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Art and Design continues to be a successful subject at GCSE level, and this is complemented by an inclusive, comprehensive program at Key Stage 3.

Students of all abilities are catered for, and we are proud of the fact that many of our students continue to study Art at A Level and further education. 

Key Stage 3

All students are given a series of baseline tests in Year 7 to establish their working Level. They then embark on a program of study which covers a wide variety of disciplines including drawing, painting, three dimensional work, and ceramics. This allows students who may have little experience of Art at Key Stage 2 to make significant progress, as well as challenging more experienced students to work in different media. In Year 8 students are introduced to artists and art movements as well as building on the practical skills from Year 7. By Year 9, students will be expected to begin developing their own personal projects which they will research and develop in consultation with their teacher. This has worked particularly well in terms of not only giving students more ownership over their learning, but also gives students a much clearer idea of what GCSE studies will involve.

Curriculum Overview

Year 7Year 8Year 9
Drawing SkillsObservational drawing of Musical InstrumentsFine Art drawing techniques 
Pop ArtCritical studies cubismCritical studies - Urban Art
Paper Mache and 3D sculptureAbstract ArtStencil Art
Self PortraitThe circus and Blackpool Graffiti Art
CollageCeramics Personal Individual project

Watercolour art  

Mixed media / experimenting with materials 

Key Stage 4

Following on from Year 9, Key Stage 4 students are given freedom to develop their own projects within a clear structure. All students are clear about the assessment criteria for projects and regular feedback and one to one tutorials ensure that students have clear, individual targets. We take pride in the fact that students are able to choose their own path - to this end, recent projects have included work as diverse as fused glass, sculpture, photography, video, installation, and digital media.

Key stage 4 students have the opportunity to follow AQA Art, Craft and Design, Fine Art, 3D Design or Graphic Communication. Here is the link: Art & Design

The course is divided between two components: 
Component 1 (Coursework Tasks 60%)

  • Students are required to submit a portfolio of work that comprises of a sustained project and a selection of further work which represents their course of study.
  • This includes working with other artists, visits to Art galleries and museums, skill-based workshops.
  • Students are expected to carefully select and create a portfolio which includes sketchbooks, design sheets, sculpture and fine art drawing and paintings, computer work and photography.
  • Written annotation must be evident in sketchbooks.

Component 2 (An externally set assignment - 40%)

  • In Year 11 AQA will distribute an exam paper at the beginning of January.
  • Students will be given a choice of starting points (themes).
  • Students have a specified amount of preparation time.
  • Students have 10 hours to complete an unaided final outcome/s.


The Art department delivers thriving Art Clubs after school. Miss Brannigan continues to run her successful Pottery Club with regular assistance from artists in residence Jim and Dylan Cross. Meanwhile Mr Elwell leads a well-attended Photography Club.


Miss Bernie BranniganDirector of Creative and Performing Art
Darren ElwellArt, Design and Technology teacher, Head of Year
Lisa SalmonDesign and Technology and Art teacher