Art & Design

Head of Department

  • Mrs L Wilson

BA(Hons), PGCE

Subject teachers

  • Mrs V McMahon

BA(Hons), PGCE

  • Ms C Reid

BA(Hons), PGCE


  • Mr J Rennick

Introduction and ethos

Art and Design Department | Vision Statement

At Ashfield Boys’ High School we endeavour to create a safe and secure environment for each pupil to grow and develop as an individual. We intend to motivate, inspire and challenge pupils in all areas of Art and Design. We encourage and engage pupils through our enthusiasm and passion for the subject. We lead by example in the classroom.

We aim to help pupils develop visual and communicative skills. Art and Design is a creative subject and as a department we aim to develop pupils ability to think creatively and to express themselves through visual language. Practical skills are taught together with a sound knowledge of the visual arts.

Art provides pupils with a balance of creative and academic structure, which includes an extended curriculum through junior and senior Art Club. As a Department we encourage pupils to achieve their full potential and enable each pupil to make informed career choices.

Key Stage 3 Overview

Year 8

  • Drawing and Painting
    Colour theory & the visual elements
  • Lens based media (photography)
  • Ceramics

Year 9

  • Drawing and painting
  • Lens based media (Animation)
  • 3D construction

Year 10

  • Drawing and painting
    Bugs & insects
  • Printmaking
  • Textiles

Key Stage 4 Overview

CCEA Art and Design GCSE

The GCSE course is made up of two units:

  • Unit 1 | The Core Portfolio
  • Unit 2 | Working to a stimulus

Pupils must complete both Unit 1 and Unit 2.

In Unit 1, which is worth 60% of the final award, students present a portfolio of work. In the portfolio they should explore a wide range of the core skills of visual language, media, materials, techniques and new technology. Work in the portfolio should:

  • be edited to show the breadth, depth and quality of experience in art and design that students have gained over the two year course;
  • show that students have experience of at least two different creative media;
  • address each of the four Assessment Objectives; and
  • include one task that has been developed to a final outcome.

The portfolio presented for assessment should not exceed 20 A2 sheets (or equivalent).

Unit 2 is worth 40% of the final award. It is assessed through an externally set exam called Working to a Stimulus. The exam gives pupils an opportunity to investigate and develop their ideas creatively in response to a stimulus paper. Each of the four Assessment Objectives should be addressed in the work presented for Unit 2.

The Unit 2 work presented for assessment should not exceed 10 A2 sheets (or equivalent) plus a final outcome.

Key Stage 5 Overview

GCE Art & Design

The course is comprised of four units: two at AS level and two at A2 level. These are listed below:

  • AS 1 | Coursework Portfolio
  • AS 2 | Externally Set Assignment
  • A2 1 | Personal Investigation
  • A2 2 | Externally Set Assignment


Pupils must complete two coursework units: one at AS and one at A2.

The coursework tasks give pupils an opportunity to freely demonstrate and communicate their artistic interests, visual curiosity, creativity and personal skills in art, craft and design. These are outlined below:

AS 1 | Coursework Portfolio


The work included in the coursework portfolio should reflect pupils’ enjoyment and learning experience of art and design.

Pupils choose the medium and can present their work in a variety of forms.

Pupils must submit a minimum of 8 A2 pages and a maximum of 14 A2 pages (or the equivalent in other formats).

A2 1 | Personal Investigation

Pupils must include evidence of visual and written investigations (including an extended essay).

Pupils choose the medium and can present their work in a variety of forms.

Pupils must submit a minimum of 8 A2 pages and a maximum of 14 A2 pages (or the equivalent in other formats). Pupils must also produce a written statement (with a minimum of 1000 words and a maximum of 2000 words) that shows evidence of theoretical research and understanding.

In GCE Art and Design, students must complete two exam based units: one at AS and one at A2 level. These are outlined below:


AS/A2 2 | Externally Set Assignment

Pupils must complete the assignments in a controlled test environment. CCEA set the theme for the assignments and issue these in February of the year of examination.

Pupils must be able to:

  • draw together the knowledge, understanding and skills learned in different parts of the course;
  • select and present work for examination that demonstrates their strengths across areas of knowledge and the range of skills described;
  • show their ability to sustain their own lines of enquiry and record and observe from primary sources;
  • bring together and make connections between the areas of knowledge, the work of artists(s), craftsperson(s) or designer(s) and the range of skills described and learned throughout the course; and
  • apply this by responding to one or more of the following in the examination paper:

– a stimulus or issue;

– a design brief or problem; and/or

– a task that specifies an image or other
outcome to be achieved.

AS Exam

  • 8 hours
  • 40% of AS
  • 20% of A Level

A2 Exam

  • 12 hours
  • 20% of A level

Career Pathways

Graphic designer

Web site designer

Interior designer



Furniture designer

Car designer

Fashion designer



Art teacher

Art therapist

Museum curator

Some useful career links:

Useful links