Art is a basic and fundamental process by which we constantly find and redefine ourselves. From the dawn of mankind, there existed a primordial need to capture, through two dimensional images, the daily routine, the food, the work, the environment, for which visual art had an integrity and a binding communicative influence.

Through the shared experience of sight, we describe and gain control of our experiences. It is the fact that visual imagery lends itself so readily as a tool of communication that it needs to be developed as any other communication process within society as a whole and within the education system in particular. 

Design is a fundamental pre-requisite in the production of process of all artwork. Art is produced in answer to a need; the end product produced is a complex combination of stimulus, concept, technique, medium, previous experience and time allocation. All of these elements need to be given consideration by the student and in holding all of these in a flux the student embarks on the Design process. Like Art itself Design is multifarious. 

Through Art and Design, a greater awareness of ourselves and society, as well as our natural and built environment can be formed. We are forced by looking critically at its makeup, construction, form colour and texture, to appraise, enjoy and challenge not merely accept.   

Key Stage 3

KS3 pupils undertake a variety of Art and Design activities that gradually build a range of skills and abilities that gradually instil confidence and provide stimulating and enjoyable challenges. These skills provide a foundation for GCSE Art as well as being transferrable to other study areas and personal interests. Pupils gain experience of a wide range of materials, processes and techniques allowing them to explore and discover new ways of creating two and three dimensional Art and Design. 


The CCEA GCSE Art and Design course develops students’ understanding of how meanings, ideas and intentions can be communicated through visual and tactile language. Students learn how to use different media and technologies to realise their intentions. They develop their understanding of the creative and cultural industries, and refine their work through experimentation.

The course places an emphasis on drawing, and on understanding and applying the design process. It encourages students to engage with the creative and cultural industries, and offers a broad and flexible content, allowing students to pursue a range of creative pathways.

Students have the opportunity to develop their critical understanding through a range of investigative, analytical and experimental skills. They then develop and refine their ideas with increasing independence.

The course has two components:

  • Component 1: Part A - Exploratory Portfolio and Part B - Understanding the Creative and Cultural
  • Component 2 is the Externally Set Assignment.

A Level

The Art and Design A level course develops in-depth knowledge and understanding of art and design through research and practical activities, intellectual capabilities, and independent approaches to learning.

The course is available at two levels: AS and A2. Students can take the AS units plus the A2 units for a full A level qualification. They can also choose to take the AS course as a stand-alone qualification.

In the AS units, students develop their creative process in response to a theme. They explore concepts, and develop knowledge, skills and techniques. They present a portfolio and resolve their learning into a personal response.

Students who continue to A2 undertake a more focused investigation based on a given theme. This takes the form of both written and practical investigations, which are followed by producing a resolved outcome.

The specification has four units:

  • Unit AS 1: Experimental Portfolio
  • Unit AS 2: Personal Response
  • Unit A2 1: Personal and Critical Investigation
  • Unit A2 2: Thematic Outcome.


GCSE Photography is offered as an extra-curricular club. The course runs over the school year and can be taken over two years if required. The department also offer extra-curricular clubs to allow GCSE and A-level students to work on additional pieces and larger scale works. Extra-curricular ceramics clubs are also run for KS3 pupils. 

The Art Department hosts an End of Year Exhibition in June every year showcasing a selection of works created from all examination students. 

Where to next?

Past pupils have followed many career paths where their Art and Design experience has been greatly valued. These include; Art and Design for Stage and Screen, Medical Illustration, Product Design, Computer Animation, Fine Art, Graphic Design, Art Therapy and of course, many more. A level Art is also valued as a second or third A level in courses such as; Medicine, Dentistry, Quantity Surveying, Engineering, the list is extensive……