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In Art and Design we aim to develop students, through intellectual, imaginative and investigative talents. We look to broaden our students’ understanding of the subject through conceptual and contextual analysis, aesthetic awareness and practical discovery. We aim to develop a critical understanding of the interrelationship between Art and artists, and the context in which they operate. However, more importantly, we look to allow each individual to express ideas and thoughts that are important to them.

As well as Art (A level) we also offer separate A levels in Textiles, Photography and Art Critical and Contextual studies, the course structure being the same across all disciplines.

Throughout the course, students are expected to develop a practical and theoretical understanding of: relevant materials, processes, technologies and resources

  • how ideas, feelings and meanings can be conveyed and interpreted in images and artefacts how images and artefacts relate to the time and place in which they were made and to their social and cultural contexts
  • continuity and change in different genres, styles and traditions
  • a working vocabulary and specialist terminology

The course requires students to develop skills to:

  • record experiences and observations, undertake research and gather, select visual information
  • explore relevant resources, discuss and evaluate images, objects and artefacts and record individual responses
  • use the work of other artists to inform their own practice, and through shared evaluations change and modify work
  • generate and explore potential lines of enquiry using various media
  • organise, select and communicate ideas, solutions and responses

Art and Design is a subject that allows for many future developments, and as a discreet subject supports the vast majority of University applications including Medicine.

Art is no longer seen as just a practical A level but is widely viewed as a solid academic qualification that teaches and explores well beyond the actual making process.


Within the Art and Design department we place a great emphasis on independent research and exploration with a view to highly personal and challenging levels of research. This is supported by a great deal of one to one tuition both in the studio format and in individual sessions. We organise visits to galleries and museums, both in the UK (London and all major cities) and abroad to place such as the USA, Morocco, Spain and Germany.

This offers the students excellent opportunities to develop their work in new and exciting ways. The Art and Design department also offers an extensive support structure for all students wishing to study Art and Design, in whatever specialist area, in their application process.


A level
Students will be challenged at A level with a two unit structure, the first (worth 60%) being an individually based visual enquiry that has a strong written and academic content. This will be followed by an externally set unit (worth 40%) that culminates in a 15 hour examination.

All work is moderated against an assessment criteria developed through all previous examination levels. Students’ work is both moderated in school and by an external moderator.


There are many reasons to study Art and Design. Outside the basic requirements needed to study Art and Design at University, the most important reason is that it develops the individual in the way in which they see the world around them and the way in which they consider it.

From a practical view the main reasons for studying Art and Design are:

  • for those who wish to undertake further studies in art, craft and design, for example an Art Foundation course and/or a degree
  • for those who wish to pursue a career for which an art background is relevant or essential; for example architecture, fashion, publishing, marketing, museum or gallery work, theatre, graphic and industrial design, the media, teaching or art therapy
  • for those who wish to pursue a personal interest and aptitude for the subject as a part of their formal education, it will combine well with any other subject