Art & Design

Art & Design Departmental Staff

Head of Department: Mrs Siobhan O’Hare (Director of Art and Design)

  • Mrs O McArdle (Fine and Applied Art)
  • Mr B McArdle (Design)
  • Ms Leanne O’Reilly (Textiles and Fashion)
  • Technician: Mrs M McMahon


The study of Art and Design provides students with opportunities to enrich their sensory experiences and develop aesthetic sensitivity and awareness by making personal, visual and tactile responses to feelings, ideas and environments.

Students develop intellectual and practical abilities, appreciate the relationship between their work and that of artists, designers and craft workers in their own and other cultures and become aware of the history and social aspects of the European Community. In their use and exploration of materials, processes and technologies in both two- and three-dimensions students learn to be selective and discriminating.

At present we enter all Key Stage 4 students who have selected our subject for GCSE Art and Design. Year 13 and 14 students are entered for GCE AS and A2 Level.

We offer a versatile programme, covering a wide range of experiences and activities to all pupils from Key Stage 3 to A Level.

Pottery and Ceramic Design

From Key Stage 3 pupils are involved in exploration and experimentation in the development of skills and techniques in the use of clay and glazes, progressing to realistic, functional and creative ceramic design at GCSE and A Level.

3 Dimensional Design

Investigation and research into media (wire / wood / plaster / fabrics / clay) with emphasis on skills and techniques in the designing of artefacts in 3 dimensions such as pots, figure sculptures, clocks, chairs etc. takes place from Key Stage 3 onwards.

Textile Design

Students explore and experiment with media and processes used in dyed and printed fabrics, batik, and hand and machine embroidery at GCSE and A Level. From Key Stage 3 onwards pupils are involved in the development of skills and techniques in designing and creating for fashion and fabrics such as wall hangings, cushions, dresses, hats etc.

Graphic Design / ICT

All pupils are involved in the development of skills and techniques in the use of graphic tools and equipment including Photoshop. Year 8 students use Photoshop to distort a face as part of their Portraits and Colour theme, Year 9 use iStop Motion animation in an undersea theme and Year 10 produce a short film on the life of a chosen artist. Progression to well planned layout ideas and final presentations for packaging, poster design, book cover, CD design, and illustration etc. are part of Year 8 to Year 14 units of work. All students are encouraged to use the Internet for theme research.


From KS3 skills and techniques in printmaking as a means of developing pattern and design ideas or for Fine Art is developed using lino, polystyrene and screen printing.

Fine Art and Sculpture

All students explore and experiment with media and processes including drawing, painting, collage work, mixed media, sculpture, modelling and printing. Further development of these skills and techniques using materials and equipment including ICT, Photoshop and photography takes place at GCSE and A Level.

Discussion and emphasis on research into the historical aspects of the various areas of practice, critical self-appraisal of work at various stages, and the use of visual language and key words inherent in all tasks is an important aspect of our course.


Curriculum – Key Stage 3

Year 8:  Schemes of work include:

Lettering, Colour Theory, Poptraiture Project, Photo Booth, Photoshop, Antoni Gaudi Project, Mosaic, Making Clay Pots, Gargoyle Projects including mixed media masked making.

Year 9:  Schemes of work include:

Stain glass design project, tropical fish project involving print and mark making techniques, experimentation through a range of media, package design project using photoshop.

Year 10:  Year 10 schemes of work include:

The human figure, life drawing, sculpture, 3 Dimensional design, nature, textile project resulting in either a cusion, a bag or wall hanging, still life project resulting in wrapping paper design, key stage 3 ICT accredition task using photoshop.

GCSE (Years 11 & 12)

This is a 2 year course encompassing all aspects of both 2 and 3 dimensional design through Fine Art and Design. It comprises a folder of work done over the 2 years in a range of disciplines while experimenting with a range of techniques and processes.

The folder of work must include one specific task from initial concepts through to final completion of an outcome. The examination paper is released in January of the 2nd year and a period of 6-8 weeks is set aside to complete a response to a given theme. The exam carries a weighting of 40% of the total marks awarded for the examination.

A Level (Years 13 & 14)

This course is very similar in content to the GCSE with the same weighting between the coursework and the examination. A body of work is produced with more focus on written evaluations and a higher level of personal research and involvement, into the work of others and the connections with the work of other artists, craftsmen and designers.

At A2 level students are required to submit an extended essay relating to their work.