Head of Department: Miss C Caldwell 


Art is the the expression or application of creative skill and imagination, typically in a visual form such as painting or sculpture, producing works to be appreciated primarily for their beauty or emotional power:

This world is but a canvas to our imagination.
Henry David Thoreau

The Art department at Our Lady and St John prides itself on allowing pupils to be creative in their own individual way, expressing themselves freely in the work they create. We offer a relaxed and productive environment where pupils engage and focus on activities and take pride in their achievement through the work they create.

Key Stage 3

At KS3 pupils have two periods of Art over the two-week timetable. Pupils will follow the National curriculum guidelines and are assessed through their level descriptors. They are introduced to a variety of ways of working in Art both individually and through group projects. Art disciplines covered during KS3 are Drawing and painting, 3d construction, clay work, graphics, ICT, textiles and printing.

Year 7

In year 7 pupils start by studying the basic formal elements. They look at line, shape, form, colour and then transfer these skills into 3 projects throughout the year.

Year 8

Pupils skills are now developing and they are pushed to show off their own individuality. Experimenting and researching independently to aid in their studies is encouraged at this stage.

Key Stage 4

Each Key stage 4 groups receives 6 periods of Art over the two-week timetable.

Year 9

This is when pupil’s creativity really shines and where their skills are put in to practice at a higher level. Within this year we prepare pupils for GCSE and deliver varied briefs and projects giving pupils the chance to choose their own artists and media to work in to express their own individual skills and talents more.

Year 10

Students will be introduced to techniques and experimentation with media and will develop an understanding of key terminology used to analyse the works of artists. Through workshops, students will gain confidence, helping them to develop ideas and realise their final outcomes.

Year 11

Working on a personal theme, students explore and develop personal ideas, being informed by artists. Through this investigation, students will arrive at a confident outcome.


Within GCSE Art students are introduced to various Art techniques to inform responses to artists. Through structured teacher led workshops and activities students learn and research the various areas of art including painting, print making 3d and textile skills. Experimentation with media allows students to develop towards a final piece. Assessment is through specific tasks within the unit of work for example small tasks relating to the various formal elements or media used within the unit of work. All units end with a broader assessment of the range of skills, knowledge and understanding gained in the unit this is in the form of a final outcome related to the project title.

For students who opt to take Art at GCSE level we follow the AQA Syllabus Fine Art, please use the link for more information on the course specification.

BTEC Art and Design

BTEC Certificate Extended (equivalent point score to 2 GCSEs A*-C grade) Units covered over the 2 years within the BTEC are: 1. Contextual References in Art & Design  2. 2D Visual Communication  3. 3D visual Communication  4. Using Ideas to Explore, Develop and Produce Art & Design  5. Building an Art & Design Portfolio. Pupils explore a variety of areas within art and design, relating to specific set briefs.


There are opportunities for pupils to be involved in extracurricular activities. There are art clubs run after School for both KS3 and KS4 pupils, these include a Gifted and talented club at KS3 and a GCSE coursework surgery, along with other workshops delivered throughout the year.