Why Study Art and Design?

Art, in any form, can give people emotions that lift up their spirit and make them more driven than ever, which is why art is important in our daily lives. The art we are surrounded by can have a huge impact on our mood and emotions, whether it’s a painting, sculpture, music or even video.

Key stage 3

During Year 7, students begin to develop the skills required for different types of art, craft and design. They explore a range of contemporary artists and make art in response to themes of Endangerment and Recycling. Students are encouraged to investigate, explore and begin to develop the skills for designing and making. There is also the opportunity to participate in “The Big Draw” which is a national event that celebrates the use of drawing to develop new ideas, confidence and well-being.

In Year 8, students learn about art from around the world in projects inspired by Japan, Africa and Australia. Students continue to develop skills and broaden their study of art by engaging with processes of print, textiles and three-dimensional making. Students participate in a range of exciting artist workshops working on individual and ambitious group projects.

Students respond to a range of themes in Year 9, and are given the opportunity to explore a range of current issues. They build on the skills gained in Years 7 and 8, gaining the confidence to analyse the work of artists critically and reflect and evaluate their own work. Students are encouraged to make art in response to their personal interests and local environment and build those skills appropriate for GCSE study.




At Key Stage 4, students follow the Art, Craft and Design course that explores ideas, conveys experiences or responds to a theme or issue of personal significance. The areas of study are very broad and cover drawing, painting, sculpture, installation and mixed media.

Key areas and skills

Alongside improving practical art skills, you’ll learn how to:

  • Develop, refine and record ideas.
  • Present a personal response that realises intentions.
  • Improve your creative skills through the effective use of media, materials, techniques and processes.
  • Successfully use visual language and the formal elements e.g. colour, line, form, shape, tone and texture.
  • Use drawing skills for different needs and purposes.

Main methods of assessment

There are two components:

Component 1 Portfolio. Produce a sustained project and a selection of further work that represents the course of study. This is worth 60% of your overall marks.

Component 2 Externally set assignment. The externally set task paper features seven tasks and you have to complete one of them. You get preparation time, plus ten hours of supervised time. This is worth 40% of your total marks.

Possible career pathway

Art and design opens the door to lots of exciting careers. Here are some examples: artist, teaching, fashion design, graphic design, theatre designer, animator, video game designer, illustrator, museum curator, photographer, product design, ceramics, advertising, interior design, fashion and media design, hair and make-up design, exhibition design, jewellery design.