Studying Art and Design develops a wide range of creative skills. Learners are encouraged to discover and explore topics and develop independent enquiry; along side this they also develop skills in creative thinking and problem solving.


Designs for Learning in Cohort 7 and 8 encourage our young artists to discover, explore and experiment with a wide range of media and a variety of styles and approaches. Our approach favours experiential learning and this means that learners are encouraged to explore and reflect, before developing and refining their work. Risk taking and ‘thinking outside of the box’ is actively encouraged and outcomes are learner led and often highly individual.


Art and Design GCSE is split into 2 units, the Coursework Portfolio; which constitutes 60% of the final grade and the Externally Set Assignment; which constitutes 40% of the final grade.


Cohort 9 and 10

Learners begin the GCSE programme in Cohort 9. The course opens with a guided introduction to a range of 2D and 3D media, which develops into an autobiographical project entitled ‘The Real Me’. This unit of work is designed to introduce learners to skills and techniques across a range of media including Painting, Drawing, Printmaking, Sculpture and Digital media.

Learners have the opportunity to respond to a second project title from the spring term of Cohort 9 and a third in Cohort 10. These projects are designed to ensure learners are given ample opportunity to explore a variety of specialist art disciplines and will form the majority of their Coursework Portfolio.

Cohort 10 cumulates in learners experiencing a mock exam; this is in fact the final coursework project of the year, whilst also being designed to mirror the experience of their final exam unit in order to prepare and inform learners of the format of the exam. Learners are given a theme to respond to and twenty hours of guided learning to explore possibilities and experiment with media. This unit, like their full exam unit in cohort 11, will conclude with a final piece, produced under exam conditions over 10 hours (2 days).


Cohort 11

Learners return in Cohort 11 and begin to finalise their coursework portfolios, building the evidence in them against the four GCSE assessment objectives. Finally, in January of C11, learners begin their final exam unit.

Resources to Support Learning

The department has three well-equipped specialist rooms as well as the ‘Art Space’ – a purpose built studio designed for break-out sessions and individual studio practise, MLC one to one tutorials and community art projects. All of our spaces include facilities for clay work, painting, sculpture, printmaking and drawing, and our i-Pad provision means that all of our learners are well equipped to develop digital art work and photography. Learners’ i-Pads also allow them to access and engage with a huge variety of artistic source material through gallery and specialist art websites as well as recording their progress and reflecting on their learning.

The Art team offer extra-curricular clubs and studio sessions every evening after school to enable learners to access subject specific support and guidance – or simply to enable them to use the space to extend their learning independently. Learning in Art includes enrichment activities such as gallery visits, after school classes in ceramics and life drawing and tutorials from our artists in residence, all of which are designed to offer opportunities for learners to put their learning into context and gain valuable life experiences.

Find out more about our study timelines