Art and Design

Art making is a form of alchemy, in a way, because you are trying…to make gold from nothing. When it works very well is when you manage to turn the ordinary into the extraordinary.

Yinka Shonibare

Our Art Department curriculum is based around actively involving students in investigating the world around them through creative means, as they respond to a diverse range of stimuli – natural, (Art)historical and cultural. Our teaching is based on the belief that Art empowers individuals. We nurture students as unique artists, whilst also encouraging them to make progress, meet expectations and understand the success criteria for Art as a subject.

Our aim is to develop students’ confidence in using a range of materials and techniques (including drawing, painting, printmaking, sculpture and photography), as well as encouraging them to think critically and independently through analysing and evaluating their own work and the work of others.

Through learning about Art & Design, students will develop applicable life-skills and embed Creative Dispositions, such as persistence and resilience, as learning habits. Opportunities for literacy and oracy are embedded throughout our practical schemes of work. Throughout KS3 and KS4, students learn to write using key terminology, to describe their use of materials, techniques and processes, and will be able to reflect on the work they have created.

The Art department consists of five large-scale art studios with a range of facilities. Our studios house a range of professional pottery/ceramics equipment, including two kilns and potters’ wheels. Expert teachers and technicians are available to support students develop their skills and ideas with these specialist materials. The department also includes a fully functional dark room, consisting of five professional enlargers and photographic equipment to print in A4 to A1 formats. Our screen-printing and etching equipment is also available to enable students to explore further ways of expressing their ideas through process and technique.

Head of Creative Arts and Technology

Gwen Frye  |

Subject Lead

Asma Ali  | (DT)

Emma Close  | (Art)


Matthew Brotherhood  |

Megan Oliver  | 

Jamie Duncan | 

Katka Stanclova | 


Curriculum Intents and Maps

Show list Show Grid


In Y7, Y8 and Y9 students will work with a range of creative explorations into specific historical and contemporary approaches and disciplines such as drawing, painting, print-making, ceramics and 3D-work. The formal elements, diverse and key artists and new technology are pinnacle to the refinement and development for each student’s learning resulting in imaginative and disciplined outcomes.

Projects within Y7, Y8 and Y9 enable students to be fully prepared as independent and inquisitive thinkers exploring both 2D and 3D making laying the foundations for GCSE, A-Level and BTEC. Students are immersed within experimenting with a range of materials and techniques such as painting, screen-printing, performance, photography and large-scale sculpture. Students are taught about concept and imagination through critiques and professional practice leading them onto study at some of the world’s greatest art colleges.

Homework is set twice each half term and students can select from a range of tasks that develop and extend the ideas and skills taught through classwork.


Autumn term: Introduction to elements of Art HT1. Developing techniques and Natural forms HT2.

Spring term: Space and Place   

Summer term: Plastic Planet              


Autumn term: Introduction to elements of Art and developing techniques HT1. Patterns in Nature HT2.

Spring term: Masks in Art

Summer term: Animation              


Carousel: Introduction to GCSE mini brief – ‘Collections’

Flying Start: Global Issues

Carousel: Sustained collaborative Drawing Project 



Excellent art work by our students


KS3 Progress planners

Useful websites

Things to see and do

Free galleries in London: Tate Modern, Tate Britain, National Portrait Gallery, Saatchi, Serpentine, V&A, Camden Arts Centre, National Galley and Whitechapel Gallery.

Extra-curricular activities and club

  • KS3 Art Club (Tuesday lunchtime)
  • KS3 Art Homework Catch-up (Tuesday lunchtime)


Students are taught a range of techniques, exploration of different mediums as well as learning about historical and contemporary artists to develop their own creative practice. The Art Department has often been praised in guiding and teaching students to become independent learners creating projects that are imaginative, current and thought-provoking. Over the two years, students will cover two units of coursework (60% of marks). The final examination is an early release paper allowing the students to have plenty of time to develop extensive preparatory work before the timed examination session of ten hours (40% of marks).
Working from a single starting point, students develop their own direction of study with increasing freedom and variety, resulting in an impressive body of work displayed in an exhibition at the end of the course. Drawing, painting, sculpture, and printmaking form the backbone of the course. Within this, students are introduced to a wide variety of techniques including developing using different types of paint, etching, relief printing, transfer printing, screen printing, textile printing, ceramics, sculpture and mixed media.


Flying Start: Abstract Objects

Autumn term: Cabinet of Curiosities

Spring term: Journeys (+ mock exam)

Summer term 1: Coursework Review

Summer term 1: Flying Start – Process workshops / Coursework review / Kinetic


Autumn term: Kinetic (+ mock exam tbc)

Spring term: Component 2 (theme tbc by exam board + final exam in April)

Deadline for coursework: End of Spring term (May)

Y10 & Y11 Overview

  GCSE Subject Specification 

Please click through to the links to view more information on the Edexcel website.

Art and Design - Edexcel Exam Board

Course structure and assessment: Students are marked on their ‘Personal Portfolio’ of coursework (Unit 1) which is worth 60% of the overall grade. A final exam project (Unit 2) is delivered in Y11 and culminates in a 10-hour exam where students make their final outcome(s), worth 40% of the overall grade. Students are assessed on the evidence they present for each Assessment Objective - AO1 Develop, AO2 Refine, AO3 Record, AO4 Present.

Students studying the Art, Craft & Design GCSE enjoy increased freedom and responsibility over their projects, enabling them to create work that is personal and meaningful to them. We spend time throughout the two-year course ensuring that students develop their confidence in a range of skills and processes, as well as their ability to research and analyse contextual sources.

For those considering the course, Art is complimentary to other subjects offered at GCSE, and enhances students’ critical and reflective thinking. It offers a distinct skill set compared to essay-based subjects and can provide a creative outlet for many. Crucially, it expands students' experiences and skills and offers a diverse range of opportunities for their development across the curriculum.

Useful websites

Things to see and do

Free galleries in London: Tate Modern, Tate Britain, National Portrait Gallery, Saatchi, Serpentine, V&A, Camden Arts Centre, National Galley and Whitechapel Gallery.

Extra-curricular activities and clubs

Coursework drop-in sessions are run every Tuesday and Thursday lunchtime. After school sessions are invite-only and parents/carers will be informed if their child is invited to catch-up on coursework.



As part of the LaSWAP consortium, Acland Burghley offers the following level 3 courses: