“The quality of the curriculum and extra-curricular provision is excellent.”

The Art department is housed in the main school in two new purpose built Art studios. We also have a dedicated Ceramics Studio, Kiln and Darkroom, which pupils use to continue the exploration of their creative ideas and enhance their projects.

Key Stage 3 (Years 7-9)

Art at this stage involves the following topics, taught in termly units:

Year 7

  • Tone and mark making
  • Colour and culture
  • Watercolour painting
  • 3D clay

Year 8

  • Expressive drawing and painting
  • Surrealism and construction
  • Printing and culture

Year 9

  • War and 3D clay
  • Drawing, painting and cubism
  • Watercolour and perspective drawing

Key Stage 4 (GCSE)

In Art, there is an opportunity to study the following:

  • An endorsed Fine Art or Photography course
  • Drawing and painting
  • Textiles
  • Three dimensional work 
  • At GCSE we use the AQA Examination Board. The course requires 3 projects of work, each of which includes a main piece and supporting preparatory studies
  • All work involves the use of IT and critical studies


Students must complete both components:

Component 1: Portfolio Component 2: Externally Set Assignment

What's Assessed

A portfolio that in total shows explicit coverage of the four assessment objectives. It must include a sustained project evidencing the journey from initial engagement to the realisation of intentions and a selection of further work undertaken during the student's course of study.

What's Assessed

Students respond to their chosen starting point from an externally set assignment paper relating to their subject title, evidencing coverage of all four assessment objectives.

How It's Assessed

No time limit

96 marks

60% of GCSE

How It's Assessed

Preparatory period following by 10 hours of supervised time

96 marks

40% of GCSE

Non-exam assessment (NEA) set and marked by the school/college and moderated by AQA during a visit. Moderation wil normally take place in June.

Non-exam assessment (NEA) set by AQA; marked by the school/college and moderated by AQA during a visit. Moderation will normally take place in June.

Art Successes

  • 100% pass rate at GCSE
  • Over the years we have entered and won different categories at the Sunninghill Carnival Competition, National Rotary competitions and Christmas Card competitions; local and national.  We are committed to showcasing all pupils work on the Saatchi Gallery website during the beginning of each year. 
  • A Level work is also exhibited annually on the RA A Level Summer online exhibition. In previous years, we have secured success including a place in the Final and a Highly Recommended Award.
  • We regularly design the sets for the school's drama productions including sets and props for 'Calamity Jane' and 'Alice'.

Key Stage 5 (AS/A Level)

Board:  AQA

Course Aims

The aim of the course is to develop artistic skills and to pursue the appreciation of Art in its widest sense. Students will study different artists and cultures and make personal responses to those studies.

Course Details

AS Level - 100% of the total examination

There are two units at AS Level over one year:

  • Component 1 – 60% is called the Portfolio unit, because it is seen as a possible preparation for a degree in Art. Students will produce a collection of work which includes at least one extended project and may include other examples of practice aimed at developing particular skills or extending their knowledge of other artists or craftspeople.
  • Component 2 – 40% is the externally set assignment in which candidates respond to one of five starting points. Work is undertaken between February and May culminating in 10 hours of supervised time in which they complete a final piece of work.

A Level - 100% of the total examination

There are two units at A Level over one year:

  • Component 1 – 60% is called the Personal Investigation - Students are required to produce a practical investigation and a written study of 1000 - 3000 words linked to the project work.
  • Component 2 – 40% is the externally set assignment in which students respond to one of eight starting points. Work is undertaken between February and May culminating in 15 hours of supervised time in which they are expected to fully realise their ideas.

Assessment Methods

Units are marked internally and moderated externally.

Each unit is marked out of 96. 

Coursework Requirements

All of the work is considered as coursework, with time allocations being implemented in component two in each course.

Entry Requirements

The requirement is seven GCSE passes at 9-6 including Art at 6/5 or above.

The skills needed are an ability to draw accurately to a good standard, an understanding of developmental studies and an ability to evaluate the work of other artists.

Teaching Approaches

The course follows the GCSE approach, which is based on one project which requires a main piece and a collection of preparatory work.

Careers and Support Subjects

AS and A Level Art can be useful for a career in Graphics, Management, Marketing, Interior Design, Architecture, Retailing, Teaching, Advertising, Fashion and Product Design to name but a few careers where the creative mind is necessary.

Many of our A Level students go on to study subjects such as fashion, graphics and architecture at a variety of universities including:

  • Central St Martins
  • Falmouth College
  • Kingston University
  • Leeds University
  • Warwick University
  • Fashion Design at The London School
  • Fashion and Art History at The Courtald Institute of Art

Photography students have gone on to study at the University of Arts, London (UAL) and Southampton Solent University.

Additional Information

The key skills which are developed are drawing, painting, analysis, evaluating, problem solving, independent learning, construction, developing ideas and using a range of media. 

Students wishing to continue Art at A Level will be expected to maintain positive grades and results throughout the first year. Behaviour, attendance and punctuality records will also be taken into consideration.