surreal and experiment with the juxtaposition of elements through the medium of collage, photography, and digital manipulation to develop unexpected combinations. We will explore art inspired by dreams and that developed by ‘automatism’ where we will use doodling and word-association techniques for idea generation. Students will invent Surreal Stories, characters and create dreamlike landscapes as a personal response using mixed media techniques.

Parents can find more information on the specific topics covered in each unit by looking at the learning journey’ that are stuck into students’ books at the start of the year.

Overview of Year 9

Art and Design in year 9 follows a scheme of work that represents a foundation year, allowing students the opportunity to explore and experiment with a range of techniques and artist based workshops to build appropriate skills, through the following project starting points: Architecture, Personal and meaningful objects and Contemporary social issues. Techniques include; drawing, painting, 3D art, printmaking and analysis of artwork. This is monitored and assessed throughout the year.

Parents can find more information on the specific topics covered in each unit by looking at the learning overviews that are stuck into students’ books at the start of each half term.

Overview of Years 10 & 11

AO1: Develop ideas through investigations, demonstrating critical understanding of sources.

AO2: Refine work by exploring ideas, selecting and experimenting with appropriate media, materials, techniques and processes.

AO3: Record ideas, observations and insights relevant to intentions as work progresses.

AO4: Present a personal and meaningful response that realises intentions and demonstrates understanding of visual

Year 10:

  • Component 1: Portfolio of work based on a given theme, covering a variety of skills and techniques. This is monitored and assessed throughout the year, in line with AQA assessment criteria.

Year 11:

  • Component 1: Mock externally set assignment. Students will select a topic from a past exam paper and create a portfolio of work and final piece to prepare them for the forthcoming externally set assignment. This is monitored and assessed in line with the AQA assessment criteria.

Students must submit a minimum of two projects completed during the course.

  • Component 2: Externally set assignment. Issued from January during the year of examination for a preparatory period. This involves creating a sketchbook that covers all of the assessment objectives, concluding with 10 hours of unaided focused study, under supervision (examination conditions), during which students will produce their final piece.

We follow the AQA specification at GCSE.  A comprehensive overview of the GCSE course curriculum can be accessed here:

Extra-Curricular Opportunities

The Art department provides a range of extra-curricular opportunities for students such visits to galleries, exhibitions, Photography industry shows, talks and workshops from visiting Artists and creative professionals. Previous trips have included viewing public works of art and exhibitions in Birmingham, Liverpool and London, as well as exciting residential trips to Paris and Ingestre Hall.

Students are provided with the opportunity to participate in a range of competitions with wide-ranging creative briefs both locally and nationally. Students have the opportunity to participate in exhibitions and shows.