Art, Craft, Design and Photography

Subject Lead Mrs J Aves

We strongly believe the Arts have the power to transform lives. The earlier a child’s engagement with the Arts, the more likely they are to develop vital skills such as communication, analysis, confidence and teamwork. These skills can help students better engage with the mainstream curriculum, stimulating their own creativity and critical faculties.

It is our aim, in the Art and Design department, to provide every student with the knowledge and skills they need to become creative individuals who understand and appreciate the value of art, craft and design, in both traditional and contemporary contexts.

In the department we have a great range of specialist equipment that enables us to deliver a broad and exciting curriculum. Our ceramics studio houses a self-contained kiln room. We have a functioning and well used photography studio, dark room (for all key stages) and an ICT suite, enabling us to teach a full range of digital and film photographic techniques.

Our third Art room is very large, so we can offer Sixth Form students their own space to work in throughout the school day.


The KS3 Art and Design curriculum involves students exploring through a variety of Art, Craft and Design processes through processes. Each term, students work through a project designed to develop specific technical skills alongside valuable transferable learning skills; these include reflecting, analysing, creative thinking, independent research, evaluation and communication. Every year, through their art work, students will explore different cultures and learn different technical processes.

In Year 7 students explore a variety of techniques and materials including drawing, collage, print making, pottery and painting, exploring topics such as Monsters and Aboriginal Art

In Year 8, we use mixed media to create a portrait, construct 3D masks using willow, batik using hot wax and Tjantings, explore a range of cultures and Art movements and learn new creative ways of thinking in the project ‘Robots’.

Throughout Key Stage 3, pupils learn how to work with increasing independence; they are encouraged to design and create outcomes that are personal to them, take risks with their work and respond to challenges positively with a growing confidence and skill set.
Students are set 4 hours of homework each term. This may be four 1 hour tasks or be broken down into more frequent smaller tasks. We expect pupils to come equipped with sketching pencils, ruler, rubber, glue stick and pen.

Key Stage 4 (GCSE) Exam board AQA

Pupils study the  AQA GCSE Specification.

We offer two courses of study at KS4, both of which are on the AQA exam board – GCSE Art and Design and GCSE Photography. The AQA GCSE Art and Design board allows pupils to respond to project briefs using methods and processes that suit them best.

Our GCSE Photography course, entitled Lens Based Media, covers a variety of digital and film processes. Both courses begin in Year 10 with a series of skill based workshops, understanding the fundamental techniques to use within photography. Once our pupils have mastered basic techniques, they are then able to begin selecting and applying them with more independence through various unique projects.

In year 11, our pupils have developed the knowledge and skills they require to respond to projects in creative ways


At A Level, we continue to offer both Photography and Art and Design courses. We will assess the suitability of pupils on application, as both subjects require a strong level of interest and motivation which will drive pupils through the projects. 

The new specification from AQA was introduced in September of 2015, and students now have the ability to complete the full A Level over two years to develop, explore and refine their studies as and how their unique aptitude and journey transpires. 

The A Level courses provide opportunities for students to confidently develop their practice and communicate ideas in bold and ambitious ways. Pupils are taught to investigate ideas in depth, collecting information both visual and other, to fuel and propel their projects whilst learning to form their own opinions and through a reflective journey refine their work, producing high quality pieces which are original and show aesthetic awareness. 

In addition, the courses provide a valuable foundation for further study and career development in a wide range of areas: architecture, animation, digital imagery, film, special effects, make–up, fashion, footwear, textiles, graphic design, product design, theatre design, jewellery, millinery, printmaking, photography, visual communication, Art history, Fine Art, ceramics, surface decoration, stained glass, fashion marketing or journalism, conservation, museums and galleries curating, illustration, landscape design, interior design, and furniture design. 

Additional information/ related activities

We have an annual exhibition in the summer, to celebrate the work produced by our KS4 and 5 students open to parents and carers, members of the public, staff, volunteers and pupils to celebrate their achievements. 

A new introduction is a KS3 exhibition to enjoy and display the work created throughout the year, of students who have created exceptional or refined work. 

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