The Visual Arts Department aims to provide all pupils with a rich and widely varied artistic experience which includes everyone, and encourages a lifelong enjoyment of the creative and the aesthetic.


Staff have high expectations of behaviour, effort and standards of work, and do their best to encourage students to do the very best that they can.

Art should be enjoyable and accessible for all students, providing a quality experience that can be life enhancing and enriching. The department aims to balance the development of technical skills and competence with a breadth and depth of provision that is inclusive and enriching.

Not all students will carry on their study of art, but all should be encouraged to enjoy the study that they undertake. To this end the work set is varied and involves ample opportunity for creativity and use of media and materials. The wide variety of experiences allows pupils to find a way of being successful in Art. Whilst the traditional skills of drawing and painting are important to development of the pupils as artists, the department strives to provide enriching experiences in which everyone can find some success.


  • To provide the widest possible range of practical and critical artistic experience
  • To balance the use of observation and imagination in the work produced
  • To ensure that pupils have an opportunity to explore ideas, feelings and meanings
  • To ensure each child has the opportunity to realise their potential and make the most of their strengths as an individual
  • To develop individuals’ confidence
  • To provide an environment where pupils find the creative process enjoyable and rewarding
  • To create an environment where pupils can take some risks creatively as part of the learning process
  • To develop the capacity for creative thought and action; the ability to innovate, initiate and make effective personal responses
  • To develop a ‘language’ which allows each pupil to express themselves in visual terms and communicate ideas
  • To ensure tolerance of others and respect for ideas and opinions
  • To develop an understanding of cultural change and difference. To recognise and appreciate the richness and variety of Art within other cultures
  • To develop the ability to assess social, moral, ethical and aesthetic values through the practice and appreciation of Art and Design
  • To develop social skills and understanding through shared experiences
  • To develop, through Art and Design, discipline and insight which will facilitate a better understanding of the world in which we live; locally and globally
  • To develop perceptual skills and motor skills
  • To develop the potential for further study through the use and understanding of visual and tactile media
  • To develop the ability to record and analyse information
  • To encourage the research and investigation of ideas
  • To introduce pupils to the work and achievements of artists and the cultural influences on their work
  • To help pupils recognise how images and artifacts can be powerful and influence people’s thoughts, ideas and beliefs
  • To develop thinking skills and approaches to problem solving

Projects vary and are updated or changed regularly, often in response to inspiration from exhibitions teachers have seen.

Homework is set regularly, and pupils are usually expected to hand it in at their next lesson, which gives a week in which to complete it.

Most equipment is provided by the department, although it is useful for KS3 pupils to have access to some coloured pencils, paint or glue at home.

KS3 sketchbooks are provided, but lost books must be replaced at a cost of £1. GCSE and A level sketchbooks are provided at cost price of £2 each, or pupils can buy their own good quality books from sources such as The Range or The Works.

GCSE pupils need access to a camera, and also a range of art equipment they can use at home such as coloured pencils, watercolour paints, oil pastels, glue and scissors.

All pupils are expected to bring a pencil, a rubber and their sketchbook to every lesson.


Year 7

Art and design students follow a ‘foundation skills’ course, designed to improve their skills and confidence in Art and extend their experience of various media. Critical study of artists is also embedded in the course. 

Year 8

Art and Design pupils follow two major topics over the course of the year: ‘Landscape’ and ‘Underwater’. Both themes involve the use of a wide variety of media and materials, both in 2D and 3D, and are designed to develop technical skills while nurturing creativity and imagination. Critical study of the work of artists is also embedded in the course.

Y9, Y10 and Y11

GCSE Art and Design (Fine Art) is a three year course. Welsh/Eduqas Exam Board.

Throughout Years 9 and 10 pupils are engaged in producing coursework which counts towards their GCSE exam. Four projects are completed: Two in year 9, in Year 10 and a third which is started in the summer term of Y10 and completed in the autumn term of Y11.

These projects are ‘Lettering’, ‘Masks’ ‘Natural Form’ and ‘Portraiture’. Work is produced in sketchbooks, on study sheets and culminates in a final outcome.

The first term of Year 11 is spent completing the ‘Portraiture’ project started at the end of Year 10. The planning for and production of the final outcome is produced during the mock exam period.

The final exam paper is set by the exam board in January of Year 11 and pupils select a question to develop their work from.

In both Year 10 and Year 11 a wide variety of media and skills are developed using observation, imagination and creativity.  Critical study of artists work is embedded in the course.

A level Course

OCR Exam Board.

The first term of year 12 serves as an introduction to A Level, with new materials and working methods being taught to produce experimental sketchbooks, usually a visual journal and a printmaking module. In the spring term of year 12 students work to a short brief, producing a large outcome for display in the school’s learning environment. After Easter in year 12 students set their own portfolio theme in negotiation with staff, and then work independently to produce a full body of work complete with outcome. In the February of year 13 students complete a set task, which culminates in a three day they produce an outcome or outcomes.

The department frequently has public exhibitions in venues including The Potteries Museum, The Wedgewood Institute, Burslem School of At and The Floral Hall.