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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

The Art Department is very well resourced, with a wide range of facilities including ceramics, printmaking and offers many opportunities to thrive.
Art, craft and design embody some of the highest forms of human creativity. As providers of a high quality art and design education; we engage, inspire and challenge pupils, equipping them with the knowledge and skills to experiment, invent and create their own works of art, craft and design.
This course follows on from Key Stage 2. It develops students’ abilities 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, reflection or evaluation work and should take 30 minutes to complete every week.


Key Stage 4 - GCSE Fine Art & Art, Craft & Design

Vibrant and dynamic, this specification gives staff the freedom to teach GCSE Art and Design in ways that inspire and bring out the best in all our students, whilst equipping them with the skills to continue the subject with confidence at A Level, Level 3 CTEC and beyond.

With two components, comprising a ‘Portfolio’ selected from the course of study and an ‘Externally set assignment’, the specification provides our students with a range of creative, exciting and stimulating opportunities to develop and explore their personal interests in art and design.

It allows for progression from Key Stage 3 whilst providing a strong foundation for further study at A-level as well as vocational pathways. To support this progression, the assessment objectives, structure and titles are very similar to those detailed in the A-level Art and Design specification.

The specification has been designed to allow students to develop knowledge and understanding during the course through a variety of learning experiences and approaches, including engagement with sources. This will allow them to develop the skills to explore, create and communicate their own ideas.

Students will demonstrate these skills through the development, refinement, recording, realisation and presentation of their ideas through a portfolio and by responding to an externally set assignment.

Art, Craft & Design

This title promotes learning across a variety of experiences and through various processes, tools, techniques, materials and resources to generate different kinds of evidence of working and outcomes. Emphasis is on an increased breadth of approach commensurate in demand with the other titles. The context of practice, rather than the breadth of activities and/or range of media employed, determines whether a student’s work can be described as art-based, craft-based and/or design-based.

Fine Art

Fine art practice is defined here as the need to explore an idea, convey an experience or respond to a theme or issue of personal significance. In Component 1 and Component 2 students are required to work in one or more area(s) of fine art, such as those listed below:

  • Drawing/Painting/Sculpture/Installation/Printmaking/Mixed Media
  • They may explore overlapping areas and combinations of areas.

Level 1/2 Technical Award in Art and Design

This course is aimed at learners who want to study Art and Design in a hands-on, practical way. It takes a vocational approach and encourages the learner to use knowledge and practical skills while focusing on preparing them for the work environment. Areas of study include:

  • Unit 01: Understanding the creation of art and design work - Externally assessed written exam (40% of total marks).
  • Unit 02: Understand organisations, employment and how art and design work is created in the art and design industry- Internally assessed synoptic project (60% of total marks)

Key Stage 5

OCR Level 3 Cambridge Technical Introductory Diploma, Diploma and Extended Diploma in Art and Design - The CTEC introductory diploma is intended for students who are interested in Art and Design. The diploma and extended diploma are for students who are interested in exploring diverse Art and Design practises; we cover many techniques and methods within Art application. The Introductory Diploma course is the equivalent of one A Level and is designed to be studied alongside two other subjects, either A Level or CTEC. The Diploma is equivalent to two A Levels and can be studied as either double Art or Art and Photography. The Extended Diploma is a full time Art and Design course, worth the equivalent of three A Levels. This course can consist of double Art with Photography, double Art with Textiles or a combination of Art, Textiles and Photography.

The course consists of one mandatory unit and additional specialist units which enable students to specialise in the pathway they have chosen (Art, Photography or Textiles). The units studied have been carefully selected in order to provide students with a broad range of skills and knowledge within Art and Design. There is scope within the units for students to focus their work around their own interests. Areas of study will cover printmaking, painting, drawing and exhibition design. Further optional areas of study include 3D materials, graphic media, creative textiles and digital art.

Students will study one unit at a time through an assignment brief, which will cover all the criteria of that unit. They are encouraged to realise their creative potential by applying their ideas, techniques and training to the different projects, in order to creative interesting, imaginative and innovative artwork. Critical and contextual studies of 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 will be awarded a Fail, Pass, Merit or Distinction for each unit. All work is internally assessed, internally moderated and is then finally moderated externally. External moderations take place after the completion of each unit. The grades awarded are then final and count towards their overall grade at the end of the course.

Upon completing any of these courses, students can go into Higher Education to study at Foundation or 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.

A Level 

At A Level in the first year, candidates explore ideas, materials and processes and develop their skills. This will then lead up to A Level Component 1- Personal Investigation – This is the coursework element of the A Level course and includes both an extended essay of 1000 to 3000 words and a practical project. You are expected to develop work in response to an Artist, art movement, idea, issue, concept or theme of your choice, your work must include written material of a critical analytical nature and must link to your practical project. Your teachers will give you guidance on how to approach his aspect of the course but if possible you should have reasonable access to original work both in galleries and museums.

A Level Component 2 – 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. 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.

The course is assessed by both examination and the submission of coursework. Your teachers will moderate and mark your work according to the grade criteria and boundaries set by AQA. An external moderator sent from the exam board will also mark your work. Component 1 is worth 60%, whereas Component 2, the externally set assignment, is worth 40% of the A Level course.

The A Level Art and Design (Fine Art) course is suitable for anyone interested in pursuing an Art Foundation or Design Course which can then lead to a number of Art and Design based degree courses. This qualification is useful should you wish to enter a career in a professional art arena. Possible career choices could include art therapist, fine artist, textile designer, architect, interior designer, print or fashion designer, art conservator, product designer, visual merchandiser, film director; theatre set designer, sign maker and animator to name but a few.

The department offers a wide variety of lunch and after school clubs. Whilst a list of activities are published each term, the rooms are usually open for independent study at all times. A specialist area is also set aside for Sixth form study.

OCR Level 3 Cambridge Technical Introductory Diploma in Art and Design- Photography

The CTEC Introductory 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 introductory diploma course is the equivalent to one A level, to be studied by combining it with two other A levels. This course can also be combined with an Art course if desired to make a diploma, worth 2 A levels.

The course is based around one mandatory unit alongside additional specialist units which enable students to choose and study particular Photography subject areas in depth. These areas could cover; digital photography, film-based photography, portrait photography, digital image creation and landscape photography. Critical and contextual studies of other photographers’ work are also used to develop students’ practical and theoretical understanding.

Students learn by completing assignments that are based on realistic photographic 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 practices.

This course boasts of having two fully equipped studios complete with an abundance of lighting equipment and cameras. We also have a dark room for film based production.

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 for their work. All work is assessed internally, standardised internally and externally moderated. 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.