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Art & Design

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GBHS students learn Art & Design to… 

  • Develop creative, analytical and critical thinking skills that will help them to question and interpret the world around them. 
  • Improve practical art skills. 
  • Enable learners to explore a wide range of techniques and media that will allow them to progress ideas independently. 
  • Develop their work in a safe and nurturing environment. 
  • Build learners confidence and allow them to take risks with their work both now and in the future. 

Transferable Skills

  • Technical Skills  

  • Critical Thinking 

  • Creativity 

  • Work Ethic 

  • Meet Deadlines 

  • Expressing Ideas 

  • Analysing Information 

  • Communication  

  • Time Management 

  • Extracting Important Information 

  • Personal Motivation 

  • Emotional Intelligence  

  • Describing Feelings 

  • Verbal Communication 

  • Research Skills 

  • Organisation 

Key Stage 3

Students have one lesson of Art and Design per week in Years 7, 8 and 9. 

In Year 7 and 8 the schemes of work have been designed to introduce students to skills such as observational drawing, painting, mixed media techniques, ceramics, printing and exploring the work of other artists. For students who select to continue Art in Year 9 they will build on the skills developed in the earlier years as well as being introduced to more advanced techniques and exploration of ideas.  


Key Stage 4

We offer a Fine Art GCSE at Key Stage 4 with exam board Eduqas. Students opting to take GCSE will have 6 lessons per fortnight and will complete two coursework projects (60% of the marks) and one externally set assignment (40% of the marks). In the ESA, pupils are required to respond to one starting point given by the exam board. Projects will include preparatory and sketchbook work, research and a final piece These projects are designed to not only strengthen and develop the students practical techniques and analytical skills but also allows them to work creatively and independently to explore ideas that interest and excite them. 

We are fortunate to have a large, well equipped department with 5 specialist teachers.  We have excellent facilities including large purpose built classrooms, access to a wide range of media, digital cameras, screen-print exposure unit, kiln, printing presses and sewing machines. 

We have an open door policy and students are encouraged to come and work in the department at lunchtimes and after school to develop their ideas and skills further.  There is a spectacular annual exhibition to celebrate the achievements of our students in the public examinations in late June. 

In 2019, 80% of GCSE students achieved 9 - 4 grades and 100% 9 - 1. 

Key Stage 5

We offer GCE A Level at Key Stage 5 with exam board Edexcel. Students receive 9 lessons per fortnight. 

Throughout our A Level course you will work on 4 projects that are designed to help you achieve your best in Art by allowing you to explore and develop your practical, analytical, research and creative thinking skills.  

At the beginning of Y12 you will be introduced to a wide range of practical techniques through workshop style lessons. These lessons also explore the work of established artists and craftspeople to help develop your critical understanding. 

Component 1 normally provides the portfolio coursework submitted for 48% of your final grade.  As a starting point students are provided with a theme and produce a portfolio of work that explores this theme in a personal and independent direction and will produce a range of outcomes and supporting studies. 

Throughout your investigation you will be introduced to a variety of relevant artists that will enrich your ideas and allow you to create purposeful practical responses and a piece of continuous prose reflecting on their; and your own work. This essay is worth 12% of your final grade. 

Component 2 is an externally set assignment (ESA) which Edexcel issue in February of Year 13 and is worth 40% of your final grade. This body of work develops in a similar way to  Component 1 and concludes with a controlled assessment in May. 

In 2019, the A Level students achieved 100% A*-C 

Social, Moral, Spiritual and Cultural Development


  • All students work is encouraged to show individuality that is purposeful and meaningful. 

  • Students are taught to give and receive positive criticism in order to inform ideas and decisions about their work. 

  • Students are encouraged to explore their own ideas and meaning in order to promote self-identity.  

  • We concentrate on building confidence through developing skill sets in each project. 


  • Throughout the course students are encouraged to look at work that will often pose a moral question. The student’s outcomes are supported with a rationale or a meaning that will often convey a message. 

  • Students explore aesthetics- and are given the opportunity to give an opinion as to what works and doesn’t using key artistic terminology.   

  • All students are taught to understand and read an art work in order to relate to a concept or idea that conveys a meaning. 

  • Students are required to give an opinion on others work with justification for their view. 


  • Student discussion of a range of artists and art work, encouraging and developing communication skills 

  • Extensive displays of student art work in the art department and around the school 

  • Group presentations and critiques, encouraging communication and peer feedback. 


  • Students develop through researching and analysing a wide range of artists and link their findings to their own work. 

  • Students are encouraged to experiment with a variety of traditional and non-traditional art materials and processes. 

  • Investigation and analysis of artists and work that may address cultural, social and political views.  

Beyond the Classroom

In KS4 and KS5 make regular visits to Galleries to see both their collections and special exhibitions, these include the Tate Gallery, the National Gallery, the Royal Academy, Saatchi Gallery in London and the Sainsbury Collection in Norwich. Students being able to view and engage with live Art is crucial to their understanding and is used to spark or develop ideas within their artwork