The Art department is a vibrant, bustling and energetic department that makes a major contribution to the school’s academic success and extra-curricular life. A real community spirit exists within the department through its established ’Open Door’ policy. This is made good use of by pupils of all years who come at all times to complete homework, classwork or for extra tuition. 


GCSE Art and Design provides pupils with a wide range of creative, exciting and stimulating opportunities to explore their interests in ways that are both personally relevant and developmental in nature.

The two unit specification enables pupils to develop their ability to actively engage in the processes of Art and Design – to build creative skills through learning and doing, to develop imaginative and intuitive ways of working and develop knowledge and understanding of media, materials and technologies in historical and contemporary contexts, societies and cultures.

Unit 1: Portfolio of Work 

  • Controlled Assessment – set and marked by centre and moderated by AQA. 
  • Each pupil will produce a portfolio selected from work undertaken during course of study and must include more than one project. This is worth 60% of the final GCSE grade.
  • Pupils will work on two projects throughout years 10 and 11 and produce their own personal response to each starting point in a sketchbook.
  • Final pieces can be in any media and at any size and scale that the pupils feels confident with.
  • Pupils will also produce sculptural work alongside their 2-dimensional artwork.

Unit 2: Externally Set Task 

  • Pupils will be able to choose from 7 starting points on the externally set exam paper. They will have preparation time in which to complete all of the research, development of ideas and critical understanding required to ready them for their 10 hour exam, in which they will be required to produce a response to their chosen question.  
  • This is worth 40% of the final GCSE grade.

It is a strong foundation for further progression to Art and Design related courses such as A-level Art and Design and enhanced vocational and career pathways.


The Art department has a floor all to itself with two large rooms that can either be separated and kept as two individual rooms for class teaching, or opened up into a much larger exhibition space. There is a strong culture of mutual respect between pupils and staff which results in a positive and harmonious working environment. Generally, the Art department has around 50 - 60 pupils working during any given lunchtime. After school, the Art department is well attended, mostly by GCSE pupils, until 4:30 p.m. Monday-Thursday.


In Key Stage 4, the classes are mixed-ability. Due to the popularity of Art as a GCSE option, there are three classes of 20+ students in both Years 10 and 11.