Course Information

“Inspiration exists, but it has to find you working.” ― Pablo Picasso

Artist Mark Spray working with our GCSE students - drawing the landscape.

1st Year - The first year is based on mark making in the widest sense ; introducing tone and how to apply it.This is followed up by a 3D based project constructing a sculpture in wood or clay. The Summer term looks at observational drawing and more 3D work 

2nd Year - The second year is based on an understanding of Colour. Colour as mixed from the primary colours through to the techniques involved in handling different types of paint and inks. This is taken into a 3D project based on an artist or Art movement such as the Cubists. Observational drawing is explored further.  

3rd Year - This is designed like a mini Art Foundation course. Students study different processes and techniques each half term cycle. Topics range from plaster casting to Graphic Design, drypoint intaglio and lino cutting to illustration. All this provides an excellent introduction to the GCSE course.

4th and 5th Year - GCSE ; We follow the AQA syllabus and the Fine Art Course,

GCSE COURSE INFO   click here.


a) To make pupils aware of the fundamental principles of pattern, texture, shape, line, tone, form, colour and space.

b) To provide within their creative and imaginative work the facility and encouragement for students to :

i) express ideas and feelings;
ii) record from observation;
iii) design and make images and artefacts;
iv) to discover the satisfaction and pleasure that can be derived from the creative process.

c) To give students the opportunity to use a wide range of techniques and materials taking into consideration cost of materials and safety procedures
(seeappendix 1).

d) To introduce pupils to the work of a wide range of artists, designers and cultures and to appreciate the value of their own creative and communicative skills.

e) To structure projects so that students from a wide range of ability can achieve personal success, gain in self confidence and enjoyment of the subject.

f) To show students the value of: modifying and refining their work and plans; making further developments in the light of their own and others evaluations.

g) To provide a stimulating, relaxed yet businesslike environment where students can work safely.

h) To equip those students who wish to continue to G.C.S.E. and beyond with the technical competence and manipulative skills to enable individuals to realise their creative intentions.


(a) To instil good drawing practices using line and tone.
(b) To introduce single and two point perspective.
(c) To introduce the work of artists who exemplify the use of line and tone such as Durer, Leonardo da Vinci, Daumier, Escher and Picasso and perspective.
(d) To introduce pupils to working with a variety of three dimensional materials such as wood, card, plaster and clay.
(e) By means of working with three-dimensional materials pupils will investigate the qualities and relationships of the principles of shape, form, texture, etc.
(f) To give pupils the chance to explore the immediacy and spontaneity of using their hands to create artefacts as an extension of their thinking.
(g) To introduce and integrate with they're own drawings and designs simple I.T. based graphics, looking at material from a variety of different cultures.
(h) To introduce the discipline and pride of keeping a sketch-book.


The School year will be broken in to six units each unit being as near as possible to half a term.

1) Drawing in a variety of media exploring the qualities of line, tone, texture and shape. Students should be encouraged to make bold solid drawings and introduce 2 point perspective culminating in a large formal drawing based on the view of either an interior or exterior of an architectural scene.

2) Working in wood to explore the immediacy of constructing forms based on the human form - looking at the work of Artists such as Chadwick, Gonzalez and Marino Marini. Students will be expected to handle safely a variety of different tools and to appreciate organised safe working practices.

3) Through the medium of drawing, examine the features of the human face - this would take the form of a large charcoal drawing and would examine the work of Daumier, Michealangelo and Norman Rockwell. Working from a picture of themselves taken with a digital camera, students caricature.

4) Working in clay, students will produce a portrait based on a family member, exploring the tactile and malleable qualities of the medium. Students will be shown the work of a wide range of sculptured heads and busts as Greek and Roman Sculptures.

5) Introduce I.T. Based skills and combine them with their drawings and designs to create a book jacket of their own choice. Artists such as Toulouse Lautrec , Mucha and Bonnard and other Art Deco Artists would provide the stimulation. It would also be appropriate to look at contemporary illustration techniques.

6) Exploring the style of an Artist of your choice, students will create an image, which can be used as the basis of a stamp design. Materials such as fine lines, crayons and collage will provide students with a range of techniques to fit the time available. They will be expected to look at the work of several different Artists and to focus in depth on one of their choices.

This half term is frequently interrupted by examinations and other activities.


We currently follow the AQA Examination Board and the Fine Art endorsement.


The two-year course is intended to encourage students to:

1) Develop perception and understanding of the visual and tactile language.

2) To encourage students to record from direct observation and personal experience.

3) To develop skills and techniques needed to use a wide range of materials in a systematic and disciplined way.

4) To encourage students to experiment and be innovative using both two and three dimensional media.

5) To acquire a working vocabulary relevant to art.

6) To develop each students special individual interest and aptitudes and encourage confidence, enthusiasm and sense of achievement.

7) To encourage students to research, select and evaluate in a continuum and solve visual and tactile problems.

8) To give awareness of the historical, social and environmental context in which they work.



To give candidates the opportunity to work in the following areas of study :
(a) Drawing
(b) Painting
(c) Graphics
(d) Digital Photography, filmmaking and graphic programmes
(e) Three dimensional design

They will be expected to approach their work in the following ways.
(a) Observational study.
(b) Materials based study.
(c) Thematic study.
(d) Critical and historical study.
(e) Problem solving study.

- They will also be given a title set by the board, which they will complete within a ten hour period. (The controlled brief).

- They will be encouraged to work in a variety of different media.


a) - Homework's every week.
b) - Assessment of each project in both two and three dimensional areas.
c) - Termly assessment.
d) - Mock controlled brief.


- I.T. suite facility, cameras etc.
- printing presses.
- 3 dimensional facility including bandsaw, kilns, etc.
- Extensive Subject Specific Art Library.
- Visits to London Galleries.




1. Plan of composition.
2. Create a collage inspired by the theme of collections with found whole images from magazines.
3. Draw the above homework using tracing paper, fine liner and coloured crayons.
4. Draw a set of keys from life, including fobs and objects that are associated with your theme.
5. Take an image from a well known painting/sculpture that is linked with your theme and copy it.
6. Using pen/brush ink, create a design, using very stylised/simplified images that are Associated with your design, set the images against the contrasting colour i.e. black image against white background, white image against a black background.
7. Write an evaluation of your project. Describe starting points, influences and the organisation of the composition. Finally write an assessment of the final article, the success, dislikes and likes and problems that arise.

Lower VI and Upper VI

Students currently sit the AQA Examination Board at A2 and the Fine Art or Photography Specification.

The lower sixth year is the opportunity to experiment with how to think as an artist and to push yourself creatively. This is run along similar lines to an Art School Foundation Course with students encouraged to try new ways of thinking and experimenting with unfamiliar materials. An formal internal assessment takes place at before Easter.

A2 Assessment is by means of two units - a sustained and ambitious project for A2 Coursework and an externally set exam paper.

A2   Art & Photography

AQA linear A2 Course


To develop :

1) The special interests of the individual so as to increase confidence, enthusiasm and a sense of achievement.

2) The ability to perceive, understand and express concepts and feelings in visual and tactile form.

3) The ability to record from direct observations.

4) The ability to form, compose and communicate in two and three dimensions in a systematic an disciplined way.

5) Technical competence and manipulative skills which will enable individuals to realise their creative intention.

6) Experimentation and innovation through the inventive and imaginative use of materials and techniques.

7) The ability to identify, research and solve problems in visual and tactile form through design processes.

8) The ability to organise and relate abstract ideas to practical outcomes.

9) The acquisition of a working vocabulary relevant to the subject as well as some background knowledge of artists and artistic movements.

10) Critical and analytical faculties.

11) An appreciation of the richness of human expression, within the cultural diversity of contemporary society.

12) Preparation of portfolio and interview skills.

Whilst it is clearly an advantage, it is not necessary for candidates to have taken Art at G.C.S.E.

Assessment is by means of 2 units of assessment at A2.

Both Lower Sixth students and those intending to continue to A2 level will be assessed in the Summer Term of the 1st year.

Assessment for A2 level candidates will take place in the Summer Term of the 2nd year. The course is intended to meet the needs of the following types of candidates:-

1) Those who will undertake further studies i.e. Art and Design.
2) Those who will study subject or take up Careers for which background in Art and Design is relevant.
3) Those who, while having an interest and aptitude for the subject are not intending to undertake further studies in Art and Design.

The whole of the Autumn term is given over to the production of 2 research projects, as well as the first part of the Spring Term.

A thematic title such as 'sudden absence' is given with the expectation that two different but related areas of research can develop.


Each student will be expected to produce a unit of homework each week that relates to their chosen topic or technique - this should be a piece of work completed outside lesson time and be of approximately 2 hour duration. Their sketchbook should also be regularly annotated outside of studio time.



This will be a new project designed by each individual student, but building on area of study explored in the lower sixth. This could be one self-contained assignment or a clearly defined series or set of work.

Life classes take place every after school 6-8pm on Wednesday in the Autumn term.

The personal Investigation enables candidates to demonstrate an understanding of the inter relationship between an area of practical Art and the theoretical knowledge which informs which work, through specific skills of research, selection and judgement. This is the opportunity to produce ambitious pieces of art work that show development in a specialism eg painting/sculpture printmaking etc.

In most cases the study will be presented as an illustrated essay. Sources of material should be indicated by means of a bibliography.


This will be a project that is developed as a direct response to the list of 'titles' given by the Exam Board. The final piece of work must be completed in 15 hours and accompanied by a sketchbook showing research, development and an evaluation.

The question paper will be issued to the students as soon as it arrives (February 1st) and the project completed by the end of the examination period.

Students have the opportunity to work in a wide range of areas, these include ,dry point, painting using oil acrylic or gouache, photography, and sculpting using a variety of techniques and materials - clay, wood, metal to name but a few.

The essential ingredients for success are self-motivation and an ability to record from first hand observation.

Candidates are expected to record images and ideas in a sketchbook throughout the course. It will contain, therefore, drawings and sketches from life, thoughts and ideas as well as photographs and notes.

It is of paramount importance that students realise that much of their Art will take place outside of the classroom, certainly much of the research and inspiration is best done away from the studio.

Students have nine periods per week, most of which are double periods and one tutorial and are expected to spend a minimum of three hours on homework.

It makes a very positive start to the course if the sketchbook is currently underway and can be used rather like a diary as well as for practising different techniques.

Students will have the opportunity to learn how to use a camera if they have not already done so. Photographs act as a valuable resource to work from. We have the facilities to take photographs in a studio environment using lights and a variety of backgrounds.

Those who show an ability to handle materials may well be encouraged to spend some of their time following sculpture and over the years many new pupils joining the Sixth Form have enjoyed this challenge and indeed met with considerable success.


The Photography course follows the same principles and indeed mark scheme of the fine art module. 

Photographers use the camera to record and interpret the world around them. We research both the technical elements of the camera ( shutter/aperture/lens etc) so they can be applied creatively. The department has a range of cameras that can be used by students from 35mm cameras to medium format and 5x4. It also has studio lighting. The small darkroom has facilities for film processing in black and white and printing. This is alongside a dedicated IT suite with Imac computers running Adobe Creative Cloud ( Bridge/Lightroom/Photoshop) as well as film scanners and a large format printer. There is a comprehensive photography library for research and inspiration. The over laps with art practice are encouraged as well as photography standing along in the commercial and fine art applications. 

The Art department take trips to galleries to see work first hand as well as hearing photographers take about their work. 

See Also