Download a copy of our Prospectus (PDF) Download a copy of our Prospectus (PDF)


View details about Ofsted visits and inspection reports


View exam results, progress, attendance and more.

Data Dashboard
SJSF Prospectus
Download a copy of our Prospectus (PDF) Download a copy of the Sixth Form Prospectus (PDF)

Get Into Teaching
Want to get into teaching? Visit our St George's Partnership - SCITT website

  • Ecouraging Participation, Promoting Excellence

You are here

Art & Photography

Click Here to take a look at some examples of our Art & Photography, including a number of award winning pieces.

Key Stage 3

This course follows on from Key Stage 2. It develops students’ ability to understand how to look at the visual world of Art and Design. Students will learn how to investigate and make Art and Art objects. Students will undertake a wide variety of activities in Two and Three dimensions and look at the world around them, including the work of other artists and cultures. They will draw, paint, print, construct, use clay and make collages. Homework is set as preparation work and should take 30 minutes to complete every week.

Key Stage 4



A good level 5 at Key Stage 3. Candidates must have ability to draw and be willing to experiment with a variety of materials and work in 3D.


The Art and Design GCSE is split into 60% coursework and 40% exam.

The course requires candidates to develop an understanding of Art, Craft and Design through the evaluation of their own work and the work of artists, designers and craftspeople from different periods, cultures and traditions.

The course is 'unendorsed' which means candidates must experiment and work with a range of art, craft and design materials and processes.

These can include:

  • Drawing and Painting
  • Print making
  • Ceramics
  • Textiles
  • Three-Dimensional Studies

There is also the opportunity to use computers and photography to help inform their studies.

Candidates must show that they are capable of working from direct observation, memory and imagination. They should be able to write about artists and art movements in their own words, but above all they must be keen, hardworking and are advised that they should have at least a good level five by the end of Key Stage Three.

The course will allow students to develop their artistic ability in many areas. It will provide them with opportunities to use a variety of materials, approaches and help develop creativity, problem solving and research skills.



A good level 5 at Key Stage 3. Candidates must have ability to draw and be willing to experiment with a variety of materials and work in 3D.


These courses provide a practical, real-world approach to learning without sacrificing any of the essential subject theory. They can be taken alongside, or in place of GCSEs and other BTEC courses.

The BTEC Art aims to develop learners' ability to research and explore different aspects of art, craft and design from contemporary, historical and cultural sources. Learners will use other artists' work to inform and inspire their own creative work. They will develop their skills of presentation through organising and displaying their research findings.

Main objectives are to enable learners to gain an understanding and develop their own skills in 2D and 3D techniques, such as drawing, painting, photography, sculpture and print-making.


Candidates can achieve Fail, Pass, Merit, Distinction or Distinction*.

The BTEC level 2 certificate is equivalent to 1 GCSE. All work is coursework, but with an externally set assignment, which will be internally assessed and externally moderated.


BTECs are work-related qualifications suitable for a wide range of students. They are built to accommodate the needs of employers and allow progression to sixth form, college and eventually university. Once this course is completed, pupils may also progress on a higher BTEC level 3 Diploma or Art AS Level.

Key Stage 5



The BTEC Level 3 Extended Diploma in Art & Design is a full-time programme of study for students who are committed to a career in Art & Design and may well be considering progressing to do an Art Foundation course after Sixth Form.


The course is studied by combining BTEC Level 3 Diploma in Art & Design, worth two A levels, with BTEC Level 3 Subsidiary Diploma in Art & Design (Photography), worth one A Level. These together create a qualification equivalent to the study of three A Levels. Further details can be found by reading the detail supplied about the two component courses.


Students are encouraged as independent learners and grow in confidence because the structure of the course allows for personal exploration and links to be made across different skill sets.


The course is based around six mandatory units alongside additional specialist units which enable students to choose and study particular Art and Design subject areas in depth. The course units are taught through assignments covering printmaking, Fine Art, graphic design, painting, multimedia and 3D.

Students learn by completing assignments that are based on realistic Art & Design studio and workplace scenarios, challenges and briefs. They are encouraged to realise their creative potential by applying their ideas, techniques and training to these problem solving
assignments using a variety of different art practices. Critical and contextual studies of other artists’ work are also used to develop students’ practical and theoretical understanding.


All work undertaken throughout the two year course counts towards the final grade, there is no examination element. Candidates can be awarded a Fail, Pass, Merit, Distinction or Distinction Star for their work. 

The BTEC level 3 Diploma is broadly equivalent to 2 A Levels whereas the Subsidiary Diploma is broadly equivalent to 1 A Level. The single and double awards can be linked with photography to create a double or triple award Extended Diploma in Art & Design.


Upon completing the course students could go into Higher Education to study at Foundation or possibly Degree Level in areas including Graphic Design, Advertising, Fashion Design, Textiles, Multimedia or Fine Art. Alternatively, students can use the qualification to enter into other areas of training.


Students must have achieved a merit or above at level 2 BTEC or a grade C or above in GCSE Art.



It is recommended that pupils who opt for A level Art should have achieved a grade B or above at GCSE. A grade C may be considered with the support of your teachers. Students achieving a Merit or above in level 2 BTEC will also be considered. 


The AS and A Level course should help to provide you with a sound grounding of knowledge, skills and understanding and as a foundation for further study. Furthermore, you should be able to develop the capacity to work independently. Successful practice in AS and A Level Art and Design requires time and commitment. An important aspect is the need to develop effective skills in the handling of materials and an appreciation of the different techniques and processes used by the past experience of other artists and craftspeople.


At AS students are introduced to a variety of experiences employing a range of media, processes and techniques appropriate to the chosen area of study:

  • AS Unit 1- Portfolio Unit- A collection of selected art work which is mainly produced in the first part of the course. The Portfolio should demonstrate experimentation with processes and techniques and include an extended project on a theme of your choice from a selection given by your teacher.
  • AS Unit 2- Externally Set Assignment- You will have two to four weeks to research a starting point chosen from a selection set by AQA. After the research period you will have five consecutive hours of supervised and unaided time where you will be expected to develop ideas on your chosen starting point. After this time you will have until the end of May to complete the assignment which is assessed as a whole.


At A Level, candidates are required to build upon the knowledge, understanding and skills gained in AS with a greater depth of study:

  • A Level Unit 3- Personal Investigation- This is the coursework element of the A2 course and includes both an extended written element (essay) and a practical project. Your teachers will give you guidance on how to approach this aspect of the course but if possible you should have reasonable access to original work both in galleries and museums.

  • A Level Unit 4- Externally Set Assignment- In early February you will receive an exam paper set by AQA with eight possible starting points from which you will be expected to select one. Unlike the AS externally set assignment a number of artists, designers and craftspeople are mentioned as a catalyst for your research. You should also extend your study by looking at other individuals that you find relevant to your chosen starting point. After a period of study and research you will have fifteen hours of supervised time where you will be expected to complete your assignment which must demonstrate your ability to research, develop ideas and make links with contextual work. You must bring together all these elements to a successful conclusion.



It is recommended that pupils should have achieved a B or above at GCSE Art plus a portfolio review to be considered for this course.


AS Coursework Portfolio (not assessed)
AS Externally set task - portfolio and outcome 100% of AS

Each portfolio has 4 assessment criteria; Develop, Experiment, Record, and Present.

The A-Level Art course is for those with a passion for Art and a genuine desire to pursue it at an advanced level. The course provides candidates with the opportunity to explore and develop their skills. It requires dedication and commitment, with good time management also being vital for success. Candidates should be prepared to work independently, an important aspect of the course, and able to ensure they can equip themselves with a personal range of materials and equipment.

Candidates produce a portfolio of work from starting points, topics or themes that are decided and set by the teacher but then developed in a personal direction by the candidate. The course is constructed around observational drawing, with a focus on developing and exploring, using new techniques and media. Analysis of own work and the work of others is also important. Candidates will be expected to broaden their contextual knowledge of artists and as much as possible this should include ‘live’ access to Art in addition to books and internet access.

The coursework portfolio is completed in the first term and is not assessed. Following on from its completion, the externally set task is issued, in January. This portfolio differs from the coursework portfolio in that the themes are set by OCR and candidates must choose from a title to follow from the selection given. This portfolio is concluded with a 10 hour exam which is sat in April or May. The AS course ends in early May.

Throughout the course students will be expected to put in additional hours on top of timetabled allocation in order to practise and develop their skills.


A2 Personal Investigation 60% of A2
A2 Externally set task 40% of A2

Each portfolio has 4 assessment criteria; Develop, Experiment, Record, and Present.

The A2 course requires a very personal and independent approach. The coursework element, ‘Personal Investigation’, is decided and set by the candidate themselves and the practical work is extended by the inclusion of a written study. This personally developed,
independent project must be constructed around strong observational drawing, backed up with additional recordings of ideas and observations in other formats. Once again dedication and commitment are paramount, with good time management being vital as well as a
continued development of contextual awareness via access to artists and their work. The Personal Investigation is to be completed by February with the Controlled Assignment (exam) following on from that. The exam portfolio is concluded with a 15 hour exam which is sat in late April or early May. The A2 course ends in early May.

Throughout the A Level course students will be expected to put in additional hours on top of timetabled allocation in order to practise and develop their skills.

Further study and career opportunities.
The successful completion of an OCR A level course can lead on to a range of Art based degree courses. Should further study be required it can be followed by a predegree foundation course. Career opportunities could include anything from the creative industries i.e Graphic Design, 3D Design, Architecture, Fashion/Textile Design, Illustration, Animation, Web Design, Theatre/Set Design etc) to Gallery Worker, Art Therapist, Teacher, etc to the more ambitious directions of ‘Freelance Artist’. Job opportunities would also be available for any students bold enough to pursue freelance work as an ‘Artist in Residence’ within various settings from Galleries and Schools/Youth Groups to Hospitals/Care Centres in addition to producing and selling own work.



There are currently no entry requirements although it is advised students considering this course have an active interest in Art or Design. It would also be advised that they have a wide range of Level 2 qualifications, including English, in order that they can cope with the demands of the theory element of the course.
Learners must have an interest in the creative industries and be motivated to work independently.
Learners must also have the ability to review and evaluate their own efforts in order to develop their skills at level 3.


The BTEC Diploma in photography allows those students with an interest in the subject to apply their knowledge, skills and enthusiasm and specialise in this area. It will give students the skills to go to university or seek employment in the industry.

The BTEC course is comprised of 6 different units, 4 mandatory and 2 optional, that are relevant to Photography. The BTEC qualification makes links between theoretical learning and the world of work by giving students the opportunity to apply their research, skills and knowledge to work-related contexts and case studies. These applied and practical approaches give all students the impetus they need to achieve and the skills they require for workplace and education progression.

With the BTEC in Photography the students will study:

  • Photographic Media, Techniques and Technology
  • Photographic Studio Techniques
  • Studio Photography
  • Digital image capture and editing
  • Location Photography


All of the units are assessed via coursework. Assessment methods include portfolios, projects, presentations and essays. This is a two-year course equivalent to one A-Level.


Students can use the UCAS points to apply to Higher Education or choose to seek employment. Candidates are well prepared for applications to study photography related degrees at university or seek employment in the photographic industry. Any student who completes the course has the opportunity to apply for the Licentiateship of the Royal Photographic Society. The Licentiateship is awarded for competence in practical photography and is highly recognised in the industry.


This is a one-year full-time qualification to be studied alongside Maths and English GCSE in order to help students improve their Level 2 qualifications and enable them to progress to level 3 study or apprenticeships.

This qualification is suitable for

  • Learners studying in preparation for employment in Art and Design
  • Learners wishing to gain a Level 2 qualification to support further study in Further Education in Art and Design
  • Learners wishing to gain a Level 2 qualification to support further study in FE in any other sector or subject area


This qualification is internally assessed by centre assessors and quality assurance personnel and externally moderated by OCR Visiting Moderators.

This qualification is graded: Pass, Merit, Distinction, Distinction*.
Students complete one mandatory unit on Exploring the work of artists and designers plus five other optional units designed to help all students develop their artistic talents.


There are no formal entry criteria beyond a genuine interest in Art and Design. It will not be necessary to have studied Art at Key Stage 4 but you should be prepared to show a range of art work you have undertaken in your free-time. Excellent organisation, attendance and punctuality will be essential combined with a willingness to work hard and act on teacher feedback.