The Art Department is strongly committed to giving students a broad experience of a range of visual arts, crafts and design disciplines and aims to provide a stimulating and dynamic learning experience for all students. Students are offered an innovative approach to making artwork which involves both traditional and experimental exploration of materials, concepts and techniques. Stimulating creativity and thought beyond the curriculum is also an important focus for the department. We encourage students to enter local and national competitions and embed visits and trips to museums and galleries and local places of interests into the curriculum. We have strong links with local art organisations such as The Burngate Stone Carving Centre and Purbeck Arts Week and students have opportunities to work with local artists and designers and to have their work displayed and celebrated. 


Key stage 3

Students learn in mixed ability groups and are encouraged to learn and develop basic skills including personal learning and thinking skills. Students learn the basic language of design (line, shape, pattern, colour, form etc) and are introduced to relevant historical and cultural references. Art projects include landscape painting, portraiture, abstract art, tie-dyeing, weaving, fashion illustration and shoe design & making. 

Key stage 4

GCSE Art & Design (Fine Art) is a hands-on practical creative subject and promotes a variety of learning experiences through different processes, tools, techniques, materials and resources. The course enables students to explore drawing, painting, printmaking, sculpture, fashion, textiles, lens based imagery and other forms of two-dimensional and three-dimensional outcomes. If choosing to study Art & Design at GCSE level you must be motivated to continue working in your sketchbook and portfolio out of school! 

Component 1 (60% of overall grade): Students undertake at least one sustained project which begins at the start of Year 10 and runs through until Christmas of Year 11. They learn how to create a sustained investigation through a project entitled 'I do, I undo, I redo'. Students move onto a short skills project entitled 'The Natural World', before progressing to the 'mock exam' project in which they are given a choice of questions selected from old exam papers. This culminates in a 10-hour mock exam in November/December of Year 11. 

Component 2 (40% of overall grade): The externally set assignment comprises one project (or sustained body of work). In January of Year 11, students receive a copy of the assignment, which has seven themes to select from. They will investigate their chosen theme, which develops into a project that culminates in 10-hours of practical unaided work done in controlled exam conditions. This usually takes place in early April. Students produce a portfolio of work showing their personal response to a set starting point. They are expected to maintain a sketchbook of work throughout the course and to build a sustained portfolio of evidence. 

Further information

Exam Board: AQA GCSE Art & Design (Fine Art)