Art, Craft and Design


In Art, Craft and Design, we encourage students to explore visual, tactile and other sensory experiences to communicate ideas through creative thinking, problem solving and expression. Students are given the opportunity to work with a diverse range of traditional and new media, developing confidence, competence, imagination and creativity.

Students learn to appreciate and value images and artefacts across times and cultures, and to understand how art is rooted in the context of the people and our culture and society. In Art, Craft and Design, students reflect critically on their own and other people's work, judging quality, value and meaning. They learn to think and act as artists, craftspeople and designers, working creatively and intelligently through the study of historical and contemporary artists and designers. 

Key Stage 3


All students study Art, Craft and Design at Key Stage 3. The curriculum is sequenced to ensure students are able to improve and develop their skills over time using a variety of different media to show the breadth of what Art, Craft and Design can offer. Students study the core elements and principles of the subject and are supported in developing this skill and knowledge which is then applied to students’ own work, allowing them to create unique work they can be proud of. 

Students have the opportunity to study all of the following specialisms:

  • Textiles
  • Art
  • Graphics

Key Stage 4


Students can select from one of the following specialisms:

  • Fine Art
  • Textiles

Both of these specialisms allow students to challenge preconceived ideas and are encouraged to develop their own opinions and interpretation, broadening their own cultural capital and allowing them to create personal and meaningful responses. 

Students undertake two portfolio projects in Year 10 and Year 11.There is one externally set task in Year 11. Both portfolio projects are graded holistically and this grade is worth 60% of the GCSE grade. The set task is worth 40% of the GCSE grade.

Students are marked on four Assessment Objectives (AO). Each AO is marked out of 24.

The four AOs are as follows:

  • AO1 Develop ideas through investigations, demonstrating critical understanding of sources.
  • AO2 Refine work by exploring ideas, selecting and experimenting with appropriate media, materials, techniques and processes.
  • AO3 Record ideas, observations and insights relevant to intentions as work progresses.
  • AO4 Present a personal and meaningful response that realises intentions and demonstrates understanding of visual language.

Examination Board


Key Stage 5


This is a two-year course in which students study Fine Art. This course allows students to be bold and brave by trying new techniques and being encouraged to push themselves out of their comfort zones to achieve even further. 

The course consists of two elements:

  • The Personal investigation (01) is worth 60% of the total A Level. This is a portfolio of practical work showing a personal response to either a starting point, brief, scenario or stimulus, devised and provided by the student with a support essay that is 1000-3000 words.

  • The Externally set task (02) is worth 40% of the total A Level. This is a portfolio of practical work showing a personal response to a given starting point culminating in a 15 hour exam (internally assessed and externally moderated).

The Personal investigation comprises two discrete but linked elements. Element 1 is the practical portfolio. The portfolio will consist of a sustained project or theme and can be presented in appropriate formats. There is no restriction on the scale of work produced but students must carefully select, organise and present their work to show that they have met all four assessment objectives. Element 2 is the related context in which their chosen practical portfolio exists. This could be by exploring a theme, subject matter, movement or historical framework of the overarching starting point, course of study or theme selected. The aim of the related study is to enable students to develop their ability to communicate their knowledge and understanding of art historical movements, genres, practitioners and artworks, considering the way that these change and evolve within chronological and other frameworks.

The externally set task will be shared with the students from February 1st in Year 13. Students will have up to eight school weeks for their preparatory studies prior to their fifteen hour supervised time period. The paper will give students a choice of seven themes. Students will select one theme for which they will generate an appropriate personal response. In the preparatory period students will research, plan and develop ideas for their response to the option they have chosen.

Examination Board